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#190441 - 11/18/09 12:34 PM In the name of safety
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Has anyone from the "Down-Under" area noticed that the newer single phase 10A plugs have a tendency for the phase or neutral pins to break prematurely, as of late?

Here's a picture of the 2-pin version of these plugs:



Those from overseas will note that the pins have a layer of plastic on the pins, where they exit the plug body.

Now this layer of plastic isn't thin, but the issue is, allowance for this plastic is at the expense of pin material all the way around the pin.

In this last week, I've replaced 6 of these plugs for various people, where one of the pins has snapped.
It also raises a safety question of "What is the mechanical/electrical integrity of one of these plugs like where the pin(s) might be bent in use, but hasn't broken yet?".
The pins on the older version of the plug, were quite hard to bend, these ones are quite soft.

Bear in mind that these are the only version of the plug you can buy now, manufacturers are required to conform to the regulations.

I also have a problem with this plug (in it's current guise) having a specification of 10 Amperes, with the reduced cross-sectional area on the pins.

This idea came about a couple of years back, the concept being that if a child removes a plug from a socket-outlet, there will be a wide enough gap between the socket face and the plug-top front, for a child to be able to get thier fingers in that gap, causing either burns or electric shock or both.

One other work-around would be recessed socket-outlets, these are on the market here, but you need a good stiff drink before reading the unit price of them. eek

Your thoughts?



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#190443 - 11/18/09 04:41 PM Re: In the name of safety [Re: Trumpy]
aussie240 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 221
Loc: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
I suspect the insulated pins were introduced because the recessed sockets were a flop when they tried to introduce them, given the amount of plugs, double adaptors and plugpack transformers that wouldn't fit into them.
It's not just the flimsy pins on the plugs now, but the flex attached to most 2.4KW appliances in recent years is underrated and becomes too warm for my liking. Proper 1.5mm flex and a chunky old stock bakelite plug fixes the problem.
As for the new plugs I usually end up bending the pins just pushing the covers on they're so weak. Anyone from this part of world will know of the force required to push the cover over the part with the pins and terminals when connecting a plug.
The story I heard re the introduction was that someone with a chain around their neck leaned over a GPO and it went in the gap touching the live pin. Apparently this person was some big knob somewhere who had the necessary influential powers to get things changed. Could be an urban myth of course.

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#190445 - 11/18/09 05:06 PM Re: In the name of safety [Re: aussie240]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Thanks for that aussie. wink

Yeah, I bought up a heap of the older type plugs before the suppliers started stocking these new ones.
I refuse to expose myself and my wife to a ticking time- bomb.

Exactly, these plugs must carry 2.4kW of power running through them at maximum loading, sure most plugs won't be loaded that high, but I have seen the 15A version has the same thing on them (only difference is the bigger earth pin)

IMO, these plugs are a fire hazard.

I don't care if some idiot wears a neck chain and nearly electrocutes himself, you have to wonder about a person that wears a chain that long around a socket though.
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#190463 - 11/19/09 12:00 AM Re: In the name of safety [Re: Trumpy]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
A pretty common occurrence with US grounded plugs... Don't think I've ever seen one with a completely solid ground pin. They are either circular & hollow, or U-shaped; the hollow ones break off all the time, which are generally found on molded plugs. The U-shaped pins are usually found only on the plugs you wire up yourself, and are thicker metal.
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#190474 - 11/19/09 10:49 AM Re: In the name of safety [Re: noderaser]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
Gents! Introducing: British Standard 1363! cool

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BS_1363

Built like a brick outhouse, also suitable for braining rhinos! grin
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#190479 - 11/19/09 06:59 PM Re: In the name of safety [Re: Alan Belson]
winston_1 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 23
Loc: London, UK
Hey, this looks worrying. Do these pins ever break off and get left in the sockets? I'd rather risk a long neck chain than have bits of live pin sticking out over the kitchen worktop.

Surely time to reverse the insulated pins legislation.

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#190482 - 11/19/09 09:31 PM Re: In the name of safety [Re: winston_1]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
While I like the onboard fuse feature of BS1363, it seems a little oversized to me.

I get all sorts of interesting looks when I grab my needle-nose pliers to pull the broken ground pin out of an outlet...
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#190487 - 11/20/09 10:27 AM Re: In the name of safety [Re: noderaser]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
BS1363 does look oversized compared to other domestic plug designs, and it's not without its faults. Broken pins? Impossible! Most appliances and tools in the UK now come with a molded plug fitted, by law, to obviate miswiring by WWs or touching the pins on withdrawal or insertion. This should prevent wrong polarity, although that's rarely a problem with most domestic usage. The generous pin dimensions allow pin insulators without serious weakening of the pins. The faults are that it's possible to insert it upside down in some situations, thus opening and revealing the receptacle shutter & live parts, and it's possible to replace the fuse with a nail! Many variants exist, with different detail body shapes. They are still available as free units for DIY fixing to flex, with a myriad of cord grip designs, some good, some hopeless and in a variety of plastic types. I like the really solid bakelite versions and the ease with which they can be wired up with tools straight out of the kitchen cutlery box! blush The plug will naturally lie pins up, not a nice thing to tread on with bare feet! The fuse is absolutely necessary due to the UK Ringmain system. On the other hand, wallwarts which incorporate the plug pins are easy to design due to its generous dimensions. It is always easier to use, IMHO, than a Shuko once a bit of wear has occured in the plug or receptacle/socket, they slam in with a lovely CLUNK!
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#190494 - 11/20/09 08:42 PM Re: In the name of safety [Re: winston_1]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted By: winston_1
Hey, this looks worrying. Do these pins ever break off and get left in the sockets? I'd rather risk a long neck chain than have bits of live pin sticking out over the kitchen worktop.

Surely time to reverse the insulated pins legislation.


This standard is young, as are the plugs that were required by it.
The plugs I have referred to are used in commercial/industrial situations.

Now the alternative is using something like a 56 Series PDL plug and socket arrangement for your welders and other electrical tools.
The price of these plugs and sockets are out of this world.
When you are required to work in most places doing maintenance, you are met with the standard plug, not the 56 Series, mainly because no-one wants to spend the money to install proper socket outlets, hence a 1.5mm˛ cord going into a plug that was never designed to take that size of cord.

Sure we could make up a whole set of wired adaptors, but why in reality should we have to?

This legislation will never be reversed, it is set in stone now, it is a mind-set within the folks that make our rules. mad
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#190508 - 11/21/09 02:25 AM Re: In the name of safety [Re: Trumpy]
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Mike, those plugs are rubbish. I have also replaced several of them too.
First one to go was on our vacuum cleaner, replaced it with one of the old rubber extension lead plugs.
Other one was on an oil heater which I didn't trust as it ran too hot for my feeling and chopped it off. put one of the older tap on plugs on and no more excessive heat in the lead.

Typical a bureaucratic designed plug with no thought about burning a house down because of reduced ampacity to fit some stupid plastic sleeves on it.

I often go for a walk about on inorganic rubbish days and cut plugs and good leads of dumped appliances, these often yield good tap on plugs and other older style properly designed plugs from before the PC safety days.
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