Author Topic: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds  (Read 86816 times)

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Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #525 on: January 02, 2019, 02:28:47 am »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.
 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #526 on: January 02, 2019, 02:39:17 am »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Pic of primary-side fuseholder 0.6A underneath the (Canadian) unit. This is old, solenoid-style transformer. Before Danaher was involved.

Aren't they the same mob running Fluke too ? That would explain the penny pinching biz goings on  ::)

------------------------

@ Mr. Scram,  there's no fist shaking or agro here mate, just a concerned heads up regarding Weller and others to fit fuses and or thermal cutouts to their gear,

otherwise people may steer their credit cards toward other players in the soldering station game when it's time to purchase

Previous math of $300 (and some programming code so the assembly robots fit the 10,000 parts for almost FREE :clap: )

would have saved OP DJ (and any random number of the 9,999 users in that production run) some drama and magic smoke

and 22 pages thus far of EEVblog server space

I fail to understand the un-apologetic WHY Weller did not fit protection in 120 volts units

Do the punters in the U.S. get better laminations  :D  and with little to no chance to plug into a 240 volt outlet?

AFAIK the U.S. has both 120 and 240 volts available via their center tap fitted street transformers

A lot of gear sold in the U.S. has options to run off either voltage, welders especially

I'm betting those units have some burn or BANG! protection fitted no matter what clever power auto selection options are on board,
or when using proper adapter leads/plugs, or DIY widow makers.

FUSE IT OR LOSE IT !    :-BROKE
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 08:52:44 am by Electro Detective »
 

Offline Wolfgang

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #527 on: January 02, 2019, 02:55:20 am »
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

i.e. the barbeque load may be balanced in relation to ground/earth,
and way below the MCB threshold

but the power strip board with cutout temp breaker switch might, if you're lucky to have one and the room hasn't caught fire yet

and the smoke detector might sound off, if one is fitted nearby

which won't do you any favours if the bench is left unattended by the user who has gone off to pick up pizza, diodes, caps, fuse kit, Weller and Hakko brochures,

and perhaps a pair of discounted fire extinguishers, fire blanket and bucket of sand too,
especially after reading this   :D
Thanks for the highlighting as it shows how I'm expressing myself carefully. I don't like to present matters as facts when I don't have solid evidence to back that claim up. As opposed to the endless and fairly malicious conjecture of some people here, assuming all kinds of things based on their perception of how things should be done but without any actual testing or knowledge of the decisions involved in the design process. If you go around calling a company out, it pays to have something more than "I feel it's a risk" to back that up. Otherwise they're just fairly hysterical imaginary scenarios made up to rationalize angry fist shaking.

The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #528 on: January 02, 2019, 03:01:35 am »
Just had an email someone who said their (very) old WTCTP went up in smoke in a transformer failure (120V unit)
Real data beats conjecture every time, even if it's anecdotal. What was the end result?

The end result was a lot of smoke like in my case, but they cut to power before anything else could happen.
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #529 on: January 02, 2019, 03:27:56 am »
Woo, anecdotal evidence! Got us all convinced.
Who said I'm trying to convince anybody? I didn't realize this was an essay writing contest.

I judge things based on my own observations, and this has been my experience. And my own experience is a better test than some make believe threats. If I'm going to start installing GFCIs everywhere because of somebody else's paranoid delusions, then I might as well start believing in the spaghetti monster too.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #530 on: January 02, 2019, 03:39:27 am »
The discussion here is running along the "are safety belts really neccessary ?" lines. Fuses prevent major damages even if such events are (hopefully, I dont know where else Weller has cut corners) rare. Not everything that is (barely) legel and increases profit (by a ridiculous amount) is smart in the end.
It really isn't. I don't think people here will make the mistake thinking that slapping on a safety device will automatically make things safer. Note that I'm not defending Weller not using a fuse. I'm simply trying to view the matter from different sides, looking at the actual facts we have. Dave wasn't afraid to admit the problem in the video was user error. That leaves the question how much of a problem not having a fuse really is if you don't grossly overload the device. A decision I don't understand could very well be an opportunity to learn about something I hadn't considered before, but someone else did figure out. I've seen more than one teardown which shows something which seems a terrible idea, but actually turns out to work remarkably well. Are there reasons this design may be reasonable, like transformers inherently limiting the current or different transformer designs being used between the US and EU model? Are there other things we may be overlooking? If there's a negative impact, can we quantify it? Or is this really penny pinching of the kind we all hate? Some people seem really keen on getting out the pitchforks and don't seem to mind fabricating provocative stories to justify their outrage and that's what I object to. I don't feel the fundamentalist approach and piling on is very appealing, and alternatively hope to tap into the considerable knowledge of the population here to maybe learn a thing or two.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 03:48:31 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #531 on: January 02, 2019, 03:57:12 am »
the umbrella statement that here the state leaves everyone to "fend for themselves".
You are twisting my words. My point was that the regulations subsume a certain level of competence of citizens.

