Earth pin broken


I have a plug in transformer for my digital radio. The earth pin, simply broke off, when I last unplugged it. The device does have the double square box on it, suggesting I don't need an earth, but does this mean I don't need an earth to the radio it supplies, via the twin wire cable, and plug which supplies the radio with its low voltage supply? ie - should I buy a new transformer?
Thanks. Roy
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The earth pin on a BS1363 socket is needed to open up the shutters on the live and neutral holes on the socket and allow the plugs live and neutral to enter the socket . Without an earth pin you cannot use the transformer in any of your sockets.
It is new transformer time.
Adam
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Not necessarily, Adam. If he uses the same socket all the time, he can switch it off and plug the transformer in by using something non-conductive to open the shutters and then just leave it plugged in. He can simply switch the socket on and off then as required. Alternatively, he can plug it into an adaptor - like this: http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Electrical/Accessories/Adaptor+2+Way+3+Pin/d190/sd2620/p24688 and just plug that into the socket.
Of course, if it's easily obtainable and doesn't cost too much, a new transformer would be preferable but the above solution would be perfectly ok. It is a class II appliance so no earth is required.
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http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Electrical/Accessories/Adaptor+2+Way+3+Pin/d190/sd2620/p24688

How do you think I charge up my mobile phone:-)
Adam
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No, throw it away or wear rubber gloves and switch it on and off with a long plastic pole. Use your common sense, do you really need to post such a question to a newsgroup?
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An earth connection is there in the event a loose (live) wire can manage to make contact with a metal surface which is also in contact with the person using whatever it is. So things like irons, toasters etc are earthed.
These sorts of PSUs don't tend to be, as the mains side is typically partitioned off by plastic dividers within the unit - so there is no possibility of a live wire within the unit breaking free and coming into contact with the DC side - where it could potentially electrocute you through the low voltage cable plug. And of course the outer case is plastic - hence double insulation mark.
You will also note they tend to have anti-tamper screws and no ventilation slots (or shielded slots) so you can't go sticking metal objects in. It also means they can make the earth pin out of plastic (to open the shutters as Adam has said) - which can then break off.
You don't necessarily need to buy an original replacement if you can't easily get hold of one. The likes of Maplin www.maplin.co.uk do universal replacements (search on "ac/dc regulated power supply")- but make sure you use the correct polarity/type of DC connector from the selection, and the right voltage/current rating. It probably won't say one way or the other on the unit but I'd go for a regulated one for the sake of an extra quid or so. If you're not sure about any of this - just take it all into a Maplin shop and they will help you get the right unit.
It follows that the only time you'd probably find an earth on a radio is if it had an integral mains transformer and a metal outer case.
Midge.
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PS - I'm in the camp that says it sets a bad example (e.g. to kids) to carry on using broken mains stuff, and an even worse example to poke things into sockets to do so! ;)

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On 21/04/2010 22:53, Midge wrote:

Which is why I don't let them see me do it
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earth pin suggesting it is only there to open the shutter to allow the other two to go in. If it were mine, and it is left plugged in I would continue using it without a single worry. If however its something that regularly unplugged I would replace it, mostly to make life simple. Have a rummage around in your "Man drawer"* you are bound to find another one that will work.
* If you don't have a clue what a "man drawer" is you have missed a very funny sketch by Michael McIntyre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX7cVi4VQm0

Mike
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To have broken off, I assume the earth pin was plastic (or equivalent), not brass (or equivalent) which further confirms that its sole purpose is mechanical, not electrical.
Either way, and especially if it's from the OEM (eg Pure, who charge over 30, IIRC) I would seek a free replacement. It may be well over a year old but if, as you say, it "simply broke off", surely it must have been defective?
It should be designed to be inserted and removed endlessly without damage, and I can't imagine why the manufacturer would want to quibble. If they're any good, they'd want to find out what went wrong, and keep you as a happy customer.
--
Martin




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You could swap the socket where you use it for a modern MK socket. They don't use the earth pin to open the shutters, but instead rely on equal pressure from the live and neutral pins, together with the right shape pin ends. That should still work with a missing earth pin.
--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
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