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I have disassembled a (single phase) mains outlet and found the usual L, N and ground cable connectors but to my surprise there is also a 4th connector labelled 'A':

enter image description here

Green/Yellow is ground, blue is neutral, black is live, but what is orange? Symbol above 'A' looks like some kind of a switch or breaker.

Front looks like this (Switzerland type J): enter image description here

Going by the numbers on it this seems to be the main part: https://online-katalog.feller.ch/kat_details.php?fnr=87303.F.61 (sorry, no english version)

  • You have no location in your post or user profile. Show us the other side of it. – Transistor Sep 15 at 17:39
  • Oh of course, actually the front is already visible from my picture, the 3 inner connectors (i.e. the one just next to green/yellow) with the raised plastic are grounds for the 3 type J sockets. – Yanick Salzmann Sep 15 at 17:42
  • actually now that you mention it, the other colors seem to match the official description for switzerland: blue being neutral, black being phase, yellow/green being ground. There is a definition for orange but I have no clue how to translate it to english. – Yanick Salzmann Sep 15 at 17:45
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    You're on an international site. Your post doesn't mention the socket type and doesn't mention that it is, I suspect, a triple socket outlet. Probably few of the site's readers will be familiar with the name. A view of the front cover would make that clear. I assumed we were looking at the back of it. – Transistor Sep 15 at 17:53
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There are three sockets:

  • two are fed from black L-connection
  • the third one with the switch symbol next to it is fed from orange/red A-connection.

This can be used in conjunction with a switch in such a way that you can switch the one output on and off. Particularly useful with a built in switch right next to the socket I guess.

Otherwise if you don't want to use the separate socket switched, you can of course simply use a jumper wire from black to orange tab, as noted by @troubleshooter in the comments below.

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  • i just went and accepted your answer without wating a while because it is obviously the one answer :) – Yanick Salzmann Sep 15 at 19:26
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    Ah, the Swiss version of a North American receptacle with the hot-side jumper tab broken off :) – ThreePhaseEel Sep 15 at 23:42
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    The front of the plate will normally have an incredibly faint depiction of a switch next to the single outlet that is switched. – abligh Sep 16 at 6:31
  • I believe this is 'single phase', Switzerland is 230V 50Hz. So it is 2 live outlets, and one switched. This is useful in a room with no ceiling light, the switch would go by the entry door to the room. Black would feed the switch, and a red would go to that terminal. You should ohm it to confirm the neutral goes all 3, and the black goes to only 2, and the red connects to the 'black' hole of the third outlet. (If so) You can also add a jumper from the black to red to make all 3 hot all the time. Double-check my assumptions, but that should be right. Think the bottom right socket is switched. – troubleshooter Sep 17 at 1:44
  • @troubleshooter Good point, the use of the word phase is inaccurate and I changed it. – jippie Sep 17 at 19:33

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