1. Ryccardo

    OP Ryccardo watching Thames TV from London
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    Since I was a kid with some multilingual reading skills, I noticed that most appliances sold in the EU that have multilingual manuals, have something exclusive to the English version - there always is half a page explaining how to replace the mains plug, with apparently standard wording ("the old plug must be disposed of", etc) and detailed instructions on which pin is which.

    I've always wondered about that fact: do they actually teach basic applied electrical work in school, and/or expect the average person to do that? Why is that so? Wouldn't a product intended for sale in the UK already have the only legally approved civilian connector fitted out of the box?

    (For comparison, not only have we Italians already had two incompatible plugs, but the German type is also nominally legal despite relatively few homes having (enough) compatible sockets; add the fact most people [I know] don't trust themselves to replace a plug, or they falsely believe it voids the warranty, and you end up with loads of adapters in every home that always break or go missing at the wrong time...)
     
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  2. Scarlet

    Scarlet Soy Consoomer
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    Going a few years back for me but in secondary school we had Design and Technology, which was split into three separate topics across the year. One term we'd do food and cooking, one we'd do woodwork, and another was electronics and soldering etc. So we did learn that kind of stuff, tho I don't really know if it is or even was something normal across schools or just ours.
     
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  3. Ryccardo

    OP Ryccardo watching Thames TV from London
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    Ah, nope, when I was in middle school (2007-2009 - mentioning that since the various governments love screwing around these things) we had "Technology", which is basic materials sciences (what's the difference between solid wood/fiberboard/etc, toughness versus hardness, how is paper made...) plus what I would describe as "how mass media works" (no, not as in being full of propaganda and bias, but as in what are the elements of a newspaper called, how a camera works, what are the key parts of a typical computer...) - nothing practical!

    We also had something like that in the first years of high school (12 hours a year or something negligible like that) with a more practical focus on physical properties (since a different school course held in the same building is focused on mechanics, we actually got to see a tensile test machine, CNC, etc in action)


    (off topic)

    While I'm there, might as well compare our school systems - from the little I've learnt of American high schools from movies, it seems that they can choose between some subjects of their choice?
    In Italy it's not exactly like that but there are different schools with different curricula (I went to one that emphasizes natural sciences and programming but in the same building you could get a mechanical, electrical, or telecommunications education, or you can go to the city centre to focus on humanistic disciplines, or just outside for hands-on farming and breeding school, or somewhere in the middle for chemistry or accounting, or commute daily to nearby cities for cooking/tourism or graduating as a licensed aviator...
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Many many years ago most appliances did not come with a plug and as such you were expected to do your own (unsure why, might be because there were still some legacy standards around the place). Likewise almost all plugs (it mainly being things like transformers and USB adapters that skip them) have fuses in them so theoretically you would possibly have to rewire as part of a replacement if something went wrong or had come loose, or needed replacement in general because it was broken.
    Today the only devices likely to come without a plug on the end are things for 15A or 32A sockets (conventional ones top out at 13A, indeed the biggest fuses are 13A) which are usually requiring an electrician to install the specialist socket and relevant wiring. This is mainly for tools like big welders, plasma cutters and what have you, though there might be a few kitchen tools (even if most of the big ones I have ever seen have been three phase which is a different matter entirely -- domestic three phase is not a thing, commercial kitchens, industrial, high end IT and buildings with lifts on the other hand do tend to feature such things).

    Plugs do break from time to time. Usually being crushed in transit, struck or stood upon.

    As far as school.
    Yeah GSCE physics (I am not so old that they were still o-levels, though for age range that would be somewhere between 14 and 16, physics being a mandatory class within mandatory education) taught such things when I was there, and made sure that all the class knew what was what.

    As far as doing it... trouble is most people that know me are either electrically capable in their own right or will get me to do it for them. I would not bet on people being able to tell me the current colours, and definitely not the traditional ones (which may still be in their walls if nothing else). If it was a matter of cutting off a moulded on plug (quite a few are, especially the non earthed/double insulated devices or those likely to come into contact with water like white goods) then I bet against them even more so.
    I would expect most people be able to replace a fuse -- ignoring on device stuff there are three main types, one a little hinged trap door, another a lever out plastic section in the middle and one where you take the back cover off a device and insert one.

