Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Electric Grandma

My grandmother taught us that we needed to be very careful with electricity. It was dangerous. She unintentionally demonstrated the danger to us by putting a knife into the toaster to remove some stuck bread. The knife flew across across the room and took out a chip of plaster from the wall.

She was very careful to always turn power points off before removing the plug and of course a switch should never be left on if nothing was plugged in.

"Why Grandma?"

"The electricity will leak out."

While logic tells me this is not so and for me it is probably more about aesthetics, I can't help but think at times of the electricity slowly oozing from the power point, invisibly charging everything around, including me, with unused electricity.

So should I visit you, don't think I am too odd if I behave strangely near the power points on your walls. I will only be turning unused points off.

24 comments:

  1. I agree with your grandmother it does leak out and fry your brain.
    Merle............

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    1. Merle, well I keep ours off, so we will be ok.

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  2. I do the same thing Andrew (turning off unplugged outlets) but only at my own place not at other people's.

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    1. Victor, they must learn the error of their ways. You can show them way to enlightenment by turning theirs off.

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  3. I have never seen switched on outlets like that. Is that an Australian concept? I like it. We don't have that over here.

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    1. Keith, quite a typical modern power point here. How are yours so different?

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  4. You won't find anything to switch off here, all unused points are turned off. There's a six outlet power board with its own off switch and I turn that off because the wall switch is behind a giant cabinet and I'm not moving that each time I want the TV on or off.
    I'm curious about OpEx's comment. What type of switch do you have where you are? Perhaps you could put photos on your blog for us, explain your system?

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    1. River, you have reminded me that I haven't posted about our power saving device that was free. In a few days I will write about it.

      Indeed, yes, I too am curious about American systems. I know the voltage is 110 and not 240.

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  5. Indeed I remember the thing about the knife and the toaster being absolutely drilled into it when we were children - I suppose because it was an electrical appliance which we were allowed to use from an early age. Even if the toaster is turned off and unplugged from the wall I find it difficult to put anything into it to extract a jammed (that is, stuck, not with jam on it) slice of toast.

    D, with whom I live, on the other hand, grew up in Shanghai without a toaster. One day he put a knife in....

    I was shocked, as, needless to say, was he.

    But to return to your main theme: I know there is some element of safety involved when you put a plug into a socket which is already switched on, but I don't worry about it myself. (I do make sure my hands are dry.) Consequently, I am always being confounded (phones which I were thought charging still flat, etc etc) by people like you!

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    1. Marcellous, like you I don't trust a toaster and a knife, even if it is off. Remiss of you to not educate D.

      My apologies for your flat phone battery, but you can't be too careful.

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  6. drilled into it = drilled into us

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  7. Funny what we retain from grandma. My grandmother told her granddaughters never to sit on a concrete step because the cold concrete would lead to sterility. I Know it is not true, but I still remember her words every summer.

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    1. Hels, never mind what cycling and horse riding did for women's fertility!

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    2. Hels, I was told that sitting on cold concrete steps was a cause of haemorrhoids.

      When we finally got a 17" B&W Healing TV we had to sit in the dark, and were never allowed closer than 6 feet. It took me a while to realise that a TV can lead to addled brains.

      My uncle was an electrician back in the days when people paid to have toasters, irons and other appliances repaired. Needless to say, that family's house had 4 or 5 adaptors piggy-backed at every power point.
      As a child he had been intrigued when people at a travelling carnival "demonstrated" electricity by slowly moving 2 charged wires towards each other. [I wonder now if it was David Unaipon, or a copy of one of his tricks.] Sadly, it is now far too late to ask.

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  8. Turning the power points off apparently saves quite significant amounts of electricity (and therefore cash) - but I'm not sure about the 'leaking out' thing ... maybe that means my brain is already fried????

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    1. Red, no doubt your brain is fried if you have been exposed to open power points. Logic tells me that if there is electricity leaking out, it will be costing. Err, but so why is our bill so high when we turn them off?

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    2. RNO:

      Turning appliances off at the power point is what saves cash because of the electricity used in "standby" mode. But I'm sure it makes no difference if there is nothing plugged in.

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  9. My grandma pretended that reading with electric light was bad for the eyes !

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    1. Gattina, I think people genuinely believed that. And don't sit too close to the tv.

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  10. I agree with Grandma, unused sockets should always be switched off, as you say Andrew, it just looks better!

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    1. We'll get along just fine then Grace.

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  11. I just use my remote and switch it all off. I must get myself another of those power boards.

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    1. With the permanent plug Fen, they are good.

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  12. My own granny pretended of which examining with electrical mild was detrimental to the particular face!

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