Why the heck do U.S. plugs have holes in them?

Stepping on a plug (esp. in the dark) is a particularly British experience. Mention it and you will be greeted with sympathy and howls of shared pain, even from complete strangers. For all those very many safety features, British plugs seem designed to ensure that those monstrous barbs almost always stick directly upwards when the plug rests on the floor.

7 Likes

“NEMA toads”! :laughing: I love it!

3 Likes

Or delight in the elegantly rounded safe European alternative to both.

1 Like

I am definitely in agreement with the folks who think this sort of presentation is a maddening waste of time. 10 seconds to read a paragraph or 20 minutes of babble for the same answer? Seems a simple choice to me but I respect that people prefer to absorb information differently. As for whether one considers such things entertaining, well that is certainly a matter of taste. You like what you like. I’d rather have dental work.

I’m surprised there was no mention of lock out/tag out which, whatever their original purpose, is what these holes are routinely used for today in environments that encourage such things.

2 Likes

Euro plugs are pretty good, but (as is so often the case) the Swiss have the best design. It’s sturdy yet compact, so you can get three into a single outlet plate. And they don’t stand up like claws in the night.
image image

6 Likes

If the two holes are meant to hold the plug in the outlet, it ain’t workin’.

I’ve slowly been replacing the outlets in my house that were put in almost 30 years ago because the plugs just fall out. You would think something that cost 79 cents would last longer.

5 Likes

Although with the Swiss outlets you can only use two of the three. The third one is reserved solely for use in time of war.

3 Likes

I’m surprised that the hotel didn’t kick him out after he blew up one of their sockets and tripped a circuit breaker, presumably cutting off power for at least some other guests.

He clearly didn’t do any research on UK electrical standards before he went, so he learned the hard way and put himself and other people in danger, In any case, what made him think that he could use a hotel room as a laboratory even if it did have its own fusebox?

1 Like

He intentionally creates situations where a shock (or sometimes a fire) is created for comedic effect and to demonstrate the dangers of electricity when not properly handled.

He may know what he’s doing, but he caused damage to the room and inconvenienced other guests by tripping the breaker.

1 Like

If anyone invades the UK, they can use plugs as caltrops. :wink: But putting a fuse in the plug is one of the better ideas out there.

In the past, British electrical goods came without the plug. You were expected to fit it yourself, since there was no telling what sockets any given building had. They might be the modern variety, but there were older systems still in use like BS546, Wylex, and D&S.

6 Likes

Ha ha: “NEMA toads.”

2 Likes

is it just me, or do these always feel ready to fall out of the wall at any moment?

the three prong ones feel fine, but the twos rarely feel secure.

people wired their own plugs up until 1992!? what were y’all thinking!?

It’s just you, I think. I have been living with them all my life and I have never thought about them falling out, much less experienced it. If anything they are often too tight.

1 Like

I heard that the edges of the holes helped scrape off any smutz on the socket contacts for a better connection.

If you’re not familiar with his channel, his M.O. is “education through self-inflicted pain” by showing all the wrong ways to do something before demonstrating the right way.

Great video, and I’m a fan of the UK design. Too bad they couldn’t do something about these:

I mean it’s hard to be too critical of this. In the US at least with major electric appliances like, say, a range or clothes dryer there’s a dizzying array of receptacles, voltages, phases, etc and you need to know in advance what you have to make sure you get the right plug with the appliance. Of course, you can also just opt for just hard wiring too.

Meh – I don’t buy it. The holes are flat, and it’s all friction holding the blades in. Some really old receptacles may have some detents that fit into the holes but that’s about it. If you have enough dirt or corrosion inside the receptacle to cause problems with electrical contact, you probably need to just replace your receptacle. More likely you’re going to run into problems with the contacts fatiguing over time and not grabbing the blades well – in which case you should also replace the receptacle since it’s a safety hazard.

2 Likes

even a 2x this was interminable. Is this the equivalent of the recipe preamble?

I don’t know because I didn’t have 20 minutes to watch on the topic?

I appreciate that it CAN be watched if one wants a deep-dive, but this felt a little click-baity - like, “You won’t believe number six!”

1 Like

It’s not so you can stick a straightened out paper clip in there before inserting the plug by poking it with a broom like I did once in detention, just an FYI