we are planning to redo our bathroom. we really would like to have electrical sockets so that we can use the hairdryer in the bathroom as well as hairclippers/charging toothbrushes etc. my parents are in a different country and have a row of sockets near the sink (about 50cm away), which would be ideal.
UK domestic wiring design is to a different method to (almost any) other country.
It enables high-power appliances to be used in an unlimited number of positions in the home (though not all at the same time) and there is a fuse in the plug to prevent the dangers that might occur if high power was made available to an appliance that was not designed to handle it, in the event of a fault occurring. One of the features of this approach is that a table lamp can be safely fused at 3Amp (720 Watts) and the same socket can also safely supply a tumble drier fused at 13Amp (3120 Watts) and in either case the fuse will blow in the event of a fault in the appliance or its flex which causes an overcurrent severely exceeding its design load . This reduces the risk of, for example, a fire if the economical thin flex of the table lamp or radio might be damaged, whereas the flex of a large appliance is made thicker to carry its greater design current. The circuit itself is capable of safely carrying more power than the largest domestic appliance will use.
The design of the circuit is also different, and means that voltage drop in distant parts of the house is reduced (so for example lamps are less prone to dim, especially if large appliances are simultaneously run off the same circuit).
Appliances generally do not have fuses inside them. Outside the UK, fault protection depends on the fuse or circuit breaker of the circuit. This might, for example, be 20Amps, so a current considerably exceeeding this would need to occur if a fault condition was to blow or trip the whole circuit. In my example of the table lamp with a damaged flex, the circuit would probably not trip and the flex would probably spark and fizz until it burned away. It would have more chance to start a fire.
It is more difficult to balance the competing needs of (large) current availability and (close) overcurrent protection in this way; this was one of the many problems that the UK standard addressed when it was introduced in 1947. The previous UK system used to have separate circuits for large, medium and small-load appliances, each fused differently, and each with different sized plugs and sockets within the house. This was inconvenient.
Are you kidding? Where else would you want to use it?
Bizarre UK idea that you would want to blast your hairs around your bedroom, where they collect on your clothes and bed. You are meant to perform this task in the BATHROOM, a room designed for personal grooming and easy cleaning.