Author Topic: Is it me or...  (Read 3896 times)

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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Is it me or...
« on: January 05, 2019, 12:31:35 am »
Lots of vitriol in here lately it seems to me. How about a nice (t/l)ame subject...

Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords? I just bought a new hot water kettle. The old one was starting to smell like burnt plastic every time I used it, and the new one has temperature settings and boils quietly.

But the cord on the old one was already annoyingly short and the new one even more so. Serves me right for having a big counter I guess.

But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 12:39:03 am »
I assumed that shorter lengths are to match regulations. A friend of mine recently did kitchen remodel, and he was forced to install outlets every 3 ft along the counter top length. Apparently that's a regulation for new and remodeled houses, and it would not pass inspection otherwise.
Alex
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 12:41:42 am »
I have a small worktop, so I often prefer short leads. Except when an instrument is on the floor, when I prefer a long lead with a 90degree plug.

(And there does seem to be an increased volume of vitriol and wacko "I don't understand it so it must be a lying conspiracy" threads :( )
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Offline tsman

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 12:41:56 am »
Lots of vitriol in here lately it seems to me. How about a nice (t/l)ame subject...
Yeah. There does seem to be a lot of not very civil arguing and name calling lately. Some of the topics I just look at and go  :palm: but I just don't read or reply to them. https://xkcd.com/386/ for some users here.

Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords?
Hmm. I always thought that was because there were accidents before where a kid or something yanks on the excess power cable that dangled over the edge and pulls the device off the counter top. My kettle has a excess cable storage arrangement in the bottom of the base and tells you in the instructions that it should be set so you have exactly the right amount of cable needed.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 12:45:57 am by tsman »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 12:43:03 am »
Lots of vitriol in here lately it seems to me. How about a nice (t/l)ame subject...

Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords? I just bought a new hot water kettle. The old one was starting to smell like burnt plastic every time I used it, and the new one has temperature settings and boils quietly.

But the cord on the old one was already annoyingly short and the new one even more so. Serves me right for having a big counter I guess.

But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??
I thought it was me, but you unfortunately seem to notice it too.

I think the power cords on hot water kettles are intentionally short. That way they can be tucked away neatly near the back of the countertop without cables and no place to hide them. An additional benefit would be that it's harder to move to shimmy the thing towards the edge or drop it completely.
 
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 12:57:11 am »
I assumed that shorter lengths are to match regulations. A friend of mine recently did kitchen remodel, and he was forced to install outlets every 3 ft along the counter top length. Apparently that's a regulation for new and remodeled houses, and it would not pass inspection otherwise.

Can you see what's wrong with this outlet?  :o

Yup, my place... that's quality.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 12:59:58 am »
Can you see what's wrong with this outlet?  :o
May be that's why they want them every 3 ft. So that you always have one not blocked by anything.
Alex
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 01:01:26 am »
I thought it was me, but you unfortunately seem to notice it too.


Something changed along the way, my 1990s Braun food processor has like 3 feet of cord and a place to store it on the base. But then that's not the same power level.
 

Offline LapTop006

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2019, 07:29:58 am »
But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??

I wonder if that's not pretty much it, copper has gone up in price, and the manufacturers don't want to pay for a longer cord, or even pay more for the same cord, so it keeps getting shorter.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 07:58:58 am »
Geez.. what a coincidence, just disgruntled after my kettle's cable is way too short that I can't put it at the kitchen's table, and had to lift it with it's own box (temporary) so the plug can reach into the mains outlet which is only 60 cm height.

The kettle's base is locked with the evil bolts that only can be opened with triangle head screw driver  >:(, just don't have time yet to buy it yet, so I can replace with longer cable.

Just lets the photos to tell the story, the stainless steel ruler is standard 30cm/12 inches long.  :palm:
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 08:00:45 am by BravoV »
 

Offline Avacee

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 08:16:41 am »
<snip>
Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords? I just bought a new hot water kettle. The old one was starting to smell like burnt plastic every time I used it, and the new one has temperature settings and boils quietly.
<snip>
But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??
<snip>

I was thinking exactly the same after replacing a toaster and hand blender over Christmas - also the new power cords are quite stiff and feel considerably cheaper. Have you noticed this too?

