Cost comparison of 5A and 13A socket outlet wiring in Sri Lanka

The costs of proposed 13A socket outlet wiring, which has been proposed as a single standard for plugs and sockets in Sri Lanka was recognized slightly lesser compared to the cost of current 5A socket outlet wiring in houses.

This was identified at a recent stakeholder meeting held by Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) with Sri Lanka Standard Institute, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau Sri Lanka (CECB), National Engineering Research and Development Centre of Sri Lanka (NERD) and Institution of Engineers in Sri Lanka (IESL).

It was identified that there are three categories of houses in Sri Lanka with different scales of floor areas for lower income, lower middle income and higher income and these different floor areas need different outlet arrangements, and number of circuits.

The difference between costs of wiring 5A socket outlets and the proposed 13A socket outlet wiring was also calculated for each type of house.

Accordingly the cost differences for 5A socket outlet wiring and the proposed 13A socket outlet wiring were identified.

PUCSL has decided that the Type ‘G’ plug and socket outlet , widely known as the 13 A plug and socket outlet, commonly referred to as the “square pin” plug and socket is to be the only national standard in Sri Lanka and conducted a public consultation last year to get various views on the proposed change.

The power regulator says that different types of plugs and sockets are used in Sri Lanka to make a connection to a wall socket, to which the plug on an appliance does not often fit, electricity users adopt a variety of methods and devices, most of which are unsafe and cause the connection to be unreliable.

Accordingly PUCSL is on the move to create an enabling environment to systematically move to using one type of plug and socket outlet as a confusing array of plugs and sockets are in use in Sri Lanka requiring different adapters, while the quality of some of the accessories are also in doubt, making them unsafe.

This standard will be effective from year 2017 through a staged approach, the commission said in its proposed consultation paper on standardizing plugs and sockets.

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