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Has anyone found a decent or at last half decent multiplug, I have tried nearly all of the builders specials and some others from Voltex. The most decent ones I still have are from the 80's, they are servacible and have nice chunky contacts. I don't mind paying for my safety. Poor contacts is a big risk and fiddling in the dark with a crappy plug is going to give me an aneurism. Any suggestions?

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+1 - also looking for good ones that can not only take the 3 points, but sockets for 2 point and them darn hairdryers round ones, just to complicate matters.

As you Weasel, the stuff being sold today is cheap shiite.

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OMG - Did I miss something - Have SANS approved the new electrical plug? As far as I knew there was huge debate!
The new plug is dangerous (not quite as dangerous as others), but the reason for our original choice was due to the contact area of the big chunky copper connectors - compared to the rest of the world our "non-conforming" plugs gave off the least heat (fire resistance) compared to even US/Eouropean standards.

When I was in Nigeria (UK plugs), nearly every second plug would fail due to heat - I switched out entire office computer setup to SA standard for the invertor plugs and had not a single one give up in 2 years (although the power did frequently, but that's not the point). And just to clarify, they were all sourced from the same dodgy chinese supplier...

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I ordered one of these multi-plugs on livecopper as well as a couple of these plugs, i thought it quite nice for the space saving of a 2 point and the safety of the earth. Must say i was quite skeptical of the 16A rating on them... hmm, well i fully intended  test them out properly.

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Yup, I think thats part of where I draw the line - 16A!

Think about it even in our solar world (rough calcs ahead) - 16A x 220V is approx 3.5kW (say a small stove, or a geyser and kettle).
Firstly, what size wire do you use to connect your geyser? Not that small, I bet, and definately not through those small conductors... This rating allows HIGHER.
Secondly, just putting it in context for the forum, 3.5kW from a 48V supply is over 70A... Remember Amps is what heat up and burn wires, AC/DC... Would you want 70A going though those connectors, and then still try convince me it's safe? Edit: Whoops, in my haste I messed that up by my own bad calcs/logic (I got a bit too angry to think properly). Yes, in DC terms that is over 70A, but the reason you increase the voltage is to reduce the Amps and cable size needed - The point is completely invalid.

There is a reason why the SANS code keeps trying to insist people use 16mm conductors for 63A 220V, even though 10mm is sufficient... One small overload will kill the plug, cable, multiplug, everything - All the smoke will be let out, and flames :o.

As the TV advert said: "ooooh, eh eh"

I still can't believe this got approved, even when basics tell us it's nuts (if they rated the plugs at 5A then different, but they weren't going to at my last look at the spec). Will look for the updates to the SANS code, because I find this shocking (pun intended) and horrifying.

Rant over for now...

Edited by KLEVA
I made big booboo in logic
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12 hours ago, KLEVA said:

Yup, I think thats part of where I draw the line - 16A!

I still can't believe this got approved, even when basics tell us it's nuts (if they rated the plugs at 5A then different, but they weren't going to at my last look at the spec). Will look for the updates to the SANS code, because I find this shocking (pun intended) and horrifying.

I totally agree with you - I think the same thing every time I read an article about it. If there was never a fire hazard before - this is it.

5A maybe, but 16A continuous - I doubt it will last very long.

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Not very clued up with this stuff but why is this not a problem in EUR/US/etc?

Why is it necessary for SA to reinvent the wheel and design our own standard? Why not adopt an existing standard? Why do Saffers always think we can do it better?

And even if it is marginally better, does it justify the increased cost? Much lower production volumes = higher cost, lower availability, incompatibility?

I just don't get it. So from that point of view the ZA plug is at least an improvement, it is compatible with some of the EUR plugs.

On that topic, I see these multiplugs all still only available with the old ZA plug standard on the lead side. Where can one find ones with EUR plug on the lead?

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I once realised that a 16amp plug and molded lead, cannot power a dryer ... it gets damn hot.

Jip, I had to uphold my reputation of Fierce Releaser of Smoke - came VERY close to release the smoke from that lead. :D

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50 minutes ago, cvzyl said:

Why is it necessary for SA to reinvent the wheel and design our own standard? Why not adopt an existing standard? Why do Saffers always think we can do it better?

As I understand it, from a MyBroadband post on the topic, it's not Saffers trying to be smart and doing their own thing, it actually IS a global standard. It is based on IEC 60906–1 which goes back to 1986. It's our attempt to adopt a global standard, but at the moment it seems it is only ourselves and Brazil who will use it, and Brazil has already deviated from it. Also, there is a 125V version of it (IEC 60906–2) that's adopted by the US and Japan as well. So we're actually trying to do the right thing here...

The alternative would be to go with the Euro-plug, which has the same problem really: It's only really "standard" in Europe.

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It is a bulky plug and I am always concerned about the electrocution safety. There is a risk that someone contacts one of the conductors while trying to pry it out of a plug.

Why is the thickness of the prong such an issue if the actual cables are much thinner?

