/ Home & Energy, Shopping

Were older products built better?

Old radio

Most of us have at least one old, trusty appliance that’s faithfully serving us after many years. So here’s your chance to sing its praises and give it a little love back as we search for the nation’s oldest appliance.

Like many sleepy-eyed commuters, I greeted Metro’s story of a 58 year-old fridge that’s still going strong with a wry smile on my journey to work on Monday.

But possibly with less surprise than others, as here at Which? we often hear similar stories from our readers.

Your trusty old appliances

In recent years, we’ve been told of a Hotpoint dishwasher from 1984 whose only breakdown was caused by an escaped hamster chewing through its wiring. It survived (the dishwasher, that is) and the last we heard, was still running.

And only recently, Dave D posted here on Which? Convo about still using his grandparents’ Hoover, originally bought in 1957. Sophie Gilbert echoed the trend, celebrating the sterling service of her relatively juvenile AEG old vac, still working well after 20 years and destined to stay in action until its eventual death.

I’ve worked in product testing at Which? for nearly 10 years and, while I’m always excited to find out about new home products being released, the romantic in me loves to hear about these valiant old workhorses still in regular service.

I don’t think I’m alone. What really shines through when people tell us about their geriatric appliances is the massive affection in which they’re held. This is sometimes coupled with a dose of scepticism about all things new, but the uniting feeling seems to be if it ain’t broke why bother replacing?

Are older products better?

What’s even more amazing is that none of these appliances – unlike the legendary Trigger’s Broom from a classic Only Fools and Horses episode – seem to have needed much repair. Which begs the question – were old products built better?

We’ll be publishing the results of our latest brand reliability survey soon and revealing if your newer washing machines, dishwashers and vacs are likely to break.

But meanwhile, we’d love to know of any prehistoric appliances that are still in use at your home. It looks like Dave D holds the record at the moment with his 53 year-old vac. Can you beat this? And how long do you expect your new appliances – large or small – to last?

Comments
Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I do not believe that there is any legal requirement for UK or EU manufacturers to hold spares for their products. Even where official spares are available the cost can be very high. The quality of spares from alternative sources is variable. Cars are expensive, so it’s not surprising that parts often remain available long after production has ceased.

I see little chance that the Consumer Rights Act will help consumers over durability. I very much support better quality and more sustainable products but unfortunately that’s not going to happen overnight. In the meantime I’m going to shop around and look for products with longer guarantees and warranty promotions that are offered to encourage our custom. Hopefully we have seen the end of extended warranties that can cost more than the goods themselves.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

This Conversation is nearly five years old and we are just on the second page. Perhaps it’s time for Which? to explore the issues further and bring us a new, improved Covo.

In the meantime, can someone identify the make and model of the wireless (radio) shown in the photo at the top of the page?

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

So far as I can see this is a stock image, probably based on an original wireless set but with the manufacturer’s symbols photoshopped out. I don’t recognise it but we once had one of a similar vintage [late 40’s I’d guess] in a veneered wooden cabinet that had a green ‘tuning eye’ to assist with station location on the medium wave. I wondered whether the radio in the picture was an early attempt at stereo sound as it appears to have two speakers behind the fabric screen.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

It’s a licensed Shutterstock image, and I do agree it has been tinkered with. Early 50s would be my guess.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I think it is tuned in to Radio Luxembourg. Horace Batchelor is helping someone win the pools.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Not the man from K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M?

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I forgot to say that the two sets of press buttons and two thumb-wheels are distinctive features. There’s a stock image giving a different view. Maybe @duncan-lucas knows the answer.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

I agree wavechange its early 50,s it took a while to use up all the wooden cases that were stockpiled during WW2 the 2 speakers doesnt signify stereo just a saleploy as to a “sweeter sound ” . Saying that they were stereo radios made in this country but believe it or not they were sold as “top-end ” years before I can assure you only the rich could afford them . Approx mid-fifties FM was introduced here commercially although much earlier in the US even then it was usually mono-single speaker units I have full range of wireless repair manuals from 1948 onwards as well as Wireless World yearly hardbacks one -1914 others 1930 up to 1948 including the Arthur-c-Clark satellite theory one .I got the Wireless World books from an old WW2 Radar technician before he died it was pretty “hush-hush” then if anybody can get the make of the radio I could give a full description of it I have had 1000,s of radios go through my hands this one was not one of them it would take a long time tracing it via all the circuit diagrams I have.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Thanks Duncan. In the 70s I was delighted to find some unbound copies of Wireless World dating from the 20s or earlier, in a library. They included adverts for ‘distortion-free loudspeakers’. Misrepresentation in marketing has a long pedigree. 🙁 We have been bemoaning the poor sound quality of flat-screen TVs, so perhaps a couple of hundred year old horn loudspeakers would help and also provide an interesting talking point.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Don’t forget to read page 1! And should we get Which? to lead the way in getting more durable and repairable products? Or shall we stay with a throw-away culture?

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

I’ll admit I havent read all the posts just yet but maybe this hasnt been mentioned
Look up Phoebus Cartel. I remember learning about their action many years ago. They joined forces for the early 20th century to control the lifespan of incandesent bulbs from 2500 hours? I think to 100 hours and also controlled an increased price for an inferior product
Back then such actions were legal but rules had to be made to overtake the new industries
Are we back at a point that we may need rules again
I dont like Nanny State theory but it seems that unless we get our Gov’s to make rules then the result of our not so great freedom is we get ripped off
So is it a case of trading freedom for quality??

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

We have rightly had a lot of public criticism of the VW Group for cheating exhaust emission tests but most people don’t know about the Phoebus Cartel, where a group of manufacturers worked together to decrease the lifetime of incandescent lightbulbs to around 1000 hours. If you trust large companies it’s worth looking at this and learning more about planned obsolescence.

It’s not necessary to do anything illegal to get us to spend our money on new products. Electrical goods taken for recycling are often in working order, as newspaper articles occasionally report.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Good point wave.
We had hoarder in our family circle and when the day came we had to spend weeks sorting his place out
If he had one “4 grnder he had 50, same for”9, same for chop saws and countless other items. I remember him being in disgust at all these good items be thrown in the skip. He would once say, “they’ll pay a price for this waste” That they did in 2008 onward. That what some builders done. Complete a house renovation with new cheap tools and once the job was done the whole went in the skip along with the last tidy up. Now not all builders done this but if you had tasked with the clearing the place out you’d have thought the whole country was at it.
I could not believe how many items we plugged in actually worked.
Waste and more waste

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I don’t go back as far as the Phoebus days, but its interesting to see it used in conjunction with VW. I’m sure the Slave Trade for which we were responsible also has a part to play.

