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Tip of the week: Plugging into the new generation

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You will find plenty of DIY advice on how to change a plug point yourself but Handy Mac believes in leaving things to the experts

As promised last week and under continual pressure from Mrs Mac, I took time out this week to look into changing our electrical plug points to those which now come standard with two prong points and USB slots.

My long-term electrical contractor, Mogamat Kassiem, came to the office so I could pick his brain.
You will find plenty of DIY advice on how to change a plug point yourself but I believe in leaving things to the experts, especially when it comes to electrics. I was going to suggest you check on the internet for a feel of the different socket combinations, but I suggest you look in an electrical wholesale outlet instead.
It would appear the shape and size of your basic plug point has not changed over the years and the new generation covers will fit into the old box in the wall. Kassiem assures me all the new generation wall plugs are factory fitted, including the USB ports, and all work off 220 volts.
It is important to check the voltage requirements of what you are buying. Some countries work on a lower voltage. He says you are looking at R350 for the lower end of the market and up to R1000 for the high-end merchandise.
Everyone is looking for work at the moment, so you could get good prices from a good electrician. The going rate is around R750 an hour and that would probably be enough time to fit three new covers.
If you have an older home with no earth leakage and an overhead mains system – the kind with wires from the pole leading to your house – it may be time to have your system upgraded for safety reasons.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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