Earthing and electrical safety

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Disabled Account
2001-11-13 5:19 am
New Zealand
If you live in an area which uses 3 pin power points, anything you make, or purchase must have any accesible metalwork earthed by the ground wire unless the appliance is rated as double insulated. Double insulated means it is made of insulating plastic such as modern vacuum cleaners or any metal parts are connected to the appliance by plastic. eg the chuck in small electric drills is driven by plastic gears or the mains power transformer is rated as a double insulated transformer.
If you see on the power rating plate a square within a square it is a double insulated device.

If not double insulated there are stringent regulations and tests the device must pass to be sold to the public. One of these in 3 pin outlet areas is, all exposed metalwork must be grounded and holes in the device must be small enough so you cannot poke your finger in and get a shock.

In the USA or other areas using 2 pin power points I am not sure what the situation is but understand your outlet is regarded as the same as if you had an isolating transformer.

The point of these regulations are your safety and other people's safety especially children and from your point of view, when making things, to help stop you getting sued if someone gets electrocuted by failure to ensure safety.
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