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BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]

McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 14 - 09:49 PM
Abdul The Bul Bul 12 Feb 14 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Eliza 12 Feb 14 - 04:14 AM
Greg F. 12 Feb 14 - 10:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 14 - 11:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 14 - 12:35 PM
G-Force 12 Feb 14 - 01:36 PM
GUEST, topsie 12 Feb 14 - 02:26 PM
Bert 12 Feb 14 - 02:27 PM
Greg F. 12 Feb 14 - 02:47 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Feb 14 - 03:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 14 - 06:03 PM
Penny S. 12 Feb 14 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 14 - 09:14 PM
Doug Chadwick 13 Feb 14 - 10:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Feb 14 - 10:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Feb 14 - 10:53 AM
Penny S. 13 Feb 14 - 01:32 PM
Greg F. 13 Feb 14 - 03:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Feb 14 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Timmy 13 Feb 14 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Feb 14 - 05:42 AM
bubblyrat 14 Feb 14 - 05:47 AM
GUEST, topsie 14 Feb 14 - 06:04 AM
Penny S. 14 Feb 14 - 01:51 PM
JohnInKansas 14 Feb 14 - 03:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Feb 14 - 06:39 PM
Doug Chadwick 15 Feb 14 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Triplane 15 Feb 14 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Triplane 15 Feb 14 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Tiplane 15 Feb 14 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Tiplane 15 Feb 14 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Eliza 15 Feb 14 - 10:44 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 14 - 10:48 AM
Penny S. 15 Feb 14 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Triplane 15 Feb 14 - 01:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Feb 14 - 06:54 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 14 - 10:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Feb 14 - 07:48 PM

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Subject: BS: Extension lead oddity
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 09:49 PM

The various power leads to various bits of technology were getting muddled, so I thought I'd try organising them better. All sorted out fair enough until I ran into an odd problem.

The way I was doing it needed a set of sockets on an extension with the power cord coming in from the left. All I could find were ones where the power cord comes in from the right. NO problem, just turn the thing upside down. Except that the holes at the back for fixing to the wall have been designed so they won't allow you to do this, or the thing will fall off the wall.

But you can get everything on the Internet, can't you? Not left handed extensions, it appears. And in my search it turns out other people have been flummoxed in the same way.

Sure, I can cobble up something that will sort things out easy enough, maybe use a tower socket instead. But it's very strange. Not the kind of absence of left handed items you find sometimes, arising from the imbalance between the number of people who are left handed and right handed, because that kind of thing doesn't make any difference in this case.   There must be some kind of reason it's come about, but I can't imagine what.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 02:18 AM

Yep, a bloody nuisance this. I have to use a longer extension and run the cable round and back under.
Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 04:14 AM

I've just looked at B&Q's website and it's quite true. How odd. We have a socket on the left under our computer table. Our 4-gang extension has the plug on the right, so we just lay it on the carpet round the other way, which somehow defeats the object, as there are still cables trailing round the back of the blooming thing. There must be some technical reason for this anomaly surely? You've aroused my curiosity McGrath!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 10:52 AM

Strange, indeed. What do the hanging holes on the back look like?

Here on the other side of the pond the hanging holes - tadpole-shaped for lack of a better description - consist of a round hole to go over the mounting screw head & a narrow slot projecting both up & down so that the extensions will mount either way by sliding down behind the screw head.

The British version has the narrow projection only on one side of the round hole?

Curiouser & curiouser.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 11:37 AM

Precisely Greg - bigger round hole with the narrow projection only going one way. Put the thing on one way up, and the screw fits securely, put the the other way, it keep falling off.

Maybe I should go to Dragons Den...

Or find the things on American sites and import them. The thing is, it's the kind of detail that typically doesn't get mentioned on a trade website.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:35 PM

For example, here's a page giving a range of extension leads from the States, and it doesn't bother to indicate such things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: G-Force
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 01:36 PM

Can you use a file to extend the hole in the other direction?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 02:26 PM

Wouldn't extension leads imported from the US be the wrong voltage?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Bert
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 02:27 PM

Try a couple of large washers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 02:47 PM

Or find the things on American sites and import them.

Wouldn't work, Kevin - U.S. plugs Here
are entirely different & the units are rated for 120 VAC rather than your 240 VAC.

G-Force may have the answer, if there's enough plastic available to do so, tho a small rotary tool This sort of thing with a side-cutting burr might do a better & easier job - if you can find someone that has one. A £30 purchase is a bit steep to solve the problem.

