I have two power outlets in this room, one is a normal 3-pin (UK) plate cover and the other is a fused (switched) plate cover (much like the one below).

UK fused socket cover plate

I've know removed them and wish to put them back, but unfortunately I do not remember which one goes where. The outlets both have the same wires coming out (one live, one neutral and one earth).

Is there a way to tell them apart? Are they actually the same thing and I can swap them over?

  • Oh, I live in the UK if it helps! – donkey kong Aug 3 '11 at 16:37
  • That looks/sounds like a GFI outlet but since I don't live in the UK, I'm not going to make guesses. If it is, then it needs to be on whichever circuit needed GFI protection; if both outlets are on the same circuit it should be on the first electrical outlet (which you probably can't tell, either). Probably the one physically closest to the electrical panel in the house. And there are an insane number of assumptions here, so don't trust me. ^_^ – Scivitri Aug 3 '11 at 21:56
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    @Scivitri: It's not a GFI, it's a "fused connection unit" (FCU) for hardwired appliances (electric stove, water heater, etc). If it is a 13A rated one like the one pictured, then I believe it should be interchangeable. But I am not an electrician, so don't trust me on that (this is why I made this a comment, not an answer). – Lev Bishop Aug 4 '11 at 3:36
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    It's a switched outlet - in the UK the gfi is at the fuse box – mgb Aug 4 '11 at 3:36
  • Thanks for the info. It's really strange as the wires coming out of the wall are identical for both sockets. Im certain one of them was a power socket and the other a fuse. What makes it even stranger is that it's the living room I'm talking about, which already has another fuse along a different wall. – donkey kong Aug 4 '11 at 9:47

It's a switched outlet to connect to something else (a washer, dryer, ceiling fan etc) so there should be another set of wires going from this switch to whatever it's supplying.

The incoming 'hot' cable can be the same one that goes to the socket, it's a 13A switch so can be on a regular ring main


Sorry, but you should not be doing this work yourself. It is illegal to, is one thing, because you are not qualified. I could live with that if it didn't matter, but it is clear that you don't understand what the wires are doing in the installation. Electricity can kill people and there is far more to even a minimum standard of electrical safety than you aware of. Please, get an electrician in.

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