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Old 12-01-2023, 10:40 PM   #1
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Unusual type of receptacle

The receptacle in the medicine cabinet of a cruise ship that I just returned from had a type of receptacle that I haven't seen before.

It's clearly for a razor but it's the presence of the little button that's different. Unless the plug is fully inserted no current will flow.

My first blush thought is that it's almost a mechanical arc fault prevention device.

Anyone seen this type before?

Ron
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:11 PM   #2
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It appears your receptacle can serve a European plug additional to our bladed 120V style.

I did not stay in a Holiday Inn last night but I do know that ships manage their electrical distribution quite differently. As an example, I recently noted that cruise ships do not want surge protection strips brought aboard by passengers.

From there, I will defer to the folks who might actually know something about this.

Maybe they can also discuss how you can ground a ship in the water.
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Old 12-02-2023, 05:38 AM   #3
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It appears your receptacle can serve a European plug additional to our bladed 120V style.

I did not stay in a Holiday Inn last night but I do know that ships manage their electrical distribution quite differently. As an example, I recently noted that cruise ships do not want surge protection strips brought aboard by passengers.

From there, I will defer to the folks who might actually know something about this.

Maybe they can also discuss how you can ground a ship in the water.
I would agree that this is a dual type of plug. Outlets in European buildings have round rather than slotted openings. But European electrical systems are typically 220v. It makes no sense to me that ETI would install this type of outlet.
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Old 12-02-2023, 07:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
The receptacle in the medicine cabinet of a cruise ship that I just returned from had a type of receptacle that I haven't seen before.
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It makes no sense to me that ETI would install this type of outlet.
Hi Carl,

Ron noted that he had seen this on a cruise ship, not in an Escape trailer.

I hear you on the 120 volt American versus the 230 volt European voltage standard. I'm waiting to hear more about this myself.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:22 AM   #5
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I don’t know about this receptacle specifically, but while Europe usually has 230V AC, bathroom outlets are 110V.


Note that European AC is at 50Hz as opposed to the 60Hz here in the US. Most devices can deal with either or these days, but that’s not always true. In fact, most devices can adapt between 110v to 230v as well.
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Old 12-02-2023, 09:09 AM   #6
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There's an interesting description on this site concerning "shavers only" receptacles such as the one Ron posted a picture of.

https://blog.fosketts.net/2013/02/03...trical-outlet/

I've also seen "shavers only" receptacles on a river cruise ship and in older hotels in Europe, though not with the button he noted. And the linked site doesn't discuss the button either.

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However, the interesting part in the article is that the receptacles were originally designed to be very low current as they pre-dated GFI and other protections which evolved for use in wet environments.

I had always figured these receptacles wouldn't handle a blow dryer, but I hadn't realized they were deliberately designed to provide an exceptionally low current capacity as a means of protection.

So, we still need to learn what the button is for.

I presume it only allows current flow when the plug is inserted far enough to actuate the button. Maybe it's intended as another protective measure in case you touch the prongs while inserting them into the socket - ? Inquiring minds and all that.
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Old 12-02-2023, 10:12 AM   #7
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So, we still need to learn what the button is for.

I presume it only allows current flow when the plug is inserted far enough to actuate the button. Maybe it's intended as another protective measure in case you touch the prongs while inserting them into the socket - ? Inquiring minds and all that.

I would say in addition to this, that the button gives a decent level of child protection as well. A child would have to both push the button while sticking their fingers into the socket in order to receive a shock and its probably very hard to do so.
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Old 12-02-2023, 12:33 PM   #8
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I've had quite a bit of experience with European wiring and my British built boat had both types.

It's the button that I'm wondering about. The child proof protection is one thought.

I thought that it might be a form of primitive arc fault protection. If the plug wasn't inserted fully there could potentially be some arcing. If the plug's slightly loose it's off.

But that doesn't make sense because the outlet is clearly current limited and less likely to arc than the other receptacles in the stateroom (Holiday Inn ) that didn't have the button.

This mystery may never be solved.

Ron
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Old 12-02-2023, 07:25 PM   #9
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Hi Carl,

Ron noted that he had seen this on a cruise ship, not in an Escape trailer.

I hear you on the 120 volt American versus the 230 volt European voltage standard. I'm waiting to hear more about this myself.

Regards,
Mike
Mike, oops, I missed that part of Ron’s post. It makes sense in a cruise ship since people from Europe would book cruises in the vicinity of North America.
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Old 12-03-2023, 01:01 AM   #10
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I would say in addition to this, that the button gives a decent level of child protection as well.
Children? You mean the little shavers?!?

Gosh, I just crack me up sometimes.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:36 AM   #11
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Children? You mean the little shavers?!?

Yes, the little shavers that are getting an early start!
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Old 12-03-2023, 11:39 AM   #12
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European outlets, in my experience, almost always incorporate an on-off switch. This appears to be another form - one that is always off until a plug is inserted.
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Old 12-03-2023, 05:11 PM   #13
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Bingo?

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European outlets, in my experience, almost always incorporate an on-off switch. This appears to be another form - one that is always off until a plug is inserted.
That visually and conceptually makes good sense.
BRAVO!
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Old 12-04-2023, 11:57 AM   #14
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Now that we have the outlet mystery solved, how was the cruise and where/when/how long?
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Old 12-04-2023, 12:41 PM   #15
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Now that we have the outlet mystery solved, how was the cruise and where/when/how long?
I'm not entirely sure that it's solved. I've spent a lot of time in Europe and I've never seen one of those buttons on receptacles before. Also, all the other receptacles were conventional dual outlets. Good theory though. If a kiddie were to stick something in they might not get a shock unless they were also pushing on the button. Further research required. OK, I volunteer, I'll check out the sister ship in Jan. that's just had an extensive refit.

Although we've certainly traveled far and wide we'd never been to N.Y. It was on my wife's bucket list. She found a cruise that started in Boston and spent a couple of days in N.Y. Perfect, she's a massive travel researcher and she had the things to see all mapped out. Ran me ragged.

Another attraction was that it stopped in Burmuda. Was scheduled on a trans-Atlantic crossing previously to stop there but had to divert due to extreme weather.

One sort of sad note is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We'd previously had our boat in the Blue Lagoon, on St. Vincent, before they had an international airport. Access involved either an inter-island flight from St. Lucia or Barbados. We rode the local buses, walked the streets at night and always felt safe and secure. Not so much now. The ugly result of mass tourism, both by air and cruise ship is apparent. I think that it was one of the last unspoiled areas of the Caribbean, great while it lasted.

The rest of the islands we'd been to previously, hot, hot, hot. Good to be back in the rain forest with an atmospheric river headed our way.

Ron
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Old 12-13-2023, 01:23 PM   #16
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I was in Australia a few years ago. Like Europe, their power is 240V 50Hz, though their outlets are shaped differently. Each outlet had a switch on it that had to be turned on to get power. I believe England also puts switches on all their outlets.
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