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Product: Plug
Detachable Moulded Plug   (0)  [vote for, against]

In the European Union, all electrical goods are supplied with a moulded plug (2 pin for our continental cousins and 3 pin for the UK) [link for picture].

The moulded plug cannot be unscrewed or tampered with. Indeed, the only thing a user can do it do change the fuse.

There are various safety reasons for this supply of moulded plugs namely ....

a) It is guaranteed to have been wired up properly

b) It is guaranteed to have an appropriate fuse for the appliance.

But the most frustrating thing about moulded plugs reveals itself when you come to plug the item in. In an effort not to have trailing cables [in itself dangerous], power cables have to be threaded through tight gaps - gaps which either your washing machine or the plug have to pass. Neither will. You cut the plug off, thread the cable, rewire another plug and off you go. This defeats the safety features inherent in the moulded version.

I propose a new moulded plug with a groove 4mm wide running down its length. The pin contacts run in three discreet metal lines down the groove. The cable has a moulding with the same three metal contacts embedded which fit into the plug. It can only fit one way thus ensuring correct wiring.

You now have a safe, flexible moulded plug
-- jonthegeologist, Aug 15 2003

Non moulded version of UK 3 pin plug http://www.maplin.c...eimages/19389i0.jpg
[jonthegeologist, Oct 05 2004]

that's baked [jtg] most mobile phone chargers and the like come with a not disimilar device.
-- neilp, Aug 15 2003

In fact, I have one.... Am trying to find a linky
-- hazel, Aug 15 2003

If it's detachable, it's not mo(u)lded (by definition). Vice versa, too.

I don't understand how replaceing the plug effects the safety of the device, unless one does it wrong.
-- phoenix, Aug 15 2003

That's the point - our beloved European Union doesn't trust us to wire a plug correctly, so demands that we be prevented from doing it.
Several appliances I've bought recently have a moulded-on German-style plug (which is much more compact than the UK type, being two-pin, and non-polarized - like a UK shaver plug; in fact UK shaver-adaptors can accomodate German plugs, with a little brute force) and a German-to-UK adaptor, which requires a screwdriver to remove.
-- angel, Aug 15 2003

What [angel] said. " If you can't wire the plug, you can't use the appliance" is my motto.*

*That's a funny motto.
-- gnomethang, Aug 15 2003

So it's illegal to rewire the plug? What if one of the tines breaks off?
-- phoenix, Aug 16 2003

Bit simpler just to cut off the moulded plug and replace it, isn't it?
-- yamahito, Aug 16 2003

[phoenix]: Well, I guess you're going to have to throw out that washing machine...
-- Cedar Park, Aug 16 2003

[pheonix] - nah, it's not illegal
[UnaBubba] - it's sometimes useful if you're changing country and don't want to have to buy loads of adapters, new plugs are normall only a quid or so. I think [jtg] just wants to be able to detach the plug temporarily to hide the cable behind things.
-- neilp, Aug 16 2003

I have spent serious money buying a transformer for my Tosh laptop that I needed on site. Unfortunately, we cannot agree on a standard to these devices. I know where I want to see the market go..
-- gnomethang, Aug 16 2003

Part of the confusion over this idea may stem from the fact that people outside the UK have no idea how big UK plugs are. Thus, for the uninitiated, I will state that while UK plugs are generally not terribly deep they take up more space on the wall than the vast majority of U.S. wall bricks. About 2.5" square if I remember right. As such being able to remove the cable from the plug could be quite convenient.

I would suggest that the remedy might be to have a standardized smaller plug which is only to be inserted into pre-fused receptacles, and have the pre-fused receptacle plug into a standard wall outlet. To ensure that people didn't use an appliance with the wrong fuse, one of the dimensions of the smaller plug would vary based upon the fuse required; the fuses and receptacle would be constructed so that the smaller plug could only be inserted into the receptacle if the correct fuse was installed.

If something like this could be standardized, it could lead to the development of multi-receptacle plugs: plug the multi-receptacle plug assembly into the wall, and then plug in the desired appliances (each with a proper fuse).
-- supercat, Aug 16 2003

random, halfbakery