prevent electrical plug from wobbling loose?

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On 10/5/2012 12:29 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

Bob did send a nice picture showing a quad outlet in exactly the wrong location for a hairdressing work station. Professional hand held blow dryers and other torture implements have robust cords and plugs on them and work well if the cords and plugs aren't put in a strain at the wrong angle. ^_^
TDD
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Yes, I saw that drawing. Whoever did that could have replaced all the outlets in the joint in the time it took to make that.
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On 10/5/2012 7:53 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

I completely rewired a very large beauty shop back in the 1990's installing a 400 amp 3 phase main including power for a 10 ton AC for the place. I didn't skimp on electrical outlets for anything. All 120 volt receptacles were spec grade just shy of hospital grade unless it was an outlet that was plug cycled constantly. The work station outlets were high up and within easy reach so no device cords were ever in any strain. The place has never had any electrical problems due to inadequate wiring or materials. I build them to stay working. ^_^
TDD
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On Oct 5, 10:13 am, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-du...@stinky- finger.net> wrote:

re: "All 120 volt receptacles were spec grade just shy of hospital grade unless it was an outlet that was plug cycled constantly."
How did you determine which receptacles were going to be "plug cycled constantly"? I hope you didn't trust the customer. ;-)
What did you use in those locations?
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On 10/5/2012 9:23 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Communication with the owner to determine the use the electrical outlets would be subjected to. 20 amp hospital grade were installed wherever the hairdressers would be plugging and unplugging constantly. In the business, it's known as planing and design. The shop had more than a dozen stationary hair dryers with chairs, those got good 20 amp outlets as did workstation outlets for things that would stay plugged in. The heavy duty hospital grade were the high ones that were in constant use by the operators. My favorite was the guy who wore dresses and looked like Little Richard. He, er it, whatever, called everyone "honey" and all the ladies loved him. ^_^
TDD
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<stuff snipped>

That's so ironic because oddly enough that's EXACTLY what you did NOT do here. Communicate with the owner. You were answering a question posed by an employee. Did you take work orders from lower level employees on all those rewire jobs you've bragged about? Probably not. You probably talked to the person who would be signing your check - the very person who's NOT in this loop. Hope your other "planing" demonstrates more attention to detail.
You didn't even ask the OP a single question about what might be in her power to do or even suggest. You didn't try to find out whether every outlet was a problem or just one outlet at one workstation. Instead, you made a *very* expensive recommendation without really considering the specific facts put forth by the OP or even attempting to do any troubleshooting whatsoever.
We've all seen workmen like that who say: "Replace EVERYTHING!" If this is the way you work, I wouldn't hire you. You've proposed an expensive solution for someone ill-equipped to implement it. If a vastly cheaper solution works for this employee, and it sounds like it would, then why rewire the entire salon? I suspect if it were a salon-wide problem, the OP might have said something like "it happens to all the other stylists, too. The plugs won't stay in anywhere!" For all we know, she's stepping on the clipper cord and just putting a loop or two in the cord could fix the problem by keeping it off the floor.
Dufe, your overkill "rewire it all" proposal qualifies you for a job with FEMA. They're the undisputed champions of providing expensive solutions that are often totally unworkable because they failed to do a proper analysis of the customer's needs.
Apply today! (-" http://www.fema.gov/how-apply
-- Bobby G.
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On 10/6/2012 9:43 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Oh Bobby, I'm so glad you're such an expert. The owner and her husband were involved in the project every step of the way since she, the owner is one of the hairdressers. Try to stick to subjects you actually know something about instead of putting your P.L.L.C.F. slant on everything. ^_^
TDD
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He got a long term discussion, for his troubles.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
What the hell happened to our OP, "Bob," anyway? I seem to remember him asking for a long term solution.
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wrote:

Semantics. You know full well what I am talking about. The old outlets have to be disconnected and removed and the new outlets installed, reconnected and fully tested. Clearer? In any event, it's going to be expensive based on the per outlet charges I have been quoted for similar projects in the past. Many times when such work gets underway, hidden defects are revealed like improper grounds, reversed hot and neutral, too many wires in a junction box, etc. that require more work than was obvious at first glance. Compare that effort to plugging in an extension cord or outlet extender.
Even replacing the one allegedly defective outlet means that it's not likely to be done by a stylist or even her boyfriend without the owner's permission. Those were OP's (wise) words, not mine and fairly obvious to anyone who read the original post closely.

