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How to Wire a UK 3-Pin Socket Outlet? Wiring a BS1363 Socket

Wiring a 1-Gang, BS1363, 3-Pin Switched Socket Outlet Safely and Correctly

3-Pin Socket Outlet

A 3-Pin socket outlet is also known as a UK socket outlet, Type G outlet or BS1363 socket outlet by IEC standards. The basic 1 Gang three pin outlet has three pins namely Live “L”, Neutral “N” and Earth “E”. It is available in multiple varieties i.e. 1, gang, 2, gang, switched and switched with neon bulb etc. We will show the wiring diagrams in our upcoming posts for each type based on the system needs.

The basic BS-1363, 3-Pin socket (wall outlet) is commonly used in the UK, IEC and other countries following the Old UK codes or IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) such as UAE, KSA, Malaysia, Singapore, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malta and so on. This is because it has comprehensive protective features as follows.

Click image to enlarge

Wiring a BS 1363, 1-Gang, 3-Pin Socket Outlet


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Safety Features of BS1363 Socket

The 3-Pin BS-1363 socket outlet has the following protective features.

  • The Shuttered outlets (for terminals) on the socket prevents the children to insert nails or other conducting materials.
  • The BS1363 power socket can’t be used as up-side down. In other words, Earth Pin can’t be inserted in the live or neutral terminal slots as the earth pin is bigger in longer in the designated 3-pin power plug. In short, it can’t be used in the wrong position even by mistake.
  • It has a built-in fuse in the related BS1363, 3-pin socket.
  • The earth slot is beggar and longer in three pin plugs, so the earth is the first pin which makes electrical contact with the circuit. In addition, the 3-pin socket can’t be used as up-side down to prevent the wrong terminal contact with other terminals (i.e. Neutral or Live as Earth).
  • All the three pins in BS1363 power plug are insulated which is designed to be used with BS1363 socket.

In the following tutorial, we will show how to wire and install a new three pin plug or upgrade an outdated socket (already installed).

In this Switched 1, gang, 3-Pin socket, the switch is used to control the ON/OFF operation of the socket outlet as well as connected appliances. The built-in neon bulb (in the switch) indicates the ON/OFF position of the switch, plug and socket. For example, if the neon light is glowing, it means the switch is ON and the circuit is operating. If the light is not glowing, it indicates the switch is OFF and the plug, socket and appliance is disconnected from the main supply.

Click image to enlarge

Internal Wiring of BS1363, 3-Pin Socket Outlet

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Tools Required

The following basic tools are needed while wiring a 3-pin socket outlet.

  • Switched 1 gang, 3-pin socket outlet
  • Flat bladed screwdriver
  • Phase tester
  • Cable & Wires
  • Wire snips, pliers, side cutters, scissors, knife or simple wire striper.

Wiring a BS1363, 3-Pin Socket

Follow the following simple steps to wire a BS-1363 switched socket wall outlet.

  • First of all, turn off the main breaker or related MCB in the main distribution board or consumer unit  and make sure the main supply is switched off.
  • If you want to upgrade an already installed 1, gang, 3-pin socket, then loosen the tightly fitted screw on the front side of the wall socket. It will help to release the front cover from the mounting box. This way, the socket can be eased from the mounting box. Note: Ignore step 2 if you want to install a fully new 1-gang, three-pin power socket (wall outlet) instead of replacing or upgrading 1-gang, 3-pin socket.
  • If you want to connect a new 3-pin socket, just connect the “Earth” as Green with Yellow stripe color wire into the “E” screw terminal (which indicates Earthing & Grounding).
  • Now connect the “Neutral” as Blue color wire into the “N” screw terminal slot (which indicates Neutral).
  • Finally, connect the “Live” as Brown color wire into the “L” screw terminal (which indicates live or phase).
  • If you want to modify/upgrade the older socket outlet, just loosen the Live “L”, Neutral “N” and Earth “E” screw terminals in the previous socket and replaces the related wires in the new 3-pin power socket (Brown for Live “L”, Blue for Neutral “N” and Green or Green with Yellow stripe for Earth “E”).
  • As a final step, tighten the screws and replace the front/back cover of the three-pin socket. Make sure all the wires and screws are perfectly tightened as loose connection may lead to catching a hazardous fire due to arcing and overheating or even electric shock with serious injuries. In addition, no wires or naked strands should be hanging out from the socket or screw terminals.  Now, carefully push back the 3-pin socket outlet into the mounting box to place it over perfectly in the box slot.
  • You have done. Restore the power back by turning ON the main switch or related circuit breaker in the consumer unit and test if it is working perfectly.

Click image to enlargeHow to Wire a UK 3-Pin Socket Outlet



  • Green with Yellow stripe wire to the Earth “E” terminal.
  • Blue wire to the Neutral “N” terminal.
  • Brown wire to the Live “L” Terminal.

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IEC & UK Wiring Color Codes:

We have used the following IEC wiring color codes for 230V single phase  supply voltage applicable in the UK and EU. The United Kingdom was using their own wiring color codes prior April, 2004 while some countries are still following the same old UK wiring color code. The United Kingdom is following IEC wiring color codes now.

IEC Wiring Color Codes for 230V, 1-Phase, 3-Wire System

  • Brown = Live or Phase Wire
  • Blue = Neutral
  • Green or Green with Yellow Stripe = Earth or Ground wire as protective earth (PE).

The Old UK wiring color codes for single phase wiring are as follow.

230V Single Phase

  • Red = Phase
  • Black = Neutral
  • Green = Earth or Ground Wire.

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Instruction & Safety Precautions

  • Disconnect the power supply (and make sure it is really swathed OFF) before servicing, repairing or installing electrical equipment. To do so, switch off the main switch in the main consumer unit or distribution board.
  • Never stand or touch wet and metal parts while repairing or installation.
  • Read carefully all the cautions and instructions and follow them strictly while doing this tutorial or any other work in practical related to electrical works.
  • Always, use the right size cable and wireproper size outlets and switch and suitable size of circuit breakers. You may also use the Wire and Cable size calculator to find the right gauge size.
  • Never ever try to play with electricity (as it is dangerous and can be fatal) without proper guidance and care. Do the installation and repairing work in presence of experienced persons having vast knowledge and good practice who knows how to deal with electricity.
  • Doing your own electrical work is dangerous as well as illegal in some cases. Contact the licensed electrician or the electric power supply provider before practicing any change/modification in electrical wiring connections.
  • The author will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information or if you try any circuit in wrong format. So please! Be careful because it’s all about electricity and electricity is too dangerous.

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