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  Reply # 501436 3-Aug-2011 15:50
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lxsw20:
keewee01: I had a sparky tell me that you should only ever plug oil fin heaters into the wall (directly). Never into a power board/strip due to the fact that they draw so much current. If plugging them into a power board/strip you are asking for trouble, especially will the cheap and nasty varieties.


Yeah we had a pretty major office fire down here a few years a go due to oil heater in a cheap multi board, be nice if they would alter the plugs or something so they don't physically fit high amp devices.


They are not high current, they are 10 amp plugs.

I would love it if 15 amp or even better 20 amp outlets would become the norm. Apparantly you cant just swap them all out for them according to my sparky.

But no, a heater is not a large load, it is only 10 amps, which is what the multiboard is rated for. If they are melting and catching fire then perhaps something should be done about the stellerly crap quality of them. What do you expect for under a dollar a socket.

They shouldnt burn anyway, if they do they have used the wrong plastic in them. Wouldnt suprise me for the generic junk from the dollar shops, but the ones from legit brands should have the appropriate flame retardents in them. If there is any flames in them it should conduct enough between phase and earth to cause the RCD to trip.

Sounds like for it to get on fire it was one made out of unsuitable plastics, so therefore wouldnt get any approvals, and hooked up with no circuit protection. Hardly the heaters fault.

Also the quality of sockets on powerstrips is crap - just a stamped piece of brass running along all the socket holes, it gets twisted and distorted from plugs being removed at an angle and then makes poor contact with the next plug. Gone are the days of good ones with sliding contacts and some decent design put into them.




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  Reply # 501490 3-Aug-2011 16:36
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The power boards are rated at 10A for the entire board obviously, which is fine until you plug a few things plus heater in. Obviously the protection failed on this one, or was taped down or some such thing.

Yes of course you can swap out the sockets, but the houses fusing set up would not be designed for that many 15A plugs on the one circuit.

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  Reply # 501507 3-Aug-2011 17:03
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Perhaps it was the only thing on the powerboard? I have heaps around the house here because some idiot who designed the place thought that placing sockets where they would end up behind furniture in any sensible room layout was a good idea, only one thing plugged in if anything, normally none. They are just there so that I can actually get power from the wall without moving stuff.

I expect that I should be able to pull 10 amps from a single outlet of them if needed, as most portable heating or cooking appliances are taking the max of 10 amps.




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  Reply # 501631 3-Aug-2011 20:58
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Thanks for the replies. Having thought about what happened a bit more, here's a bit more detail...

The circuit breaker shares the socket with the one of a pair of sockets in the kitchen. When I came home yesterday the kettle wouldn't come on. I had the heater on the night before, however it was turned off (though plugged in) when I tried the kettle. I'm sure the heater was on that night though so not 100% when it actually blew the fuse. Possibly it did blow when I used the kettle that night (I remember using it quite late that night) and I just thought it had gone off because of the thermostat.

When I tried the kettle in the evening, I later pushed the fuse in (the kettle was off I think). It sparked and popped out. I went upstairs, the heater was plugged into my cheapo power strip but was not on (though both the wall socket was on). So I don't understand why it would trip when the heater wasn't actually drawing current. 

When I unplugged the strip and heater the fuse was happy. I then got my expensive power strip (rated 10A 2400w). But now I realise I plugged my laptop in as well. So when it tripped I was actually drawing 2400 + up to 90w from my laptop. So that would suggest overloading. But I don't understand why it tripped when the heater wasn't even on earlier in the evening when I pushed in the fuse.

Cheers, 

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  Reply # 501634 3-Aug-2011 21:05
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izomezzo: Thanks for the replies. Having thought about what happened a bit more, here's a bit more detail...

The circuit breaker shares the socket with the one of a pair of sockets in the kitchen. When I came home yesterday the kettle wouldn't come on. I had the heater on the night before, however it was turned off (though plugged in) when I tried the kettle. I'm sure the heater was on that night though so not 100% when it actually blew the fuse. Possibly it did blow when I used the kettle that night (I remember using it quite late that night) and I just thought it had gone off because of the thermostat.

When I tried the kettle in the evening, I later pushed the fuse in (the kettle was off I think). It sparked and popped out. I went upstairs, the heater was plugged into my cheapo power strip but was not on (though both the wall socket was on). So I don't understand why it would trip when the heater wasn't actually drawing current. 

When I unplugged the strip and heater the fuse was happy. I then got my expensive power strip (rated 10A 2400w). But now I realise I plugged my laptop in as well. So when it tripped I was actually drawing 2400 + up to 90w from my laptop. So that would suggest overloading. But I don't understand why it tripped when the heater wasn't even on earlier in the evening when I pushed in the fuse.

Cheers, 


because the heater is stuffed and probably shorting out to ground or something. The internal wiring of some of them is crap, and has cheap insulation touching the chassis, give it some time and heat and the silicone wire drys out, cracks, and you have an earth fault.





Richard rich.ms

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