Semantics again. The proposed outlet replacement most likely needs to be done by a licensed commercial electrician and might cost $500 or more, especially if it has to be done outside of business hours. Now compare that cost and disruption to buying a $2 extension cord. It's certainly several magnitudes more expensive and disruptive to replace outlets.
Consider the OP was twice removed from the owner. He was a friend of the salon's employee. I still contend that even discussing replacement outlets with her boss is a nuclear option because small business bosses are often very sensitive about their business acumen. I could easily imagine the stylist getting fired for suggesting to the salon owner that he makes her works with defective equipment.
Since there haven't been any tests of the outlet or the cord performed that I know of, a replacement of the outlets still seems awfully premature. How does anyone know what grade receptacle is in there now? The simple answer is they don't. The all-new outlet option certainly is nuclear if it costs 100's of times more than other, quite workable solutions and especially if it gets the stylist fired.

I'm sorry, but now it seems you're being deliberately obtuse. I said:

Read that again: The OP is a friend of an employee/stylist of the salon. A stylist is NOT going to call an electrician and give him a work order to replace the outlets. That's a manager/owner's job. I hope that makes it clear.
Maybe you or some of the folks here would accept a work order from someone without authority to make changes but it's not a very smart thing to do because there's a high probability you won't get paid for your services. Nor will a court support the placing of a mechanic's lien if the work was done without the permission of the owner. The court may very well order the ripping out of any work done without approval. The workman who did the unapproved work will end up footing the bill for its removal.
Solutions that involve a stylist/employee getting one or ten or all the outlets replaced are based on the faulty assumption such a person is even ABLE to commission such a job. While new outlets might be the right answer for most other cases, they are probably not the right answer here.
If that poor hairdresser walked into her boss's office with an internet printout of "Fart War" vet Dufas and "Flatulator" Moe Gasser claiming the salon needs all hospital grade outlets, she would be met with a laugh at best.

You know damn well ANY outlet will spark if you remove the plug from the outlet when there's a motor load still running. It's not proof that the outlet is defective in any way. Even small switched power supplies cause sparks if they're unplugged when they're powering a device. That's what was described. Not a faulty outlet spewing sparks when the plug is fully inserted.

I can't seem to find the OP on Eternal or AOIE but the parameters were pretty clear. It was a friend of a stylist asking, not someone who would be able to approve, pay for or otherwise implement the replacement outlet solution. And that's what makes suggestions to do so inappropriate in this particular instance.
A two dollar outlet extender with childproof shutters or an extension cord most likely solves this problem. It can be implemented easily by the stylist and removed when she leaves. It's not so hideously ugly that no stylist would consider it, especially when the alternative is to keep having the clippers come unplugged.
Sparking from a plug that's powering a motor and getting physically tugged on (and is working its way out of the outlet) is not the same as arcing from an internal defect in the outlet. The CPSC recommends all devices be turned off before unplugging for this very reason: to prevent sparking when removing the plug. This is something that's easy to inspect: does the plug spark in the outlet when the clippers are turned off via the power switch? I believe that it won't and that the sparks are an artifact of the plug getting tugged out of the outlet and making incomplete contact.
-- Bobby G.
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Replace the socket, and buy the good one that costs $2.79.
I have similar problems at church, with the sockets in the hall. They need the vacuum cleaner plug to stay in, but need to vacuum here or there.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
My friend is a hair dresser and her hair clipper's electrical plug is coming loose in the wall outlet.
The outlet is about 4 feet off the ground, so the clipper's cord comes out of the outlet, drops down a few feet and then go up to the clipper without touching the floor. IOW, it forms an U shape and the constant movement of the clipper and the weight of the cord eventually loosen the plug.
It would be easy to attach the cord to the wall a few inches away from the wall outlet, so that movements of the clipper would not reach the plug. However, she needs to be able to unplug the clipper and move it to another station/chair easily.
I temporarily bend the prongs on the plug to make it stay more firmly in the outlet, but this is only a temporary solution. What's a good long term solution?
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Hmm. They teach commercial electrical rewiring at cosmetology schools now?
The solution needs to be appropriate to the situation. For all we know the existing outlet is hospital grade because it's in an area likely to be wet. Not enough facts, too many assumptions.
We do know this isn't the owner manager, but a hairdresser who may not even have her own station. What are the odds she's going to do a rewire or even convince her boss the place needs one?
Another solution would be one of the Velcro strips they use to manage cords and a little strip of Velcro next to the outlet. Attach the Velcro strip around the line cord a little down from the plug and then stick the Velcro loop to a piece of Velcro on the wall. The Velcro connection would absorb the strain of the moving cord and you'd hear it starting to break away.
-- Bobby G.
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Aesthetics, aesthetics, aesthetics. You're thinking like a homeowner cobbling up a garage solution. Is this salon in Appalachia? You keep talking about making the salon owner happy, and you keep making suggestions that wouldn't fly in any salon within 100 miles of where I live, at least.
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Since she moves from station to station, you have a built in troubleshooting process:
Does the plug fall out of every receptacle that she uses?
If Yes: The plug is worn. Replace the clipper's plug a quality plug. If No: The receptacle is worn. Replace the receptacle with a quality receptacle.
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news:05298208-28b5-4ea4-84c8-
<stuff snipped>
<<Does the plug fall out of every receptacle that she uses?
If Yes: The plug is worn. Replace the clipper's plug a quality plug. If No: The receptacle is worn. Replace the receptacle with a quality receptacle.>>
Ten points for not assuming the outlet's bad. I am surprised at how many jumped to what I see as quite an impractical solution for an employee of the salon.
"Gee boss, my clippers won't stay plugged in. Can we do a $500 rewire?"
Whoosh!
I see lots more bad plugs than I ever did before. No "springiness" and no dimple or hole to catch the mating surface in the outlet. The odds are 50/50 re: plug v. outlet. (-;
Still, if you owned the salon and only one hairdresser was complaining about one pair of clippers, would you jump at redoing the outlet? Would you let her friend come in and do the rewire?
Probably the best solution if her friend is competent with wiring is to replace the clipper's line cord plug with a three prong replacement plug. Just having the ground pin makes a lot of difference in terms of "stickability." Many of those replacement plugs are huge and have both dimpled and folded over spring blades. Not likely to come out of even a loose outlet. Doesn't involve the shop's owner in rewiring one or more stations. Or at all.
-- Bobby G.
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On 10/3/2012 3:27 AM, bob wrote:

