Electrical appliances

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
kvsteele
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Electrical appliances

Postby kvsteele » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:42 pm

Could someone please tell me if small electrical appliances, e.g. electric blanket, electric kettle etc, that are bought in the UK, are compatible with the Greek system. I seem to remember that the plugs in England were certainly different from the Greek ones. Would you just use a converter plug or would you have to use a small transformer?
Moved onto Crete finally...It's been a long wait

filippos
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Postby filippos » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:02 pm

Use a converter or cut off the UK plugs and replace with Greek ones. With things like phone chargers and other items that have built in transformers just run off a plug converter.

rainbowmir
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Postby rainbowmir » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:28 pm

The power supply is fine for UK goods so you only need converter plugs, or as Filippos has said, change the plugs for Greek ones.

I also brought with me my surge protected socket gang to plug in all my computer stuff rather than change all the plugs (computer, printer, shredder, light etc. etc.) and it has come in very useful.
Last edited by rainbowmir on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Adjectival LFB
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Postby The Adjectival LFB » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:44 pm

rainbowmir, I hope you are aware that your "surge protected socket gang" will probably offer your computer little protection in the event of a lightning spike.


Regards,LFB.
Lowell, Frank and Townes - all gone now.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:01 pm

The Adjectival LFB wrote:rainbowmir, I hope you are aware that your "surge protected socket gang" will probably offer your computer little protection in the event of a lightning spike.


Regards,LFB.


Why???

paulh
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Postby paulh » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:29 am

Surely its the case that there is a quantum leap difference between a surge from the normal electrics coming back on after a power cut and the surge produced by a lightning hit.

Don't confuse surge protection with the battery protection given by a UPS. Given the frequency of power cuts here a UPS is a very worthwhile investment to protect desktop computers. By comparison surge protection is a "nice to have".

What really tends to cause a problem computer wise is that the electricity supply is surge protected (not only by a surge block but by the house fuses) but the phone line in a lot of cases is not. A lightning hit on your telephone line will blow your router or modem and (if not a wireless connection) it can travel on and damage your computer motherboard and/or say the electric circuitry in a cordless phone base station. I know of two villages which are particularly prone to this.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:54 pm

Most domestic supplies do not have a surge protector in the consumer unit or in the meter connection. You could ask to have one fitted but typically they do not. There is usually main fuses, in case you exceed the supply capability, and an RCD, in case there is leakage to earth on any device. Neither of these will protect against surges.

Technically the increase in voltage seen when power returns after a power cut is not a surge, it is an over-voltage although people often refer to it as a surge. Normally it is a few 10s of volts above the normal supply level. It can do damage if it is big enough because it can last for many seconds or even longer in extreme cases. A UPS should protect against this.

Surges are at least hundreds of volts and sometimes a few thousand volts. Modern equipment is usually protected internally to around 1 kV or 2 kV depending on the standard used to test it and the way the surge is applied, e.g between the line and ground or between the lines. Older equipment may have no protection at all.

Neither fuses nor MCBs will protect against lightening surges. Lightening surges have time-scales measured in 10s or 100s of microseconds. MCBs respond with time-scales of milliseconds or 10s of milliseconds. The surge will pass through and damage your equipment before the MCB responds. Fuses are thermal devices and so are even slower. At least 100s of milliseconds and often seconds.

A decent power block with built-in surge protectors will protect up to many kV depending on the particular model. Usually the more protection the more it costs. No protector can protect you against every eventuality but it would be an unusually large surge that got through a decent surge protector block. That is why I asked ALFB to explain why he thinks it wouldn't?

Paul is absolutely correct that telephone lines are also susceptible to lightening induced surges and a simple power block will not protect you against these. The characteristics of the surges induced on telephone lines are different from those induced on power lines so they need a different design of surge protector. It is possible to buy a surge protected power block with a telephone line surge protector built in. If you are really twitchy you can get one with an aerial surge protector as well to prevent lightening induced surges damaging TV/satellite receiver equipment. You shouldn't get a lightening induced surge directly on the aerial lead, unless the strike is virtually on the house in which case you probably have problems anyway. It is possible however that the aerial led is routed through ducting close to power leads and a surge on the power leads may couple onto the aerial lead. The surge will be much smaller on the aerial lead BUT receivers are more susceptible to damage.

