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Old 7th Jul 2017, 8:16 am   #41
mark pirate
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Like many others, I always unplug any appliance that is not being used.
Back in 1990, my Philips tumble drier caught fire causing severe damage to the kitchen and smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Luckily I was in the workshop in the garden at the time, the sound of breaking glass alerted me and I was able to put out the fire before the fire brigade arrived.

The failure of a thermostatic switch caused the thing to overheat, setting fire to the plastic drum.
My home insurance paid out 21,000 to repair the damage

I now am very paranoid about leaving anything plugged in, my present tumble dryer is in an outhouse fitted with a smoke alarm.
I never leave the house while using either the washing machine or dryer.

The only things left on are those that need constant power, such as the broadband router, electric clocks and HDD recorder.

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Old 7th Jul 2017, 10:28 am   #42
G4YVM David
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Just thinking about switched outlets and "why?"...prsumably it makes the socket itself safer for prying fingers?

D
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 10:31 am   #43
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I used to switch my 1000VA isolating transformer at the socket until it welded the switch contacts. I now have an un-switched socket that looks like a switched one.
I need an immersion heater switch for it.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 10:41 am   #44
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

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Originally Posted by G4YVM David View Post
Just thinking about switched outlets and "why?"...prsumably it makes the socket itself safer for prying fingers?

D
Definitely not. No child able to reach a power socket would have fingers small enough and long enough to push into the holes and the L and N are shuttered in any case. What's to stop a child operating the switch anyway?

If a plug with unsleeved pins were used I suppose it's just likely that fingers could reach between a partially inserted plug and the socket.

Those plastic safety plugs must be one of the most useless things ever invented. Apart from being totally unnecessary with shuttered sockets, a child can pull it out and reinsert just the earth pin. They then grab a metal knitting needle, paper clip or W.H.Y and shove it in the holes. I've even seen them used in adult care homes!
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 11:01 am   #45
emeritus
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

GEC offered sockets with switches in their 1893 catalogue, as these were recommended by the Home Office electrical regulations then in force. My understanding is that their switch designs gave satisfactory service with the 120V max mains voltages then in use. No switched sockets were offered in their 1911 catalogue. I remember reading somewhere that the original designs of switches were found to be unreliable with the up to 240V mains then in use, which probably accounts for their absence. I guess switched sockets must have been re-introduced later when better switch designs were invented.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 11:28 am   #46
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

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Originally Posted by MALC SCOTT View Post
We still unplug ours.
Ditto
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 12:17 pm   #47
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

The socket on a cooker control unit that was typically used for an electric kettle was always switched, and was often the only switched socket in the house.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 12:41 pm   #48
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I remember my mother coming home from a Fire Prevention talk given by the fire service in the early to mid 1970's, and one of the pieces of advice given was to unplug the television at night. From then on, both my parents and grandparents unplugged their Decca Bradfords every night.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 12:51 pm   #49
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Hi
It looks as though double pole switched sockets will be the norm soon - maybe in the 18th edition? I suspect the reasoning here is that continuously plugging and unplugging will lead to wear in the socket and possible arcing - another fire risk, so reliable disconnection is needed.
I'm frequently asked by customers whether they should unplug their TV sets at night, and it's a difficult one to answer categorically. We've had a few modern LED sets in with severe damage to the screen when one LED has burnt out, but luckily no fires as yet. Some sets now have a plastic back to the screen (it used to be metal to aid with heatsinking) and a burnt out LED here can cause big trouble. Of course this would be when the TV was working and being watched.
However the problem arises when they aren't being watched. I remember telling a customer she had no need to unplug and I was told in no uncertain terms I was wrong - understandably as she had had a very close shave when escaping from a house fire started by a TV. However that would have been years ago, and design idiocies like the Pye 697 mentioned above shouldn't happen again.
I've had to rescue one or two TVs from the owner's gardens as lots of 'smoke' from a failed LOPT or the mains filter capacitor (CVC5) caused panic in the house.
White goods are a very different animal as the tragic events in London recently are testament to. Two people I knew in the next village were killed last year by a faulty tumble dryer igniting during the night.
I recently had to inspect a washing machine for insurance purposes where the electronic board resembled a piece of burnt toast. Luckily the fire brigade put the fire out before it spread to the paint and thinners stored on the shelf above. The manufacturers were sort of interested but have yet - after eighteen months - to collect the board for inspection.
I had one customer with an ITT portable black and white TV. He never switched it off, even at night - just turned the brightness and volume down. His reasoning was that most faults occurred with the thermal and electrical shock at switch on. I couldn't really argue, though I did try to explain the dangers, not least to his pocket! The TV was a good few years old when I saw it and it was still working well!
Glyn
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 5:33 pm   #50
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

1970's public information film - unplug your Philips g8 at night! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsvgiCivLZM

and another one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA-6ra5kuIA

Last edited by Rubberfingers; 7th Jul 2017 at 5:43 pm.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 5:35 pm   #51
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Quote:
I've had to rescue one or two TVs from the owner's gardens as lots of 'smoke' from a failed LOPT or the mains filter capacitor
I pulled a nice little Ferguson 10" colour set from a skip a couple of years ago, unsurprisingly it worked perfectly when hooked up to a freeview box.

It was playing merrily away for well over an hour, when suddenly plumes of acrid smoke started pouring out of the back.
The set was still working fine, the fault was one of those nasty gold Rifa caps.
I was amazed how much smoke came out!
I quickly unplugged it and took it out in to the garden, the smell lingered for days.

