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Monday, 18 February 2013

Dangerous IEC power cords

Recently, a sample of an IEC power cord was sent to me by Gerald Ruane of Ashdale Electrical Testing. This was following a Linkedin discussion started by Patrick Maher of PAT's Testing Swindon. Below is a report on this highly dangerous lead.

I tested this lead on a PAT Tester and it failed Earth Continuity - it was off the scale. I checked Earth Continuity on aMilli-ohm meter and it was reading around 0.15 ohms. It was only when I took a close look at the plug that I realised the reason for this. Have a close look at the photograph below.

The Earth pin is insulated. This means that in a standard wall socket, there is NO connection to the earth of the wiring installation. 

The result is that someone using this on a Class 1 appliance will not have any Earth protection at all, making the use of this lead highly dangerous.

Digging round on the internet, I came across the following links which readers of this blog may find interesting.
Brief note regarding insulated earth pins.
This is a very interesting feature on counterfeit plugs which includes examples of insulation on Earth pin, inadequate cable rating and plugs with no fuses. Well worth a read.

The image below shows the marking on the plug more clearly.

In summary, this has been a very useful exercise in identifying an IEC power lead that is highly dangerous. Please keep a watch out for this when you are carrying out PAT Testing.

1 comment:

  1. Once again proves the importance of LIFESAVING potential of Pat Testing. This particular circumstance is an example to any working in an office or even a householder they would be totally unaware of.
    The fact that a Full FVI is conducted still can unearth some nasty sting in the tails when using the PAT tester itself. Another example to remind all of being most professional and vigilant in our examinations. Thanks once again, as we all should do sharing our expertise and knowledge with all colleagues.