22 Oct Out With The Old Plug Standard In With The New For New Installations
The New ZA Plug Standard Offers Super Benefits to New Electrical Installations
South Africa is in the process of adopting new plug standards and all new installations are required to use the new ZA Plug (SANS 164-2) standard.
And although it’s not mandatory yet for established buildings to upgrade to the new standard it is advisable because of basic safety and nice features like being able to have USB ports in the plug adapter from where you’ll be able to charge your phone and other electronics directly.
A recent amendment to the wiring code introduced in 2016 stated that the ZA Plug would become semi-mandatory for new installations in March 2018.
Each new plug point must have at least one socket that can accomodate a ZA Plug, it said. Source My Broadband
As you will notice the ZA Plug has similar hexagonal profile as the Europlug seen on your cellphone charger, but includes an earth pin. It is substantially more compact than South Africa’s three-prong plug standard, and has much thinner pins.
We are very excited about this new standard, says Jon Vickers of Vickers Electrical just the safety features of lower currents at the plug point alone is enough to make me a promoter of this standard.
Unfortunately adoption of the standard has been slower than expected.
Gianfranco Campetti, the chairman of the working group that looks after the standard, said industry has been slow to respond and use the standard in essential products. He said the appliance industry in particular has been slow to provide goods with the new plug.
4 main reasons why the ZA Plug is better than the standard plug system, says experts.
- More compatible. Cell phone chargers and devices using Europlugs will be able to fit the ZA Plug socket, more directly to the power source, without the need for an adaptor.
- More plug space. Current triangular three-prong wall sockets can only securely accommodate two plug outlets. The smaller ZA Plug format can safely have up to four outlets per wall mounted socket, doing away with the need for multi-plug adaptor strips.
- Much safer. The ZA Plug socket uses smaller holes, so no fingers or small objects can be inserted.
- Less wall space. The ZA Plug is smaller and less bulky than the standard triangular three-prong plug, taking up less space and weight in transporting appliances.
In conclusion, Jon Vickers encouraged owners to consider switching over to the ZA Plug sooner than later, it’s already required for all new installations and when electrical upgrades are needed for electrical compliance certificates the new plug system will be required.
Besides we cannot really put a value on the safety it brings with it, we’ve seen some very dangerous old plug installations and abuse that is a potentially fatal electrocution waiting to happen, not to talk about the fire hazard.
So we highly recommend that you start switching over to the new ZA Plug system as you upgrade your plug sockets, imagine no more cellphone charger fights.