Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Check you Electrical Appliances!

Mrs EP had a nasty shock yesterday.
From this 

She'd almost finished drying her hair, sitting at the kitchen table as usual, and I was upstairs at my computer (as usual) when I heard a scream.
It wasn't the usual "There's a spider scream" which I tend to ignore, but a more serious one so I thought I'd better put in an appearance!
The hair dryer was on the table, there was a familiar smell of burnt electrical equipment, and Mrs EP was holding her hand under the cold tap.
Fortunately things weren't as bad as they looked; her hand was black but from burnt PVC insulation, but there was quite a nasty blister. Things could have been worse, she didn't actually get an electric shock which might have caused real problems. This was the actual cause:

The cable had worn where it emerged from the drier, so it was just the flash and the burning insulation which did the damage. The fuse in the plug did its job and the flash was limited to a 5 amp flash rather than a 13 amp flash, and the supply breaker didn't trip.
My fault, I suppose. As a retired electrical engineer, I of all people, should have kept an eye on such things. I immediately had a look at the cables on all the other electrical appliances, particularly on the moveable things like the electric iron and kettle, the vacuum cleaner, coffee maker, etc.  It didn't take long, and I would now strongly advise any readers to do the same.
Mrs EP used it as an excuse to visit John Lewis (in spite of the snow) and buy a more upmarket drier. My suggestion that I should fit a new lead was totally ignored!


  1. It was a Braun, about 3-4 yrs old. Who knows where it was made. The new one also has a well known name, made in the PRC!

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