I've just bought a portable welder in the UK from a large reputable online seller.

The product came with no plug attached, just three bare wires. It says no one on the product description that there would not be a plug.

I've tried to look into it and I believe it is illegal to sell a product without a plug.

I think this is the legislation: here

Can someone just confirm or correct me here please?

I am in the UK and it was purchased from a UK website and UK seller. It was purchased brand new.


  • I've purchased products in America that didn't come with a plug before. This is usually the case when the plug is common and people have them at home. One example would be a microusb. I assume that it's not illegal here, though it might be in bad taste.
    – Michael d
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 16:16
  • 2
    @JackU, the regulation you cited contains a number of exceptions. Without examining the welder and the accompanying literature, it's impossible to say if one of the exceptions apply. Without seeing the description of the welder that you relied on when you placed your order, it's impossible to say if it was deceptive. Commented May 30, 2019 at 16:32
  • 2
    If it is meant to be wired directly into a panel this may be legal, as including a plug would imply that it is meant to be plugged into a normal outlet. Welders draw a lot of current, and most home-based outlets can only supply up to 20A. Welders may need 100A or more. This is impossible to tell in your case because some hobby welders can draw lower amps (or convert AC to DC).
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


... this Part applies to the following devices namely any plug, socket or adaptor ordinarily intended for domestic use ...

Welders are not “ordinarily intended for domestic use”.

  • Also, most of that would apply to the use of the appliance. They aren't going to bust you for having something without the plug or they wouldn't sell replacement plugs.
    – Putvi
    Commented May 30, 2019 at 22:06

First up check the maximum input amperage on the welder - as others have noted welders can draw significant amounts of power and if it's rated to draw more than 13A then it's excluded from the requirements to come with a plug under regulation 11 of The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 which, when discussing the applicable appliances states:

(b) is designed to operate at a maximum rated input of not more than 13 amperes;

Even if this particular device falls below the 13A maximum input figure as Dale M's answer states welders would likely be excluded under point (d) of the same regulation:

(d) is ordinarily intended for domestic use.

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