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3 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

Why do you guys draw so much on a single plug? If the 16A is not enough, then hopefully your house wires can carry enough to go higher. 

Never do, even with the Standard plug (all the plugs in my house use less than 4A in TOTAL), but the specification says 16A (and with multiplugs, plugged into multiplugs, plugged into multiplugs), someone could easily hit that on the first plug in the list.

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4 hours ago, cvzyl said:

It is a bulky plug and I am always concerned about the electrocution safety. There is a risk that someone contacts one of the conductors while trying to pry it out of a plug.

Why is the thickness of the prong such an issue if the actual cables are much thinner?

The new plug doesn't change that, in fact it brings those points closer together and easier to accidentaly touch, by smaller fingers (ie: babies and children). Plus easier to damage the internal cables, because people will pull on the cord rather than the plug itself. It's the contact surface between the connectors, the cables are tightly (hopefully) connected to the contacts, but the contacts can just slide over each other with much less surface area actually touching than sometimes even the cable diametre. 

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41 minutes ago, KLEVA said:

easier to accidentaly touch

I must be looking at a different plug then. The ones I've seen are recessed. By the time it's out far enough to touch the contacts, the contacts are no longer powered. Ripping out the current 3-prong by the cable is arguably harder on the cable than these new plugs. I'm not at all concerned about the new plugs. What I am concerned about is cheap Chinese versions with a built-in USB socket. Many of those do not have sufficient isolation properties and will not only blow up your phone but could kill you.

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16 minutes ago, plonkster said:

What I am concerned about is cheap Chinese versions with a built-in USB socket. Many of those do not have sufficient isolation properties and will not only blow up your phone but could kill you.

so true. 

 

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I've used this new plug on a few of my power tools which i like because the cable comes out the bottom so you cant use the cable to remove the plug and it grips nicely.

The live and neutral pins have a plastic coating around most of the pin so that you cant get electrocuted when removing the plug.

They recon that this is the safest plug in the world and that the old plug was probably the most dangerous (babies and toddlers can easily get there fingers in it).I remember the snapper plugs that use to frighten the crap out of me when the top pulled off.

P.S. this is also a Crabtree product

C1071_grande.png

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A look at South Africa's new plug and socket configuration. Picture: ABERDARE CABLES
A look at South Africa's new plug and socket configuration. Picture: ABERDARE CABLES

SOUTH Africa is to switch to an electrical plug and socket configuration that has been around since the early 1990s and is seen as the world’s safest, but has not been taken up by other countries.

This means South Africa will be switching next year from a configuration used in very few places across the world to one taken up only by Brazil — and that South Africans will have to buy new adaptors.

While making the plugs and sockets locally would require expensive tooling to make new manufacturing moulds, and often a factory shutdown of a few weeks, South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) electrotechnical standards development manager Willa Breed said on Monday that the new plugs and sockets would have “a long, long phase-in period, more than 20 years”.

Ms Breed said it was “a bit alarming” that the South African National Standards (SANS) 164-2 configuration, which the International Electrotechnical Commission deemed the world’s safest, had not been taken up by other countries.

“It is a bit alarming (that the standard has not been taken up worldwide), and whether other countries will align with it is an open question,” she said. “We all hope that, worldwide, sanity will prevail. It is a huge thing economically to switch.”

The SABS adopted the new configuration as the “preferred” standard in 2013, and plugs and sockets in this configuration will be available from about April.

Small and hexagonal with three pins, the new plug and socket configuration was developed by the electrotechnical commission in the hope that it would become universal across the world. Appliances using this configuration are already being exported to South Africa.

But Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa chairman Tony McDonald, who was on the SABS working group that decided on the new configuration, said the hexagonal two-pin plugs commonly used at present would safely fit into the new three-pin sockets, and that the safety features far outweighed any inconvenience caused because the commonly used three-pin plugs could not be used in the new sockets.

The new three-pin socket is safer because it has a “skirt” that does not allow the exposure of live plug pins, so children cannot be electrocuted playing with the socket or a plug, he said. Also, people cannot jerry-rig connections using exposed live pins, as is possible with the commonly used three-pin plug.

Mr McDonald said South Africa suffered R500m in damages every year due to electrical fires, often caused by the three-pin plug and socket, and it would be “irresponsible” of the government not to make the change from a configuration that was designed in 1913.

The new configuration is also cheaper to manufacture once new moulds are in place, because it uses less material. This also makes it “greener”.

Mr McDonald said rumours that there was a lucrative government tender in the change were misguided, because there was no such tender.

South African Institute of Electrical Engineers director Stan Bridgens said it was important to remember that the new configuration would not be imposed. Instead, it would be listed as the “preferred” one. Only new installations would require it, and its phasing-in would not make the old one illegal.

Opposition to the new configuration was widespread, Mr McDonald added.

Part of the problem was that different countries used different voltages, but there was also “a tremendous amount of vested interest” in not using the new configuration, from European countries aghast at how quickly Chinese and Japanese companies had been able to design and produce the new plugs and sockets to commodity traders who did not want to lose out on trade — the new plugs used 13g of glass as opposed to 64g, he said.

