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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 7:16 am   #61
trsomian
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Default Re: Bodges

Duncanlowe, do not forget that twin and separate earth was quite normal for a fairly brief time, early 50s I think. My present house had some of it when I moved in 15 years ago, but it hasn't now.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 8:10 am   #62
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Bodges

When my Dad had our 1930's house rewired in around 1970, he taught me how to correctly wire a plug onto a mains lead. That was a lesson well learnt, thanks Dad.

As a time served engineer (7 year indentured apprenticeship at Vickers) he was congenitally incapable of bodging.

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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 8:15 am   #63
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The original wiring of our 1938-built house was all in twin plus separate earth wire for its 2A and 15A sockets. The earth wire was substantial 7 strand bare wire, jointed with brass nuts, bolts and washers. All replaced shortly after moving in nearly 40 years ago. A couple of lengths kept in a box in the loft as a curio are still in excellent condition, even the red rubber insulation.

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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 10:51 am   #64
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Default Re: Bodges

Another widow maker that I heard about from a plumber friend. Apparantly a home owner wanted a second twin socket on the opposite wall in his garage. So to achieve it he fitted an unwired socket to the opposite wall and then made up a flex cable with a 13 amp plug at both ends! the flex cable was clipped up the walls and across the roof.
Something that used to be very common was the wrapping of bared mains flex wires around the pins of a 13 amp plug, instead of fitting a second plug. The newer insulated pins put paid to that though.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 11:33 am   #65
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I'm sure that in the past some of you have come across 3-pin sockets (either round-pin or 13A) connected to bayonet lampholder-plugs. I recall seeing a toaster powered this way back in my student-days.

I guess it was a logical successor to the iron-connected-to-a-bayonet-plug-and-light-socket-2-way-adapter that my grandmother had in the kitchen.

[Student accomodation was always a good place to find bodges: some halls-of-residence only had 2-amp 'power' sockets - intended to power things like desk-lamps - but with some creative kludgery and not too many people doing it at once a low-power [750 Watt] kettle could be run. Also, extension leads from rooms running out into the corridors to plug into the sockets provided for the cleaners to plug-in their Hoovers. Nobody seemed to have heard of 'trip-hazards' back then].
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 12:03 pm   #66
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bayonet lampholder-plugs. I recall seeing a toaster powered this way back in my student-days.
Back in my student days I had a landlady who was extremely parsimonious. This extended to having no mains sockets in the rooms she rented out to students so that they couldn't use electricity which she would have had to pay for. The only supply in the room was indeed the bayonet lamp socket. Plugging anything in was risky as when I came home she immediately went to look at the electricity meter. If it was still daylight outside and the meter started turning then I immediately got shouted at as it looked as if I had turned the light on unnecessarily. My razor had a bayonet lamp plug on as that was the only way to plug it in. I rented a TV and when they came to install it they had to plug that into the lamp socket as well. They were a bit dubious about doing it but it was either that or lose the rental. The landlady increased the rent by 10p to cover the electricity.

A bit later I moved into a hall of residence. That was pretty much the same. However there was water in the rooms. We physicists had the luxury of a lamp to 13A adapter with a real earth connected to the water tap. Worked fine for electric kettles. By coincidence, my son ended up in the same hall of residence thirty years later. In the meantime they had installed proper mains sockets.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 12:11 pm   #67
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The common reasons for a bodge seems to be either ignorance, or doing the job knowingly with the wrong materials. The latter clearly the worst!

Many years back I was told of the reason for the separate isolator that is fitted in an airing cupboard to the feed to a immersion heater. The story went that a electrician was killed whilst changing the heater, he had simply turned off the downstairs switch and then started work. Someone walked in, decided they need a bath and switched on the downstairs switch and made the heater live. The regs were then changed so as a separate isolator is now fitted next to the heater.

Recently in the day job, we have been told to always use a Martindale type tester on the mains socket of any Tv we are to work on. Sadly two years ago an engineer was killed when the washer he was about to work on was plugged into a incorrectly wired outlet. Sadly it seems that someone has to pay with their life for things to change...

Last week I went to a wall mount Tv, the mains lead hung down to socket at skirting board height. The lead had a 1M extension added in the middle with 5A chock block, bare whiskers of wire hanging out on the live and neutral. Best part about it was this had been done by the customers electrician father!

The thing is if the reason for an odd sounding regulation is made known, by and large most of us will go along with this. There are however a significant number who will not comply out of ignorance or pure obstinance. The Covid 19 situation highlights this, many people well aware of the risks have often said to me ways of 'getting round' the laws to do what they want.

Every new generation breeds a new crop of ignorant or obstinant bodgers, lets just hope that the rest of us pick up on the work they do before someone gets hurt.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 12:15 pm   #68
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The really-worst student-bayonet-connector incident I recall was when I got asked to look at 'a buzzing problem' one of the various bands were having.

I found the two guitar-amps, the amp for the vocalist and an electronic keyboard all fed from a single bayonet adapter.

This was in a rather damp stone-floored basement (which had the advantage of providing good sound-insulation though dubious acoustics).

The band-members all survived having been 'floated' to around 250V - and several went on to rather successful careers (though thankfully not as musicians).
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 12:22 pm   #69
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Default Re: Bodges

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
When my Dad had our 1930's house rewired in around 1970, he taught me how to correctly wire a plug onto a mains lead. That was a lesson well learnt, thanks Dad.Craig
Day one of my Electrical&Electronics uni course, all freshpeople were dragooned into a theatre and given a detailed lecture on how to properly wire a UK mains plug, cable extenders etc.