Incandescent light bulbs for general service – GLS or standard household bulbs – were rated at 1000 hours life until there demise. This was because there is a relationship between filament temperature – and therefore light output – its power consumption (Watts) – and life before the filament failed due to loss of tungsten. 1000 hours was judged to give a reasonable balance between life vs electrical cost vs light output. Tungsten halogen lamps had a longer life – generally 2000h – because some of the evaporated tungsten was returned to the filament and they could also be run hotter and therefore were more efficient.

There is always a danger when standards are written that “standardise” performance that there must be a conspiracy afoot (ametre now?).

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I made the same point in an earlier Conversation, Malcolm. 1000 hours seems a reasonable compromise between light output and life expectancy. Halogen lamps are a more recent development. As far as I know there is unequivocal evidence of cheating by Philips, Osram, General Electric and various other manufacturers.

I would leave development of standards with independent scientists and engineers.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Many standards written around products for example require an intimate and detailed knowledge of the products. This will not exist with people outside the industry. However, standards are not written by industry experts (including scientists and engineers) alone, but they include input from members representing users (let’s say local authority engineers), independent scientists (let’s say NPL), government bodies and others with interests and expertise drawn from a range of disciplines relevant to the standard. Overseen by BSI. for example. So to suggest that standards are written only by “non-independent” people is to misunderstand the way the standards process works, both nationally and internationally. Individual manufacturers are usually not represented; those that take part represent the industry as a whole, through say their trade body, to ensure a cross-industry input. If you pick up a standard you will find a list (usually quite long) of all the bodies that have contributed to it.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi, I dont mean to try and rewrite history but in the early 20th century there wasnt much association between written standards and the light bulb
Whilst today the likes of VW managers deny knowledge of their cheat back then it wasnt a problem.
I cannot find the documentary I wanted and it’s so long since I was in a Library I certainly dont remember the title of the books but try this one.
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/light-bulb-conspiracy/
You can watch the whole thing almost all of the info is the same as I read many years ago but there is an actual recording of a US businessman laying it all out for all to hear. Around 19:04 He states quite clearly his intentions. That’ll grab your attention if your anti obsolescence.
American dream, or American nightmare?
Yes its a bit conspiracy kinda thing but there are references to several things. Particularly patents on bulbs that would last many 1000s of hours. I checked those things out years back and I’m sure the info is still available.
There are so many instances of forced obsolescence its beyond debating about.
There are still bulbs around today that were made before Phoebus Cartel.
Forced obsolescence is what Malcolm wants rid of. You like good electronics you say but even they most likely have a lifespan that could be longer, much longer.
I have a friend, former work mate kinda thing, a former instruments technician and real good with stuff. He has told me countless stories about things not being made to last. He has also said repeatedly that for very little more money one could make electronics that would last a lifetime.
Surface mount has not been our friend but thankfully the chinese cheapies are mostly not surface mount just yet which in a kinda funny way has helped me loads of times. I have rather a large amount of cheapie PSUs in various guises near all powering control gear. All I have to do is dismantle them once i get them and make sure that everything is well insulated, plenty of heat sink compound, cut some pins from the back of the pcb ect. Maybe a little better quality heat transfer sheet instead of a bit of stuff so thin that it is nearly bound to short to the casing.
I have great results just as long as I give them a good going through and last but not least run them at no more than half their rated current.
I’m guessing but Id say I have maybe 20 x 25w to 100w PSUs running at any one time and I have no trouble.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I don’t accept that those outside industry cannot compile standards any more than I am happy with companies testing the emissions of their own cars.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Here’s a typical BSI committee concerned with lamps. LIA represents lamp manufacturers.

British Sign and Graphics Association
Consumer and Public Interest Network
Institution of Lighting Professionals
Lighting Industry Association
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited
B B A – British Board of Agrement
Lamp Coaters Association
S L L – Society of Light & Lighting
Secretary – IEC/SC 34A

Seems a pretty balanced one to me.
Manufacturers have knowledge and expertise that others do not. What is the point in excluding them?

However, this is still off topic. Sorry Patrick. But many products are “better” because national and international standards ensure the are designed to meet certain standards. Often these are safety standards and I would be surprised if that was felt to be a bad thing.

Perhaps we should concentrate now more on durability standards, for example for white goods, to ensure what we pay good money for lasts.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

The problem Malcolm is that we are (mostly ) all here on this article because of public outcry because of poor quality products . You can list organisations til you are “blue in the face ” at the end of the day they mean Zippo to the public if they think they are getting ripped off by businesses selling shoddy goods therefore those organisations are not doing for the public that which they make out to do in the eyes of the 99 % as they equate them with the “authority ” to lecture the public on right and wrong of products they are therefore “not fit for the job ” if they tow the party line of not condemning the cheap and shoddy goods sold in the UK. Just look at Mr/Mrs/Ms USA if they get sold shoddy goods the whole World knows about it including the Government they kick up-ell ! We in the UK are too programmed to accept “authority “

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

A major problem affecting repairability of small goods is the difficulty of dismantle cases, which are generally designed for ease of assembly rather than opening. In the worst cases, it is impossible to release plastic clips without breaking them, and sometimes cases are glued together.

My electric iron is about 20 years old and I have recently replaced the flexible cable for the fourth time. The only challenge is to find suitable heatproof replacement cable. I wonder if it’s possible to do this job on a newer iron. Most members of our throwaway society would simple replace the iron, and I’ve seen new irons in Lidl for what I payed for a a new cable.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to identify the featured radio image, but the nearest I can get to it is a Schaub Lorenz. But searching reminded me that manufacturers building new models to stimulate increased sales is nothing new, either. There are vast numbers and that’s only from the ’40s / ’50s period.

What surprises me is how long it took them to get the sound approaching reasonable. It seems that few had much idea about bass or a decent frequency spread, and my first record player incorporated a four inch speaker. However, I don’t recall any of them actually failing. My father would trudge up the street to the local valve shop as the odd one gave up, but was always able to get them working again. He would buy them often to listen to the short wave (so that’s what folk did before the internet…) and then spend an afternoon taking them apart before reassembling them.

