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Safety tip when buying from places like ebay & Bangood

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Christopher Morris 221/10/2019 11:17:18
58 forum posts

I have noticed more & more that when you buy mains electrical items from ebay Chinese sellers & others like Bangood quite often have a mains lead with a round 2 pin plug like used on the continent. They then supply a none fused adapter for use in the UK. Please cut off this 2 pin plug & throw this & the adapter in the bin, then fit a normal 13amp plug to your newly purchased unit & protect with the correct fuse. If you use the adapter that is supplied you will quite likely be backing up your new "lets say charger" with the main fuse board fuse that is usually 32amp instead of 3amp that should be used. Be warned.

wingcoax21/10/2019 12:49:18
50 forum posts

Very good point Chris, As someone who lives in Portugal I have the opposite problem. All my tools have had to be changed to European standard. I should point out that the circuits here are rated differently to UK, in that power circuits tend to be 20A or even 16A, Yes i did think about using adaptors but are their enough in the country?

Gary Manuel21/10/2019 13:49:30
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1953 forum posts
1514 photos

Dead right Chris. I recently bough a charger for "e-cig" type batteries (for a torch). It didn't appear to have any protection at all in either the 2 pin plug or the adapter. The charger itself didn't look too good either so the lot went in the bin.

I've never liked the term "13A plug", because it implies that they are fitted with a 13A fuse.

In reality, most devices such as the "charger" mentioned above MUST be fitted with the appropriate sized fuse, which is normally much lower than 13A.The difficulty for the layman is working out what size fuse should be fitted. This is one reason why all new appliances are supplied with pre-fitted moulded plugs with the correct fuse fitted.

If you are going to cut the old plug off and fit a UK plug, then take care to fit a fuse of the correct rating, based upon the maximum power rating of the device. Failure to do so could result in the cable or appliance heating up and catching fire before the over-sized fuse blows in the even of a fault:

Up to 700W = 3A.

700W to 1200W = 5A.

1200W to 3000W = 13A.

Other sizes are available but these are reasonable rules of thumb.

Edited By Gary Manuel on 21/10/2019 13:58:41

FlyinFlynn21/10/2019 13:57:40
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35 forum posts
12 photos

While nothing to do with plugs and fuses I do have a tale to tell about a tip when buying from Banggood.

A recent experience I had with banggood. You may notice that Banggood now have an optional 'shipping insurance' that is available when purchasing items from them. I recently bought an electric screwdriver from them and, being a cheapskate, I declined the additional insurance. Needless to say it never arrived. Upon asking Banggood to resend the item they declined siting the lack of the additional insurance. After a comical interlude during which I just received standard responses from Banggood I informed them I was going to lodge a complaint and ask Paypal for a refund (always use paypal!) as they were in breach of contract by not delivering the item. It took Paypal 6 hours to find in my favour and issue me a full refund.

The additional insurance may have made the refund process a bit shorter but Banggood operate in the EU and are required to conform to EU legislation irrespective of what they may claim on their site.

Nigel R21/10/2019 14:41:11
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3108 forum posts
479 photos

"Banggood operate in the EU"

You pay direct to the Chinese based parent company, I believe. They might dispatch from a warehouse in the EU... however, I'm not sure where that puts them, legally, in terms of any applicable distance selling regs and so forth.

Christopher Morris 221/10/2019 17:04:53
58 forum posts

The strange thing, is you can buy adaptors that have fuses that can be changed. It wouldn't be quite so bad if they supplied this type. But as mentioned by wingcoax many EU countrys have lower aperage fuses as they run there sockets in radials & need a smaller fuse to protect. In vthe uk we have ring mains that will take a higher fuse of 32amp. The odd thing about this in EU countries is that a 3amp rated item is still backed up by a 16amp fuse which cant be right.  

Edited By Christopher Morris 2 on 21/10/2019 17:07:41

Don Fry21/10/2019 17:48:56
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4055 forum posts
47 photos

Christopher, I live in France. We don't use fuses. It's all on RCD circuits. Major stuff is one socket on its own RCD. Minor stuff runs on a number of sockets back to a RCD. No ring mains. Uses a lot of wire.

Plugs come in 2 varieties. A 2 pin, with a recess to take the earth, which is a male pin on the socket. Or a two pin without earth for stuff that does not leed an earth. An earth plug can be used for anything, the non earth unit only comes prefitted to suitable equipment.