I believe that if you treat people with the assumption that they will behave a certain way, then that's how they will behave.

How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

When I said electrocutions, I meant death, not "getting burned on the hand". That's not news. That's what happens when you drag an extension cord to the bathtub. If that's not wake up call to all the kids who can't tear themselves away from their phones then I don't know what is. Hopefully she learned from it. Anyway, that's one case, and not the brightest one.

120Vac can kill someone, healthy or not, depending on the conditions of the event.
An asteroid CAN land on my house tonight if the conditions are right.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #532 on: January 02, 2019, 05:36:50 am »
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous  :box:
There is no guesswork or conjecture other than trolls saying "no" to a fuse and "prove one is necessary" or "how many houses have burned down?".

Limiting the amount of energy going into a product, having a protective element, is common sense and also a requirement of safety standards.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
Executives, sales and marketing, and management have no ethics to follow other than to maximize profit and shareholder return. They often push, rush and micro-manage engineering into rolling out unsafe product and to save money.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner deleting the fuse with a response saying "we meet the standard".
Why the double-standard of having fuses on other Weller US soldering stations?
Why every other manufacturer has primary-side fuses on their soldering stations?
Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?

I can delve into the safety standards and show the particular clauses that have been violated. It's hundreds of pages of documents and more than people here are accustomed to. UL/CSA charge over $350/hr for consults. Walking through a standard is tedious and it would be too much for the forum. It's even too much for everyday technologists and engineers doing product development.

After the holidays, I'm expecting more responses from involved parties.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #533 on: January 02, 2019, 06:07:24 am »
How sensible it is to add a very basic level of protection to a product that is designed by a very reputable company?
I am not Weller's product design or sales department, so it's not up to me how they should market their products. Crucifying them because one person's iron popped when plugged into the wrong voltage is silly.

No, it's not. Because Weller does precisely this on most of their products, yet they deliberately chose to do this on a few products. It doesn't matter the circumstances under which this lack of a fuse was found, it has simply highlighted that it's not there. THat may be a big deal to some people, and zero deal to other people, ans that's fine, but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products? Why does even a $20 clone iron have one? Why does seemingly every other same class product have one?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:43:40 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #534 on: January 02, 2019, 06:27:37 am »
they deliberately chose to do this on a few products.
ok. My car didn't come with heated seats.

but there is no reason why it shouldn't be discussed.
I like discussion. But this thread feels like a witch hunt, fueled by your video.

If it was no big deal, then why do Weller add a primary fuse to most of their products?
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.
 
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Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #535 on: January 02, 2019, 06:56:44 am »
Questioning the need for a mains fuse on an appliance is ridiculous
Your post is ridiculous.  :o

trolls saying ..."prove one is necessary"
Look who's talking, and it's a perfectly normal question to ask.

Engineers are bound by a code of ethics to "hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public."
LOL! :wtf:
Where did you find this verbal puffery?  The idea of holding safety up to some kind of unquestionable sacrosanct status is farcical. Safety is engineered to practical level, second to usability. There is a limit, hopefully tempered by common sense and level heads, not overreaction.

Logic alone dictates Weller has pulled a prize boner
The fictional world between your ears dictates it, not logic.

Why does this Weller product get the magical unicorn exemption?
I wasn't aware that they owe you anything. You can buy whatever equipment you like.
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #536 on: January 02, 2019, 07:12:32 am »
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself.

Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.

