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Topic Title: Fused plugs in UK, why not in the rest of Europe?
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Created On: 02 May 2010 09:56 AM
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 05 May 2010 10:39 PM
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westfield6

Posts: 121
Joined: 12 October 2007

Originally posted by: Jaymack

Originally posted by: gkenyon

Originally posted by: Jaymack



It would be feasible to design an interlocking system with the switch/plug, so that the switch is in the OFF position before a plug is withdrawn; and to ensure a plug is inserted before the switch can be placed in the ON position. Motivation would be required though for an individual manufacturer to adopt such a design and risk losing market share, this would have to be adopted in the standards.



Regards


Indeed, and back in the late '50s such sockets existed in BS546 5A and 15A versions. The earth pin opened the interlock which enabled the switch to be turned on. Once on a spike of some sort dug into the earth pin so that the plug could not be removed. These sockets were huge DC rated things and were installed in the classrooms at school. Being inquisitive teenagers we quickly discovered that inserting a thin pencil in the earth socket enabled us to turn on the switch. If the pencil was thin enough it could be removed without too much damage.
 05 May 2010 10:59 PM
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daveparry1

Posts: 6239
Joined: 04 July 2007

I haven't been following this thread that much and haven't read all the posts but I was just wondering how many here remember the DS plugs (live pin was the fuse) that were around in the 50's & early 60's? Sorry if this is out of context but just curious as no-one I know seems to remember them!
Dave.
 05 May 2010 11:27 PM
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Angram

Posts: 554
Joined: 23 March 2009

Yes,
I found one once in an odds and sods box in a store room.
I always thought the end cap might come off with excessive use; did they ever ?
 06 May 2010 02:26 PM
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Avatar for Deuchar                                           .
Deuchar

Posts: 54
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Originally posted by: OMS

It's the responsibility of designers to take a holistic view on whatever they're designing as far as I'm concerned. To design, then market any product or commodity, without a proper macroscopic viewpoint in regard to social engineering and the consequences of injuries, being sued or prosecuted is irresponsible, - if it can happen it will.

I disagree - engineers only have limited duties to thier clients generally.

If we take you comments literally then we wouldn't design anything.

OMS


Let's not forget that there is ethical guidance for engineers, here is an extract from the "Statement of Ethical Principles" developed by the Royal Academy of Engineering:

"The Royal Academy of Engineering, in collaboration with Engineering Council (UK) and a number of the leading professional engineering institutions, has created a Statement of Ethical Principles to which it believes all professional engineers and related bodies should subscribe.

Professional Engineers work to enhance the welfare, health and safety of all whilst paying due regard to the environment and the sustainability of resources. They have made personal and professional commitments to enhance the wellbeing of society through the exploitation of knowledge and the management of creative teams."
 06 May 2010 02:41 PM
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OMS

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Yes, I've read the statement of ethical principles along with all the other aspirational stuff like not damaging the environment etc etc ad infinitum.

My point was whilst we may like to think that we could comply in truth most of us can't. Globalisation of the market place and displacement from clients almost certainly means that it's almost impossible for engineers to determine who they owe duties to - and at what level those duties are owed.

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 06 May 2010 04:11 PM
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AJJewsbury

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OMS has a point. A few years ago I remember that one member (not me!) of a certain professional institution (not the IET, but not dissimilar) pointed out a clause in the Society's constitution that demanded that members did no harm to society (or words to that effect) and asked if this mean that they should refuse membership to those that worked for tobacco companies. The learned society disagreed but when challenged could only issued lots of words, none of which appeared to marry up their policy with their constitution...
- Andy.
 06 May 2010 04:27 PM
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OMS

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And it's not just tobacco Andy - chemical, oil and gas, agri chemicals, defense, armaments, building services, medical engineering and a host of other sectors are have potential to create harm and are sectors in which many engineers work.

The publication by John Uff on behalf of the RAENG is an interesting read

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 06 May 2010 04:43 PM
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Avatar for Deuchar                                           .
Deuchar

Posts: 54
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Originally posted by: OMS

Yes, I've read the statement of ethical principles along with all the other aspirational stuff like not damaging the environment etc etc ad infinitum.

My point was whilst we may like to think that we could comply in truth most of us can't. Globalisation of the market place and displacement from clients almost certainly means that it's almost impossible for engineers to determine who they owe duties to - and at what level those duties are owed.OMS


But is that not being rather defeatist? Surely Jaymack is correct in his original point re an holstic view, to do otherwise is to encourage anarchy!
 06 May 2010 04:54 PM
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OMS

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Not defeatist no - just the practical reality of working in global engineering - many of us don't get the chance to pick and choose the client, the project or the location to be fair.

So the ethics does tend tend to take on a fair amount of "when in Rome............".

I didn't disagree with Jaymacks comments - I merely pointed out that the rhetoric and the practical reality are often divergent - and if they were honest, the institutions would actually acknowledge that fact

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 06 May 2010 05:51 PM
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gkenyon

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We've already lost our way in the electrical industry.

I can buy a table lamp, and put it on my bedside table.

My two-year-old could climb on our bed, unscrew (or push, twist and remove) the lamp.

Then switch it on, and insert fingers !

How dangerous - yet we still are allowed to sell these products !!!


How do I know this?

When I was 18 months old, I did just that, woke up my dad screaming and looking at little black marks on two adjacent fingers!



The corollary: could it be that we are really taking the safety thing too far?

(Or alternatively, we need to ban many types of screw and bayonet lampholders ! )

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 06 May 2010 07:39 PM
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maxheidi

Posts: 2
Joined: 06 May 2010

Hi,

I went to wholesalers in Northern Sweden for some socket as we were rewiring to be asked ' is it a new house or an old house?'

'Whats thats got to do with it? ' I asked

The reply was 'old houses dont have earth just 2 pins new have earth so 3 pins'

It s quite layed back and many labour saving ideas, when I am in the shower and I want the heating on just reach and turn on the 3 ph pump, its nice and warm when you get out if it goes wrong you still end warm!

Might brighten your day!
 06 May 2010 08:27 PM
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gkenyon

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Anyone want to explain about Scandinavia and Class 0 then ?

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 07 May 2010 01:32 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11553
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Anyone want to explain about Scandinavia and Class 0 then ?

Sounds like some continental installs I've seen (Shucko sockets) - earth contacts on sockets on in "wet" rooms - bathrooms and kitchens - others just L&N (but will accept earthed plugs). Not unlike section 418.1 in our book I think (or 418.2 if you have several appliances on an extension lead).

- Andy.
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Fused plugs in UK, why not in the rest of Europe?

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