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#134596 - 11/18/02 10:18 PM I've got these bits here
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Have you ever got to a client's place to do a job, and the person there, brings out a bag of old/burned out/non-compliant equipment, that you are required to use to to the work in question?.
And look out, if you dis-agree.
It is these people that really annoy me,
I was handed an old switchboard recently to be installed in place of the existing board,
it was actually older than the one that I was required to take out.
When I said that NEW equipment was required to be installed, all Hell broke loose, my boss was rang,(that was another telling-off),
and I was questioned as to why this was necessary.
Have you ever come across this before?,
Your Help please-
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#134597 - 11/19/02 03:35 AM Re: I've got these bits here
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
yup, all the time.

these sorts want to save $$$, so i simply turn the tables and explain how much more time is involved in dealing with thier flea-market crap.

you need to put things in a $$ perspective...

#134598 - 11/19/02 03:59 AM Re: I've got these bits here
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2332
Loc: Vienna, Austria
For my own work at home I use old materials for the sheer pleasure of retrofitting, but as an electrician...?
However, as a DIY retrofitter I even carefully rip conduit out of the walls to reuse it, bend wires straight, collect parts to complete devices...
In our living room there isn't a single switch/receptacle that is newer than 30 years. I managed to get matching ones. I LOVE old stuff!

#134599 - 11/20/02 05:05 PM Re: I've got these bits here
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City

How can you have 30-year old receptacles and not have the plugs slide out of them????

Here in the U.S. you're lucky sometimes if you can get one of those things to last 5 or 10 years before the face cracks, or the contacts inside loose their spring-action and plugs fall out all by themselves.

Granted that's more the case with the cheap "residential-grade" 50-cent piece-of-craps you see from the big DIY sheds than with the more expensive, but tougher, commercial-quality ones.

A long time ago, I bought one (made by General Electric) and as I started to tighten the screw, I felt it grip and then slip. Guess what, the thread had stripped off near the top of the screw's head!!!!

And what's even more astounding is when you see these things (they're easily recognizable - especially the Leviton ones) being used in professional installations and you see a socket broken clean in half and dangling inside the box!!

I'd be very uncomfortable using second-hand devices or anything that I didn't personally buy and check out...but that's just me. I've gotten overly cautious since I found this forum.

#134600 - 11/21/02 04:50 AM Re: I've got these bits here
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2332
Loc: Vienna, Austria
These sockets have a porcelaine body and 2 springs forming a semi-circle that grip the pins of the plug. If they get loose, just bend them together again. These devices were pretty expensive, but designed to last forever. The worst thing I've ever seen with them were broken covers, due to severe mechanical force.
I had to do the bend trick with one of the 8 I installed, but the other ones look like new after I cleaned the covers. These old devices contain hardly any parts that can fail, so I think they can be trusted if they pass visual inspection. same thing with toggle switches from that era. As long as spring and axle are in good condition there's nothing wrong with using them.
Newer devices with backstab contacts are far less trustworthy. They basically consist of plastic, and everything is covered up, just leaving small holes for the plug pins.

#134601 - 11/21/02 06:39 AM Re: I've got these bits here
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I have to go along with Ranger on this one.

Many 30-year-old receptacles here, if a good make such as MK, are far better in my opinion than the brand new "el cheapo" types.

So long as they've not been damaged in any way, I'm quite happy to re-use them if the situation demands it.

Sometimes though, it's important to draw the line. One guy seriously expected me to save money by using all the old cable I stripped out, adding junction boxes to join pieces together where necessary.

I tried to explain, but he just didn't get it.

#134602 - 11/21/02 09:43 AM Re: I've got these bits here
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2332
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Yeah! Bright guy. I sometimes use old cable when I have a 3m run and a 5m leftover, but NEVER if I have to splice it!


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