But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Weller have yet to provide a decent response.  Hopefully after the holidays they will - else they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #537 on: January 02, 2019, 07:46:43 am »
From old WTCPT manual for the iron that burnt down, no primary fuse

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #538 on: January 02, 2019, 07:51:34 am »
Dave, this is the third time you've repeated yourself. I've attempted to answer you twice already, so I'll let you scroll back. But really, the only ones who can answer that are Weller.

Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #539 on: January 02, 2019, 08:24:53 am »
From old WTCPT manual for the iron that burnt down, no primary fuse


I have this schematic for WTCPT Rev. 8/2002 that matches the station I have and the pics, I got it around 1998.
Note the primary fuse was added and secondary only fuse was deleted- over 20 years ago. Weller has already gone back to the future  :P

 
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Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #540 on: January 02, 2019, 08:31:03 am »
My old Weller-Ungar 921-ZX has a fuse on the primary side, in fact they put the holder for it on the front of the unit so it's easily accessible, and no IEC socket either so you can't stuff it up. This station would probably go for another two decades except for the minor issue of Weller no longer providing replacement tips for it and I'm on my last one.   :( >:( :( >:( 
 

Offline IanB

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #541 on: January 02, 2019, 08:56:47 am »
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #542 on: January 02, 2019, 09:25:21 am »
Logic, common sense and sound business practice to score repeat and loyal customers would fit both to cover all bases  :-+

or hang all that, fit both just so the CEO and staff at Weller can sleep better   :=\ :=\

------------------

FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.


DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

Had DJ tried to run the unit from a 120 volt ugly square wave inverter, some aviation 400hz thingie or a dimmer buzz adapter to control the temperature, and the unit smoked or popped a lamination after a time,
well, that's definitely a strong case for 'user error'

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 09:45:39 am by Electro Detective »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #543 on: January 02, 2019, 03:13:18 pm »
Because people keep asking over and over again why people are making a big deal over this. And they keep coming back with the argument that it's 240V into a 120V tranny so it deserved to fail etc.

I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?
That has indeed been discussed before and would be an interesting experiment. However, it seems the discussion has moved beyond that and now mainly is about whether the fuse it absolutely required when only using the appropriate voltages and whether other things may be in play which mitigate the obvious fuse equals bad.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 03:26:55 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #544 on: January 02, 2019, 03:20:19 pm »
Wow, that is pretty ironic!
We have also read your opinions multiple times, but many of us clearly don't agree with it - just as you don't agree with ours.

Weller have yet to provide a decent response.  Hopefully after the holidays they will - else they will likely see a measurable hit on sales targets.
It doesn't seem it's about seeing an opinion more than once, it's about seeing the same argument used more than once while the reply to it hasn't been countered or addressed.

However, Weller seeing "a measurable impact on sales targets" would be an example of the sometimes overly dramatic statements being made here. If you eliminate the outrage, there's actually not that much quantified or to go on. It seems doubtful that will have a huge impact or even any impact at all.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 03:24:55 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #545 on: January 02, 2019, 04:06:38 pm »
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?

Was looking in the garage and found an old 220/120 autotransformer, 200VA or so, and the lovely type with deathdaptor input, so it can be used either way.
Wonder if I should dig up a US style 2 pin plug and connect that, along with a 1A circuit breaker ( those are special order from Hymag, they normally only go down to 5A as standard) that is rated to 3ka  as per IEC 947-2, and see if the breaker will trip before the transformer goes bang, and then test to see, using a 20A breaker, if that will trip before the smoke comes out.
 

Offline TheDane

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #546 on: January 02, 2019, 04:54:44 pm »
Logic, common sense and sound business practice to score repeat and loyal customers would fit both to cover all bases  :-+

or hang all that, fit both just so the CEO and staff at Weller can sleep better   :=\ :=\

------------------

FWIW I don't agree DJ should cop the rap of 'user error' on a unit made by a company that flogs it's wares to a 120 volt @ 60 hz nation that also has a 240 volt supply.