Then too, perhaps British manufacturers could learn something from us Colonials after all..........


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 03:00 PM

It's not that difficult to make your own - a suitable number of wall sockets and a couple of bits of wood.

Another option, if you have security screwdriver bits, is to unscrew the back of the ready-made extension, drill a hole in the other end, thread flex out, and re-assemble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:03 PM

As I said, you can get round inconveniences like that easily enough. But they are inconveniences, and its strange that no manufacturer of such things in the UK has bothered to make a small adjustment that would give them a significant advantage over the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 07:32 PM

I'd never noticed that...

What I have noticed is that it wasn't possible to get a single electric blanket with the flex on the left (when viewed from the pillow end of the bed). When I asked the representative of the company if they did left-handed connection versions, she seemed bemused. So I have to have it plugged into an extension lead (which I now realise is righthanded) because the wall socket is nowhere near the right (or in this case wrong) side of the bed. Extra flex trailing under the bed where it just reaches the extension lead, which just reaches the socket. (The alternative is the flex trailing across the floor to another extension lead from another socket.) The flex would reach the nearest socket, if it were on the left.

Who designs these things?

My first blanket was right connected. Cheaper to make them all the same, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 09:14 PM

But doesn't UK electricity only flow from Left to Right ?

Something or other physicsy/scienticky to do with the earths magnetic polarity and gravity in bathroom plug holes???

Ok, so I only got grade F in science subjects at school, but I do remember these bits...


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 10:39 AM

What I have noticed is that it wasn't possible to get a single electric blanket with the flex on the left ...

I've never used one, so I wouldn't know but can't you just turn the blanket over?

But doesn't UK electricity only flow from Left to Right ?

That can't be correct. With the flex on the right, the electricity would be flowing out and your appliances would be powering the National Grid. I think it only flows from left to right in the southern hemisphere.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 10:47 AM

The daft thing is that no doubt the UK ones with the one-prong holes that don't allow you to choose which direction the flex comes from, and the American ones with two-prong holes that do allow you to do that, will both be made in the same factories in China.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 10:53 AM

It occurs to me it could conceivably have some connection with fact that in the UK we typically have our homes wired using ring circuits, which I believe aren't used much elsewhere. Though I can't see why it would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 01:32 PM

This particular blanket has a fleecy side - and I think the last one had different surfaces as well.
Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:45 PM

The daft thing is that no doubt the UK ones .... and the American ones ... will both be made in the same factories in China.

Absolutely, Kevin.

Welcome to the universal benifits of globilization/globilisation and the brave new world engendered thereby.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 08:11 PM

I wouldn't put the blame on the fact that the factories are Chinese, but rather on the fact that the people placing the orders are incompetent. The "free market" is supposed to avoid that kind of thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Timmy
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 08:34 PM

Can electricity flow uphill ?

and what if you stand on the wires,
will it dam the flow and cause the electricity to balloon up into a big bubble,
until it bursts showering dangerous electrical lightning bolts all over the place ???

Can electricity bring dead pets back to life ?

Is it safe to stick your fingers in the socket if you wear wellington boots ?

What colour is electricity ?

Does electricity smell nice or nasty ?

What does it taste like ?

Why does my dad get angry when I forget to switch the lights off ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 05:42 AM

Years ago, the house across the road was struck by lightning. We all ran out, as the roof had exploded and we were concerned for the folk inside. There was a distinct smell of ozone, the sort of smell you got from those old-fashioned 2-bar fires when you first switched them on. And there were strange lilac/ pink worms of light wriggling over the surface of their garden. I suppose it was the electricity discharging to earth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 05:47 AM

It tastes bitter and sulphuric

The colour is predominantly blue ,but with occasional flashes of yellow

It smells somewhat rancid

It should be OK to put your fingers in the socket whilst wearing wellingtons , as long as they are thick (like you ) wellingtons, and you refrain from simultaneously caressing the Earth terminal ; in the Royal Navy we were urged to stand on thick rubber mats ,which was rather nice .

My experiments with deceased domestic pets have thus far proved inconclusive .

There is no logical reason why electricity ( or "electric " as the British Hoi-Polloi now call it ) should not flow uphill ; our main fuse-box ,ELCBs , switches ,etc. is / are downstairs, however electical equipment upstairs is not affected adversely by this arrangement.