I also vividly remember the ascent of stereo, promising vast panoramas of sound and being mildly disappointed when it proved difficult to discern separation. But the early ‘transistor’ radios seemed built to last, if not to sound good. However, in 1965 I invested in a B&O system – reel-to-reel recorder / amp, 2 x B & O speakers units and a magnetic stylus record deck. To this day they all work flawlessly.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

The controls that I mentioned suggested Schaub Lorenz to me, Ian, but that’s just from looking at photos online. I don’t recall old radios and TVs being particularly reliable, but maybe I saw more of the broken ones.

Interestingly, some of most popular radios for non-specialist collectors are bakelite models that are of very poor build quality, for example having no mains transformer to save costs. Sixty or seventy years ago, our predecessors could have rightly been asking ‘Were older products built better?’

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

IF the radio is German wavechange no wonder I dont recognise it as most of the ones I repaired were British/American . In that case it is later into the 50,s than it looks has FM and yes the 2 speakers are for stereo . Most bakelite radios were built for cheapness as the case molding was cheaper than a well built wooden case and yes again no mains transformer causing a crack to appear in the bakelite above the mains dropper resistance due to heat dissipation also if no valve surge/current limiter was fitted went through valves quickly also very dangerous as reversing the mains wires caused the live on the chassis . The best era for wirelesses ? the 1930,s motorized tuning as well as push button big quality loudspeakers multiple stages =RF stage 2 IF stages -noise limiter etc etc high quality Triode valve at output (low distortion) -best valve = PX 4 just look at the price now used in top end single-ended valve power amps (low wattage). From the 40,s onward quality went downhill for normal consumer radios .Worst wirelesses to repair ? old Phillips ones all black wires underneath no wiring design strategy or labeling although Mullard valves were good . Some of those old 30,s wirelesses had all the facilities of a 40,s communication receiver-BFO etc .

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I do recall burned rear panels and bakelite cases too hot to touch, live chassis and even mains cables used as external droppers. The battery chargers for early Black & Decker cordless drills had no transformer, relying on a capacitor to limit the current. 🙁 Old TVs had line output transformers in which the windings were embedded in flammable material (wax?) and I once had to deal with a fire in my parents TV. Thanks to prompt action it was repairable.

I have no doubt that safety has improved over the years and repairability is often poor or expensive by comparison, but I’m still undecided whether our view of household goods being more reliable in years gone by might be something to do with the decline in repairability.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Thanks for the suggestion Ian. I’m convinced it is a Schaub-Lorenz radio. Here is a link showing a fairly similar model on a German website: pauls-roehren.de/radios/schaubLorenz_savoyStereo10/SavoyStereo10.php

Assuming that the wireless is VHF stereo I guess it will be late 50s.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi, I dont mean to try and rewrite history but in the early 20th century there wasnt much association between written standards and the light bulb
Whilst today the likes of VW managers deny knowledge of their cheat back then it wasnt a problem.
I cannot find the documentary I wanted and it’s so long since I was in a Library I certainly dont remember the title of the books but try a search on the web for The LIght Bulb Conspiracy. You’ll find a video of such
You can watch the whole thing almost all of the info is the same as I read many years ago but there is an actual recording of a US businessman laying it all out for all to hear. Around 19:04 He states quite clearly his intentions. That’ll grab your attention if your anti obsolescence.
American dream, or American nightmare?
Yes its a bit conspiracy kinda thing but there are references to several things. Particularly patents on bulbs that would last many 1000s of hours. I checked those things out years back and I’m sure the info is still available.
There are so many instances of forced obsolescence its beyond debating about.
There are still bulbs around today that were made before Phoebus Cartel.
Forced obsolescence is what Malcolm wants rid of. You like good electronics you say but even they most likely have a lifespan that could be longer, much longer.
I have a friend, former work mate kinda thing, a former instruments technician and real good with stuff. He has told me countless stories about things not being made to last. He has also said repeatedly that for very little more money one could make electronics that would last a lifetime.
Surface mount has not been our friend but thankfully the chinese cheapies are mostly not surface mount just yet which in a kinda funny way has helped me loads of times. I have rather a large amount of cheapie PSUs in various guises near all powering control gear. All I have to do is dismantle them once i get them and make sure that everything is well insulated, plenty of heat sink compound, cut some pins from the back of the pcb ect. Maybe a little better quality heat transfer sheet instead of a bit of stuff so thin that it is nearly bound to short to the casing.
I have great results just as long as I give them a good going through and last but not least run them at no more than half their rated current.
I’m guessing but Id say I have maybe 20 x 25w to 100w PSUs running at any one time and I have no trouble.
I’ll just edit in a little here
10 years ago in Aug my eldest daughter and I went to AU and NZ. I bought a new phone to take with me. I used it right up to earlier this year until i could not hear on the thing. I he says and now he has a smart phone. No I says not long after I bought my new phone I noticed they were getting cheaper so I watched for about 2 years to they came done to below a fiver for a brand new one. So I have a couple more. I dont think the network system will change so much I’ll not be able to use them but I have been phoning and receiving call now for over 10 years for £25 of phones including the current one or £30 if you include the one I have for my pension.
So today all these super smart distractions that barely last a year and seldom 2 years are worse than my 2004 one. No I cannot do so as much on my old thing but I dont want to. I have a laptop and a camera for the other things and they do a much better job than the smart phone because if nothing else I can see them.
To to h**** with obsolescence.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

“The LIght Bulb Conspiracy.”

https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_cartel

Think this is it, DK.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Thats about in in a nutshell Ian.
I have only glanced but there seems to loads of info on the web,
I hadnt bothered about it until it came into may head with this topic.
I have been looking at early 20th century photos and paintings of early Newyork, Berlin etc and there is little if any orange/red light so the bulbs were pretty white it seems

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Here is a piece about the Phoebus cartel on the IEEE website: spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-great-lightbulb-conspiracy

It is instructive to search for cartel fines to find some more recent examples in Europe. The name Philips, a member of the Phoebus cartel turns up as a member of a cartel involved with computer and TV screens, and the six members were fined over £1 bn. I used to trust Philips.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi Wave, If you were with me a lot of the time you would end up trusting nothing and no one. Even employees can and do fall for the company blurb.
They think its in their interest to be a company man or woman.
The marketing has bluffed the very employees because like the public they are kept a million miles from the truth and if we/they are getting paid we dont want to know.
I have worked for big name business.
I was good, I got to go on those nice corporate trips. It was a job. Take what I can just like them. Real blurb it was.
Flown off to F1 GPs, Moto GPs, factory visits, more than you can eat, pocket money every morning how could you not be won over by the generosity of the company.
I wasn’t won over. I just like many needed a job. The job was good but I could not stick keeping a straight face on. It was dishonest. I’m not good with dishonest. I left, my choice.
All I had to do was manage a dept and be nice to the customers. Tell them the product was the best available. Customer is king, Customer is always right but in reality I knew full well the customers were the cash cows. Sales staff bought in to it buying new for themselves and the company got profit and then the finance kick back on the backs of the companies own employees.
They were going up the road with a product that was barely a shadow of that companies past products. Rubbish. Disposable vehicles
This is the result of our consumer society.
This is obsolescence
The country is a big business in a the worlds high street and we are the customers not the shareholders that we should be

