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It turns out that my guess of 100VA was a bit old fashioned. This thing was rated a mere 20VA (20W). Not that it matters much, because it's now rated 0VA because the thermal fuse has failed. Most likely because of a high load being plugged into the outlet.
These shaver sockets are used in the UK to provide a transformer isolated 115/230V supply for safer use of things like shavers, and recharging things like toothbrushes and lady-toys.
This unit was sent for our exploration by Thomas Nagy:-
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Another gift from mr thomas nadjie um. I shall link to his channel down below note that this is lovely shiny chrome, which is just completely not suitable for filming, but that's okay, so this device is what's called a shaver socket. Now, i don't know, is this coming in other countries, or is it just a british idiosyncrasy that uh we have electrical outlets in the bathroom that are basically galvanically isolated from ground they've got transformer on them. Let me explain why that is so.

The circuitry in this is roughly the mains command. The earth goes to the metal chassis plate, but that is the only connection to earth in this. The live goes via switch, positive, neutral as well, not sure, but one of them goes via switch. There's a thermal fuse built into the windings of the transformer just to protect, and this is a 100 volt amp.

I shall write that on 100, volt, amp or 100 watts, if you prefer it that style, but it's under volt, amp isolation, transformer on the outside. It's got zero volts, which is now the effect of the new neutral, 115 volts and 230 volts, and if you've got 115 volt shaver, you plug it in there. If it's a 2 30 volt shaver, you plug it in there and that's basically it, and the idea is that if you drop your shaver or other device into the flooded sink, the sink full of water, which you have sinks, are usually flooded. But then you stuff your hand in because you don't really think it through beforehand.

There's no, you could probably get a shock across your hand, but you wouldn't get it with risk through your body to ground. But this one is, i may have changed the lettering that slightly to make it less rude and it is i've tried it and i'm going to guess that the thermal fusing this is gone because it's not uncommon these days with people buying stuff or when they're on Holiday like hair dryers, and they they just plug it into this outlet, not realizing that it's only for shavers really and it overloads it and it blows the thermal fuse. So that's, let's open it up anyway and see what's inside, is it used in other countries? I guess they might have something similar in australia where they have similar voltage. Maybe in europe i'm not really sure it just depends on the country.

Is this the right screwdriver? Probably not? Oh, this is quite an interesting approach. Did i even need to take that off? Probably not is this going to come off? No, it's not nothing's coming in half right, tell you what i'll just keep taking screws out. This is the default activity for trying to get into things. I see what it is.

There's little screws down here, hidden screws. The image is not bright, just because well, it's uh kind of set up for that hideous, chrome outlet, creamy colors. So what do we have? There's a switch. Is that just a springy contact is it? I heard a click? Oh, you know what it's actually got the switch built into this.

Well, that's a bit cheesy. I thought it made a nice reassuring click noise as well. Maybe there was maybe there was a mechanism to make this click and because i've opened it haphazardly. This is cheap.

Uh but uh, it's not doing that so there's one more going. There is probably the neutral going to the transformer. The red is going via this little switch contact. Well, let's do a test right now, let's get the meter in and set it to continuity, maybe not sure.

If that would work or not i'll, try it and go across there, nothing! What about uh say a ridiculous resistance that you might get. This should show something. No, this thing is dead. It's kapitsky, this blue bar here is the one: that's actually the common neutral to these two, so it's the zervo one and then we've got the uh yellow wire here and the white wire here.

What is that uh? The white wire is the 115. The yellow wire is the 230 right. Tell you all, let's get the transformer off deep down. Do i need to take transfer off? I don't i'm not sure.

If it's going to be riveted on here, i've a sneaky feeling it is going to be routed on there and that's going to mess that up. But let's try it anyway. What's the worst can happen, it's notable in this case. The earth goes onto the chassis of the transformer and, from there goes onto the metal front plate yeah that's riveted on, but i shall just hinge it up like this and make a huge big mess there we go.

What is there to see? I shall pop that screw out a little bit more. Is there anything else to see? No, that's it. So we've got the primary side. We've got the secondary, let's explore and see by nibbling in here very carefully and see if we can find the thermal fuse.

That's failed if you fix one of these, be very careful, thin, copper wires, be very careful to always replace it with an actual thermal fuse. Never short the fuse out shorting out thermal fuse is a bad idea. It may well get the thing going but again, but in the future, when someone overloads it again, which happens, and you may find that uh, it just basically goes on fire and emits lots of smoke very embarrassing, hopefully in a metal back box, although not guaranteed plastic Bag boxes are used as well yeah, i'm making a dog's dinner of this. They never are easy to open.

Let's cut that teeth out the way and that tape out the way i shall zoom down so you're going to see more. Will i try and brighten this up? This is going to go wrong. Isn't it is it going to brighten up? It brightened up a tiny little bit, but that's not a dramatic amount. What have i got here? What have we got? Oh, i think i can see.

Thermo fuse, i think you can see the thermal fuse in here - scrunchy scrunchy messy. It's not going to look nice at all. At least it was in the top. So there is the neutral workman with uh it's kind of twisted around the wire a little post.

Please don't do this without breaking everything it's not guaranteed, because i would expect that uh. If so, there's a twisted bar another twisted wire. This is how transformers are generally made and there is the little thermal fuse. So this may be going straight on to the transform winding the this was going to the little thermal fuse, the neutral, and i'm going to guess that i'm going to get continuity between the two windings now and this fuse will have failed.