Not a problem with the toaster since coiling the cable and a couple of cable-ties puts it out of the way.
After use the blender would reach the sink so the worst could be easily cleaned off - now it's a few inches too short so I made up an ~10 inch long extension cable which is left permanently in the socket.
But what is really irritating is that it no longer conveniently fits nicely in the previous gap in the cupboard as the stiff cable wants to uncoil and knock over everything; alas, SWMBO won't let me put on a flexible cable until the warranty has expired :(

Both were branded products bought from John Lewis (so probably genuine) but I'd have happily paid a bit more for a slightly longer, flexible cable.
I blame the accountants for knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
 

Online Gregg

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2019, 01:15:53 am »
The manufacturers are only thinking about your safety (yeah, sure); the shorter cables may be made with copper clad aluminum that would overheat if made longer.
Nothing new here, it’s the wave of the future.  After consumers pay attention to cheap short cables in great enough numbers, some new high end models with longer real copper cables will appear at a much higher price and many new “features” to embed unforeseen planned obsolescence.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2019, 01:47:41 am »
Yup, the same thing happened to me a few years ago.

I assumed that shorter lengths are to match regulations. A friend of mine recently did kitchen remodel, and he was forced to install outlets every 3 ft along the counter top length. Apparently that's a regulation for new and remodeled houses, and it would not pass inspection otherwise.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2019, 01:49:26 am »
Lots of vitriol in here lately it seems to me. How about a nice (t/l)ame subject...

Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords? I just bought a new hot water kettle. The old one was starting to smell like burnt plastic every time I used it, and the new one has temperature settings and boils quietly.

But the cord on the old one was already annoyingly short and the new one even more so. Serves me right for having a big counter I guess.

But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??

the cord is short so a kid can't reach it and pull it off the table

 

Offline djacobow

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2019, 02:09:45 am »
Related to the short cords things are the rules I hear more and more often:

 -- this appliance should never be plugged into an extension cord
 -- power strips should never be plugged into an extension cord
 -- don't even *think* about daisy-chaining power strips

There is never a word about making sure an extension cord or power strip has adequate ampacity for the load, just these silly rules that make it seem like breaking them is like crossing the beams in Ghostbusters. And it's all doubly stupid because people break the rules, then nothing happens, and then they think the rule is dumb and can be broken in any circumstance.

What would be better would be the slightest, littlest, tiniest bit of electrical education. But we can't have nice things.
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2019, 02:45:25 am »
I think mine is about 1m long which just about reaches.

Some of years ago I got a couple of 1m 13amp 4 way Masterplug extension lead and plugged it in the kettle but the cable and plug got hot so I left it plugged in the wall.

A couple months ago I brought some 5m 3x1.5mm cords to replace the 30 amp cords that were in the ten way extension sockets that I brought second hand on Ebay.

I tried the kettle on them as an experiment to see how much it will heat up but cable and the plug didn't get warm or hot at all.
 

Offline ajb

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2019, 03:00:28 am »
Related to the short cords things are the rules I hear more and more often:

 -- this appliance should never be plugged into an extension cord
 -- power strips should never be plugged into an extension cord
 -- don't even *think* about daisy-chaining power strips

There is never a word about making sure an extension cord or power strip has adequate ampacity for the load, just these silly rules that make it seem like breaking them is like crossing the beams in Ghostbusters. And it's all doubly stupid because people break the rules, then nothing happens, and then they think the rule is dumb and can be broken in any circumstance.

To be fair, many people are not equipped to accurately judge the suitability of wiring to its application.  That's why the rules are stated so simplistically, because telling people "don't do X" is a heck of a lot easier than saying "don't do X, unless you've verified that Y is less than Z and A is at least B but not more than C, and the environment will always be L, M, N, and O".  It's the same reason that building and electrical codes are created, because you can't expect contractors and building inspectors to all be engineers, and even if they were, they don't have time to sit down and determine whether this particular wire should be 10AWG or 12AWG using first principles and an old HP calculator.  Straightforward rules, even if they are overly conservative, are way easier to enforce, and straightforward prohibitions are easier to defend in case of lawsuit than complex (if more accurate) warnings about behavior that may or may not cause a problem.
 

