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Old 25th Oct 2016, 9:58 pm   #1
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Revo electric fire

I've been given this old Revo enamelled cast-iron 2kW fire, which only needs a new mains flex to make it work. However I've been unable to find any information to help date it. Over the years I've seen several variations on this classic design, including the early stepped Art Deco style, a Bakelite version and a later pressed steel version.

I am also intrigued by the nameplate, which quotes the voltage as "200/10". The donor is adamant that the fire was originally bought and used in Dudley, close to where Revo's factory was located in Tipton, and where the mains voltage has apparently always been a nominal 240, so I can't understand the apparently odd voltage rating. The cold resistance of each 1kW element is around 55 ohms, which I guess will rise when hot. I haven't powered it up yet, and will measure the current drawn, but I'm not expecting the modest 14% over-voltage to cause any damage!

Does anyone have an old Revo catalogue or any other information? Many thanks,

Phil
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Old 25th Oct 2016, 10:57 pm   #2
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Hi Phil, BS1670 seems to relate to the safety standard for electric fires 1956. I think my grandparents had that model, and they did not get an electric supply until 1955. Originally judging by the number I thought 1939 or 40 but they may not have had that level of guarding in 1939. I hope someone can come up with an advert.

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Old 25th Oct 2016, 11:03 pm   #3
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

It's of absolutely no help but i'm glad to see revo stuff here, my granny used to work there and one of my earliest memories is of being taken there in the car to collect her from work.
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Old 25th Oct 2016, 11:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

I wondered if "BS1670" related to a British Standard, that might help, but the present BS1670 relates to "Building hardware. Corrosion resistance. Requirements and test methods", and seems unlikely to be applicable to a free-standing electric fire. [Crossed with #2]

I was under the impression that the resistance wire used for electric fire elements has a very low temperature coefficient and does not change much when hot. Using the formula W = V²/R, 55Ω dissipates 1047 Watts at 240V, so , despite the voltage marked on the plate, they do seem to be 1kW elements for 240V use.
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Old 25th Oct 2016, 11:28 pm   #5
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Voltage in Worcester then was 200. Not far away. 200/10 suggests 200V 10A or 2kW. Maybe the elements have been replaced at some point- perhaps after they burned out on 240V?
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Old 25th Oct 2016, 11:50 pm   #6
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

As I'm interested in finding surviving factories I've found the main Revo works in Tipton on google maps but unfortunately only a small proportion of the factory buildings exist, and reclad in corrugated metal at that; as Conway Packing Services on Groveland Road. The rest of the factory seems to have recently-built 'affordable' houses on it.
There are plenty of catalogues and adverts for Revo from the 30's until the 70's on Flickr and Grace's Guide.

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Old 26th Oct 2016, 12:13 am   #7
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments and interest. As Kevin suggests, there may be Revo catalogues out there, although I've only found one on Flickr which appears to be just an image of the front page of a 1938-1939 catalogue. I suspect this fire is more recent than that. Thanks for the info about the Revo factory; very close to the Black Country Living Museum, where this fire may eventually end up!

By way of an update, tonight I've vacuumed out the dust, tightened up the upper element's fixing bolts, fitted a new length of flex, checked earth continuity and insulation resistance (1,000 Megohms at 500 volts) and switched on. Using a plug-in power monitor, the fire is drawing 7.8 amps and dissipating 1,919 watts at 240 volts, so all seems to be well. The rating plate may remain a mystery though.

I knew about Worcester having 200 volt mains years ago, but I thought that might have been DC!

This fire gives out an amazing amount of heat, and after a few minutes' operation the cast iron body gets far too hot to touch. The whole thing appears to be a very efficient emitter of both radiant and convected heat. It may have complied with British Standards in its day, but I'm not going to use it anywhere near my grandchildren!

Phil
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 9:51 am   #8
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

I remember these well, stripped out lots that were placed in bedroom fireplaces with asbestos back boards closing the opening.
They are great for making toast on.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 9:55 am   #9
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Hi Emeritus, BS1670 is now indeed a building standard. When I Googled BS1670 it came up with only one hit relating to Electric Fires and luckily it said 1956, when I went in to the website I was unable to find any more, though I may have done given more time.

John.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 10:29 am   #10
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Found this online:-

Quote:
Safety Requirements for Electric Fires (B.S. 1670: 1956). 3s. 6D. This revision of B.S. 1670:1951 has been made with the object of ensuring that the requirements for the fireguards are in line with B.S. 1945: 1953 'Fireguards for Heating Appliances' and its 1956 supplement. The clauses dealing with guards are now included in an appendix and cross reference is made to B.S. 1945. No important technical alterations have been included.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 10:53 am   #11
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

In an old early 60's Which? magazine there's a description of the british standard of the time, as the CA tested fires to see if they complied. It's all to do with smoulder times when 'skirt material' is draped over the fire, when it's tipped over, when you poke stuff into it etc.

Poking about on the net reveals Revo to have been a pretty big company with their own foundry for casting street lamp posts, they also made elegant light fittings, desk fans and traffic lights. There are a number of Revo electric cookers at the Black Country Museum.

In their heyday they had 3000 staff at the main works and later became an ASTA testing lab installing a 600kva rig for overload testing, which they made out of a machine originally designed to weld ships' cables.

I've got a 1930's catalogue with some Revo fires in.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 11:09 am   #12
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Wow, thanks for the info, Kevin. I knew about Revo street lighting but have only seen catalogue pictures of their electric cookers.

From what's been said, this fire is looking more likely to be a mid-late 1950s model. It didn't occur to me to look up the date of the B.S. What a I am, and thanks for all the advice
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 12:16 pm   #13
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ View Post
I knew about Worcester having 200 volt mains years ago, but I thought that might have been DC!
It probably started out as DC. All of the Switch/fuses in our Worcester house were double pole. We were converted from 200Vac to 240Vac either late fifties or early sixties.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 1:27 pm   #14
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

See this thread of mine about the Revo cooker we had from the 1940's until 1984 in Fulham London. It was originally fitted with 210 volt elements but was later fitted with 240 volt ones when the electricity supply was upgraded in the late 1950's.

Paul_RK has a very similar one in his home but not in use I think!

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=123199

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Old 26th Oct 2016, 4:08 pm   #15
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Quote:
They are great for making toast on.
And with some dexterity, cheese on toast too.
 
Old 2nd Nov 2016, 9:39 pm   #16
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Some info on Revo here: http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Special...vo+Electric+Co Third entry down. Tony.
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Old 3rd Nov 2016, 12:20 am   #17
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Default Re: Revo electric fire

Thanks Tony, and to everyone else for the suggestions.

I've got as much information as I need now, so Mods please unplug this thread from the mains and allow it to cool down!
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