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

“The country is a big business ” absolute “nail on the head ” we have went from as the US phrase goes –for the people -by the people -the government -to for big business -by big business its even admitted by governments here and in the US .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

A slight benefit of having successful businesses is they provide employment, taxes, exports, to fund the government’s expenditure including the benefits system, the NHS and education. Profitability is necessary to do this.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Light bulbs that last “2500 hours” and longer have always been made, but they trade off light output efficacy (lumens per Watt) against life because the filament runs at a lower temperature.

The lamp industry has been one of innovation since its inception. Co-operation worldwide existed particularly in patent licenses and technical know-how agreements. Otherwise a company that made a significant step forward in say gas discharge technology or fluorescent phosphors would have dominated a particular field. I saw the benefits of this at first hand.

It is one field where newer products were built better than old, partly by improvements in technical design, partly by better production techniques and partly by improvements in quality control. This does not always. of course, apply to rogue operators who sell you substandard LEDs.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

I dont disagree with you Malcolm.
I think we are all clued up enough to know that cooler elements will last longer but where I started was with manufacturers instrumenting obsolescence and as best I have seen this the earliest noted time several companies joined forces to empty our pockets more often by selling us a worse product

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

DeeKay, long-life light bulbs simply trade off life against electricity usage. Developments in filament material and design, gas filling, quality control all helped to produce more reliable and longer-lived lamps, but there is no magic solution – well the halogen cycle was a big step forward for some filament lamp types. Fluorescent. low pressure sodium and high pressure discharge lamps for commercial and public use were the real step forward.

The Phoebus agreement was a world-wide agreement that, in the early days of lamp development, included interchange of technical information, use of patents, co-operation on innovation, introduction of standards and development of quality control that was funded from major manufacturers. The successful development of lamps and promotion of the widespread adoption of better lighting (we were still using gas) would have been retarded were it not for such cooperation.

However, it was 90 years ago and a little off topic. I built my garage / workshop 30 years ago and installed fluorescent lighting with wire-wound ballasts (electronics not generally available) but using newly developed electronic pulse starters (instead of the glow type). I have not replaced any starters or lamps in all that time.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Fluorescent lighting is an excellent example of an extremely dependable product that led to the development of the compact fluorescent lamp, often regarded as anything but reliable. CFLs tend to be over-run to maximise light output in a small space and contain electronic components that can be overheated if used in enclosed or semi-enclosed fixtures. It was many years before I saw a product (a Tesco spiral) that warned against such use and there are CFLs on current sale without this warning. With choke ballast fluorescent lighting, there is no electronics to overheat and fail and with more modern electronic ballasts they are separate from the heat generated by the tube.

The main advantage of electronic starters over glow starters is that they will detect a worn out tube and not repeatedly attempt to start a discharge, which can overheat a choke, with the possibility of fire.

I’m not too keen on the illegal actions of a cartel being portrayed in a positive way but perhaps we should be grateful to computer crime and hackers for encouraging the development of security in our banking system.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Good man Wave, This topic is about obsolescence and the actions of business to rob the people.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I’m have never been convinced that business sets out to rob people but sometimes I do wonder. I’ve just been looking at a hand-held blender at a friend’s house. It is a shoddy construction that anyone practical could have seen would not be durable. I don’t know which supermarket it came from but I don’t believe that the supermarkets (all large companies) should be selling cheap & nasty products.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi Wave, Not all business’s do and like you I’d like to life in wishful thinking land and think that where i spend my money cares that i at least make it out their door before I fall down.
I have dealt with some reasonable business’s and some not so.
I have ran my own business’s and I was in it to make a living but I cared and I done my best provide a service at a fair price but I never made my fortune.
There are sometimes too sides to the coin and customers can be as greedy as any big company.
It didnt take me long to get ripped off a few times and I soon learned a lesson.
My worst enemies were the type who would tell me that I could fix this or that without using loads of parts. ” I know you can do it” They really blew hot hot up my ***
Those were the worst people I have every met. If you fell for that story you’d fall for the next one too that they were getting paid for something and they’d be straight down to pay just as soon as the cheque arrived. That was often never. You see like a thief, they had cased me out. If I believed the sob story and that I was a great fellow I’d believe anything.
As bad as any greedy company
Its people who run companies.
Today there is little chance of management being in it to provide a service and get paid for that. Its the callus greedy types that are there also.
We all have to go out and shop and the prime mover in the supermarket is price but they are also trying very hard to sell us stuff we dont need
These supermarkets dont care about you or I or the grower/farmer.
We all know the stories from the news that when a shop decided to do a 2 for 1 offer they landed straight to the grower and told the grower that they have to supply twice as much for the same money. Thats callus.
Big business never gives anything away for nothing in return.
Back to cars. Why do we have cars with systems that dont often dont work beyond warranty and the replacement parts are so expensive the residuals would hit the floor if it were not for the 1000s of remapping services everywhere.
Without those guys disabling the emissions equipment the cars would be unaffordable and would simply need scrapped. Ask anyone buying one of these cars if they would like to take the whole hit of the price over 5 or 6 years. They’d laugh you out of town.
Ask the owner of a 5 year old for £1200 for an EGR and they’d have a heart attack.
So the manufacturers have obsolescent due to terrible products but they want their cake and eat it at the same time
I know I often end back on cars but these are the second biggest expense to our houses so why not. They are terrible. They should be better

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

“I’m not too keen on the illegal actions of a cartel being portrayed in a positive way”. Well, that seems to be that then.

CFLs are reliable if you buy decent brands. Even in enclosed fittings – just choose the right wattage for the size of enclosure. Chokes could certainly be unreliable if poor quality ones were used – they could overheat in “normal” use. Nothing is as clearcut as is sometimes “portrayed”.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I have posted before about the need to keep the electronics cool when using CFLs. Hot electronic components may survive being cooked for a time, but it is not a recipe for reliability. I have dismantled a fair number of old CFLs that I know to have been well ventilated and it’s remarkable how cooked they have become inside even if there is little overheating obvious from outside. On the other hand, CFLs used in enclosed fixtures are invariably cooked unless only used for short periods.

