When it arrived my attention was immediately directed to the 3-pin UK mains plug and power lead supplied.
British Standard regulations specify that the earth pin (top pin) should be all metal if the earth is actually needed for the equipment, or can be plastic if the equipment isn’t earthed.
The 50/50 metal/plastic combinations are NOT allowed (left picture) for the Earth pin.
And anyway, as a generic cable it’s supposed to be a standard IEC earthed power cord so should be solid metal.
This then got me thinking about the cable and connector. The IEC connector has 10A 250V stamped on it but the plug was fitted with a 13A fuse.
In the UK, mains plugs have a cartridge fuse fitted and these fuses are generally available in 3A, 5A and 13A ratings, yet the majority of these IEC cables are rated at 10A. I suspect it's because of the Europeans, however, the lead manufactures know this fact and so use cable that can handle at least 13A... don't they????
When I looked at the actual cable it has 3CX0.75mm2 stamped on it so off I went to the cable manufactures web site.
The below table is an excerpt from one of their data tables.
3Cx0.5mm2 16/0.20 6A
3Cx0.75mm2 24/0.20 9A
3Cx1.0mm2 32/0.20 14A
The manufacturer states that the cable in my lead is capable of carrying 9A. I’m not really happy at that as its well below the 13A rating of the fuse and I would have been happier to see 3C1.0mm2 being used with its 14A capability instead.
However, if the plug can be fake - there's no way that was ever BS approved, could the cable also be fake?
The manufacturer data states that the 3Cx0.75mm2 cable should be made from 24 strands of 0.20mm wire.
I checked the actual cable specified by cutting it in half and it was obvious this wasn’t going to take anywhere near 9A. The actual conductors were made from 30 strands of 0.10 mm wire, and a quick check shows that in fact, this cable is only physically rated for around 1.5A.
Now I don’t know about other people, but I tend to grab the power cable that’s closest to hand and “assume” that they are all fit for purpose, but this cable is a disaster waiting to happen.
Be warned !!!