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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there Fraternity

This is just a short one.

Iím not sure if this is borne out of necessity, or just pure boredom, but as I stood today in the workshop, I turned my mind away from actually creating something, mainly because I couldnít think of anything to create and I thought about improvements based mainly on what annoys me when working in the shop.

To be honest the shop over time has developed and is not too bad and works fairly effectively. So I was down to nit picking and I rounded on my work bench. Earlier in the year I tore it apart and set it up more to my way of working, but the one thing that still annoys me is, not the availability of power but the access of said power. Now my 240v, 110v and air are all directly behind me when I am bench working and I am forever having to take detours around the bench to avoid snarl ups with the cables.

So what to do. Decided the 110v was staying put, due to not that much use and the air is augmented by an extending air drum to the left of my bench. So 240v it is.

I felt I didnít want 240v drums above me, far too bulky, so decided on a drop system due to the machines I own all have a decent length of lead on them.

I started to rake about for parts and did manage to make them up but they were as you put it Eclectic, all different makes, styles and colours, and I wanted some form of unity. So, £20 for parts and away I went.

Now I had two spiral short extensions which were brilliant for the job but hung down too far and would have annoyed the life out of me, so choice was cut them in half, fit them on the other side of the bench or the one I chose, use a magnetic cupboard door closer to hitch them up out of the way, and I think it worked out quite well.

Wiring was easy enough as I had a ring main directly above.

Now at this point I had a decision to make. Either go with a couple of ceiling mounted 13amp fused spurred outlets, or 13amp plug socket outlets. I chose the latter and the reason behind this was that the trailing lead might end up directly on my head above the work piece and annoy the hell out of me, but if I use the plug-in method I could install as many ceiling sockets as I desired and move my trailing lead to which ever outlet I needed. In the end decided on 3. One on the end, one near the opposite end and one approx. centre. I have the future option of adding extra sockets.

I have also shown the wiring of a socket for the benefit of our Atlantic cousins. My son lives in Houston and when we visit I have a list of jobs to complete during my busman's holiday. One is the wiring of new socket outlets. During the time I wired my first one I headed down to Home Depot and bought the equivalent of our 2.5mm twin/earth, then proceeded to search for earth sleeve. Gave up and asked an assistant who laughed and told me he had the same problem as he was from Canada and they use the earth sleeve. In the end I bought green heat shrink. I could not bring myself the leave the bare earth in the box with the phase and neutral both having unprotected screw heads. There must be times the earth comes into contact with the live side, as you can see in the U.K. everything in the box must be totally protected including the screws. The other thing that surprised me was how loose the appliance plugs sat in the wall receptacle, unless they had an earth they wobbled about. This is not a criticism; just how different the two systems are. Well my son now has the only house in his street with all earth wires sleeved.

Iím not sure why the US is like that other than you are dealing with 110v rather than our deadly 240v. Also took a while to get used to the black being phase instead of our old neutral.

Could someone please enlighten me as to the reasons for socket wiring in the US

So thatís it lads, thought it might give some of you an idea or two if you are like retired, not allowed in the house until after dark, bored most of the time and the little things in life annoy you.

Ps. Just had a visit from the other half. Now she likes music, I like films. She also helps me clean the workshop. When it needs done I tend to dread it and I will stand in the mess looking like a lost boy not knowing where to start, while she rips through it like a whirlwind, god bless her. A lot of my comments from you in relation to my posts remark on how neat and tidy my workshop is, so now you know. Now yesterday she happened to say this would go a lot quicker if she had tunes to listen to.

So that lads, this is the next project. A stereo workshop, keep the workers happy.

Yours
Colin
Scotland
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 05:08 PM
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Looks really nice. Clean, uncluttered and easy to reach. Nice job

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits". Albert Einstein
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 09:07 PM
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Earth sleeve? Please explain. I live in Canada, have been doing my own wiring for 45 years and I have no idea what that is. I understand the earth part. We call that ground. It's the sleeve part I don't follow.