Looking at a Tesco lamp (950 lm), the box is marked: “Do not use in enclosed fixtures. Usage in recessed fixtures could result in reduced product life.” Very sensible advice and perhaps we could all enjoy decent life of our CFLs if it was on all packaging.

Profile photo of Carole
Member

Yes they were.

My mother passed on her Electrolux freezer to me & I reluctantly replaced it when it was approx. 45 yrs old because I could not get new door seals (it needed defrosting every 3 months & was using 1.6kw elec a day).
It was made of metal & my replacement, is of course, made of plastic & I will be lucky if it lasts 10 yrs.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

The appropriate use of a CFL depends upon its wattage and the fitting it will be used in. A high wattage CFL in a small enclosed fitting is clearly not sensible. But to suggest that no CFLs can go in enclosed fittings is incorrect. I have tested such combinations in the past, and currently use them successfully. Light fittings designed for CFLs should show the maximum wattage recommended, just as GLS fittings did.

The electronic components used in good quality CFLs are designed to run at appropriate temperatures. Poorer quality lamps may not. Similar situation with GLS lamps where if a high wattage lamp was used in too-small an enclosure the lamp base cement could fail.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

The only recent light fixture I have is a reading lamp and one of the reasons I chose it is because it provides good ventilation for a CFL. It does not show a CFL lamp rating. Many people have older fixtures so the information needs to be supplied with the lamp. I think that Tesco’s labelling is commendable, but don’t know how many other manufacturers/retailers do the same.

Incidentally, which brands would you see as good quality CFLs?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I’ve used GE and Philips for some years now successfully – good colour, quick to start and have lasted well. However some months ago I bought some B&Q enclosed lights and am using their own brand (Diall) spiral CFLs in those. So far so good but too early to draw any conclusions of course.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I’ve used Philips and GE too and have usually had exceptional service. I deliberately bought a couple of cheap Tesco CFLs to try to understand the problem of poor life that others have reported with CFLs, but I have been very pleased. I can’t say I’m impressed by a lot of their own brand electrical goods.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

A major problem with newer products is the lack of repairability and the cost of repairs. I have not had any bills recently but a friend was charged about £800 for a rear wheel bearing, £80 for a new bulb behind the heater controls and £60 to have a headlamp bulb replaced, all done at the main dealer. Thankfully the parts are available but if you are unlucky, repairs can be expensive. I don’t know how much it will cost to have the timing belt replaced next year as part of a service. I know there are some cars where the engine has to be lifted for this job.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to believe how reliable most modern cars are, most of the time, compared with say 40 or 50 years ago.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

£800 for a rear wheel bearing ??? What car does he have a Rolls Royce/ top end Mercedes /Ferrari etc ? .Timing belts are another rip off While my old Ford ST 170 has had its belt replaced at 60000 miles it wasnt more than £100 but my earlier Ford 2.5 had a chain belt this went on forever there have been many cases of Vauxhall belts breaking and totaling the engine but you see chain drive timing belts up the cost of the engine and keep it running longer ,not allowed now ,I have only driven Fords for the past 40 years or more ,cheap parts ,fit em yourself try that on a Merc -special tools required -tools for Fords -socket set from Halfords -£50

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

A slight correction. The car is a Toyota Yaris and I realise that the cost will include the cost of a service, MOT and ‘free’ valet. My friend did query the cost to no avail.

Up until now I’ve done most of my own servicing and repairs outside warranty. I did once get a timing belt replaced because it looked and was a big job because of poor access.

Timing chains can fail as a result of poor servicing and I know someone who has recently had a Mitsubishi engine wrecked in this way.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Chains are for the best part more reliable??? but they can and do break and the results are the same as a belt breaking except that you now have the price of a chain and the chain and covers are not as easy to get around as a belt.
If you have chain driven cams and you every hear a little jingley noise be cautious the first thing to fail is often the chain tensioner and although the chain hasnt the room to hop over the teeth the loose chain gets quickly stressed by slapping. The slapping is the noise.
Chains were around around long before belts. The Lotus Twin Cam was chain as was Fiat Alfa. nothing new there.
Belt services are way too long. Anything can happen in 70 or 80k.
Change them all at 40k and dont, dont over-tighten them. Over-tightening a timing belt is much worse than it being a little the other way. They dont stretch and they would have to be serious floppy to skip the teeth.
Personally i have never had a belt break but i have removed loads of heads and replaced valves. Big job today with 4 valves er cyl and if its a diesel with its inherent close clearances the problem can be worse.
Change the belts and often. Their not dear.
Its a bit like the countless oil debates. Some oil is better than no oil. A new belt is always better than no belt.
Hope that helps
Dee

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I’ve not had any problem with timing belts, but still envy those with timing chains. As you say, you get an audible warning of a worn chain. If cars were designed to enable a simple visual check of the condition and tension of timing belts, a lot of grief could be avoided. It might have helped a friend who had a belt that broke only 17k after replacement on his Land Rover.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

I specialised for some years in LRs and in that time we never had a TB failure.
We repaired many front pulleys that fell off destroying the front of the crank which had to get metal sprayed. The front pulley had a very high torque and was never done up properly. We repaired many bent valves because of belts not making it the later extended recommended intervals.
It seems that near 20 years on things have not changed
I could not say that a belt will never fail but I was on the forefront of the industry for 20 years before I sold up and if everything was as should be a belt should do well.
It would not be easy inspecting a belt. you kinda need it off and bend it backward to see the cracks at the edge of the teeth where the first signs appear.
The belts I hated the worst were the old BDAs. They were dire
It may be a bit of statement but if you had any skills it may be better to do your own work. Dealer workshops are so poor.
The wifes car has a chain. Suzuki
Personally I have a safe engine. The belt can break without damage but believe it or not I have had to rescue an old friend years ago who had been quoted many 100s to remove the head and replace valves etc on one of those very engines. An hour and a half and she fired up first turn.
Believe it or not that engine is still in production after 30 years. Same block, same 8 valves. Only difference to now is sequential injection So much for progress.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I don’t have your expertise but on at least one of my cars it was easy to remove the cover and check for obvious problems with the condition and tension of the belt, even if it is not a thorough inspection. In my father’s day it was a standard recommendation to inspect the condition of belts, hoses, etc. I still do this and so far have avoided failures. Unfortunately, manufacturers have made it more difficult to make simple checks. Cars are more reliable but can be much more expensive to fix if something goes wrong.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Your attention will serve you well. Dont be afraid to have a look behind covers even if you cannot see much. There are not many oil leaks now but at the silly timing belt service intervals anything can and does happen. A very slight oil leak to the belt will shorten its life seriously. Oil is their biggest enemy