The exposition on the 13A plug made a great impact on me, never forgotten, because I thought I already knew how to do the job properly but the lecture thoroughly exposed my below-average competence

I've often wondered how many lives that lecture has saved over time. Universal fixed plugs on domestic equipment was supposed to prevent rewiring accidents at home, but there is a constant trickle of knowledge-less people bodging cable repair or rewiring wrongly ('brown is the colour of earth isn't it') and coming to grief. A mandatory showing in secondary schools of a modern update of that lecture might at least convince the public not too fiddle with what they do not understand.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:12 pm   #70
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A mandatory showing in secondary schools of a modern update of that lecture might at least convince the public not too fiddle with what they do not understand.
It used to be common in a physics lesson, but hasn't been allowed to be done for at least a couple of decades now, because the teacher isn't a qualified electrician, so can't teach it. Also, due to appliances now coming already with fitted plugs, it was thought unnecessary in this day and age.

The case of the two cables fitted into one 13 amp plug is regarded as bad practice, but isn't actually dangerous, unless as shown in a previous post where the outer sleeves aren't gripped under the cord grip. Would it pass a safety test? No! Should you do it...er, No! Is it dangerous? No, not if done properly with low current devices with small cables and a 3 amp fuse fitted. The worst thing about it is the nuisance value of when the items have to be separated for moving or servicing. So should you actually do it? Well I have to say that you shouldn't - take from the above what you will.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:14 pm   #71
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The common reasons for a bodge seems to be either ignorance, or doing the job knowingly with the wrong materials.
That's a botch, not a bodge.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:16 pm   #72
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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I'm sure that in the past some of you have come across 3-pin sockets (either round-pin or 13A) connected to bayonet lampholder-plugs.
When I met my Wife she lived with her Grandparents in a Leeds council house. It had those oddball sockets so beloved of Councils. As plugs were hard to find for some reason, the ones they had were wired to bayonet sockets and various things had bayonet plugs attached. I sourced some plugs and did the sensible thing as soon as practicable. No worse than changing a bulb, but in a dim corner of a room it really did constitute a bodge (of the household wiring variety)
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:28 pm   #73
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I think someone said something about the military and field training in a previous post. It's something I hadn't thought about before, but I really now wonder whether it was this that was mainly responsible for a past generation/s of proper genuine bodgers.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:32 pm   #74
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Since we are talking about fixed wiring now....

I once saw a room with 3 wall lights and no apparent switch for them. The switch on the wall by the door controlled the ceiling light. No built-in switches on the wall lights.

It turned out that the wall lights were connected by tiny 2 pin connectors (no way rated for mains!) to 2 core flexible cable (looked to be about 3A rating). This was run in flexible plastic tubing (not proper conduit) in the plaster to the nearest 13A double socket on the skirting board. The neutral wire was connected to the neutral terminal of the socket along with the ring main cables, the live wire to the light was (badly) soldered to a rivet on the back of the socket assembly that happened to hold the output-side switch contact in place. So the socket switch controlled the light. Just to complete the bodge, the wires were all soldered together before being put in the socket screw terminals, of course the solder 'crept' leading to bad connections there.

And note the 3A cable/light connected to a ring main with no extra fuse...
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:34 pm   #75
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Default Re: Bodges

One of the most amusing bodges I've seen; let's call him XX, as he was a chain smoker and has probably long gone since by now.

A customer had a Thorn 850 - good monochrome set. As usual, the valve bases on the top deck had their pins corroded and needed a wobble to make the set work, despite them being clipped on.

As XX was in a bit of a rush, he decided that an elastic band between two of the valve top pips would make a good bodge.

Think, though - the heat from the valve might cook the elastic bands before he could get away, so after a few puff 'n' cough sessions some filter tips could be stuck onto the top pips!
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:41 pm   #76
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In our student digs one of us (not me!) ran a cable from an un-metered socket in the kitchen up the outside wall and then through his bedroom window to an electric fire. Then he went home to Canada for a month leaving the fire switched on ... we realised after a few days and saved the place from burning down.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:47 pm   #77
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And note the 3A cable/light connected to a ring main with no extra fuse...
In my last house which had been partially rewired there was one large downstairs room that seemed to be on its own 30 amp ring with regards to the sockets. The strange thing was that the lights in that room would still be on when the lighting circuit fuses were pulled. The room had three sets of sockets on different sides and three ceiling light fittings with normal wall switches (no earths anywhere, twin only) - you've guessed it, the three light circuits were wired to the rears of the three sockets. It was a bit of a pig to find where this wiring ran and pull it all out and do it properly. House had been partially rewired by some amateur!
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 1:49 pm   #78
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...there is a constant trickle of knowledge-less people bodging cable repair or rewiring wrongly ('brown is the colour of earth isn't it') and coming to grief.
That was certainly the assumption made by whoever had wired the plug onto an electric drill I bought in the local household auction a few years ago. Blue wired to neutral as it should be, but brown to earth and nothing to line. The best of it was that it came with a PAT label attached by the auction house - presumably because their idea of a Portable Appliance Test is to plug the item into the tester (without switching the item on) and check that it doesn't give a "fail" reading.

Had the test been done properly (which includes inspecting that the plug is wired correctly and with an appropriate fuse, as well as using the tester in a rather more thorough manner) it would have been a fail and a fail. Fortunately, the lack of proper testing was to my advantage, given that it gave me some years of faithful service once I had corrected the plug wiring after being disappointed that it didn't work when I first plugged it in on getting it home.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 4:02 pm   #79
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Default Re: Bodges

Worst I've seen was, on moving into a new house, a couple of 13A sockets wired as an "unfused spur" into the ring main with figure-of-eight l.v. bell-push flex. They were "decommissioned" immediately!

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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 4:17 pm   #80
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Default Re: Bodges

heres a classic example found fitted to a bit of test gear. Fuse wire substitution!


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