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Old 27th Aug 2017, 8:11 pm   #1
teedee1
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Smile 1970's Tricity Viscount cooker

Good evening!
I have recently come by a 60's cooker. It is in lovely condition, and was only used in a holiday home for weekends.
I like old things, and would far rather have this than a new one.
I have been told it's not possible due to 'modern safety standards' which I'm not sure about.
I did call a spark but he wouldn't even come and have a look!
I've taken the panel at the back off and and happy to upload a picture if anyone can help at all?
Thanks!
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Old 27th Aug 2017, 11:17 pm   #2
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

It will just need connecting up to a standard cooker point (with or without an integral 13A socket) and 32A circuit breaker, using at least 6mm2 cable.

The old wiring colour code was black for neutral, green for earth, red for live as opposed to the modern blue for neutral, green and yellow for earth and brown for live.

Cookers were already pretty much as safe as they could get by the 1960s. Standards for insulation might even have been relaxed slightly, with the universal adoption of RCDs.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 2:25 am   #3
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

If you can find someone who owns an insulation tester, it may be worth a quick test just for peace of mind and to check that the elements are not getting close to popping an RCD.
I have found drawn elements that are brand new but old that are down into the low single figures of M ohms - Australian-made ones are particularly bad in this respect, and I'm not sure why. I think that the insulation/filler is hygroscopic (magnesium oxide?...), and maybe the ends are not sealed well.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 8:55 am   #4
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

I have a Tricity Contessa, installed in 1970. It has worked without fault since. It has tubular heating rings.
At the time I had very little money so it was probably the cheapest I could find. Priority was to put a roof on the house.
I have a cooker top in the shed to heat glue. Only one of the four solid heating plates will work without the trip activating.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 9:36 am   #5
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Yes, elements are probably the main concern, with leakage the most likely problem, and that's a nuisance rather than a matter of safety so long as earthing is secure and there's an RCD in the circuit. I expect in pre-RCD days many such cookers would have soldiered on fully functional for years with nobody knowing about the leakage, still not a safety issue given good earthing, but potentially lethal without.

Our present cooker is a 1960-ish Belling Classic I bought about 35 years ago, but currently leakage renders the grill inoperable and using more than two rings at a time occasionally trips the RCD too. One of these days I may try to come by a replacement element for the grill: I suppose I've only not tried yet because my hopes aren't high, and because there's the alternative option of giving a spell of duty to an older GEC model that lives elsewhere in the kitchen. For the Viscount, though, so long as there's a trustworthy earth you may as well wire it up and fire it up and see if everything's working.

Paul

Last edited by Paul_RK; 28th Aug 2017 at 9:42 am.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 1:37 pm   #6
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Thank you for the reassurance that it's not just me who likes an old cooker!
We have a modern fusebox installed a year ago and the unit in the kitchen that had the (hated) solid ring hob is only a few years old. So I'm not worried about those bits.
For reference the cooker is as in the photo and wiring pic attached.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 5:07 pm   #7
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Tricity Viscounts were still being made in the 1990s: here's a photo of my brown-and-gold one bought in 1991.

Still going strong though will soon be given to a friend who needs something to cook the 'mash' for her hens and pigs!

The wiring is quite simple, though I have had problems with mine where the high-temperature cables between the controls and the hob-top rings get saturated with fat-splashes from the grill and the excess leakage this causes leads to random RCD-trips. I disconnected the "Lucar"' blades from the hob-rings and slipped some high-temperature heatshrink over them and along the wires as far as possible.

