Many countries use outlets with three sets of wire which are compatible with many devices. Sockets with three wire outlets are known to be quite a safer option especially for devices that run on higher Wattage like Oven, Air conditioners, Laptop chargers, and more.
If you can see three wires in an outlet then you need not worry as this article will give you insights into it. The three-conductor fashion outlet is fairly easy to understand provided you are a fast learner.
However, keeping in mind the color code and the wire functionality, you can easily navigate your way around 3 sets of wire in one outlet.
Deciphering the Three Wire Sets
Usually a Three Wire Set that is compatible with a three pin connector has three different functionality. Each wire is color-coded and has a predetermined placement for standardization.
This is an important aspect if you wish to troubleshoot or connect the socket with three wires at your home or workplace. If you engage in wrong placement of the wire, it can be hazardous and fatal.
Therefore, before working out on connecting the wires or opening the screws of the socket cover to troubleshoot it is crucial that you get familiar with the placement and functionality of the wire. Here are the three different functionality of the wires in a socket;
1) The Red Wire
Usually, the red wire is considered to be the live wire. The live is responsible for carrying electric current in an oscillating voltage fashion. It is the wire that stems out of the electric source from the generator or the power factory. The red or brown color wire represents live wire as it also calls for dangers.
Hence, a warning color has been given to it. Besides this, the live wire is connected to the switch. Hence, when the switch is switched off or switched on electric currents flow through the appliance. If your switch is not working then the likely cause is the loose connection of this wire or the switch.
2) The Blue Wire
The Blue Wire is referred to as the Neutral line. It exists on the three wire outlet because neutral wire plays the function for rerouting current to the source. It is an essential component and is quite important in the socket.
Additionally, it prevents electric shocks, unstable voltage, and unexpected currents. The neutral wire is an essential component of the three-pin socket.
If your switchboard is facing such issues of random voltage spikes or electric shocks then the likely cause is the blue wire connected to the outlet. Therefore, you can insect it around the neutral wire and cross-check the connections.
3) The Green Wire
Green wire is usually the code given to wires that does the function of connecting to the ground. Well, even if you don’t have a ground wire you will not notice any changes in the functioning or passage of current in your appliances.
However, it increases the hazard factor. You can think of ground wires replacing you in an event of shock. Therefore, it acts as a safety switch where the electrocution occurs to the ground which causes additional damages.
It is quite handy during short-circuits. It becomes quite essential to maintain your socket and check for ground connections as they don’t indicate if they are functioning or not.
Now that you are aware about the three wire functionalities and its code, it is time for you to look at the placement. When you look at a three-pin outlet, you will notice that there are three holes in a triangular placement.
The hole at the apex is the outlet for earth wire (the green one). Followed by tths, the holes at the bottom of either side of the apex connect to live and neutral wire.
You can take a look at the diagram to better understand the placement. This will give you a visual insight on its placement allowing you to work on it confidently.
How to Connect Wires Safely?
Working on electrical appliances can be quite hazardous and it is crucial that you are prepared in advance. For instance, you should wear rubber footwear and always turn off the main switch while making connections.
This will prevent you from getting electrocuted and help you work on it safely. Besides this, it is also vital that you read the standard charts and know the functionalities of the wire.
Hence, you won’t make any haywired connections and the possibility of short circuit decreases. Therefore, it is crucial that you know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to fix an issue, call a professional and get the work done.
The Bottom Line
Hence, remembering these aspects will allow you to understand the three-pin outlet. It is quite common in the UK as many households have three-pins sockets and the appliances are designed accordingly.
The additional third wire is likely the ground wire. Therefore, it is important that you don’t be alarmed or nervous when you see 3 sets of wires in one outlet as it is quite normal. Take a deep breath and remember the color coding, placement, and the functionality of each wire in the 3 sets.