But that is just a wild guess. Let me turn this back to continuity, in the hope that the primary will be quite low resistance, but it's probably not going to be so one connection there one connection there continuity again, so that means that uh, the thermal fuse has gone. It has it's. The thermal fuse, so someone has plugged something into that, and it's got very hot.

You can actually see a slight darkness around here, suggesting that it was was running quite hot for a while and it may have damaged the primary windings is it it doesn't smell bad. It doesn't look excessively bad, but hopefully that thermal fuse caught it before anything. Really bad went wrong, but another way that can blow that fuse that can trip is if a fault in the windings does occur and they heat up. But the fact it's only powered, while something's plugged in that kind of leads me to believe that someone has plugged something high power into this, without realizing that there's a limitation on how much power you can use, and in doing so they have stretched this transformer.

It's been getting very hot, then it's reached the point of that the thermal fuse tripping that does have printing on it. Let's see if i can read it, that is quite hard to read. Oh, that is very hard because it is just embossing the surface. Let me try a different magnifying glass s3783.

That doesn't really tell me enough a lot unless it's an actual part number. I thought it was going to say an actual temperature anything written on this side. No, but that is it the thermal fuses failed. It has been killed by the application of an overpowered appliance, most likely.

18 thoughts on “Exploring a failed british shaver socket”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CrazyPete says:

    Its like those cheap 100 watt travel power converter that go from 120v -> 240v or 240v -> 120v. You always get people plugging in a 1800 watt hair dryer and wondering why the thing went up in smoke!

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J C says:

    I'm in the US and my shaver just uses a USB charger so it would only be 5v DC if I ever dropped it in the sink while it was plugged in.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dennis Lacroix says:

    We just have GFCIs here in bathrooms and kitchens when near a sink. Bedrooms are also supposed to be protected by RCD breakers as well, presumably because that's where people sleep and you wouldn't be likely to notice something catching on fire in your bedroom when you're asleep before it's too late.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brad Knowles says:

    Iโ€™ve only seen that sort of circuit in hotels in Europe. Iโ€™ve never lived in the UK or Australia, so I canโ€™t speak for homes in those areas.

    And here in the US, we have GFCI outlets.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Emily Elam says:

    In the US, my family's old vacation home built in the 1960s has the receptacles in the bathroom on a light switch. A bit of research suggests that this was done back then because the isolation transformers in shaver sockets could cause radio interference. There's just 2 ordinary outlets there now, but it's an interesting artifact. Any electric razor I've used has always been battery operated.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jimmyhackers says:

    the one in my house disrupts the tv signal when somethings plugged into it.
    does it with shavers and electric toothbrushes.
    any ideas whats up with it?

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Original Radman says:

    I remember seeing these at campgrounds, rest stops and hotels when I was much younger in Canada. They didn't support 240v as we only have 120v to the end point. (240v to the panels and high load accessories).

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tyler roberts says:

    the socket in US bathrooms are the same type as the rest of the house, although gfci is standard now.
    my house is old enough it still have non-gfci outlets in the bathroom, I'll change them at some point. I'll probably get one for the kitchen sink outlet too

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Christopher Thompson says:

    The closest comparison we have to something like this here in the US are GFCI outlets that just cut power entirely when tripped by the erroneous electric gubbin going for an invigorating dip in the water

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars FailedSquare says:

    Ive only ever seen these in UK. In the US we use 110v GFCI outlets for this purpose. I never actually thought these were there for safety, its cool to learn the intent behind their use.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tsm688 says:

    We used to have bathroom outlets like that in Canada. You can still find them in 80's houses and older. But these days we use ground fault interrupter outlets instead.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Grammer says:

    I've never seen one here in America. In the days when my father's home was built, (1955) we didn't even have three-wire (grounded) outlets. On the other hand, in those days, most people knew better than to reach into water for a dropped shaver. Not now. But, in the interest of saving the lives of the stupid, we have GFCI's.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Weavers says:

    That was really annoying, that you didn't snap that plate off the front and get it out of the way. I would have ruined my side cutters by cutting through that riveted bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Cameradoctor says:

    The house I grew up in over here in NZ ( built 1975 ) had one of those. Not so common these days, seems to be standard outlets with RCD's in bathrooms now, or RCD back at the fusebox.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Voice of the Clan says:

    her in doors hair dryer, whats the betts, contact Thomas and ask It will be fun to find out, what do you guys think hair dryer or something else. thanks Clive I didn't know that. good video and enjoyed the shorts very ๐Ÿ’ฃ ๐Ÿ’ฃ explosive.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rasmis says:

    I've mainly seen them in the UK. Not in the rest of Europe. Have used them to power my laptop, when I haven't brought an adapter for the UK plug.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Snorkers says:

    This makes me feel nostalgic. They just have GFCI outlets in US bathrooms. The pull-string lights in UK bathrooms throw me when I go back nowadays, I spend a good 30 secs pawing the walls.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joshua Smellie says:

    I've seen them in motels in New Zealand and since very old 40+ year old homes but that's about it.

    I've never used a razor that didn't have a regular plug but have wondered what the fuck these were so this is a great video.

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