No socket-outlets, other than specially-designed outlets such as those
for shavers, are permitted in UK bathrooms. These sockets take the
non-fused round pin plugs you mention.
Electric toothbrushes, like electric shavers, are normally used in a
bathroom and thus have the appropriate plug, for that use, fitted.
A copy of the UK guidelines can be downloaded from
The document list the requirements for plugs, sockets and adaptors sold in
The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, to which those
guidance notes relate, specifically exclude:
"Any non-rewirable or any moulded-on Europlug (that is to say any
plug conforming with BS EN 50075) which is designed for the
purpose of connecting to a shaver supply unit conforming to BS
3535: Part 1 any electrical shaver, toothbrush or similar appliance;
and for the purposes of this paragraph the expression "shaver
supply unit" shall have the meaning given to it in BS 3535: Part 1."
The British 2-pin shaver/toothbrush plug is unique to these devices,
and possibly certain hair-clippers. Where these sockets are installed
in a bathroom they must be of the type fitted with an isolating
transformer. Normal 13A BS1363/A sockets are not permitted, nor are
the older BS546 2, 5 and 15A round pin ones. I don't know the BS
number of the British shaver plug; does anybody else?
The shaver plug is different to both the old British 2-pin 5A plug,
(the pins are about the same size but the spacing is different), and
the 2-pin 'Euro' plug used in most other parts of Europe, (the pins are
much thicker and closer spaced). It can only be inserted into a shaver
socket, or into a BS1363/A socket, via an adapter which must contain a
1A fuse. These fuses are smaller than the normal ones fitted in plugs.
Shaver sockets can normally also take American 2-blade NEMA 1-15 and
'Euro' plugs, and sometimes also the Australian one with angled
blades, and so can be used with shavers from many countries. They
will not take the old British two-pin 5A plug. At one time this type
of plug was used on shavers, but the specification was changed many
years ago. Shaver sockets with isolating transformers normally have
tapped secondary windings, and can supply either 240 or 120V.
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