Warwick

Brian
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Postby Brian » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:34 pm

'What really tends to cause a problem computer wise is that the electricity supply is surge protected (not only by a surge block but by the house fuses) but the phone line in a lot of cases is not'


Not so Paulh. When I worked in tele-coms, any telephone line more than two/three spans long had lightning protection. In urban areas most lines were fed underground, hence no real need for lightning protection.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:36 pm

Errr....this is Greece and here telephone lines are very much above ground and across country and mountains.

Don't know if they have lightening protection inbuilt but 2 different hits in Kefelas, different housholds which burnt out routers and motherboards in laptops and one house in Plaka where they are on their 4th wireless phone in as many years would suggest not.

Come to think of it we had a wireless phone blow in the UK and in the same village 2 of my drinking companions had modems and motherboards damaged (so as to be unusable). One is a computer techie and the other does the electronics on Rapier missile installations worldwide so they know what they are talking about and it's not a mistake.

Brian
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Postby Brian » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:18 am

Paulh,
errrrr I am talking about Crete. I suggest you go back to THE RAPIER MISSILE ENGINEER and ask him what device can protect your equipment from a direct lightning strike. No such device exists, what we are talking about here is protection from the residual effects of a lightning strike or a contact with a live power source.
If you can pull yourself away from your friends and the pub (it sounds very cosy) and go up the mountains in Crete you will find at the end of these overland land-lines a little box where the service enters the house, if you can speak Cretan ask the householders what this little box does I'am sure in their infinite patience they will explain all and put your mind to rest.
PS. Most people in Crete live in urban areas and their supply is fed underground.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:49 am

So are you talking about Crete when you said you worked in tele-comms Brian?

I just wonder because I live here in Crete (have done for 7 years now) and if I look outside I see loads of telephone lines around the village and no black boxes.

Also the rule here is that OTE bring the signal to your gate, from the gate on and into the house it is your electrician who is responsible.

One of my Greek relatives is a retired OTE telephone engineer so I'll check it out with him regarding lightening protection every 2 or 3 spans, no not in Cretan, my Greek tends to be Athenian Greek so I am told by Greeks.

Anyone who has seen a direct lightening hit and residual lightening damage would never mistake one for the other. I am talking purely problems from residual hits and the last one I looked at was Friday about 2:30pm in Kefelas. Kefelas hardly qualifies as mountains though so it would be last Tuesday (the Epiphany holiday) I was last in the mountains, the gorge at Agia Irini not far from the wind turbines Carolina photographed on Boxing Day.

As to tearing myself away from the pub, well that was in the 90's in the UK and I have not been in the UK in the last 7 years so I think I might have managed that.

Hudson
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Postby Hudson » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:00 am

Brian wrote:you will find at the end of these overland land-lines a little box where the service enters the house,


We are served by an overland line and do not have a "little black box".
Should we worry? Are we being discriminated against? Is our world going to end in a big flash during the next storm? Can we sleep safely in our beds? Are the odds of damage due to not having a "little black box" greater, or less, than winning the lottery?

Worry, worry, worry.......

paulh
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Postby paulh » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:42 am

Hudson wrote:
Worry, worry, worry.......


Now you know why tschikouria (spelling?) was invented

filippos
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Postby filippos » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:16 am

paulh wrote:............ tschikouria .........
You been down the pub again?

rainbowmir
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Postby rainbowmir » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:45 am

If there is a storm in the offing, I usually unplug the phone connection anyway!! Paul may remember a couple of years ago having to replace the internal modem in my computer with an external one - the possible reason being it may have been damaged by such a strike.
Last edited by rainbowmir on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.


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