Power plug & outlet Type D

Whereas type C plugs and type D sockets could be considered an unsafe, but ‘relatively workable’ combination, using E/F plugs with D outlets is downright dangerous. The centres of the pins of type E & F plugs are slightly closer together (19 mm vs 19.1 mm) than those of type D, but unlike Europlugs (type C), they do not have flexible prongs. This means they literally have to be forced into the receptacle. Obviously, this kind of improper use poses an enormous safety hazard for a number of reasons. Firstly – unlike type C – E & F plugs are supposed to be grounded, but when they are used with type D outlets, this won’t be the case. So, be prepared for a sparking receptacle and a regularly tripping circuit breaker. Moreover, type E and F plugs cannot be fully inserted into a D socket, because the pins are longer than the pins of type D plugs (19 mm vs 14.9 mm). This means that 4.1 mm of the pins of plug types E & F will still be exposed when plugged in and if you were to touch the live prong, you most certainly will get an electric shock. This risk does not exist with type C plugs, since their pins are coated in insulation.

Although type D is now almost exclusively used in India and Nepal, it can still occasionally be found in hotels in the UK. It should be noted that tourists should not attempt to connect anything to a BS 546 round-pin outlet found in the UK as it is likely to be on a circuit that has a special purpose: e.g. for providing direct current (DC) or for plugging in lamps that are controlled by a light switch or a dimmer.

Type D plugs are among the most dangerous ones in the world: the prongs are not insulated (i.e. the pin shanks do not have a black covering towards the plug body like type C, G, I, L or N plugs), which means that if a type D plug is pulled halfway out, its prongs are still connected to the socket! Little children run the risk of electrocuting themselves when pulling such a plug out and putting their fingers around it. Type D outlets are not recessed into the wall, so they do not provide any protection from touching the live pins either.

Last updated