ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Three-pin plugs in electrical sockets. These plugs are attached to the UK's National Grid; 240 volt alternating current. Pushing the socket switch closes the circuit allowing connection of an electric appliance. The cable carries live, neutral and earth wires from the appliance, which terminate at three pins. The plug also contains a fuse, a fine wire which protects an electrical appliance from overload. If the current rises too high, the fuse melts and breaks the circuit. The earth wire connects the appliance to the ground, carrying away current in the event of a fault.
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