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Yes modern cars are really very reliable. I dont know of a car that needs the engine lifting as you say. maybe a mount removed but I would not term it being lifted. Most timing belts are 2 to 4 hours about. My son has a 159 5cyl Just about as big and tight as you’ll get and its about the 4 hours mark.
Main dealers are awful.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Things keep coming to mind
I once needed a compressor and I needed one that would put up as much air as possible on single phase
I didnt like the twin motor twin pump high rpm ones.
I didnt like large receivers because they took too long to build up and the bigger the receiver the longer the pump has to run at the last where it is getting a harder time
I went about things different as usual.
Indecently I already had had 2 of the modern versions that I was sold as being for my purpose. Near every tool I had was air driven.
A single unplanned breakdown was a mad rush to the phone to get another on the way, Now. At the second failure I hired one albeit at a silly price per week but I knew this quality of machine was no good to me.
I went to the place that had built my last two compressors and who still build garage compressors.
All similar spec idea to Clarke etc.
They would not build what I wanted
They sold me a 28cfm pump though
I went and got myself a 4hp 3000rpm motor
I mounted the two items and started to play.
Knowing that the only off loader was the one in the switch that goes hiss as the switch goes to stop in prep for the next start the only buffer for air is the pipe between the pump and the check valve and is not enought real relief at start up I added a 240v solenoid valve just like big industrial compressors to the pump hose.
I added a Sytelec 10sec timer set to 4 sec in order that every time the unit started the valve would open for 5 secs to allow the single phase motor that is poor at starting to get off of its start windings
I swapped motor drive pulleys until the unit started cold easily and started within the rating of the motor.
That was when our boy was born 25 years ago.
It has never failed in any manner and there were 3 of us at one time working off of it.
The compressor salesman of the day is local and has never forgot the supposed ott unit I built.
He is retired but every time I see him the same question. Is the compressor still going?
The pump has never used oil and the same oil is in it to this very day.
It obviously doesnt get much use now but last week we fitted a set of new track pads and the 3/4 gun got a load of work without a problem.
So where am I going with this in relation to the topic
The pump I got was a modern alloy thing.
The two cyl, two stage tye that usually does a few years but it runs about half speed of the self destruct cheapies.
So the cheap alloy pump is fine if its kept about 800 or 900rpm instead of near 2000rpm
Again I was not offered such a machine.
I was told a single phase motor would never start it yet one could turn the pulley easily by hand and I could still hear the rings going up and down the newly honed bore.
A 3000rpm motor has no torque, you’ll need to use a 1500rpm motor to start the thing with obviously no understanding of gearing.
So if you want a compressor, a good compressor you can have one without a kings ransom but you might have to built it yourself.
Even 25 years ago compressors had become rubbish.
The high speed pair I had often ran for hours. The temperature was such the pump and motor would have taken the skin off you.
I looked for an old proper British built ones but even second hand they commanded a serious premium.
Really there was little choice. Buy a new compressor every two or three years or move to somewhere with 3ph supply.
My answer worked. Yes it ran for hours and days on end also but it was never so hot you couldnt have touched it an time has been the test.
It’ll probably be going when I’m not around which will be no odds to me but about 2 days engineering left me with a product that’ll last a lifetime.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I’ve just come in from the garage where it got a bit cold. Cleaning up sawdust with our Rowenta Wet ‘n Dry vacuum – a big tub on wheels with the works sitting on the top – I realised we’d had it for around 32 years. And it has had a hard life including cleaning up an awful lot of dust and small rubble when building the house extension and garage. It was replaced for the house with a Miele, and consigned to the workshop to suck up sawdust, shavings and bits of wood. And still going strong.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Ah, yes: from the description exactly the same model and age of our Wet ‘n Dry Rowenta which we also use in the garage 🙂 I suspect the key to success for that model was supreme simplicity (lift off the lid to change the bag / filter, simple mechanical clamps to hold it closed , two sizes of hose (large one excellent for leaves) and an engine that seems destined to go on forever.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

It is the same. Ian. I’m right out of new bags (have been for about 25 years) but still have a much used one that, if the occasion permits, I reuse. But generally it gobbles up rubbish straight into the tub.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I’ve had very good service with a Rowenta filter coffee maker. It has a gold filter, so no messing with paper bags and none of the grounds get through it. The filter is immaculate and the machine works fine but looks very tatty. I would buy the same machine again if it was available, but all the ones I’ve seen have a cheap nylon filter. I have a pressure coffee maker but cannot be bothered to use that every day.

Many people hold on to older household products because they don’t like what is on sale today.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

We have a Spong 1940’s runner bean slicer for that very reason. Runner beans being the supreme vegetable it is important to slice them nicely and this does it very nicely with a hand-turned rotary action. Nothing we have tried has come close to producing attractive runner beans and, so far as we can see, there is no gadget on the market that does such a good job.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I have a fan heater that I use in my garage workshop. My father bought it when I was a young child in the 50s. It is much more strongly built than the fan heaters now sold for domestic use, it is easy to open the back to oil the Garrard motor, and there is a fusible link in case the air flow is blocked. I still have a spare. The original red/black/green mains cable has been replaced. I reckon it will outlast me. Unfortunately it no longer bears the manufacturer’s name.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

We also have a fan heater which is 49 years old. It’s a Centrifugal fan (horizontal impeller) and when new it was highly efficient but above all almost silent. However, I remember we had several, and in turn they all became noisy to operate. But the original one still works silently when you start it.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Sounds like a company I know well wavechange = Garrard ,makers of the Garrard 301/401 record decks using the old fashioned idler pulley . Highly thought after by the up-market high-fi world can command high prices even now for a good one low-wow/flutter for that type of drive the motor was built like a tank even had its own electro-mechanical speed regulator. I stupidly sold my 301 decades ago should have kept it ,spares still available .

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

We’re all lit up this morning we are.
Having all sorts of electrical heaters I am always on the look out for older heavier models.
The proper heaters with big solid elements instead of these fiddly thing not much thinker than a hair. The older ones had the elements inside the metal and didn’t mess up our air the same
Imagine buying an electric heater and drilling a wall or worse still tiles to fix it to. In about 5 years you’d have to re-tile to cover the amount of different holes.
Even the old fan heaters like above are still kicking around
Good stuff
Some thing have have improved but not electric heaters

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I’m not convinced that old products were always better made even if they were repairable.

