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Old 7th Jan 2019, 1:15 am   #21
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
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Default Re: Has anyone had this happen to them when unplugging?

Over the years I have seen this a few times. It only takes a slightly loose screw then some unplugging and replugging and you have a very dangerous situation like the one pictured in the OP. I have also had plugs fall apart if knocked or dropped.
In general it's a pretty poor design of the UK plug that enables this situation to even arise in the first place. In general I prefer the Euro-Schuko type plugs, where the two halves usually separate at 90 to the wall, one has to grip them together to remove the plug from the wall. It would be practically impossible for the live terminals to be exposed as in the above case.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 6:58 pm   #22
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Location: Wiltshire, UK.
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Default Re: Has anyone had this happen to them when unplugging?

"Hercules"-branded rubber plugs [that was the Woolworths home-brand version of Duraplug] were prone to this - the rubber cover had a brass insert moulded-in to take the cover retaining-screw: over time the rubber shrunk [often leading to the plug-pins relaxedly adopting a formation that made them tricky to fit a 13A socket without wiggling] and after a while the bond between the insert and the cover failed so the cover would pull-off rather than pulling the plug out.

This is the sort of issue that has educated me not to unnecessarily or wantonly remove any kind of plugs from their sockets - and in plenty of cases to replace 13A switched-sockets with unswitched fused flex-outlets!
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 11:05 pm   #23
Tom williams
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Location: Hereford, Hereford and Worcester, UK.
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Default Re: Has anyone had this happen to them when unplugging?

Originally Posted by Martin Bush View Post
Hope this is in the right category.

Today I unplugged the Christmas tree - a non vintage one from Homebase (a few years old) and the plug came in two. The plug hasn't been abused in any way - it simply gave up where the screw joins the two halves.

Apart from it being a bit unusual I thought I would mention it as I wonder whether this might happen with vintage mains plugs at all? My guess is it's less likely than with the tat that gets fitted to some stuff these days.
Mums had this happen with the iron before now, just changed the plug and was all fine
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