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Old 30th Jul 2021, 2:53 pm   #1
unitelex
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Default Mains plug restoration

I often get equipment in for repair with the mains plug exhibiting incorrect fusing, occasionally incorrect wiring and often grubby.
If any parts are broken I will replace with a new plug, otherwise
I put the metal parts in vinegar, the plastic parts in dilute bleach.
The fuse is usually discarded and a new 1A to 3A fuse fitted.

The old plugs have a bit more character than some of the more modern ones.

Before and after pics attached.
Do others go to this extent or do you just put a new plug on?
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 3:21 pm   #2
The Philpott
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

If it's an MK i remove the spiders, clean the pins and the fuseholder, if it's anything else of great age (particularly if the pins waggle from side to side) I bin it.
Spiders seem to like being inside plugs and junction boxes- warmth, electric field or just a convenient hidey hole from which to pounce on prey...?

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Old 30th Jul 2021, 4:03 pm   #3
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

If I have a grubby plug (or other plastic things) that is (are) mechanically sound I use that "oxy" washing machine stuff, it cleans things like this very well, an overnight soak does the job. SWMBO always has some in stock.

Another cleaning tip for, this time aluminium bits is to boil in water and a dishwasher tab (also in stock).
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 4:24 pm   #4
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I fit modern ones with sleeved pins if the kids are likely to be using or disconnecting the set.

I also bin poor quality vintage plugs.

But I do indeed save and clean up good quality old plugs, so long as they’re undamaged. Sometimes I replace a failed fibre cord grip with a nylon one from a modern plug, or even a cable tie.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 4:53 pm   #5
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I always replace plugs with non sleeved pins.

Peter
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 5:51 pm   #6
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I assume, Peter, that you mean replacing unsleeved plugs with sleeved ones rather than the other way round?
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 6:34 pm   #7
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I don't mind having old plugs in use around the place for personal use but would never let anything leave this place after repair with one fitted, it has to be a sleeved type by law.
Back to plug cleaning, I use wet wipes for most of it with brasso for the pins.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 7:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowing Bits! View Post
... it has to be a sleeved type by law ...
Are you certain ? If so, which law ?

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 7:16 pm   #9
emeritus
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I completely remove the pins where this is possible, and polish them using the rotary steel wire brush I fitted to one end of my bench grinder. It rapidly removes tarnish and burnishes them bright.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 8:22 pm   #10
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
I assume, Peter, that you mean replacing unsleeved plugs with sleeved ones rather than the other way round?
Yes indeed, I had not thought about the other way it could be read............

Peter
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 9:19 pm   #11
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowing Bits! View Post
... it has to be a sleeved type by law ...
Are you certain ? If so, which law ?

Cheers,

GJ
Hi G J. I work for a test house. I don't know about a law but the BS standard states that a sleeved plug must be fitted to new equipment or if an unsleeved plug is fitted to an old item being serviced it must be replaced by a sleeved version before being returned to the customer. It is perfectly in order to use an unsleeved plug (as long as it is serviceable of course) on an item of equipment in your own home but if said item is then passed on to another user, the plug must be replaced by a sleeved type.

If when servicing, you replace a non-sleeved plug with a sleeved plug, the customer is within his rights to remove the sleeved plug and replace it with his non-sleeved plug if he so desires as long as it is for his own use......
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Last edited by Sideband; 30th Jul 2021 at 9:24 pm.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 9:23 pm   #12
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

One comment. I have no idea of the chemistry involved but I do know that bleach affects some plastics. I expect it's not all and possibly only few. But I do know it happens. I've had a number of cistern flush levers snap after using in cistern blocks with bleach, and indeed toilet seats go brittle when bleach based cleaners have been used. Only realised what was going on after starting to see warnings on toilet related bleach based products, and indeed toilet cistern parts mentioning that bleach can do this.

As I say this may be totally irrelevant, but I'd hate to have someones plug disintegrate in their hands..

Hopefully someone can reassure me I'm worrying for no reason?
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 10:10 pm   #13
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideband View Post
... I don't know about a law but the BS standard states that a sleeved plug must be fitted to new equipment ...
Yes. There are the harmonised standards and new kit 'brought to market' has to meet those and to be CE marked to confirm that it does so, and there is a law covering that.

Quote:
... or if an unsleeved plug is fitted to an old item being serviced it must be replaced by a sleeved version before being returned to the customer ...
This is the bit I was querying. I wasn't aware that there's anything (BS, or EN, or IEC or whatever) that forces repairers/servicers to bring existing equipment up to today's standards. If I were to buy something, so it became mine, and then to modify it sufficiently for the work to amount to remanufacture, and then, as a business, were to 'bring it to market' again, then the current standards would apply. But that would be all of them - the whole lot, not just the very specific one about the sleeving on the plug pins.

If, on the other hand, all I did was to replace an electrolytic cap which had reached end of life with an equivalent new one in a customer's piece of equipment, then I don't think there's anything requiring me to go through it substituting unleaded solder for the leaded stuff, or improving the EMI performance, or moving components apart so that the clearance requirements are met, or changing the mains inlet connector, or upgrading the mains plug to a sleeved-pin one is there ? If there is then I'd be interested to know the reference number for it.

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 11:11 pm   #14
unitelex
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

https://www.pat-testing-training.net...eved-plugs.php

Supports what GJ is saying

But I agree it would seem practice to replace non sleeved types.

Chris

Last edited by unitelex; 30th Jul 2021 at 11:37 pm. Reason: Added caveat
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 6:58 am   #15
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Thank you, Chris, for that link - which gives clear indication of where replacement is and is not required.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 11:11 am   #16
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Usually I replace the plugs on vintage equipment if they are unsleeved.

Normally I just give mine a polish, & remove labels unless they are of sufficient interest.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 12:42 pm   #17
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Interesting - is the old gate in front of L and N sockets operated by the longer earth pin no longer used in the UK? In my day (up to 1970 it was everywhere.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 1:01 pm   #18
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I was curious as to when sleeved pins became a requirement on new plugs: seems it was 1984. Still a complete mixture in service here, I always ensure an appropriate fuse is fitted but otherwise plugs that are decently well made and fully intact stay in service, and pre-1984 items are likely enough to have unsleeved pins. I'd review the policy if we had any resident or visiting infants.

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Old 31st Jul 2021, 1:32 pm   #19
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
Interesting - is the old gate in front of L and N sockets operated by the longer earth pin no longer used in the UK? In my day (up to 1970 it was everywhere.
Yes the shutter system is still required, but that's on sockets. The sleeves on plugs is for a different purpose.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 2:26 pm   #20
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Default Re: Mains plug restoration

I've always understood that if an unsleeved plug is fitted, it can be left alone. However, if it is removed from the cable for some reason, it can't be re-fitted, and a sleeved one must be installed instead.

Based on what, I have no idea!

If I was working on equipment for others to handle and use, I would replace the plug (with a new one) as part of the work.
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