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Habits and Foibles

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Derek W, May 12, 2021.

  1. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    When I did the restoration of my house here, I specified three-pin lighting and the place is littered these sockets, and for a very good reason. I had a traditional pine-beam and bamboo-reed roof (the original roof was long gone) put in to preserve the village nature of the house, so I wanted no wiring anywhere near the inflammable roof - which at 4.5 to 5.5 metres up would be a problem for a fire extinguisher. Thus I had to plan on wall fittings and standard lamps etc. This was another problem. With irregular stone walls the standard rigid electrical conduit would have required on huge thickness of plaster to cover, but if I specified low power lighting wiring I could use a thinner flexible conduit to meet local regulations. The place had to be inspected by the local electricity authority as it had never had power before - or running water, plumbing and sewage disposal, either, come to that!

    The most surprising thing is that I can still source these fittings over thirty years later.
     
    Catriona likes this.
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the house I lived in as a child...
     
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Frightening to realise that despite out inherently safe UK sockets all it takes to negate the safety features is to plug a cable into it. There are many things we plug in that are themselves dangerous, Apple power cables and plug adaptors are basically a modified figure eight connector, IEC (Kettle) leads and clover leaf cables are as bad as are kettle bases. I find it surprising that such things are allowed but then again I suppose we are forced into it.
     
    Catriona likes this.
  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I must admit that in the old days, I don't remember having problems with kettle leads in the way I have now.
    I have had an electrician out to explain to me why a kettle lead and plug was getting hot. His answer? The kettle was pulling too much (well, maximum level) of power. His recommendation? A lower power kettle. That has worked to a degree, but I still wait a while before putting it on to boil again. The electrician said there was nothing wrong with my power circuits etc. So what is it? Bad leads?
     
  6. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I've told you before, it's all this green energy...the watts, volts and amps are so confused they don't know whether to be ac, dc or bbc...
     
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  7. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    It's AC/DC if the cable is back in black.
     
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  8. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    And can't decide whether it goes one way or the other.
     
  9. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Don't Touch Too Much, it's High Voltage.
     
  10. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Last time I did theatre lighting (Only a few years ago) plugs were largely 15A round. Any circuit breakers were on the dimmer racks. You don't want a fuse to blow somewhere on the lighting rig.
    Lanterns are increasingly LED with built in dimmers. They often have IEC inlet and outlet connectors with DMX in, out, and through.
    The 16A C-form is a very common alterative.
     
  11. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    Our narrow boat has round pin sockets for the 12 volt circuit and standard sockets for the 230 volt circuits.
     
  12. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The school that I attended as a student had a stage set up with proscenium, flies, and lighting given by 'old boys'. The switchboard was cobbled together from real theatre Strand Electric components. In the sixth form I being a nerd got involved with this. It was great. I even got involved with old Leo productions while still a student. For a short time the hall was out of use and the Old Boys hired a church hall for a production. The board was moved and our chief electrician powered it up by leading thick cables up from the basement. He paralled two circuits so a to provide sufficient current. He knew what he was doing. You need enough current. The cables were connected to two iron clad boxes; this was done carefully taking all precautions. He switched the first box on and all was well. Switching the second box caused a huge bang!! The fuses in the boxes blew but must have arched long enough to do further damage. He took a pair of company fuses out. These days it would be a serious incident but in those days was just an embarrassment.
    The morals of the story are not to assume that a church hall complex is all on the same phase. Interconnecting two 240 volt phases makes a 410volt bang.
    In the other schools in which I taught we had somewhat safer installations of Strand Electric's products. They were safe simple and worked very well. The days of 45s and 23s plus home made floods and dips.
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    (Pedant mode) Phase to phase voltage of a three phase supply with 240V phase to neutral is 415V(/pedant mode). It is not uncommon for churches and church halls to have three phase supplies. It is also exceedingly frustrating when you lose one!
     
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    It was very awkward to lose two in those circumstances.
     
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I thought you knew exactly where they had gone?
     
  16. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    We did. Fortunately I was only a young bystander. The guilty party must have felt very humiliated. These days an incident like that would probably have repercussions with HSE involved. It wouldn't surprise me if only electricians with the right bit of paper would be allowed to attempt this connection.
     
  17. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Gah! Strand Patt 23 was quite a nice little lantern but the Patt 45 was a cheap 'n' nasty tin can. We had a few at school, actually both when I was at school and when I was senior tech at school. Was glad to see the back of the 45s when we gradually installed something resembling decent lighting.
     
  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It is very obvious, from looking at the main power intake, when a building has a three phase supply. I tend to take the “Danger 415 Volts” placard as the first clue. Once that is out of the way, paralleling of sockets requires rather more than the usual caution. Not that modern LED lighting systems need that much power very often.

    Over on Facebook our apprentice page has a discussion about paralleling generators and the effects of crash paralleling. Great fun. The doing of electrical work is relatively easy, the regulations far less so, particularly when one is trained in one area and discussing another. If I wanted to introduce a new light it was a case of one wire from busbar to C/B to switch to light to neutral/ground (for earthbound electricians, yes that is perfectly legal given the distance between local earth and generator neutral). The same new light in a house requires running twin and earth everywhere. Totally different rules.
     
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I was describing an event that took place in about 1961. The installation was probably pre war. No doubt the 415 v placard was somewhere and the phases colour coded. In a badly lit cellar which had probably not been cleaned and limewashed for 20 or more years the error is understandable.
    No-one was hurt and the result very memorable.
     
  20. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    Sound like the start of the Towering Inferno! It meets the standard specs, but the demand is for a higher spec. Oh dear, make sure nobody dumped a barrow load of cement against the back door , just in case.
     
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