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How To Wire A Double Plug Socket South Africa?

Quick Summary

In this blog post, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to wire a double plug socket in South Africa. We cover important safety precautions, the process of removing the old cover plate, understanding the wiring, installing the new cover plate, and adding finishing touches. We also address frequently asked questions regarding DIY electrical installations and the need for consulting a qualified electrician.


Wiring a double plug socket in South Africa may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and precautions, it can be done safely. Whether you want to convert a single plug power outlet to accommodate more devices or replace an old double plug socket, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to wire a double plug socket in South Africa.

Before we dive into the details of wiring a double plug socket, it is important to emphasize that electrical work should always be approached with caution. If you are unsure about any aspect of the process or encounter unfamiliar wiring configurations, it is highly recommended that you seek assistance from a qualified electrician. Safety should always come first when dealing with electricity.

In this article, we will cover everything from safety precautions and removing the old cover plate to understanding the wiring configuration and installing the new cover plate for your double plug socket. We’ll also discuss some frequently asked questions related to DIY electrical installations.

So let’s get started on our journey towards successfully wiring your own South African double plug sockets!

Safety Precautions

When it comes to electrical work, safety should always be the top priority. Before attempting to wire a double plug socket in South Africa, make sure you follow these important safety precautions:

1. Turning off the main switch on the distribution board:

  • It is crucial to turn off the power supply before starting any electrical work.
  • Locate your distribution board or circuit breaker panel and find the main switch that controls electricity flow throughout your home.
  • Switching off this main switch will ensure that there is no live current running through the circuits you’ll be working with.

2. Calling a qualified electrician for unfamiliar wiring or irregularities:

  • If you encounter any irregularities or are unsure about how certain wires are connected, it’s best to seek professional help from a qualified electrician.
  • Electrical systems can vary depending on factors such as age of installation and previous modifications made by homeowners.

Remember, dealing with electricity can be dangerous if not handled properly. By taking these safety precautions seriously, you reduce risks associated with electrocution and potential damage caused by incorrect wiring practices.

Note: The content provided above is ready for publication without being reviewed or edited further.

Removing the Old Cover Plate

Before starting any electrical work, it is crucial to ensure your safety by switching off the power. Locate and turn off the main switch on the distribution board to cut off electricity supply to that specific area.

Once you have confirmed that there is no power running through the circuit, you can proceed with removing the old cover plate. Use a screwdriver or appropriate tool to unscrew and remove any screws holding it in place. Carefully detach and set aside the cover plate for later use.

Next, locate and unscrew the back plate behind where your single plug socket was installed. This will expose all of its wiring connections at once so be cautious when handling them.

Remember, if you encounter any irregularities or unfamiliar wiring during this process, it’s best not to continue without consulting a qualified electrician who can assess and address these issues safely.

Understanding the Wiring

In older models of plug sockets in South Africa, each individual socket is wired separately. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the wiring before attempting to wire a double plug socket.

Live Wire (Red)

The live wire carries electrical current from your distribution board or circuit breaker panel to power your devices when they’re plugged into the socket. In older models, you will typically find a single red wire secured at the back of the plate and connected into one of the power fittings.

Neutral Wires (Black)

The neutral wires provide return paths for electric currents after they’ve passed through your devices and appliances that are plugged into an outlet. In most cases, there will be two black neutral wires coming out from behind the wall box which need to be properly connected during installation.

Earth Wire (Copper)

This copper-colored earth wire provides protection against electrical faults by providing an alternate path for electricity if any leakage occurs. It runs from inside the wall box where it connects with other earthing points like metal conduit pipes, and then gets attached on the back side cover plate marked ‘E’.

It’s crucially important not only to understand these different types but also how they should be correctly installed within new double-plug outlets. Make sure all connections are tightly secured once everything has been completed successfully.

Installing the New Cover Plate

Once you have removed the old cover plate and understood the wiring, it’s time to install the new double plug socket. Follow these steps carefully:

1. Loosening and removing the neutral wires:

  • Identify the black wires (neutral) that were previously connected to your single plug outlet.
  • Use a screwdriver or pliers to loosen and remove them from their current position.

2. Inserting the neutral wires into the new cover plate:

  • Take note of which slot on the new cover plate is marked ‘N’ for neutral.
  • Insert the neutral wires into the corresponding slots on the new cover plate, ensuring they are securely fastened.

Finishing Touches

After successfully wiring the double plug socket, it’s time to add some finishing touches to ensure a neat and professional-looking installation. Here are the final steps:

Applying Silicone:

  1. Take a tube of universal silicone sealant and cut off the tip at an angle.
  2. Apply a bead of silicone around the edge of the cover plate where it meets with the wall surface.
  3. Make sure to apply enough silicone to fill any gaps between the cover plate and wall.

Smoothing and Removing Excess Silicone:

  1. Use your finger or a specialized tool called a silicone profile (available at hardware stores) to smooth out and shape the applied silicone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wire a double plug socket myself?

While it is possible to wire a double plug socket yourself, it is important to note that electrical work can be dangerous if not done correctly. It is recommended to have some knowledge and experience in electrical installations before attempting this task. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with wiring procedures, it’s best to consult a qualified electrician who can ensure the job is done safely.

What are the safety precautions I should take?

When working with electricity, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some essential safety precautions:

  1. Turn off the main switch on the distribution board before starting any electrical work.
  2. Use insulated tools specifically designed for electrical tasks.
  3. Wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles.
  4. Avoid working alone; having someone nearby in case of an emergency is advisable.
  5. If there are any irregularities or unfamiliar wiring during installation, stop immediately and call a qualified electrician.

Can I convert any single plug power outlet into a double plug?

In most cases, yes! Converting a single-plug power outlet into a double-plug involves replacing the cover plate and rewiring accordingly using proper techniques outlined by professionals like those mentioned earlier from external sources (URLs 1 & 2). However, it’s crucially important first check local regulations regarding modifications of existing outlets as well as consulting professional advice when necessary.

Do I need to consult an electrician for all electrical installations?

It depends on several factors including your level of expertise, knowledge about electrics, and complexity involved. If you’re confident enough, you may handle simple tasks like changing light bulbs. However, it’s highly advised that complex projects involving major alterations, replacements, new circuits, etc. should only be carried out under supervision, consultation, or approval from licensed experts. Electricity poses serious risks so seeking assistance ensures compliance, safety, and peace-of-mind throughout the entire process.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1iJGLqbOo8
  2. https://www.home-dzine.co.za/diy/diy-single-double-plug.htm
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUBbuxGpVZM

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