8Functions of a Three Pin Socket



You will find sockets with 2 or 3 pins and a switch. The 3-pin plug socket is meant to be used for appliances which require a higher power output. The 2-pin plugs are used for appliances that use less power compared to the 3-pin plugs.

In India, you will find both two-pin and three-pin plugs are used depending on the requirement of electrical appliances. If the device needs ground connectivity in a circuit, it does not work with the 2nd pin as well as in the third one. That is because the third pin provides control of the ground current, thus, ensuring the user’s safety.

What is a Three Pin Plug?

A 3-pin plug is an electrical device with three metal projections (called pins) to connect to the socket. In the 3-pin plug, the top thicker pin is for grounding, earth or connection. This grounding or earthing is done to avoid any dangerous residual electricity or over current from being passed. 

Over electricity can be hazardous for electronic appliances that are connected, as it not only damages the appliance but may also trigger a short circuit. Thus, earthing is necessary to be done. 

Functions of a Three Pin Plug

A 3-pin plug socket is usually installed to connect and disconnect various electronic devices that require an AC power supply to the main power supply and from it. 

According to its name, the 3-pin plug consists of three pins. Read on further to know the purposes of all three pins in a plug. 

Purpose of all the Three Pin in a plug-

1- Live pin (Line Connection) 

The live pin or line connection pin (L) is meant to supply electric current to the appliances.

2- Neutral pin

The neutral pin (N) functions by linking the return paths of the device to the return path of the electric outlet. 

3- Earth pin 

The earth pin (E) is the top pin which is thicker and longer than the other two pins. It is meant to link the appliance’s metallic body to the ground or earth. That results in transferring fault or over current to the ground and protects users and appliances. 

On most standard three plug pins, you will find E, L and N give their respective function next to them.

Uses/ Application of a Three Pin Plug

1- Three Rectangular Pin- Earthed and Fused

The rectangular-shaped three-pin plug type is specially designed to conduct class III electrical appliances. These appliances include refrigerators, microwave ovens, and other metallic body appliances. All these appliances must be connected to the earth or ground. That will help eliminate the risk of electrocution caused by an electricity leakage or over current passed to the metal body. Thus, offering extra safety against insulation failures protects the users and appliances.

2- Three Round Pin – Earthed Plug

The round pin type of plug is specially designed to operate heavy appliances such as air-conditioners.

Learn more about three pin sockets from Legrand!