Ms Breed said the SABS had consulted widely before signing up to the configuration and the decision-making committee included manufacturers, importers, exporters, consumers, academics, municipal officials and industry associations.

According to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s website, South Africa’s long-standing SANS 164-1 configuration is also used in Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia, while the SANS 164-2 configuration is used only by South Africa and Brazil.

Mr Bridgens said he saw no real problem or economic disadvantage with South Africa having chosen to switch to a little-used configuration.

“There is no standard for the rest of the world. We’ll just get adaptors when we travel,” he said.

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5 hours ago, Clint said:

Mr McDonald said South Africa suffered R500m in damages every year due to electrical fires, often caused by the three-pin plug and socket, and it would be “irresponsible” of the government not to make the change from a configuration that was designed in 1913.

That's quite an "interesting" statistic in the sense that i don't quite believe it, rather i'd say often caused by crappy quality plugs, sockets and especially multi plugs. There are strict regulations applied on cables I mean of course there is and has to be, but i don't see that really applied to multi plugs, I think there should be a copper weight rating on them and some sort of contact pressure rating in nice big red letters on the packet.  

As for the new plug, the conductor i think is thick enough, but Its about contact resistance right, so it's smaller surface area is going to play a role. The absolute worst are 2 point plugs, having to wiggle the thing to get some sort of connection going while my phone goes poopeep.... peepoop over and over. I guess we'll see if these have the same problem. What I like so far is that it's compact and the casing is split on a different plane to the one you pull it out on, its happened to me a few times that i pull out a snapper or a single screw plug and hold the cap in my hand with a deathtrap stuck in the wall.

    

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13 hours ago, plonkster said:

I must be looking at a different plug then. The ones I've seen are recessed. By the time it's out far enough to touch the contacts, the contacts are no longer powered. Ripping out the current 3-prong by the cable is arguably harder on the cable than these new plugs.

From what I see the proposed standard said nothing about releasing the live/neutral before earth, nor the forced conformity of bottom fit.

I the pics below the white plug shows IMO a bad design (all connectors live until almost out socket), the red plug shows what I mean by the live/neutral disconnected before earth (will exclude the other good/bad qualities of the plugs though - just grabbed som quick google images before I head off to work).

There is nothing stopping the new/proposed standard doing the same, and having connectors like the white plug.

red_plug.jpg

old-sa-plug-280.jpg

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Things I like about the new plugs/sockets

  1. They are compact so it causes less clutter
  2. They are less likely to split open when pulled out of the socket
  3. The sockets are compatible with the 2 point plugs used on most chargers so you do not need to use cheap Chinese adapters.
  4. The holes in the socket is smaller so less likely for a small child to get their fingers into it. (It happened to my sister when she was 3 years old, fortunately the RCD tripped and she survived)

Things I do not like about them

  1. Small contact area can lead to bad connections and sparking -> fire. Just this week I found a charger in the garage doing exactly that. Fortunately it was an old style 3 point plug. I think the bulkiness of the prongs can absorb more heat than the smaller 2 point prongs.
  2. The old plugs had the 3 prongs wide apart (not in line) which ensured that the plug could not be wiggled in place. It went in straight and stayed that way. With the new ones the prongs are mostly in line (similar to the 2 point plugs). Many times I had to wiggle the 2 point plug to ensure contact. I suspect the new ones will be similar.

One thing that really irritates me is that with many multiplugs the socket outlets are so close together that you can not fit two plugs next to each other. You plug one in and its so bulky that the you just can not fit a plug into the socket next to it. It seems there are no standard in place (or adhered to) that determines the minimum distance between outlets on a multiplug or the maximum dimensions of the plug it self.

If I had to design the new standard I would have kept the best aspects of both types.

  1. Large prongs in a triangular configuration, maybe not as bulky as the old ones but larger than the new ones.
  2. Recessed socket + insulated top part of the prong closest to the plug.
  3. Plug should split open in the same direction as the prongs not perpendicular to them.
  4. Prongs should be closer together than the old style so the plug is less bulky and that causes less clutter
  5. Put some standard in place for the outer dimensions of the plug and minimum spacing between socket outlets on multiplugs.
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18 hours ago, KLEVA said:

Never do, even with the Standard plug (all the plugs in my house use less than 4A in TOTAL), but the specification says 16A (and with multiplugs, plugged into multiplugs, plugged into multiplugs), someone could easily hit that on the first plug in the list.

There's your problem, right there! Didn't yo mamma tell you to neva mulplug a multiplug? ;)

Seriously though, don't do it! Rather run another cable into another wall socket and multi plug of that. 

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5 hours ago, KLEVA said:

 

red_plug.jpg

Man, those plugs with the flat top... better watch out for those. Well, not the plug itself, but combining it with a bad multiplug. Some multiplugs have the earth connector set up so that it contacts the earth pin at the top. Combine that with a plug such as this one that is flat at the top, and you might not have an earth connection at all. I've had that at least once.

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