DJ plugged it in and the unit smoked because the manufacturer FAILED to deploy a cheap fusing device to prevent an input voltage mishap,
and no real obvious appropriate caution labeling   

Had DJ tried to run the unit from a 120 volt ugly square wave inverter, some aviation 400hz thingie or a dimmer buzz adapter to control the temperature, and the unit smoked or popped a lamination after a time,
well, that's definitely a strong case for 'user error'

Who says it always is due to 'user error' ??

A fault with the power delivery system, say a missing neutral or insufficent grounding, and your mains 120V system could face 240V across L-N.
I have personally seen an extremly expensive projecter burn and die due to a such an error. The neutral connection at the convention center was not tightened well enough, eventually causing a thermal runaway situation before it disconnected/opened. Result: 240V mains was suddenly 380V, as this was the only phase-neutral drawing large amounts of power at the time. Fortunately a replacement could be fetched in time, though it was not nearly as good.

Some people hope/wish for the best, and if they are assured nothing will happen - nothing should, right?
Famous last words, I thought ... (and <gulp> I was wrong)

Difference in culture and opinion, what is common sence and so on. I totally understand why some people are so paranoid, it's usually those who has already been burned in the past :-)
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #547 on: January 02, 2019, 05:02:56 pm »
I don't know if this has been asked before because there are too many pages of this thread to read through. BUT:

Could someone do an actual experiment to test the assumption that a fuse would help? Wire a suitably rated fuse into the mains cord of a 120 V Weller iron and demonstrate that the fuse does not blow under normal use at 120 V with any load on the iron, but that the same fuse blows quickly if the iron is plugged into 240 V?

Will a normal over current fuse behave this way, or would it require a thermal fuse built into the transformer?

I would expect a correctly chose fuse to blow faster than the transformer. At 230 V instead of 240 V the transformer would go into saturation and thus should have quite massive current peaks. Chances are good the fuse would even protect the transformer from damage.

However the case of using the 120 V version on 240 V (e.g. in Australia or with failing neutral in a split phase installation, accidentally getting 208 V) is not that main reason for having a fuse.  The main reason would be the possibility of transformer faults that can cause the transformer to run too hot. Here just a primary fuse may not blow very fast, maybe only after the damage to the transformer gets larger due to overheating. So the safer way would be a thermal fuse.

It's just that Weller should have spend some 50 cents extra on a transformer with thermal fuse inside. A primary fuse may than be optional.
 

Offline fsr

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #548 on: January 02, 2019, 07:17:05 pm »
AFAICT many concerned posts here are not solely or remotely based on "conjecture and perception" but on equipment safety and reliabilty/longevity in the event of a fault, be it an internal or external cause

i.e. the fuse blows, immediate danger averted, there is no assumption required that Weller 'may' or may not actually performed actual proper engineering,
nor why they really cheaped out on 120 volt customers, with apologist PR quickie BS identifying their units as low hazard risks.

A cheap properly rated fuse arrangement is an easy upgrade to very low hazard to no hazard status,
and helps the manufacturer keep a low hazard distance from courtrooms  :phew:

----------------------------

FWIW to GFCI and RCD "faithers",
if the unfused soldering station is smouldering away nicely, chances are excellent the GFCI, RCD, MCB, RCBO will not trip  ???

Completely agree.
The discussion about the GFCIs was about the claim that "110v won't kill". Well, they will, at least under certain circumstances, or there would be no GFCIs installed at all.
I readed that the voltage legally considered safe to "touch" is between 40 and 50v in most places.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #1160 - Weller Responds
« Reply #549 on: January 02, 2019, 07:34:58 pm »
Completely agree.
The discussion about the GFCIs was about the claim that "110v won't kill". Well, they will, at least under certain circumstances, or there would be no GFCIs installed at all.
I readed that the voltage legally considered safe to "touch" is between 40 and 50v in most places.
I would really help if the actual arguments aren't misinterpreted or misrepresented. As far as I'm aware nobody here claimed 110V can't kill. It is however much less likely to kill than 240V. The GFCI not being a black and white thing is illustrated by them not being used or required in all places with well developed safety regimes. It that regard it's a lot like the discussion here, which isn't as black and white as some people would make it seem in their enthusiasm to pile on. Kleinstein's remark on how a thermal fuse may be more appropriate than a primary fuse is a good example of how things are probably a bit more nuanced than "no primary fuse = bad".
 


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