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Old 7th Jul 2017, 6:02 pm   #52
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

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Originally Posted by Station X View Post
Those plastic safety plugs must be one of the most useless things ever invented. Apart from being totally unnecessary with shuttered sockets, a child can pull it out and reinsert just the earth pin. They then grab a metal knitting needle, paper clip or W.H.Y and shove it in the holes. I've even seen them used in adult care homes!
My father had dementia, and had a habit of attempting to use electrical appliances, often with disasterous results when trying to cook. Blocking off sockets (and even switching off circuits at the consumer unit) sorted many of the problems. Someone like that has great difficulty reasoning so, unlike a child who can be inquisitive enough to try and succeed, a simple plug can be effective.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 7:19 pm   #53
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

My grandma used the end of her walking stick to turn off the MK dolly-switched wall socket to control the Bush tv. The on-off-vol control was too stiff with too small a knob for her arthritic fingers to operate. I still turn stuff off at the wall socket, the kitchen tv, the PC & monitor, the scanner, soldering iron, phone charger etc. I love switched sockets and when I moved here I changed all the unswitched ones to switched. I can leave the plugs in with leads tidily routed out of the way, and just flick them off knowing they're not idling in standby, cooking their cheap chinese SMPSU capacitors or wearing out the 220K bootstrap resistors.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 8:03 pm   #54
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
My grandma used the end of her walking stick to turn off the MK dolly-switched wall socket to control the Bush tv. The on-off-vol control was too stiff with too small a knob for her arthritic fingers to operate. I still turn stuff off at the wall socket, the kitchen tv, the PC & monitor, the scanner, soldering iron, phone charger etc. I love switched sockets and when I moved here I changed all the unswitched ones to switched. I can leave the plugs in with leads tidily routed out of the way, and just flick them off knowing they're not idling in standby, cooking their cheap chinese SMPSU capacitors or wearing out the 220K bootstrap resistors.
[The following is a copy & paste of a USENET post I made ten years ago.]

Does anyone remember those sets in the 70's that had "touch tuning"
The tuner buttons were just metal disks that relied on earth-leakage
through your body. They didn't work too well when the set was
connected via an isolating transformer, which you were wise to
use when servicing. In a damp house the set would randomly change
channels on its own.

Anyway when I worked for Granada TV Rental I upgraded
a customer to a Finlandia (Salora) TV with "sensomatic"
channel-change. This was before remote control was the norm
(we were to take industrial action against the company, as we thought
we should get a pay rise for that kind of new-technology)

Anyway, back to this subscriber (that's what we called them back
then)
He was disabled and it was his practice to change channels on
his old set by prodding the buttons with his walking stick.
So it looked for a while as if this new set was going to be unsuitable.
So I had a think and asked him if he has a few kitchen and garden items.

What I did was to tape some aluminium foil to both ends of a garden
cane with a length of wire connecting them together.

I think he gave me a bottle of something for my trouble.

--
Graham.

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Old 7th Jul 2017, 8:07 pm   #55
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Earlier in this post there was a discussion about the merits or otherwise of a switch on a socket this shows why it is good idea!
http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/s...086#post958086
I personally prefer sockets with switches except on critical equipment which must not be turned off, I've seen someone get a shock from a plug breaking up in their hand as mentioned above.
Chris
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 8:18 pm   #56
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Switch or not I'd switch off the ring main or W.H.Y. at the MCB before removing the remains of that plug from the socket. There's no telling whether the contacts in a switched socket would have welded.
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 10:23 pm   #57
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Hi all,
As far back as I remember as a child my dad always unplugged the TV at bed time and he had a rug on the floor infront of the TV as a guide as to how close you were allowed to get to it while it was on because he though the tube gave off Xrays.
Anyway I remember one night we had a huge lightening storm and he unplugged the aerial as well. Next day we went to visit his sister who lived near the coast and was a very house proud woman (Shoes off at the door).
When we arrived we knew at once something was wrong as the usual smell of Co op wax polish as you opened the door had been replaced by an acrid smell of burnt electricals.
The scene in her beautiful sitting room was like something from a nightmare. The lightening had made a direct strike on the TV aerial and reduced the rented TV a molten crater on the floor. Burnt through her Axminster carpet, burned the wallpaper off the wall, burnt her crushed velvet curtains and everything was covered in a sticky sooty mess. The poor dog who slept in the kitchen next to the sitting room had got such a fright he had pooed all over his bed and walls and was still quaking Aunt Jane was in a state of shock and took weeks to get over it. They got full repairs and replacements form the insurance (Good old Co op again). But ever since they took out the plug and aerial on the TV last thing each night right until they passed away.

Last edited by kalee99; 7th Jul 2017 at 10:24 pm. Reason: spelling
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Old 7th Jul 2017, 11:04 pm   #58
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I think some people had an irrational fear of a force that couldn't be seen or smelt like gas, when I was a child in Dudley the neighbours an old couple would have no electrical appliances in the house and barely trusted the electric lights.
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Old 8th Jul 2017, 5:15 am   #59
G4YVM David
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Greg, where and when in Dudley? Thats my childhood home too.
David
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Old 8th Jul 2017, 7:50 am   #60
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trsomian View Post
The kitchen stereo doesn't get its aerial unplugged, but the aerial is in the loft, not external like the TV
Don't be fooled by this, lightning will still find your nice 'earthy' aerial below the roof tiles, a few inches of ceramic tile won't proove much of a challenge for a strike that has just overcome a few hundred metres of free air!

I would still unplug it during a storm and place it away from the set if poss.

Cheers
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