The replacing a socket ain't agonna happen and hacking on the clipper cord isn't a very good solution, either, imo...
I think you've got the right idea...give her a strain relief.
First idea would be if she is allowed would be to use one of the pressure-sensitive velcro pads on the wall near the outlet(s) and another matching strip around the cord a few inches from end. All needs is to stick the one side near each outlet used...
If that isn't allowed post back w/ any other constraints...is there a countertop below the wall outlet and if so, how far below the outlet?
--
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Bob, what did the hairdresser say about replacing the socket?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 10/3/2012 3:27 AM, bob wrote:
The replacing a socket ain't agonna happen
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On 10/03/2012 01:27 AM, bob wrote:

Install a little hook on the wall a short distance from each outlet, and attach a small loop on the cord a short distance from the plug. This will serve as a strain relief, and keep the stress of movement away from the plug.
Jon
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Thanks to all who replied.
It's a business, and I don't know what quality receptacle they have. It is a good idea to try other receptacles to see if it stays. However, I suspect, like many of you, she won't be able to convince the owner to change out the receptacles. In fact, I don't think she would even try. Although I do most electrical work (replace switches, receptacles, etc) at home, I'm not going to rewire their stuff.
The electrical outlet is right under a counter. Here's a sketch:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/55756213/saloon.jpg
The plug doesn't fall out of the receptacle; it was just very loose fitting before I bent the prongs. In her own words the plug made a "zzz" sound once in a while and the clipper stopped momentarily. I interpret this to mean arcing.
Some of the ideas posted may help. If she doesn't mind an extension cord, I could try to find a 3-prong extension cord with a firm gripping receptacle end.
The hospital grade receptacles is a good suggestion, not necessarily to fix her problem, but a good thing to know in general. I see there are also hospital grade extension cord, but the plug seems to take up alot of space. Is there a local chain stores I can walk in to check these out or are they mail order only?
Another idea is to zip tie a metal ring a foot away from the plug and hang the ring on a screw-in hook on the wall. The hook would absorb the cord weight and movements yet it is easy to unplug and move to another station.
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Here. http://www.cableorganizer.com/adhesive-cord-clip /
or here http://tinyurl.com/9t2efp7
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That really does sound unsafe. I'd not be happy to work in such a dangerous location. Are the clippers grounded, at least? Three wire plug?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Thanks to all who replied.
It's a business, and I don't know what quality receptacle they have. It is a good idea to try other receptacles to see if it stays. However, I suspect, like many of you, she won't be able to convince the owner to change out the receptacles. In fact, I don't think she would even try. Although I do most electrical work (replace switches, receptacles, etc) at home, I'm not going to rewire their stuff.
The electrical outlet is right under a counter. Here's a sketch:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/55756213/saloon.jpg
The plug doesn't fall out of the receptacle; it was just very loose fitting before I bent the prongs. In her own words the plug made a "zzz" sound once in a while and the clipper stopped momentarily. I interpret this to mean arcing.
Some of the ideas posted may help. If she doesn't mind an extension cord, I could try to find a 3-prong extension cord with a firm gripping receptacle end.
The hospital grade receptacles is a good suggestion, not necessarily to fix her problem, but a good thing to know in general. I see there are also hospital grade extension cord, but the plug seems to take up alot of space. Is there a local chain stores I can walk in to check these out or are they mail order only?
Another idea is to zip tie a metal ring a foot away from the plug and hang the ring on a screw-in hook on the wall. The hook would absorb the cord weight and movements yet it is easy to unplug and move to another station.
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