Electrical safety testing

I had two cases last week were the electrical safety regulations failed in their intended purpose for two different reasons.

An item came in for repair which powered up but did not operate.  It had a current AS/NZS 3760 test and tag label.  I discovered that there was no earth on the metal frame of the equipment.  I also discovered that the power supply cord must have been pulled, breaking the supply wires but it leaving the earth wire intact.  That was the first problem – lack of a decent cord clamp!  The second fault, and one that should have been picked up on the test and tagging, was that the socket did not have the earth pin connected to the chassis.  It should have had the earth for it to be sold in New Zealand.

In the second case I discovered loose connections in a mains plug and some of the plug assembly had become hot, resulting in distortion of plastic parts.  It was on a piece of equipment that draws a fairly large amount of current and it is not likely that the plug would have caught fire but if the fault was in the equipment itself it may have represented a fire hazard.  The plug was not original.

Test and tagging under AS/NZS 3760, AS/NZ 5761, or AS/NZ 5762 is only of use if it is carried out correctly, and it does not pick up loose connections that may lead to fire risk.


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