Online Gregg

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2019, 03:19:40 am »
Cords to small appliances reminds me of my very first electrical experience.  It was early 1950s and I was about 3 ½ to 4 years old and about as curious as could be expected.  The family was at the breakfast table on which was an old fashioned toaster, the trapezoid shaped type with two doors that one had to manually turn the toast; I don’t think it even had a switch.  The cord was cotton braid covered with possibly asbestos adjacent to the conductors; the two pronged non polarized plug was one of the Bakelite type with a loose thin fish paper covering the two screw terminals. The cord was across the table and plugged into the wall receptacle.
After the toast was done, my father asked me to unplug the toaster, which I did; but being a curious little boy, I wondered if the prongs of the plug were hot and touched them.  I burned my finger, they were so hot. 
My father’s response was, “don’t touch that, it is the hottest part.”  That didn’t seem correct to me but I probably wasn’t articulate enough at that age to question my father.  I remember thinking that maybe the wall was in danger of charring like toast burning if it really did get that hot. 
All in all it is a wonder that we all have survived childhood and can post our experiences and advice for others to possibly learn something and maybe avoid some smoke and sparks. 
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2019, 03:56:48 am »
I see a business opportunity here.

Perhaps an audiophool grade extension cord.
With hydrogen-free palladium-plated copper wire.

Which will allow the electrons to flow freely, such that your coffee is brewed perfectly enhancing all the flavors and aromas.

Kickstarter anyone?
 
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Offline djacobow

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2019, 04:47:29 am »
Straightforward rules, even if they are overly conservative, are way easier to enforce, and straightforward prohibitions are easier to defend in case of lawsuit than complex (if more accurate) warnings about behavior that may or may not cause a problem.

Oh, I understand the motivation for this kind of simplicity, but am only pointing out that it does come at a cost.

In left-hand drive countries, turning right is less trouble than turning left. Given how many people get into accidents trying to make left turns, it stands to reason that we should just outlaw left turns, especially when three rights are just as good. We'll also save on turn signals. Simplicity!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 06:28:20 am by djacobow »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2019, 04:55:18 am »
I assumed that shorter lengths are to match regulations. A friend of mine recently did kitchen remodel, and he was forced to install outlets every 3 ft along the counter top length. Apparently that's a regulation for new and remodeled houses, and it would not pass inspection otherwise.
That may incur serious cost as most likely it is required each of the outlets to have its own power feed from the breaker panel, or two of them if it is a twin outlet.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2019, 05:15:28 am »
To be fair, many people are not equipped to accurately judge the suitability of wiring to its application.  That's why the rules are stated so simplistically, because telling people "don't do X" is a heck of a lot easier than saying "don't do X, unless you've verified that Y is less than Z and A is at least B but not more than C, and the environment will always be L, M, N, and O".

Very true.

I have told a couple of people I know who like to "think for themselves" that these black and white rules are for simplicity and safety.  They know I understand more about the details and that you can do some things that are outside those rules.  I haven't tried to explain anything to them because they might feel like they understand and do something silly - so they just ask me.  I'm quite OK with that.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2019, 06:41:37 am »
I prefer the shorter cords since there's less mess on the countertop, but my older house lacks the spaced outlets, forcing me to use extension cords and power strips, and that brings me back to a messy countertop. Yay progress.

I see a business opportunity here.

Perhaps an audiophool grade extension cord.
With hydrogen-free palladium-plated copper wire.

Which will allow the electrons to flow freely, such that your coffee is brewed perfectly enhancing all the flavors and aromas.

Kickstarter anyone?

Just don't install the cable backwards, that will cause the electrons to flow back into the wall and leave you with alkaline coffee.
 

Online Kjelt

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2019, 09:43:51 am »
Older appliances had this "circular" storage space for excess of the cord.
With a watercooker going 2kW that might give heating issues (coil).

I also prefer the short cord, more hygienic. Looks like you don't need longer cords but moving the wall outlets. I have replaced some of my Shuko outlets with the 21st century Wieland GST18i3 system.
 

Offline macboy

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Re: Is it me or...
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2019, 05:15:58 pm »
Lots of vitriol in here lately it seems to me. How about a nice (t/l)ame subject...

Is it me or do new electrical countertop appliances have shorter and shorter power cords? I just bought a new hot water kettle. The old one was starting to smell like burnt plastic every time I used it, and the new one has temperature settings and boils quietly.

But the cord on the old one was already annoyingly short and the new one even more so. Serves me right for having a big counter I guess.

But at what point do we balance out cutting manufacturing costs and just paying a dollar more for 6 extra inches of power cord??
This is certainly the result of some law/regulation. My kettle (15 yr old) has a cord so short that I need to rotate it so that the spout faces outward, just to prevent the steam from going under the cabinets and damaging them! Then the handle is facing the wall, so when it boils, I need to carefully reach around the hot stainless steel body to grab it. I suppose it does prevent a child from grabbing a cord and pulling a kettle full of boiling water onto himself.
 


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