From: Mike Poulton
Subject: Re: American vs foreign electrical parts and installations
Date: 16 Sep 2002 19:41:50 GMT
Organization: MTP Technologies
On 16 Sep 2002, Michael J. Schülke said:
> George Gonzalez wrote:
>> They're a bit marginal if you need more than 10 amps, but I'd guess
>> 95%+ of appliances use less than that. Do we want to burden all
>> devices with the cost of a 15 amp connector?
> First, 10A at 110V is just 1100W -- my vacuum cleaner (rated at
> 1500W), my electric kettle (2200W) and my microwave (1200W) easily
> exceed that. So do the fridge (2800W), the washing machine and the
> tumble dryer. There are plenty of appliances in every household that
> exceed 1100W .
The appliances that do are not frequently moved around, with few
exceptions (like the vacuum). In semi-permanent applications, these
plugs are fine. Plus, the plugs on high current devices are better made
than the ones on low current devices. For example, refrigerators and
microwaves generally have right-angle plugs that lay flat against the
wall and stay in place very well. Devices requiring more than 1800W or
so are normally run on 240V. 20A is the maximum normal current for a
120V circuit here. The plugs for 240V circuits are highly underrated
and are basically indestructible. You can still touch the prongs,
> Second, connectors should not be specified to be safe on most
> appliances and marginal on a few. They should be specified to be safe
> on *all* appliances. The Schuko connectors we have here in Germany are
> specified for (IIRC) 16A @ 230V = 3680W. (The British plugs, which
> look even more massive, are only specified for 13A, for some reason.)I
> would have expected US connectors to be specified at at least 25A to
> compensate for the lower voltage. It's somewhat frightening that they
Well, there are many different quality levels of plugs. The outlets are
all pretty much fine -- it's the appliance plug that's in question.
High current devices tend to have better plugs than low current ones.
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