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Pretty simple question, but I couldn't find the answer anywhere. Suppose I have a standard '5-pin'/5 recesses wall-socket and I check it with a voltage tester. How many recesses should show a voltage? My expectation was 3, however in my case only the bottom right recess showed a voltage.

Context: this is in an apartment I just moved to in the Netherlands. I tried connecting my electric stove and 3 out of 4 plates no longer worked. That caused my to grab a voltage tester to check the socket.

  • What kind of voltage tester? How did you measure? And what was the returned result: a measurement value or an indication (beep, light)? – Grebu Jul 16 '17 at 15:46
  • Its a screwdriver with a built-in voltage tester. Stick it in the hole, touch the back, light goes on=power is on. – dimpol Jul 16 '17 at 15:50
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    Get a proper 2 probe tester – ratchet freak Jul 16 '17 at 16:20
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    Can you provide a link to what this connector is? It sounds unique to the Netherlands as I have never come across one before and have no clue to what you are referring. – Majenko Jul 16 '17 at 16:32
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    5 recesses and mains can only be 3-phase power. In Europe they do bring that to kitchens of distinction. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 16 '17 at 21:21
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Assuming you mean an IEC 60309 Plug that delivers 3-phase 230/400V power (usually a red connector), there should be power on three pins.

The largest hole is for the earth pin, and the next hole counter-clockwise is the neutral. The remaining holes should have line voltage - 230v measured to neutral or 400v measured to another line hole.

Here is a good reference for you: https://www.plugsocketmuseum.nl/IEC60309_1.html

Also, as mentioned in the comments, get yourself a proper tester for this or call an electrician to test it.

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  • See. This is why we have 230V in sensible countries. That's a darned complicated plug. Especially when you have the l2-l3 swapping thing. Look hideous! Good answer though. – SiHa Aug 27 at 10:47
  • @SiHa Your own country supports the use of this plug too, in industrial applications, if my research is correct. – Moshe Katz Aug 27 at 11:27
  • Of course, you are correct. I was talking about domestic setting. I've never seen this particular plug in us in an industrial one though, despite having a fair number of 3-phase installations. To be fair, they're all pretty old though, so that's probably why! – SiHa Aug 27 at 11:36

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