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Dead-front plugs and open-front plugs (another can of worms) #13240
08/28/02 09:24 AM
08/28/02 09:24 AM
SvenNYC  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
In the few weeks I've been here I've run into a few rhetorical questions about why we can still get the open-front plugs in hardware stores.

I remember when I was a kid (back in the 1980s/early 90s), such plugs were still being sold with the easily-lost cardboard insulators to cover the screws. On 30 or 40 year old appliances that hadn't been unplugged in ages, the cardboard would sometimes crumble away the moment you touched it.

The ones I've bought in the last three or four years [Eagle now makes them in Mexico :-( ] have been "improved."

The insulating disk is now a piece of gray plastic that seems to fit tighter against the plug pins and doesn't seem prone to easily get lost. To work them off you have to pick at them with your fingernail for a little bit till they work off slightly. I've even replaced the cardboard disks with extra plastic ones from the hardware stores on some plugs already installed at home.

I don't think Leviton makes open-front plugs anymore - everything is dead-front now.. I still run into new-old-stock open front Leviton flat-handle Bakelite plugs in little hardware stores every so often.

My pet peeve is why does Eagle still make some plugs with GALVANIZED IRON or steel pins (prone to rust) instead of brass or copper pins (which makes for better conductor also).

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Re: Dead-front plugs and open-front plugs (another can of worms) #13241
08/29/02 07:45 PM
08/29/02 07:45 PM
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,344
there are many rather questionable goods on the market.

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 08-29-2002).]

Re: Dead-front plugs and open-front plugs (another can of worms) #13242
08/30/02 05:28 AM
08/30/02 05:28 AM
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,409
Vienna, Austria
The only open-front plugs I found in Austria date from the 1930ies. They're bakelite with a plastic cover which wont get lost. The only way I found to open them is to push into the hole the cord comes out with a knitting needle or something similar, carefully not to hit the cord. Otherwise it's about impossible to get the disk out.

Re: Dead-front plugs and open-front plugs (another can of worms) #13243
08/30/02 03:48 PM
08/30/02 03:48 PM
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I've only ever seen one style of open-front plug here. It was the old non-grounding 5A style, molded rubber used on Hoover vacuum cleaners in the 1940s/1950s.

That was rare though; "deadfront" style plugs are almost universal.


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