Maybe with your phase being 230 volt there is greater potential to leak power but it isn't a problem with our 110-120 volt system. The screws need not be covered or protected. I've never seen it to be an issue (as in the metal tarnishing) or heard of it being an issue.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 12:04 AM
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Almost all UK and similar countries use elcb trips on household wiring. These are so sensitive that the bare earth (ground) touching any metal inside the box can cause nuisance tripping.
My house has these, and even after switching off the mcb on a circuit I can trip the elcb by simply touching the neutral wire. Its almost impossible to be electrocuted in a properly wired house.

So all ground wires are sleeved in green / yellow striped sheathing right up to the screw connection. We even have rolls of insulating tape in green / yellow.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/GREEN-YELLO.../dp/B00FCU1OLC
and sheathing to slide over wire ends.
https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Eart...-x-5m/p/710807
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hi
Here in the U.K. most of our modern consumer units now have RCD’s fitted (residual current device) which detects any leak to earth however small and immediately shuts down the consumer unit. The idea being that most people that accidentally touch a live conductor in the house are drawing the current to earth through their body. The RCD prevents this. We therefore cannot have any incidents of leaks to earth wires otherwise our consumer unit would be constantly tripping. Our units are what they call split boards where the RCD is only active on the ring mains etc and not the lighting circuits. They found that a light bulb blowing was enough to trip the RCD so the boards were split.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coleve View Post
Hi
Here in the U.K. most of our modern consumer units now have RCDís fitted (residual current device) which detects any leak to earth however small and immediately shuts down the consumer unit. The idea being that most people that accidentally touch a live conductor in the house are drawing the current to earth through their body. The RCD prevents this. We therefore cannot have any incidents of leaks to earth wires otherwise our consumer unit would be constantly tripping. Our units are what they call split boards where the RCD is only active on the ring mains etc and not the lighting circuits. They found that a light bulb blowing was enough to trip the RCD so the boards were split.
Here hey are called GFI Outlets...
Short for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, a GFI (also known as GFCI) is a type of electrical outlet designed to protect you and your family against electrical shock, fire, and/or fatal electrocution. Your GFCI outlet (receptacle) monitors the flow of current. If it detects a ground fault -- an unintentional electrical path to the ground -- it will immediately cut the power, to protect anyone in physical contact with the electrical system.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 08:07 AM
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Cyprus is even more cautious.
Every circuit in my house goes through an RCD (ELCB as was)

This is just my downstairs board;
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 12:20 PM
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Only some of our circuits are required to be protected from faults. We have two options in some cases. One is a GFI at the distribution panel and the other is an outlet which can be wired to protect only that outlet or it and all downstream outlets (but none upstream). In the past only the bathroom outlet and all outside outlets had to be fault protected. I’m not up to date on code and maybe there are more now. Newer code requires many arc fault breakers now. I’ve still never heard of anyone wrapping up the ground wires. It’s required to be attached to the outlet box, even on switch boxes, so I don’t see the point personally.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 02:42 PM
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When I moved into this house, brand new, we had an intermittent fault on the outside wall lights. The sparky came back and inspected the circuit. He found an unsheathed earth wire that (although connected properly to the earth system) was over long, and as the wires were squashed back into the socket to tighten the plate, the earth wire was brushing against the neutral wire terminal at the back of the switch tripping the RCD.

Wire sheathed, 10 years on, not a murmer.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 03:24 PM
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Our plug ins have no bare contacts on the back. The only exposed parts are the screw terminals at the sides. Ours do have holes in the back where a wire can be pushed into a spring loaded contact but here in BC at least we are prohibited from using them and in the few cases where I’ve seen them used anyway they had a bad tendency for the wire ends breaking off in them. Which is probably why they are prohibited. I’d be interested in seeing a photo of the back of your plug-ins.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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