    The disposal notes are more a cover your arse thing -- you cut a plug off a device* and the wires you leave with it should it be plugged in could electrocute someone (most houses will have had RCDs and better for decades but some legacy stuff might be around, and some commercial/industrial units could have skipped the RCD until fairly recently so may also be without them).

    *many will do this when ditching a device similar to how people will keep transformers in case they need them. I certainly do and has meant... actually I did buy a tray of the things a while back... from a car boot sale because some other guy had done the same thing and as ever I found myself buying a dead man's shed contents.

    Beyond that there is no great culture of repair or electrical awareness/knowledge -- I quite regularly find "broken" items on the streets and take them home, fix them up for a few minutes of my time and have a nice device for my trouble. I don't know that there ever was outside the general shed tinkerer set which fix everything by default.
     
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  5. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    I noticed that the EU made that mandatory, like, the word "Energy" is separated at the end for each language, but that's just unnecessarily confusing. Everyone knows what energy is!

    U.K. uses its own safe and premium plug, not the Mainland European plug so you're always warned when you buy abroad. The EUR plug is honestly my least favorite now, so much so that we use almost exclusively the U.K. plug in Portugal (where we have houses/lands, too).

    I was under the impression that all of Europe used the 2 pin plug, is that not it for most?

    Even though Cyprus is a country located in the Middle East, they use the EUR and GBR plugs so I guess you could say they have variety.

    Personally, I just find the GBR plug far safer than any other out there. Plus, it's easy to set it all up (and they normally come with mini instructions on which color cable goes where - Left is blue, right is brown and top is green). You can't really mess it up, unless you don't know what you're doing.
     
  6. Ryccardo

    OP Ryccardo watching Thames TV from London
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    Thanks @FAST6191, I was waiting for your inevitable reply and as usual it is very educative :)

    I had already read why you put fuses directly into plugs (and with the Nice Side Effect™ that the common person doesn't have to work on an entire potentially still charged power supply just to replace something that can fail spontaneously or at least one-off) but I think it would quickly go wrong with interchangeable cables without some education!
    (and if you ever come around here... I have loads of them from imported stuff :) )

    Can't agree more - even with today's disposable culture and cost of labor, I still can't believe I recently got another free TV that someone threw out because apparently they tripped on the cable and broke one of the wires inside...

    The europlug (what's called C on wikipedia, and is functionally an Italian 10 A plug without earth) does indeed fit in most continental european countries (give or take recessed sockets) (and the UK/Irish type with the toothpick-in-earth-slot trick every tourist sooner or later learns), however due to its compromise design and probably the hack I described it's only approved for up to 2,5 A, so you still get an annoying amount of stuff with a combo French/German plug, which as I said is technically fully legal in Italy but most homes don't have them, and even a good amount of buyers of still in construction homes consider ugly!
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    That may be increasingly a thing of the past. While most sockets out there will just need the earth gate pushing down modern ones require you also present the other two pins at a suitable point in its travel.

     
  8. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    in Uruguay the Euro plug is the most common to find sockets for, but because most neighboring countries use mainly American plug most things you buy come with it, (there is also sometimes Australian, for some reason, but it's fairly rare) so a lot of people just change it, honestly, i preffer the Euro plug because the version with a ground pin is reversible just like the one without it, unlike the Amerrican one where only the version with no ground can be plugged two ways.
     
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  9. hippy dave

    hippy dave BBMB
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    Am British, can confirm that Britain doesn't have culture.

    Replacing plugs on appliances was considered basic standard behaviour when I was growing up, and it seems like it still is at least to some extent, our toaster came with a Euro plug, and the part of the manual for the UK said to cut it off and attach a UK plug.
     
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  10. BellaH41

    BellaH41 Newbie
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    Don't see in this something specific for the British. Everyone has a story that is related to electrical cultures, and I'm not an exception hehe. Actually, to cut a long story short my story wasn't so funny. I wanted to change to the solar installation and to use the energy of the sun You know now everyone is trying to follow the "eco" way of living. So those who installed the solar panel did it incorrectly and I was living without energy for about a week till I've found these Bates Electric Charlotte guys. They came and installed the panels. So be careful with the electric culture!
     
    Last edited by BellaH41, Dec 29, 2020
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