This plug is on a 4-gang extension lead that was overloaded, and so it overheated and melted – this was not in an industrial environment as you’d expect but an office in Newcastle upon Tyne.
This may not look like much but big problems often start off small; this has likely been caused by the lead being pulled to unplug it. We replaced the plug.
It’s not just problem plugs we come across; this socket is testament to that. This socket like many others specially installed in an office was intended to supply power to computers, not to oil filled radiators.
This plug is on an “IEC lead”; a computer power lead – which requires earth protection. By putting an insulated sleeve on the earth pin the manufacturer has removed the earth protection. This is a regular occurrence on leads imported from Asia, where they don’t use earth protection.
This microwave oven failed because it was so, well disgusting! This is a mix of rust and food.
Here is a good example of a broken plug on a fan heater; we come across these quite often, especially in summer when the heater has been left under a desk to be regularly kicked!
This broken light switch is for the heat lamps used to keep food warm in a restaurant kitchen; this is actually wired directly into the mains too
This RCD is supposed to be giving an extra level of protection – look closely and you may be able to see that one of the wires isn’t even going into the ‘plug’
Somehow this fan heater has got a nice little hole punched through it; not sure how it happened but it’s enough to fail it as it is beyond repair, and little fingers can get inside it.
This plug is on an extension cable, probably not intended to power a glass washer in a pub
Richard Ayre is an experienced PAT testing engineer with many years experience and the Managing Director of DRA PAT Testing Limited based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Richard is also the Operations Director for the UK's Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association.