All safe, just different. The water is also fit to drink, and we use flush toilets. Hot water systems run a mains pressure, so we have to endure showers that deliver enough water to get you wet.

Tom Sharp 221/10/2019 18:14:14
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3554 forum posts
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I am led to believe that if you remove the supplied plug from an appliance you render the guarantee invalid.

Christopher Morris 221/10/2019 19:02:24
58 forum posts
Posted by Don Fry on 21/10/2019 17:48:56:

Christopher, I live in France. We don't use fuses. It's all on RCD circuits. Major stuff is one socket on its own RCD. Minor stuff runs on a number of sockets back to a RCD. No ring mains. Uses a lot of wire.

Plugs come in 2 varieties. A 2 pin, with a recess to take the earth, which is a male pin on the socket. Or a two pin without earth for stuff that does not leed an earth. An earth plug can be used for anything, the non earth unit only comes prefitted to suitable equipment.

All safe, just different. The water is also fit to drink, and we use flush toilets. Hot water systems run a mains pressure, so we have to endure showers that deliver enough water to get you wet.

The RCD's are a great thing, but wont protect against over current as its designed to trip at "lets say" 16amps & if something is only 2 or 3 amp rated, it should be protected with a fuse at that amperage. It's one of those things that a fault has to appear before the rcd will trip. But a load fault may of already started a fire before the rcd trips. Rcd's are more designed to stop a personal electric shock, & work well at that as i picked up a damp extension lead to a cement mixer last year & got a shock, but just for a split second as the rcd tripped. Sill hurt, but not as bad as it could of been.

Christopher Morris 221/10/2019 19:08:14
58 forum posts
Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 21/10/2019 18:14:14:

I am led to believe that if you remove the supplied plug from an appliance you render the guarantee invalid.

Most are not part of the appliance & quite often have a clover leaf or kettle style lead that's not part of the appliance.

Paul Marsh21/10/2019 20:50:42
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3727 forum posts
1057 photos

Also, note if you are using a non-uk certified device and it catches fire and burns your house down, your insurance could be invalidated. It just gives them a legitimate excuse to not pay you. Added to that the dangers of electrocution and danger to life.

I was an electrician, still am and worked on LV Switch panels for 17 year and with a 4000A device, it makes you respect electricity..

Don Fry21/10/2019 20:52:27
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4055 forum posts
47 photos

Chris, an electrician, I am not. Think I meant a combination of RCD, MCB. Do you think I would be better offf setting my alarm clock on the hour, so I can patrol at night. Do you think you should start a campaign to save the rest of the continent from its follies.

Don Fry21/10/2019 20:52:28
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4055 forum posts
47 photos

Chris, an electrician, I am not. Think I meant a combination of RCD, MCB. Do you think I would be better offf setting my alarm clock on the hour, so I can patrol at night. Do you think you should start a campaign to save the rest of the continent from its follies.

i12fly21/10/2019 20:56:27
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564 forum posts
21 photos

Crudely, the 'RCD' in effect checks the current passing up and passing down the live and neutral. It only trips when there is an imbalance between the two - i.e. if there is a leak to earth (if about 30mA IIRC). So when you touch live, a small amount of current goes to earth and it trips. IIRC it takes about 80mA to electrocute the average person, less if you've got heart problems etc.

The problem arises if you touch both the live and neutral together, and you're wearing well insulated shoes, then the current passes through you from hand to hand right past your heart, and the RCD (or RCCB) does not trip.

Don't ask me how I know, but maybe I'm still here to annoy people just because I have very dry hands, sweaty/dirty hands may have been different, but I didn't feel inclined to repeat the experiment in the interests of science.

Maybe an electrical engineer would like to correct the figures if incorrect.....

It is illegal to sell an appliance/equipment without the correct plug for the intended country, that is where adaptors are useful because an untrained operative can fit them, if the supplier cuts off the foreign plug and fits a UK plug then competence has to be verified and the equipment tested. I thought a fuse was mandatory though(?)

I am talking about legitimate CE marked  equipment here

Edited By i12fly on 21/10/2019 20:58:50

Christopher Morris 221/10/2019 21:20:00
58 forum posts

Perfectly correct i12fly with also the the earth included, but remembering the the earth & neutral are the same. But with rubber boots you would be thought of as just resistance & those excitable electrons would try to light you up.
Don, by the way that is not the French resistance i meant. lol

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