Author Topic: Fun discovery of the day  (Read 10743 times)

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Online Monkeh

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2012, 09:04:10 am »
...really ought to become the European standard including here in the UK

That can never happen because of the huge safety implications. Millions of moulded on BS plugs would have to be cut off and rewired with schuko plugs. Moulded on plugs were originally mandated because people can't be trusted to wire their own plugs.

Actually, there's a much bigger problem with such an idea. Nearly every property in the entire country would have to be rewired.

As for the push-in contacts, cheap ones are terrible. Quality ones (especially lever types, rather than pure push-in) are superb, but expensive.

Offline siliconmix

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2012, 10:57:53 am »
The best plug design I have seen is the German Schuko design.  It's a recessed socket, self-locating, safety-ground connects first. This is the ultimate plug and socket, I wish it was used worldwide.
I am of course biased because the German system is standard in Finland. For some smaller devices the original plug is a bit clunky, but fortunately there is the Europlug. I snapped a photo of the sockets behind my desk. As you se it is possible to cram 2 sockets into a standard size module without too much trouble.
There used to be the plain round variant without grounding, permitted for "safe" installation conditions but nowadays the code does not permit that anymore. Additional to grounding, all outlets need RCDs nowadays, with a few specific exceptions (electric sauna heaters being one of those - and there is at least one in every house :) ).
@G7PSK & IanB: Funnily enough, connecting a plug to a mains cable is one of the few electrical "installation" jobs permitted for everyone here. It is specifically allowed in the code. Same thing with the ceiling plugs for light fixtures. Nobody died yet...

P.S. I also use the CEE 3 phase and 1 phase connectors in my workshop, in addition to the regular schukos. The red 3 phase CEE connector is nowadays the only one you ever see any more. It has completely replaced all previous domestic standards that were usually metal housings. Scary things when old beat up connectors were handled outdoors.
yours needs a good dusting :)

Offline steve_w

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2012, 10:54:38 am »
Hey Kremmen, dust you plugs it looks like you haven't had a duster down there for a long time :-) 
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2012, 11:19:04 am »
You are so right :) The plugs are in a slightly awkward spot behing the desk and get ignored for long times. Out of sight, out of mind...
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop

Offline david77

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2012, 11:08:03 pm »
The push-in terminals have now been widely used in Germany for about 30 years, they are more reliable than screw type terminals. Screws in sockets and junction boxes tend to loosen over time, this is usually caused by thermal stress on the connection. The best case is the connection becomes loose and starts to arc then over time the connection burns out and the connected circuit stops working. This is when people notice something's wrong. Worst case is the connection heats up due to higher contact resistance and catches fire.
Not long ago I fixed a circuit in my granddad's cellar that stopped working exactly for this reason.
I've seen loose screw connections in junction boxes more then once. 
Another problem contributing to that effect is cold flow of the copper conductor under pressure.

Good push-in connectors (like the Wago type) do not suffer from these problems. I'd say they have proven to be superior to screw terminals.
Now even some 32A 3 phase CEE connectors use a push-in connection, no ferrules required.

I don't think we'll ever see the Brits abandon their clunky monstrosity of a plug. The weird ring mains configuration they used for decades forbids it  ;).
A world plug and world voltage sounds good in theory but does anyone really think that's ever going to happen? I'd say we're about a 100 years too late now.

Offline IanB

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Re: Fun discovery of the day
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2012, 02:06:45 am »
I think it's better to say that some push-in terminals may be more reliable than screw terminals. Just because certain push-in terminals used in Germany are reliable does not guarantee that the cheap, shoddy, 50 cent devices sold to penny-pinching contractors in the USA are reliable.

The ring main configuration used in the UK may be weird, but it is not bad. You generally get a 30 A capacity on the ring main, which given the 13 A maximum load on any plug allows you to have a reasonable number of large loads anywhere around the ring with a convenience and economy of cable.

Compare that with the situation here in my American home. There is a 15 A maximum load on any plug, but if I happen to put two 15 A loads on the same circuit I will trip the breaker. It becomes a case of "Russian roulette" about what sockets I can plug things in to. And don't get me started on how the lights go "dim/bright" when my electric clothes iron switches "on/off" with the thermostat. That happens everywhere I have lived in America, and only in America, nowhere else.

Sorry, America, but your electricity sucks.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?

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