Theoretically , electricity ( "electric" ) flows from positive to negative,whereas in fact the reverse is more common ; this of course applies to Direct Current , Alternating Current being perpetually in a state of indeciseiveness .

Your paternal annoyance at your wasteful habits is in no small way influenced by the current (no pun intended) highly inflated tariff for electricity ("electric" ) as much of it is imported from France these days .

Thankyou for reading this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 06:04 AM

My father used to claim he could taste the electricity in the air when a thunder storm was imminent.

I used to have a gardening book from the 1920s that recommended a device that released an electric charge into the earth in the vegetable garden to increase tomato crops - I have never tried it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 01:51 PM

Eliza, thank you for that posting. I couldn't ask my parents about the smell when their house was struck (and revealed why the northern peoples thought the god of thunder used a hammer, as the paving in the garden looked as if someone had been at it with a sledgehammer).

Ancient descriptions identify the smell as sulphur (presumably sulphur dioxide not bad eggs) which it can't do. I have long suspected that this is wrong. After the discovery of electricity, ozone becomes more usual, but I've never been able to find an actual witness.

Anyone know if ozone smells anything like SO2?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 03:23 PM

One of the folklorists related the story of the "wiring" of a (US)hill country area. The local utility provided a single light bulb socket hanging from the ceiling for each house.

One little lady complained that the electricity just had to be leaking out all over the house so a sumpathetic agent took a light bulb to her to plug the hole.

Then, in response to her continued complaints, he dusted the furniture and swept the floor to get all of the "leaked out electricity" out into the yard where she agreed it would be safe enough for her satisfaction.

Persons better educated now know that the essential part of electricity is "smoke colored" and easy to see, since "if enough smoke gets out of anything electric the thing stops working."

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 06:39 PM

I had a look in a DIY store and saw that pretty well all the extension leads they sell have the back covered up so you can't see what the little screw holes are like. Cunning buggers aren't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 08:38 AM

My sister-in-law has a Belkin Surgemaster double banked extension (3 outlets each side with surge protection) which has cross mounting holes. It can be mounted horizontally; with the inlet flex on either the right or left and the outlet flexes both top and bottom: or vertically; with the inlet flex either top or bottom and the outlet flexes both left and right. She bought it from PC World.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 09:46 AM

I got a 6 way LHS switch and cable entry from LIDL the other 2 I got from LIDL were RHS so mayb e both LIDL & ALDI will do them when they come on around the diy weeks. just went into garage hanger to check


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 09:51 AM

BTW dont do as Richard suggests and try to change one without getting a electricain to check it- insurance & personal safety issues


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Tiplane
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 10:04 AM

6 gang socket with LH S cable entry

if u get one from Amazon READ the reviews


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Tiplane
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 10:04 AM

6 gang socket with LH S cable entry

if u get one from Amazon READ the reviews


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 10:44 AM

Penny, ozone smells like sparklers, but not sulphurous. At the shore, you can smell the ozone coming off the sea if it's quite rough. It's a sharp, fresh, gunpowdery smell, quite nice actually!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 10:48 AM

Mac
with those extensions with plastic housing you can, if you're careful, take them apart. drill a new outlet for the cable wherever you want it- run your cable through it - secure it just inside the hole with PVC tape rolled around it inside the housing so it isn't pulling on the inside connections, ans screw it back together again.
Will come and do it for you is you pay my plane fare.

Jim Carroll (qualified electrician!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 11:01 AM

Eliza, not the smell I got hanging round the photocopier, then. But I have had the idea that gunpowder, since it includes sulphur, would smell a bit of SO2. Sharp, cuts up your nose, clean smelling.

In terms of electron orbits, ozone, O3, and SO2 are similar, as oxygen and sulphur are close in the periodic table. I don't know if that would make the smells similar, though.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 01:37 PM

Speaking as someone who has been electrocuted by an amateur "wiremans" work. I sure Jim(electrian) and Richard (lawyer ) would agree that doing the job right, & in time is the best option unless they have ulterior motives ( smiling).


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 06:54 PM

So now I know where to get one, thanks. This time I used a tower, which solved the difficulty fine. And it's got more sockets too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 10:13 AM

Don't bother with the web or with DIY stores, there are plenty of independent trade suppliers in the UK, walk in and ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extension lead oddity-[UK electric specific]
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 07:48 PM

Not round my way there aren't. And not round too many parts these days, I fear. Driven out of business all too often. Cherish them.


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