When I was a child we had no central heating in our village bungalow. My bedroom had a coal fire and and a 2kW portable electric heater with two heater elements consisting of coils of nichrome wire supported in ceramic radiants. It would have been easy to poke a metal object through the grille at the front and touch the live element. When an element broke you joined together the broken ends or took out the old element and threaded a new one in the ceramic radiant.

I was very glad when electric fires with silica-sheathed elements, oil-filled radiators and fan heaters arrived.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi Wave. You were lucky, we didnt have leccy back then but I agree wholeheartedly that proper sheathed elements were good but now we have the biggest rubbish of elements I could have dreamed of.
We were told “dont touch, it’ll shock you” and we didnt touch
I read lately that children are more likely to start fires now because they have been so shielded from matches etc that they literally start playing with fire and then cant get it stopped. The dont understand because they have no experience and received no instruction
Have a look down inside a modern cheapy and not so cheap heater. It just a big stamped out matt stretched out not unlike a Xmas decoration.

And yes I see some things as better in 2 ways. More reliable like cars and much of the throw away stuff has so little in it you could throw away several before you’d amount up the equivalent product of yesterdays repairable stuff
But its only some stuff. Tv’s and some electronics go out of date so quick that they suit this style but other things maybe I’d like to see a return of better.
A fridge or a washer doesnt go out of date at least not in may eyes. And could we have hot connections back again please.

Still I like sheathed elements and bi-metal stats.
Its not easy making loads from wire-wound stuff. Sheathed are great for forming to fit various housings an so on.
Those other things with digital timers and solid state stats dont suit me.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Memories!!!!!!! Friends house was like yours. Fireplace in bedroom electric heater that you weren’t allowed to switch on.
It saved on matches though for those who wanted to hang out the bedroom window with a ciggy!!!!!

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Gerard did do belt drive models, probably late 70s, but they were looked down on because most of their production was cheaper models with the turntable driven by the rubber idler wheel.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Kettles used to have replaceable elements and it was often possible to buy a suitable one from a local electrical retailer. Now the element is usually under the base of the kettle and non-replaceable.

I like the idea of having a kettle with a shiny flat base that lime scale does not stick to and the troublesome seal between the element and kettle body is eliminated, but it is not good to have to throw away the whole kettle if the heater fails. Dualit have produced a kettle with a replaceable base but the reports I have read have not been kind.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

When I was a kid my mother went to a hardware store for a refill for a paraffin heater they had a massive tank with a hand pump, there must be some here that remember that .It was cheap to buy you only had to renew the wick every so often I got it down to a fine art getting the color of the flame just right with no smoke and you had a fuel level indicator .Valor springs to mind. Anybody now would think I had my own jet engine as they did run on paraffin .no idea if that has changed to some “super fuel “

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Duncan, you have just brought back terrible memories. We had no Leccy and for outside we had Hurricane lamps like you describe with the wick. For inside there were pressurised type lamp that you pumped up and then clamped a alcohol soaked thingy to and preheated the globe/fire bit to get it to light. Very bright and white and kept up an awful racket.
There were pressurise versions for keeping little piglets warm and versions for chickens too. There were even paraffin incubators.
No I dont want to go back to that. Ceilings all sooty and black. Fires waiting to happen.
Leccy all the way.
If it doesent run down a pipe or a wire I dont want it
Speaking of which I have plenty in the wires tonight. Dump loads glowing outside.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Dee as I said -no smoke as the wick was adjustable just a nice blue flame like my expensive metal Cherry switch blue button keyboard, kept the room warm. The nearest I got to hurricane lamps was when I went camping using ex.wd paraffin lamps .Yes I remember open bar electric fires and then came in glass enclosed elements didnt radiate the same heat but used the same wattage.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

If there was no Leccy I’d light one up before I’d sit in the dark but Id want some form of better ventilation than I currently have because like it or not the by-products are not good for you whether you see smoke or not and I’m choked with by-products anyhow and feel the slightest fumes.
I’ll agree that they do give off some heat and that nothing is wasted unlike near every other form of heat or light but maybe there is a good reason others have flues
Even after the end of WW2 there were fears about poisoning from oil lamps
A gas cooker gives off CO but they are exempted from needing a fixed exhaust flue as it is unlikely to be operated in closed space as it is assumed a vent or window will open to remove the heat and steam.
Every cooker instructions warns not to use the cooker as a heater.
As best I am aware a cooker is the only combustion device exempted from now accepted normal ventilation rules.

I also liked the old fire-bar heaters but they were a fire hazard and the ones without the glass were a shock hazard,
Mind the ones at present have a lightweight element not very far off of the bottom of the heater.
Certainly a child would have no trouble sticking a knife or spoon handle in there. I know we have RCDs now but I’d rather not rely on the last chance hotel per se.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Electric fires with exposed elements have been consigned to history but in the 21st century it is still possible for a child can still poke fingers into the lamp socket of a table lamp.

Many don’t realise that a gas hob gives off carbon monoxide in use because of ‘flame chilling’.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

The problem about UK/US light fittings isnt going to be solved overnight as it would cost 100,s of millions of £/$ to retool industry and change every light connection in both countries. It would be a massive operation in both light design and replacement although I agree you have a point who will pay for it ? Also how far do you “make society safe for children ” there are a lot more deadly hazards that can kill/injure children ,but just look at the uproar about paying 5p for a plastic bag which a child could suffocate themselves.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

There was a spot on our tv news about parents taking pictures of there children sitting on a railway line whilst out for a country walk. And not just an isolated incident. The same story showed cyclists, cars and pedestrians with a pram dodging the closing gates on a road/railway crossing. We can take all the safety precautions we like, but I don’t think there is a cure for stupidity.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi Wave,
I know from your posts that for whatever reason electrical and other safety is very interesting to you.
I am not nearly as interested for as I make sure that all circuits here have proper modern protection on them but I dont miss much and I can see the potential problems for many households.
Have a look if you can at the many 1000s of convertor heaters on the market from countless sources.
Look say on Amazon for OYPLA convertor heater. Oypla are not on their own by a long shot, it was the first to appear.
Once you recognise the beast the next time you see one in the flesh turn it up and look in the bottom. You’ll see uninsulated elements within easy reach.
Now if all things were as probably you and I would want them to be every house would have a nice consumer unit with RCDs or RCBOs on every circuit and if that were the case then about the worst would happen would be an unsustainable shock.
However all houses we know a to well are not equipped with what I would term as proper protection and in this case the electric will cause you muscles to hold on indefinitely if the contraction acts to keep you connected you are in trouble.