Problem fixed!
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 9:48 pm   #8
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Oh, very nice! The contacts are formed into a nice compact array of 6.3mm. blades that accept push-on receptacles. You wrap the incoming live and neutral (which will be 7 strands, each 1.05mm. diameter) around the bolts at the bottom of each busbar, slip some green and yellow sleeving over the Earth wire and take it to its own terminal. Job's a good'un -- but you probably will find all the terminals could use another tightening after 7-14 days. This is due to some materialological phenomenon the precise details of which are a bit outside my field, but a chem. eng. or mech. eng. should be able to explain it.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 11:16 pm   #9
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Reading some of my 1960's Which? tests of electric cookers, the safety aspect was found lacking in several particularly regarding failure of BEAB tests. For example insulation breaking down when pans boil over, heat from the oven causing the maximum temperature of the terminal box to be exceeded etc, earth leakage going out of spec when the rings had been used for a while etc.

If I can find the right editions I'll scan the pages if I aren't breaking any laws..

PS I'd have thought the one in the pic was more late 70's/early 80s.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 7:07 am   #10
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Julie - that is extremely helpful, thank you!

Kevin, I'd be interested if you have any info. The chap who had this cooker said it had been in the bungalow since the 60's although I have no way of knowing if that's the case. I can see the brown one above is later than mine but I'm no expert
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 11:25 am   #11
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Quote:
Originally Posted by teedee1 View Post
Thank you for the reassurance that it's not just me who likes an old cooker!
For reference the cooker is as in the photo and wiring pic attached.
Indeed, I enjoy using old technology more often than new mainly due to the quality of construction and style.
I would say from the pictures your cooker looks more from the seventies than the sixties.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 12:01 pm   #12
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Quote:
Originally Posted by teedee1 View Post
The chap who had this cooker said it had been in the bungalow since the 60's although I have no way of knowing if that's the case.
He could well be right, but it's amazing how some people's memory can play tricks on them after a few decades.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 1:23 pm   #13
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Agreed, it may well be. As long as it works, I'll be happy
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 6:12 pm   #14
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

I think it's very early 70's. My gran had the exact same cooker and that was bought new in 1972 and lasted right up to the late 90's. Electrically it was still good bar one ring but the cabinet was shot by the end. Wish modern appliances lasted like that.

Jay
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 7:47 pm   #15
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

I use a Belling cooker that was my parents' [they bought it new in 1969] works perfectly and is built like a tank. My daughter has a modern cooker that has to be chained to the wall to stop it falling over when the oven door is opened it's so flimsy you can move it with one finger. Inside you will find plastic connector blocks thin wiring and dodgy electronics. I know which one I would rather be using
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 8:08 pm   #16
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

That's a very sensible precaution with modern drop down doors. Alternatively you can have a bracket that the cooker engages when pushed into place.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 8:43 pm   #17
teedee1
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Default Re: 1960's Tricity Viscount cooker

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_oldstuff View Post
I think it's very early 70's. My gran had the exact same cooker and that was bought new in 1972 and lasted right up to the late 90's. Electrically it was still good bar one ring but the cabinet was shot by the end. Wish modern appliances lasted like that.
Good to know Jay - I don't think much that's modern is built to last is it?
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 11:53 pm   #18
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Default Re: 1970's Tricity Viscount cooker

Gas cookers by law need to be chained to the wall or fitted with an anti-tip bracket, so you can't pull them over by mistake. Curiously I don't think the law applies to electric cookers, but gas and electric regulations are no doubt made by very different people.

I've unearthed a couple of Which? reviews of Tricity cookers from 1966; the marquis 644 and the electra-4 650.
Both failed safety tests. The 644's terminal box got hot enough to melt the supply cable. The 650's control panel interior temperature exceeded the limit set by BS3456.

Below is a late 60's Tricity, the 2-ring version of the 650 that failed the tests. (grace's guide)
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 8:46 am   #19
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Default Re: 1970's Tricity Viscount cooker

Cookers should not be connected with PVC 2 & E cable. Butyl flex is the modern recommendation.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 9:28 am   #20
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Default Re: 1970's Tricity Viscount cooker

As regards dating your cooker, in 1973 my mother bought a Tricity Fanfare which looks very much like your one so maybe it is a 70s cooker.
Good luck anyway great piece of retro gear
Gary
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