Untrippable circuit breaker

Originally published at: Untrippable circuit breaker | Boing Boing

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I’ll bite Rob! (Uh, insert the missing comma) What is your most favourite Amazon product?


There are disconnectors camouflaged as circuit breakers.
Having a switch like this as some use, mainly being sure that a part of a circuit is deenergized, but normally to be useful they accept a locking mechanism to do a lock-out/tag-out safety.
They aren’t ment to trip by themselves.

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It seems like it’s the being camouflaged that’s the primary problem; with the mechanical interoperability possibly being a secondary problem… When it comes to safety critical devices you want everything to do precisely what it says on the tin; ideally in a way that makes doing the wrong thing difficult.

If it’s just a switch it should unambiguously not look like it also circuit-breaks; and potentially shouldn’t even be installable in the same slot(if it’s a standardized context like a breaker box; not just a mount-to-board widget) that a circuit breaker can go in.


I’m confused.

That orange thing doesn’t look like a circuit breaker, it looks exactly like a thing you would use to connect the generator you just bought to your house.

I suspect that that orange thing isn’t the safest way to do that, but I’m not an electrician. Can someone explain?

Is there a product that looks like that orange thing that comes with a circuit breaker built in?

Is there a correct way to hook up a generator to your house?

indeed, there is!


The male-to-male cord isn’t just inherently dangerous because it doesn’t include a circuit breaker, it’s dangerous because you shouldn’t be able to touch any of the parts conducting potentially lethal alternating current.

Same reason we discourage children from sticking metal things into power outlets even in a house equipped with circuit breakers.


That’s a very a informative video. Thanks.

I suspect this is more common in North America than it is on this side of the Atlantic. I’ve never heard of anyone here doing this and very few people I know own generators.

Yeah, USA in general still has plenty of overhead power lines in neighborhoods, so ample chance of losing power when there’s a windstorm or even just an extra squirrel. (not to mention California and their rolling blackouts)


Well, this keeps appearing on his annual holiday gift list…


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Can you get that quantity on Amazon, though?

That has to be an interesting driving gig!

It takes a lot to train for the Olympic Slip and Slide event.

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There’s also the lack of any mechanism to ensure isolation of the house from the grid when it’s in use.

I’m sure that the instruction booklet piously insists that you correctly disconnect the house from the grid before connecting it to the generator; but that’s exactly the sort of gap between ‘instructions’ and ‘engineering controls’ that is going to get some poor lineman killed.

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