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Michael Gilligan17/07/2021 09:00:49
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18710 forum posts
915 photos

Interesting item in today’s News feed: **LINK**

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/07/amazon-shipped-flammable-kids-sleepwear-and-hair-dryers-that-can-electrocute-you/

Reminds me that this forum’s Code of Conduct states:

we reserve the right to remove links or posts linking to sellers who may be
supplying goods not properly covered by UK safety or consumer legislation.

… the Lawyers will have a field-day, distinguishing between selling, supplying, and fulfillment

MichaelG.

Oven Man17/07/2021 09:13:36
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149 forum posts
22 photos

The handheld hair dryers "lack an immersion protection device integral to the power cord," violating a federal safety rule, and thus "present a significant electric shock and electrocution hazard to users,"

Is this something that UK/EU hair dryers have? Never heard of it before.

Peter

Circlip17/07/2021 09:54:24
1331 forum posts

Lynn Fawls Wood has a lot to answer for re the dumbing down of common sense in the Yuk. Risk assesment for the simplest daily tasks begger belief. Basic simple one "Keep away from children"

I always keep away from children.

Regards Ian.

Nicholas Wheeler 117/07/2021 10:20:18
721 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Circlip on 17/07/2021 09:54:24:

Risk assessment for the simplest daily tasks beggar belief.

Rubbish.

You don't check that the kettle isn't full of boiling water before moving it? That's a risk assessment.

Ensuring that the vacuum cleaner cord can't trip you before you carry it down the stairs? So is that.

How about looking both ways before stepping off a kerb? Guess what? Risk assessment.

Examining the condition of the box of parts before you pull it off a top shelf? R/A

And so on.

Personally, I think the phrase common sense is much, much worse.

SillyOldDuffer17/07/2021 10:32:10
Moderator
7476 forum posts
1648 photos
Posted by Oven Man on 17/07/2021 09:13:36:

The handheld hair dryers "lack an immersion protection device integral to the power cord," violating a federal safety rule, and thus "present a significant electric shock and electrocution hazard to users,"

Is this something that UK/EU hair dryers have? Never heard of it before.

Peter

Good question!

Any experts on the forum able to describe the protective measures taken by the different European supply systems, as compared with each other and US Practice. For example, US domestic supply is 110V (or 110+110V) 60Hz, whereas the UK goes for 240V 50Hz, with different earthing arrangements. (Saw an interesting discussion on shock statistics years ago suggesting, despite the extra wallop, that 240V 50Hz is no more dangerous than 110V because it causes a muscular spasm that throws the victim off, whereas he might stick to a 110V supply.

Back in the good days, a chap told me how, despite severe pain, he couldn't break his connection to the EHT supply of his colour TV set because his whole body went rigid : fortunately his wife turned it off!

Possibly the risk of immersion electrocution is acceptably lower in Europe because most homes are fitted with Residual Current Devices in the fuse box? I don't know.

Dave

Robert Atkinson 217/07/2021 12:21:14
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1072 forum posts
20 photos

In North America they don't have the UK rules on power outlets in bathrooms. As a result of accidents with driers in the USA they mandated that all hairdriers have RCD's (GFCI) fitted in the leads. This is normally built into the plug.

Robert G8RPI

Jim Smith 817/07/2021 17:35:05
29 forum posts
8 photos

An interesting thread because I came across a mildly related thing with electric garden tools like lawnmowers and hedge cutters. They are made in plastic as 'double insulated' appliances attached to 2 core mains cables. You get a nick in the cable sheath you don't notice, then as you run your hands through the cable standing on wet grass, get electrocuted by this super safe appliance meeting a million safety regulations. Ah, but in U.K you have earth leakage protection to save you, but it won't work when you touch a frayed live wire standing on wet grass. My personal solution is to replace their damaged 2 core long flex with 3 core and earth it at the plug. Then if the blade nicks the cable it's likely to short the 3rd earthed ground wire to Live or neutral, take out the trip or a line fuse, stop it working and keep you safe.

It's the same with hair dryers: If the live end of the element is the first thing hitting the bath water you are dead. If the inner casing had an earthed screen surrounding the element, then that should take out the RCD trip first. Most imported 2 wire products are used in countries where their power safety system breaks the current in both wires. In U.K we only break one with a fuse or trip on the live side. If it's a 2 wire device using a 2 pin to 3 pin adaptor, you don't know if the live end of the hairdryer element is near the nozzle and first to hit the sink water, or the other end.

Edited By Jim Smith 8 on 17/07/2021 17:36:24

Martin W17/07/2021 19:02:12
894 forum posts
29 photos

RCDs work by detecting any differential current between Live and Neutral and when this exceeds a preset level the unit activates and disconnects the mains supply within a specified time. Therefore if one touches a live wire and their body completes a return path i.e. damp shoes and wet grass then the unit will trip if the current exceeds the specified maximum which is nominally 300mA. This provides protection for the user irrespective of whether the system is two wire or 3 wire.

There is a popular misconception that these units work by measuring current flowing in the earth wire. Earth wire current is not measured by RCD units, in fact the earth connection totally bypasses the active circuitry of an RCD.

 

edit: Last para

Edited By Martin W on 17/07/2021 19:09:31

Phil Whitley17/07/2021 19:17:27
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1368 forum posts
147 photos

I think you mean 30mA Martin?

Martin W18/07/2021 00:58:23
894 forum posts
29 photos

OOPS

Yes Phil 30mA is correct, my excuse is I was typing too quickly and reading slowly!! Thanks for the correction, 300mA would be a trite too exciting for the recipient.

Cheers

Martin

Circlip18/07/2021 08:54:46
1331 forum posts
Posted by Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 17/07/2021 10:20:18:
Posted by Circlip on 17/07/2021 09:54:24:

Risk assessment for the simplest daily tasks beggar belief.

Rubbish.

You don't check that the kettle isn't full of boiling water before moving it? That's a risk assessment.

Ensuring that the vacuum cleaner cord can't trip you before you carry it down the stairs? So is that.

How about looking both ways before stepping off a kerb? Guess what? Risk assessment.

Examining the condition of the box of parts before you pull it off a top shelf? R/A

And so on.

Personally, I think the phrase common sense is much, much worse.

So if the kettle is full of boiling water you don't touch it? Must be very dry in your household. I boil a kettle to make coffee so I know (still have a memory) why it would be hot.

I have an upstairs and a downstairs vac BUT in the event of changing floors/rooms I always make sure the leads are retracted or re coiled onto the appliance.

Looking both ways? That was ALWAYS drilled into us when the Ford 10 was in its infancy.

I don't load parts into boxes to put on a top shelf.

"Risk assessment" is one of the yuppy buzz words generated to fill the new Oxford. FMA (Failure mode analysis) is another. I didn't need a Ford Prod eng to tell me "The weld joint on this steering linkage is subject to FMA" COMMON SENSE dictates if it's not a good joint and gives way, it's likely the car will crash and doesn't need three (or more) pages of bovine excreta to qualify this.

Yep Nicholas, C/S is a no no word for the legal profession who make vast amounts of money for those who don't posses it.

Regards Ian

SillyOldDuffer18/07/2021 09:16:42
Moderator
7476 forum posts
1648 photos
Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 17/07/2021 12:21:14:

In North America they don't have the UK rules on power outlets in bathrooms. As a result of accidents with driers in the USA they mandated that all hairdriers have RCD's (GFCI) fitted in the leads. This is normally built into the plug.

Robert G8RPI

That makes sense Robert - different strokes for different folks. Found a web document suggesting protecting hair dryers in the US saves about 30 lives per year, but it didn't explain the circumstances.

Ta,

Dave

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