actually the conenctor on an electric kettle over here is the
'hot condtion' one with a notch on the socket and ridge insdie the
plug. Originally, the 'normal' one, as used on computers, was rated at
6A, the 'hot condtion' one at 10A. I could never work out why, the
contacts were identical. Now it appears all are rated at 10A.
I think this one might have that as well. Pretty sure most of the
Very liekly it does.
"computer" power cords I have are rated at
10A, but they don't have the
notch down the middle, which would mean I'd have to modify one to plug
the thing in.
No, don;t do that. The 'Hot condition' connector is designed to withstand
the higher then normal temperatures produced by such devices, the ridge
is there ot prevend you from plugging a normal cable in. A normal cable
may well soften enough to be hazardous.
You can get 'hot codition' sockets quite easily over here. I would be
suprised if Farnell didn't sell them (and thye have a US presense IIRC).
Here in the US, we don't need that sissy
grounding! We take our
lethal electric shocks like men. :-)
Seriously, some of the poor grounding in our electrical equipment is
shocking (har har) to say the least. My wife's grandparents' house
Over here, equipent must genrally either be 'double insulated' (which
means even in the event of a failure, exposed metal cannot become life)
or earthed. There is one exception to this -- a single-insulated
non-eartehd device that can still be legally sold -- christmas light
For homebrew stuff it's generally easier to earth it than to ensrue it
meets all the requirements to be double insulated. A lot of modern
commercial devices are double-insulated and have a 2 wire mains lead), one
reason is that such devices are stil safe if the earthing on the socket
still doesn't have three-prong outlets anywhere
(these weren't common in
the US until... I don't actually know when.
Probably the '50s or '60s? Anyone?). They use those horrible 2-prong
I don;t know when they became common over here. The older-style round pin
sockets existed in 2 and 3 pin versiosn (and were incompatible, in that
you couldn't plug the 2 plin plug into the 3 pin socket or vice versa).
All ring main socekts (the '13A' BS1362 one) are 3 pin, I think they were
introduced in 1948. I am also darn sure that fititng 2 pin non-earthed
sockets is against the regulations now (as it should be!).
to 3-prong adaptors with the little metal screw eye at
the bottom that's
supposed to screw into the center screw on the outlet plate (which makes
the assumption that your junction box is grounded, which it often isn't
in older houses). Of course, most of those adaptors aren't attached to
the screw, and they just happily run power strips with brand-new TVs,
refrigerators and computer equipment over to them.
Yes, I've seen such adapters. I've also seen a moulder US 115V plug wit
hthe earth pin cut off, presumably so it would go into a 2 pin socket.
Ther'es one possible hazard over here. The normal domestic power cirucit
is called a 'ring main'. As the name implies its a ring of cable and you
can fit as many 13A socket outlets onto it as you like (there are
restrictions as to the floor area it can cover, etc). The cable is rated
at 21A (IIRC) so the circuit can theoretically carry 42A (2 paralell
paths as it's a ring), it's fused at 30A in the 'consumer unit' (aka fuse
Anyway, since 30A is a ridiculaously high current rating for portable
appliances, there's a cartridge fuse in the plug. These exist in a number
of current ratings, but only 3A and 13A are commonly used.
The first problem is that most 'loose' plugs are supplied with a 13A fuse
in it. It's not uncommon for such a plug to be fitted to a piece of
electronic equipment which should be prtected with a 3A fuse in the plug.
I can't be the only person with a large jar or 13A fuses that I've
removed form such plugs. Actually, the plugs _are_ available with a 3A
fuse pre-fitted, but just try finding anyone who stocks them.
The worse hazard is that I have a mains lead which has what appears to be
a UK 13A plug on one end (and will fit a normal UK mains socket) and an
IEC 320 connector on the other, but _no_ cartridge fuse in the moulded-on
plug. That is IMHO lethal over here. I believe it was made for use in
some other country which was once under British rule and which adopted
the same mains socket on a 15A radial circuit (one cable per socket
outlet, each socket indvidually fused in the consumer unit). In that
application you don't need the fuse in the plug.