Just an explanation of why the blue plug is needed. Courtesy
[Mods, is this the correct way to quote from an external website? If not, feel free to change it]
Electricity at Caravan Sites: (Information supplied by Mark Lowe.)
Most caravan park owners or managers are not aware of the regulations surrounding the supply of electricity at caravan/camping sites, tabled to protect the user.
In layman's terms therefore, listed below are the most pertinent aspects of the regulations as contained in the Code of Practice for the Wiring of Premises (SABS 0142-1) as amended 1 November 2001.
1) Socket outlets (plug points) shall be 230V single phase alternating current 2) Socket outlets shall comply with SABS 1239 and have a six o'clock earthing position (this applies to the round blue plug, not a normal three-point plug) 3) Only one site may be served by each individual socket outlet. 4) No more than six socket outlets (plugs) may be grouped together (this is done to prevent nuisance tripping.) 5) Each group of socket outlets shall be accommodated in a distribution housing with a degree of protection of minimum IP44 (splash proof from all directions. In other words, a waterproof box must be used) and protection may not be reduced when a plug is inserted. 6) Each socket outlet must be protected by it's own circuit breaker (usually 10A or 15A) 7) Each group of socket outlets must be additionally protected by an earth leakage protection device with a sensitivity not exceeding 30mA (the same as you have in your home)
The socket outlet at each site must be within 25m of the caravan it is intended to supply and shall be securely mounted at least 1m above the ground. 9) The regulations state furthermore that the voltage at the point of consumption (i.e. where you plug in your lead) may not be more than 5% below the nominal voltage supplied to the park by the local authority / supplier. In other words, if the normal supply is 230 Volts, the minimum voltage at your site under its designed load (10 or 15A) should not be below 218,5V (230V -11.5V)
This regulation is designed to protect equipment from damage due to low voltage, such as fridge compressors, TV's, computers etc.
There are of course numerous other regulations pertaining to the installation of electricity in general, with the above representing the most obvious and visible to all caravanners/campers.
Any electrical installation must be compliant with SABS 0142, Part 1 for installations up to 1000V a.c. or Part 2 for installations above 1000V but not exceeding 33kV.
Due to the change in the Act (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993) in October 1992, it became a statutory requirement that every user or lessor (referring to owner or tenant) of an electrical installation shall have a valid Certificate of Compliance (C.O.C) for every such installation.
In the past the responsibility for compliance to regulations of any electrical installation rested with the supplier of electricity to the client concerned, for example Eskom or the local municipality. After October 1992, the onus shifted with the formulation of the new Certificate of Compliance to the user or lessor, in this case the Park Owner to ensure that his installation complied with the regulations.
The loophole is this.... electrical installations installed before October 1992 were exempt from having to comply with the new regulations (unless unsafe conditions existed) until such time as the installation changed ownership, was modified, altered or extended in any way where after it would have to be subjected to the Certificate of Compliance inspection and non-compliant aspects rectified in line with the new regulations, as amended.
In addition to this, the wiring in the electricity outlet box must be screened or covered to prevent accidental contact.
The box must be waterproof and the door or hinged lid must be able to be securely closed with provision made so that the electrical cords to the camper's facilities do not prevent the closure of the box.
Fit for purpose sites or parks with specific tenting sites, bush camps and parks that specifically do not provide electricity, may be excluded from this requirement.