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#20168 - 01/09/03 04:10 PM Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
If you buy one of these clamp lamps (particularly the ones currently at sale at some Walmarts) with the bakelite (brown) lampholders, unscrew the socket shell and inspect the terminal screws the cord is connected to before plugging the lamp in.

I bought one a couple of weekends ago for work and I had to re-do the connections.

The conductors weren't twisted together before wrapping them around the terminal screws and there were stray strands all over the place and also the screws weren't securely tightened!!! [Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 01-09-2003).]

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#20169 - 01/09/03 04:16 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
You get what you pay for.

#20170 - 01/09/03 09:16 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
Happi_Man  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 206
Columbus, Ohio - USA
Here's my a question (and I mean no offense by this): How many of you Anti-Lowe's and Home Depot people go to Wal-Mart?

Sam's Club is my weakness (I Know - Walmart)

[This message has been edited by Happi_Man (edited 01-09-2003).]

#20171 - 01/09/03 09:38 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
John Steinke  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
Reno,Nv., USA
Have you thought of writing UL? I guarantee that such assemblies would not be smiled upon there- that's why they have follow-up inspections. Also, the UL sticker might be a counterfeit.

#20172 - 01/09/03 11:05 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
John, I'm thinking the same thing (about the possibility of a counterfeit UL label). Thanks for triggering that thought! [Linked Image]

For starters, all current Chinese-made electrical devices that are UL listed must have a hologram sticker. Supposedly this prevents counterfeiting (yeah right :roll eyes: ).

However, the label stuck on the socket is a blue & white plain paper label (like an oval). Kind of an old-fashioned design too, if you ask me. Of course these lamps could have surfaced in some warehouse long before UL's labelling standards changed.

The lamp still has the label...however I threw out the box it came in (not that there was much info on it - no address of an importer, etc.).

I assume there should be a listing number on it. I will check tomorrow when I'm back at work and I will e-mail UL Labs with all the info on that sticker.

I hope they act on it because I checked two other lamps (just for kicks) and they were both like that. Someone who doesn't know what to look for could buy one and get zapped...

Going back to that Walmart to check another lamp is out of the question -- that place was all the way out in North New Jersey somewhere (don't remember what specific town). [Linked Image]

P.S.: This past weekend I was at an Odd Job (a chain of variety stores in this area) and saw one of those caged trouble lights (the ones on 50-feet of SJT orange cord with an outlet in the handle) with AWG-18 SJT cord!!

And there was a UL symbol printed on the paper sleeve!! Didn't have any numbers next to the logo - just the UL in a circle.

#20173 - 01/12/03 04:18 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
John Steinke  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
Reno,Nv., USA
You've brought up another detail that the "clever" vendors abuse. Look closely at that UL sticker, and try to determine just what is the listed item!
An item can be made entirely with UL-listed components, but that does NOT mean that the entire assembly is UL-listed. A classic example of this is the UL sticker on the power cord applying only to the power cord, and having nothing to do with the appliance.
Finally, remember that a UL lable has nothing to do with quality. UL does list some crap- they just say it's "safe" crap!

#20174 - 01/12/03 04:30 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
"UL does list some crap-they just say it's "safe" crap!"

Boy Howdy, John.

#20175 - 01/13/03 03:38 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City

Took the lamp down today and looked at the socket:

The sticker (white oval with a light blue background with UL and C-UL logos) says the following:

Portable Lamp
Portable Luminaire
Luminaire Portatif

Issue BJ 47308

I'm assuming by this that the thing is indicating the entire lamp is supposed to be listed...

I've written UL using the form on their website. Unfortunately, I don't have the packaging anymore, so the brand name wasn't available (should have kept it).

I'll keep you all posted. HOPEFULLY Underwriters' Labs does something about it. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 01-13-2003).]

#20176 - 01/13/03 04:05 PM Re: Those clamp-lights from Walmart - be careful  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
Well, listings...
I take apart every rewireable plug that gets into my possession, be it factory installed or diy work. Most of the time the screws are loose and I have to tighten them. This can easily lead to situations like this: Large school performance requiring lots of improvizated wiring (i.e. extension cords all over the place, that setup was supposed to last one evening and this was what it looked like, school didn't want to spend any money on that), well our class was working in the basement (2 IP 44 receptacles on a max. 10A circuit we shared with our band that wanted to run their stage lighting off of that, just after the last guest was gone the breaker tripped, we didn't have access to the panel), running extension cords across heating pipes below the ceiling. Suddenly 2 guys came: well, we need power for a light in our room! this was ca 15m away from the next receptacle. I dashed off to grab an extension cord, found the last one that was left in that entire building. Plugged it in and nothing happened. Furiously I ran up to the 2nd flor to the technical education room where all the tools were located (the girls at the entrance nearly didn't let me pass), took the cord caps apart. well to make it short, all 3 wires in the female cord cap had been ripped out of the terminals (screws of all terminals and strain relief hadn't been tight. HNNNNNGGGHH!

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