Time To Blow A Fuse

I was inspecting some items of electrical equipment recently and thought I would share a couple of ‘gems’ with who ever can be bothered to look at this blog.

Exhibit A

This was the inside of a plug on a vacuum cleaner rated at 800 watts. The three amp fuse was too small and a piece of gold coloured foil, probably from a cigarette packet, has been wrapped around the fuse.

Exhibit A again

Next in line is a hobby type arc welder. The cable sheath did not reach the plug. This was hardly surprising as it is not recommend to terminate a cable with 2.5mm^2 conductors on a UK 13 amp plug.


Removing the top revealed that a past user may have got fed up with replacing 13 amp fuses.


Yes that is a length of M6 studding in place of a fuse ! And just look how neatly the Earth and Neutral conductors are terminated. In reality none of the strands of wire of the  Earth conductor were actually held by the binding post.


Just to rub it in here is a side view of the same plug.

While checking the state of the flex I found a gash in the outer sheath and through the insulation of the Live conductor. I connected the positive lead of my digital multi-meter to the Live pin of the plug, and pushed the probe on the negative lead into the hole in the flex. Sure enough it would have been possible to get an electric shock through that hole.


And the outcome ? Well the vacuum cleaner has got a new fuse and the welder has had the cable cut off so it can’t be used.


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