Last Updated on
Since I have only lived and worked in the US I find it very interesting on just how different the electric is in the UK. Fred from London shared this with me and thought it would make some interesting reading for us USA’ers if that’s even a word.
Greetings from England, just wanted to say the Mains electricity supply in the UK is quite different from America, here we have 230 to 240 volts AC at a freq of 50 hz, the mains plugs have 3 wires in them, two come in from the pole outside, the right hand wire is Brown and it’s Mains live, it alternates 50 times per second, 230 – to 230 +, the left wire in the plug is Neutral and is Blue, that is essentially and Earth that goes back to the Substation, the third wire on out plugs is the top one which is Yellow and Green, and that goes outside to an Earth or Ground, normally fixed to a copper rod or pipe that is buried in the ground…each house has one of these grounds, I believe the mains electricity in the UK is produced in 3 phase, and one third goes to each area, to equal the load out, having said that some places do have 3 phase going to them.
I believe the color of the phase wires are Yellow, Red and Blue, most power stations in the UK run off Coal or Oil, there are a lot of wind turbines now especially on the coast, also some Nuclear Power Stations,…if you were to take a Multi tester and put on the plug wiring you would get 230 volts from the Brown Live to the Neutral and indeed to the Yellow and Green Earth lead as well, from the Earth to the Neural you get Zero volts, the push in plugs are rated at a max of 13 amps, the lighting have a 240 volt bayonet fitting bulb, incandescent but now normally energy saving bulbs…the Old Color codes for the UK were Red for live, Black for Neutral and Green for Earth, I know in the USA you have 110 to 115 from each of the 2 pins to ground and about 240 across the 2 outer pins, I believe the outer pins have the alternating current on, where ours only have one wire that alternates and the other is just a neutral…hope this is interesting to you…best wishes, Fred Nr London, England.