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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 3rd May 2019, 9:50 am   #21
Station X
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
Sounds very much like both no RCD and an earthing fault. Clearly not impossible, but still unlikely. I wonder if the death rate from this type of scenario is high enough to be statistically significant?
I'll speculate that in the reported case the victim grabbed a bare stranded copper wire which had become disconnected from an earth spike. I've read many reports of investigations into electrocutions and a very high proportion relate to installations with no earth or RCD. Then a second fault develops and...…….

Best to get back on topic though.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 12:01 pm   #22
G8UWM-MildMartin
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

The patent for the element is GB488305 and can be downloaded from:
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/data...C=A&popup=true
This includes drawings.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 6:48 pm   #23
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

Thanks for the comments and to Martin for the patent drawing.
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Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
Personally in my workshop I would run it up on a variac with no earth connected to 'bake it' but this method requires careful supervision as the casing will be live for the procedure and we don't want it overheating either.
Yes, just what I was thinking (I'm sans an isolation transformer at the moment.)

But, after ~40 hours, and edging V up from 24 to 38, the leakage resistance is now off scale (>20M) on the DMM. So, I may stick some water in the pot and connect it to the Variac, taking due precautions.

That said, I have this picture of this being used in a kitchen by the side of a stainless steel sink. Someone washes their hands then touches the lid with one hand while the other hand is resting on the draining board. So, would I let my kids use this or would I put it back in use in a workplace - no. Fortunately, I never drink coffee, so the question of whether or not I'd use it does not arise!

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Old 3rd May 2019, 7:28 pm   #24
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

Funnily enough, metal-bodied kettles dont need to have the body earthed, so long as the element is; unless they've changed it recently. I know because if you PAT test a kettle, you must clip the earth croc lead on the element itself, not on a spout or handle.

I assume your perc has one of those scraping earth connectors, don't forget alot of Europe still does! And your house has an RCD of course.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 11:22 pm   #25
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

It's now on the Variac at 240V, with the Earth connected, boiling water and seems fine.

However, I noted when he brought it to me that the 1960's 3-pin connector to the unit (i.e. not the 13 amp plug) had tape around it. I now realise that the screw which should hold it together only screws in to Bakelite, there's no brass insert, and the screw never tightens as the Bakelite threads have pretty much stripped.

I'm going to send him an email and spell it all out and see what he says.

Thanks for all your help; I think I'm pretty much at an end with this is now .

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Old 4th May 2019, 2:14 am   #26
G8UWM-MildMartin
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

An excellent result; glad it has been saved.
(Mine is in use a couple of times weekly. Dishwasher tablets or powder are good for a clean if you half-fill and don't let it boil over.)
The connector can be repaired safely in a few ways (e.g. epoxy, drilling through for a nut, heatshrink tubing), and I'm sure you can do a decent job of it; better than new.
Then it will be no more dangerous than a current model and probably be good for another 50 years.
(The original model in the patent (CH375) was available into the 1950s with optional earthed connectors and leads and doesn't seem to be notorious for electrocutions. Probably helped by being watched in use at a dining room table in an earth-free location rather than in a kitchen.
I have a couple of 1947 ones with insulation resistance still well over 2 megohms (@500 V dc), but now fitted with earthed connectors.)
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Old 4th May 2019, 8:03 am   #27
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

Swan Percolators used to use the same connectors as Goblin Teasmade kettles; so if you can find a Teasmade whose teapot has gone the way of all pottery, it will yield up a suitable replacement.
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:28 pm   #28
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Default Re: Vintage SWAN brand percolator

When I started my apprenticeship with the EMEB back in the early 1970's I remember my instructor telling us that the magnesium oxide used in MI cable and the elements for electric cookers etc was hygroscopic and absorbed water. He told us that if we took a new element out of stores and measured it more likely than not it would read short to the outer casing because of the water that had been absorbed. All that was needed was for it to be heated up to drive the water out and it would be fine and used regularly would keep it that way.

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