Safer Electrical Plugs and Outlets Save Lives and Energy - Fine Homebuilding
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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad

Safer Electrical Plugs and Outlets Save Lives and Energy

comments (4) July 12th, 2010 in Blogs
DanMorrison Daniel Morrison, Executive editor, Fine Homebuilding & Green Building Advisor

A nifty presentation worth checking out: Electrical outlets that prevent electrical fires.

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posted in: Blogs, electrical

Comments (4)

cfraizer cfraizer writes: There's no thumbs-down button, only thumbs-up! Bogus.

Mr. Renosteinke is right on!

(1) This is obvious salesmanship, playing on fears to advance a proprietary technology.
(2) Consumers don't want centralized authorities telling them when they can run their appliances.
Posted: 6:05 am on July 19th

crusier_32 crusier_32 writes: And 414 patent claims i.e 'We are going to monopolize electrical outlets-appliances and charge accordingly'

Posted: 9:23 am on July 14th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: Wow, what a load of misleading salesmanship and propaganda marketing. This sounds like a horrible idea and I can only hope that the home building ignorant political types who tend to make the rules and regulations regarding homebuilding will look at the facts before succumbing to the over-hype of this sort of "save lives/save the world" buzz word contraption.

I agree 110% with Renosteinke. There are much easier and more cost effective ways to make the electrical systems in our buildings safer. #1 being leave it alone if you don't know what you're doing. As a remodeler I see scads of HO modified electrical systems. Which is nothing compared to the number of overloaded outlets and misused extension cords I see.

I think the best option is to better educate the public on the dangers of tampering with or misusing their electrical systems and devices. I have friends and neighbors asking me electrical questions all the time; In most cases my response is simply for them to get a licensed electrician.

Posted: 9:08 am on July 14th

renosteinke renosteinke writes: Those who know me well can guess my response: a resounding 'thumbs down!' to this idea.

One can easily go off on several tangents, but I'll keep it simple: from a safety standpoint, this gizmo does nothing that can't be accomplished by simply putting a fuse in the plug - something that some countries have been doing for half a century.

Such a gizmo would make repair of a cord impossible.

Incorporating such a thing into code would allow the makers to manipulate the patent process to maintain a monopoly.

Remote control of devices through this gizmo opens the door to all manner of third parties making your decisions for you, 'for your own good.'

Also left unsaid is that these gizmos will never be seen in the very places that have the most electrical issues: older homes with plenty of DIY "improvements" over the years.

A long term study, involving the code writers, UL, and others, examined many older homes to the point of dismantleing them. The purpose was to evaluate the performance of the electrical installations over time. Again and again, the study found the 'old' stuff was perfectly safe, while obvious hazards were the result of folks violating rules / doing things that were know to be stupid well before the Depression.

Finally, the claims of this gizmo duplicate the claims made for the already required 'arc fault circuit interrupter' - which is already required in new homes, but does not allow for third-party control of your appliances.
Posted: 10:00 pm on July 12th

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