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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 9:12 am   #1
Mooly
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Default Switched Plug failure

Split from this thread https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=176727

Well... and you couldn't make this up... despite berating the time readout on the Hotpoint it might actually be a little smarter than I thought.

Switched on today at 6.45AM and it said 2hr 44min remaining. I thought I would keep a watch and so imagine my surprise when at at 8:20 or so I looked and it was all dark and unlit. That was quick... erm no. The top of the washer was quite hot and it shouldn't have been after a few cold spins. It was dead. No power dead.

This is going off topic now but I'm afraid to say yet more 'junk' own brand product from CPC. It is fitted with a switched illuminated mains plug that should have a super easy life because it never ever switches any significant current. Just the standby current when turning on and same again when turning off when all done.

The switch clicked on perfectly this morning but now it is stuck in a half way position with no click action. Contacts have overheated I assume and melted the plastic switch internals. Much of what I seem get from CPC that is 'own brand' such as Pro-Elec gives grief and I now actively refuse to buy these products.

(The 'lamp' referenced below is a reading lamp that was absolutely dire in its construction)

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Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
So much of the Pro Elec and similar own brand product from CPC has caused me to seriously question the quality. As well as the lamp I had a very small oil filled radiator (those 600w mini types) that developed a leak in of all places the very top of the appliance. It started to feel slippery and examination showed a small pinhole type defect in the metal.

Another 'own brand' oil filled from CPC expired by developing some internal leakage/short and tripping the main RCB in the consumer unit. I've even had issues with 'own brand' LED lamps.

Even tins of foam cleaner don't work correctly, more squirts out from under the white nozzle cap than through the nozzles hole.
Rant over... sorry.

Oh yes, forgot what I was going to say. The washer isn't so dumb after all. Despite no mains and despite me turning its controls to and fro initially and opening the lid, and despite it now being repowered it seems to have picked up where it left off. Now showing 2hr 12m remaining and gently agitating away. Mains lead is getting slightly warm so its heating as well.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:55 am   #2
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Default Re: Smart washing machines?

Just to bring closure to the above post... I went and performed an autopsy on the plug.

Can you see the problem? It gets worse. I have a new similar plug in stock. EEK. The last two pictures show the new plug.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 12:44 pm   #3
Keith956
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

When a decent MK plug is around 4 and these cheap ones are less than 1... you have to wonder what corners they cut in making them.

My pet hate is plugs with crosspoint screws, they always seem to be made of soft metal.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 12:57 pm   #4
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

I have used these CPC/ProElec switched plugs before, one table lamps and valve radios (to save wear on the combined on/off volume control), when they're being used with unswitched sockets.

I've had no trouble, but the construction certainly looks on the flimsy side for carrying high currents, as Mooly's one has proved.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 1:17 pm   #5
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

I have a couple of those in use. Fine for a battery charger or small power supply, but would never consider any kind of sustained current. I guess that technically that shouldn't be allowed, but in the past I've seen both plugs and sockets overheat when used with a tumble drier.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 5:15 pm   #6
peterpixel
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

I've used many products from CPC and ProElec over many years and generally been very satisfied with the price and quality but I think this example of possible lack of quality and effect on safety needs bringing to the attention of CPC and through them ProElec.Even though it is built down to a price it should still do its job safely.If the price needs to rise to improve quality then so be it.Peter.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 6:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Have you spotted the actual problem though...

the arm with the palladium (is that what they use?) contact is inverted. The electrical contact is being made with the bare underside where the contact is riveted through.

I have another white plug the same and on that it is correct. I also have 5 of the black versions in use and they seem OK as well. Two out of three in error for the white ones isn't good.

You can see here on a black one the correct fitting with the contact point 'downward' toward its waiting other half.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 6:11 pm   #8
Mooly
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith956 View Post
When a decent MK plug is around 4 and these cheap ones are less than 1... you have to wonder what corners they cut in making them.

My pet hate is plugs with crosspoint screws, they always seem to be made of soft metal.
I've actually got a few of these and they are superb to wire up. The screws have a free spinning 'washer' under them (much more than a washer actually... I don't know the correct term) and you wrap the wire around the terminal post a few times and then tighten... really tighten and with no fear of damage to the stranded cable.

Pictures from the web.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 7:34 pm   #9
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
Have you spotted the actual problem though...

the arm with the palladium (is that what they use?) contact is inverted. The electrical contact is being made with the bare underside where the contact is riveted through.

I have another white plug the same and on that it is correct. I also have 5 of the black versions in use and they seem OK as well. Two out of three in error for the white ones isn't good.

You can see here on a black one the correct fitting with the contact point 'downward' toward its waiting other half.
Well spotted. When you compare the OP and yours, I can see it. I will check mine at some point. One is really easy to find as I've been using it in the lab today.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 8:03 pm   #10
Mooly
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Thanks. I couldn't quite believe it at first, it was one of those things you do a double take on while thinking 'how's that got like that'.

The washer plug (the one that failed) has been fitted for 3 to 4 years at a guess and so I probably bought the other white one that has the same issue at the same time.

I got all the black ones and another spare white one only last summer.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 8:26 pm   #11
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

That deserves a recall!
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 10:04 am   #12
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Just checked 2 of mine I have easy access to. Both OK. BTW, the unused one has a QC sticker on the side. Any evidence of that on your unused one(s). That's the kind of trick used when they realise there's a problem, and have to open them all up and check them.

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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 5:57 pm   #13
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

For washing-machine/tumble-drier loads I invariably use either a 16A blue "commando" plug/socket on its own radial, or id a ring is involved I hard-wire the appliance to an [unswitched] fused-connection-unit. I never like introducing extra potentially-high-resistance failure-points like switches and plugs/sockets when 3Kw or so is involved.
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 7:21 pm   #14
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Ah, my black ones have QC stickers I the side. I spend ages scraping them off because I think I they look messy! But as you say, that does indeed suggest the manufacturer knows of a problem.
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 7:52 pm   #15
Mooly
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Default Re: Switched Plug failure

Those stickers are horrible aren't they. A bit of spray on polish on the end of a finger and rubbed into them works wonders.

I was looking back at when I ordered all these and the two white ones that are incorrect (the washer one that failed and a stock one) would be from around 3 years ago. Two more white ones and 5 black all ordered in September last are OK.

As to actually switching high currents, well the washer gets turned on and into standby and only gets turned off when its totally finished and so the contact should never be switching more than a few tens of milliamps at a guess.

We have a 5ft fluorescent in one room and I've noticed the wall switch on that can be detectably warm after some hours use and I even seem to recall it failed several years ago. It went intermittent I think... three guesses where it was from.
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