Gas cooker/grill/stove instructions should spell out the dangers but like the conditions online we just bypass them

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Many European Standards EN (and the equivalent BS ENs) are safety standards to ensure that we are protected from unsafe products. Anyone who allows the import of, imports or distributes unsafe products (that don’t comply with the appropriate EN) should be prosecuted.

Trading Standards used to be better at this than they are now, in their decimated condition. Perhaps Which? could organise a campaign and involve the Minister for Consumer Affairs (if he can find the time with has many other jobs) in getting consumers properly looked after.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Your right malcolm and the reasons behind the “decimated ” consumer protection Authorities including the government –its too dear /costs too much money as to who the real “beneficiaries” are of those policies ??

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Yes Duncan, There is little good in having policies or standards of there is no one to police the thing.
At present the Gov is so focused on Fiscal policy they see nothing else. Nothing unusual there. Tunnel vision.
The problem is that we came to expect a certain standard of safety and perhaps became complacent expecting everything to be safe.
Safety can be and mostly is really good in comparison to yesteryear but there are many houses with little more than a big fuse in them. No earth leakage protection at all.
Those houses should long since have had at minimum had their consumer units upgraded to more recent equipment even if the wiring wasn’t upgraded.
I am aware that there are certain conditions and requirements about wiring but a consumer unit full of proper rated RCDs and MCBs or RCBOs will be a heck of a sight better than being dead.
I worked my way around this old place of mine over the last years and there is no part without earth leakage protection. I even added it to the underground cabling form the distant meter box with 150mA time delayed. I feel better having done so.
I suppose I’m back with logic instead of written rules but anything improvement is better than no improvement.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Modern lampholders have, for some time, included a feature that disconnects the supply when the lamp is removed.

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

I had a think about this after reading that bulb holders now disconnect with removal of the bulb and I couldn’t remember any real change over the years at least visibly so I had a check around.
I have a complete extension finished 10 years ago. There are 7 pendant bulb holders. All remain live with the bulb removed
I have then tested the ones in may fathers cabin that is 2 years old, the same, live
I then went to the big bins where I keep surplus of everything and that is the newest stuff and all four pendants test for continuity so no disconnect there either.
I have googled just about every term I can think of about bulb holders and pendants having a built in disconnect and I can find nothing.
It was required for a particular part of my job that I done my 17th edition and I done my 17th edition just over 8 years ago and I recall no info on this suggested modification to bulb holders.
So for those reading be cautious of bulb holders they can and do shock

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Dee- I use Duck-Duck-Go as it doesnt track you but does provide some alternative to Google and your right it was hard to find any info on those safety fittings but two or more UK electrical companies sell them although they are aimed at business not the public -cost =£1.42p each (p/p extra )

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Hi Duncan, Thanks for the Duck-Duck-Go. I’ll try it a few more times later as google does follow you around as such and my searches cover a wide range of topics so sometimes the first search page is more of a marketing exercise than anything of real interest
Dee

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Looking on the web a number of “safety” lampholders come up from regular wholesalers and outlets – Crabtree, MK, Hager using for example shielded contacts until the lamp is inserted. The relevant British Standard is, I presume, BS7895:1997 “Specification for bayonet lampholders with enhanced safety” .

A pity we can’t look at BSs to see what they say and where they apply but it would seem to me that any accessible lights should be fitted with these.
Perhaps Which? can tell us?

Profile photo of DeeKay
Member

Okay, You guys, you found them but I’ll bet you can go from one end of your street to the other and maybe not find a single one.
Can we start with your own houses please
As to standards. The 17th edition is the standard.
There is a Part P to building control that puts the onus on the property owner to make sure all electrical in/on the property will meet required standards
The current version is BS 7671:2008+A3:2015 (the 17th edition incorporating Amendment 3:2015)
I have the big bible here and if someone would direct me to where it says we need to use bulb holders with a disconnect I would love to see it.
This is not because I want to use one thing or the other not has it anything to do being right or wrong or maybe more to the point who is right or wrong.
It is because there is an onus on wholesalers/suppliers to supply equipment to the current requiements and if I’ve been supplied equipment below standard I want to take it all back with the invoices and dates.

If these things had been compulsory for some time the basic ones would/should not be available as it would be an offence to supply such in the same manner as a recent change has meant that most if not all consumer units cannot have flammable case. There are a couple of exceptions but in a house the combustible ones are now a no go.

I know I court debate
I originally commented on Malcolm’s post that bulb holders had for some time had a disconnect.
I personally had not used or seen such holders anywhere but because I had not specialised in this field all my life and dont so every day and in case I had missed something as I often do I conducted a quick set of tests at home followed by a quick google search.
I was not looking for a supplier, I was looking for a requirement, a regulation change which I did not find.

I have not had offered to me as an alternative any such holders so as to whether they are available or not is not the question.
What is in question
Does the current regs require bulb holders to have a disconnect upon removal of the bulb? I dont know.
I was made to read and pass a test on the above mentioned standard and during this I was not made aware nor did I read anything about such and was interested in much of the teaching but the teaching left a load to be desired as did the test for reasons directly involved with my then industry and although the 17th edition had all the info I required in connection with our industry and our requirements there was not a single question on much if any of that part of the 17th edition.
In other words the test felt very like it covered the basic everyday domestic/commercial requirements which could be argued that that covers most electrical work..
That being said the standards I had to work to required that all personnel directly involved with the machines had have the 17th edition.

Have bulb holders had for some this disconnect device built in? Just at this moment I dont know but I am fairly sure if I go to town today and ask for 10 pendants I wont be asked about a disconnect type.

The reason I commented on the post and the reason I metered our holders and googled for what should have been common knowledge is because to say “for some time” could/would/maybe lead a reader to think that for some time these items had been commonly or compulsory installed thus those with fresh houses or those in renovated houses should have bulb holders with a safety device fitted is misleading.

So unless someone can categorically state that “for some time” all houses should have been by regulation fitted with these isolating type bulb holders can we at present assume that in fact not all houses and possibly very few houses have been fitted with isolating type holders.
Otherwise a reader could be mislead.

As to whether a person would be silly enough to test his holders out with his finger is not the question but silly’er things have happened