Hi I have bought a IPL hair remover from a British company and in the manual that the unit is configured for a 16A power supply. So it should be plugged into a 16A wall socket or a 20A kitchen appliance socket. Are these the sockets that we use as standard in the uk. It’s telling me that it can be reset to 10A sockets if necessary but I don’t know what amp the uk standard power socks are. Asking in fear of blowing the machine up by just plugging it into the wall. Thanks

  • What sort of plug does it have on it, or are you required to fit the plug? Jan 23, 2019 at 23:49
  • It has a standard uk three prong plug on it.
    – Helen
    Jan 23, 2019 at 23:51
  • There's a 13A fuse in that plug, right? Jan 23, 2019 at 23:53
  • I’m assuming so but I haven’t opened it to check, was just reading the instructions before plugging it in and was a little confused by the statement about 16A or 20A kitchen wall socket..
    – Helen
    Jan 24, 2019 at 0:03
  • 1
    Can you check to make sure the fuse is there? Jan 24, 2019 at 0:04

4 Answers 4


BS1363 is 13A max

The UK BS1363 plug system is 13A, maximum, per receptacle. Since your appliance does not support that setting, only 10A and 16A, the 10A setting is correct; furthermore, they were smart enough to fuse the plug properly (at 10A) -- this means that if you tried to set it to 16A, you'd eventually blow the fuse in the plug.

  • Thank you for your help and advice, it is much appreciated.
    – Helen
    Jan 24, 2019 at 10:42
  • 1
    @Helen -- we thank people around here by upvoting and/or accepting their answers :) Jan 24, 2019 at 12:35
  • How do I do that, if I click on the up and down arrows on the left it tells me to sign in or register but I am already logged it.
    – Helen
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:29


UK standard (type G) plugs are rated for a max of 13Amps.

In the UK, appliances that draw a higher current will be either hardwired into a circuit via a FCU(in a home setting) or use a suitable industrial type plug (for commercial/industrial applications).

Edit: where are you? Do you have issues with voltage/frequency? Feel free to post a link to the device.

  • I’m in Wales and no we don’t have issues with voltage/ frequency. It’s not the plug I’m so worried about it looks like a standard three prong uk plug, but the instructions in the Manuel for this product tell me the unit is configured for a 16A power supply. So can I plug it into a standard uk socket?
    – Helen
    Jan 24, 2019 at 0:07
  • @Helen oh, ok. If it says it could draw 16A then absolutely do not plug it in - greater than 13A is a fire hazard. If it only draws 10A then it's fine. Honestly this sounds a bit dodgy, I'm not sure off the top of my head but I'd imagine it's very illegal to sell something capable of drawing 16A with a plug on it.
    – Niall
    Jan 24, 2019 at 0:11
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    Ok, thank you Niall, there is a code I can put into it to reset it to 10A. So I will do that
    – Helen
    Jan 24, 2019 at 0:28

My suggestion is to replace the fuse in the plug with a 13A max one (not a crappy seld-o-work but a known brand), if your appliance will draw more than 13A, the fuse in the plug will blow and you know you should hardwire your appliance or just put an IEC 309 [BS EN 60309-2] socket where you use it, if 16A is just an 'over-labeling' for appliance designed to work in Europe (most domestic sockets here are rated 16A) you could keep use your gadget safely with it's 13A plug


You probably want to check the devices power rating to calculate the actual current. A 13 Ampere UK socket will deliver 13A*230V = 2990 Watt; if your device needs less than 2990 W it won't blow your fuse.

The 10/16A numbers are indeed typical for outlets in continental Europe, but that does not mean your device happens to consume exactly 10 or 16 A. That is why I suggest using the (more accurate) power in Watt.

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