British plugs with built-in surge arrestors. (With schematic.)

  • Published on Nov 10, 2019
  • I got these just to find out how they had implemented the surge protection in such a small space. It's an odd but also clever design that is based on existing electrical parts.
    I'd guess that these would be useful in a situation where there was a risk people might unplug a typical surge protection adapter. If it's on a flex then it's less likely to get removed. But it's also less likely to get changed if it fails over time.
    These units came from CPC (part of element 14) in the UK. I'd guess similar devices exist for other styles of plugs too.
    If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
    This also keeps the channel independent of TheXvid's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 405

  • Michael Hughes
    Michael Hughes Day ago

    You've just given me another project to add to the list! I am busier now that I am retired than ever when I worked for a living!! Top work Big Clive!! hahaha!

  • Fred Flintstone
    Fred Flintstone 7 days ago

    Are we getting these and the surge protected sockets for when every person is driving an electric car and gets home at 6pm and plugs in the car and makes a cuppa tea and we get a huge surge?? :-)

  • dom ino
    dom ino 10 days ago

    Something to add to this. Ebay item number 381675299999

  • jfan4reva
    jfan4reva 27 days ago

    I remember back in the early days of PCs, someone wrote a column about adding MOVs to power strips to add surge protection. Within a month, most U.S. Radio Shack stores were completely out of MOVs. Soldering in 3 MOVs was simple, easy and effective, but I don't recall anything about adding thermal fuses. Unlike now, surge protected power strips would cost upwards of $50-$75, and were difficult to find because they were 'commercial' products.

  • J. Frank Parnell
    J. Frank Parnell 29 days ago

    Guaranteed fire waiting to happen. MOVs suck.

  • Interstat
    Interstat 29 days ago +1

    These are made by PMS, Hong Kong company called PuMaS Electrical. They've been making plugs in the UK since at least the early 1990s. You used to find them in market stalls but they're now considered good quality accepted and widely available under own brands such as CPC, Morrisons etc and found on many small appliances. The design hasn't changed since the 90s and they're generally one of the better plugs on the market.
    Before PMS started doing this surge version in the 2000s, Volex (in the 80s/90s) did a one using same method before they stopped making plugs.

  • CutiePatootable
    CutiePatootable Month ago

    big clive!!!! i found you bc i am trying to reprogram some lights i have n had a question..
    i have two strings of lights, led it think, with little control boxes with buttons to change the settings, they can plug together, but don't change to the same setting when one is changed. is there was way to change that in the boxes or would i have to wire them together? thanks!!! these videos are rad

  • RomanoProductions
    RomanoProductions Month ago

    Clever analysis dear Clive

  • Max Phipps
    Max Phipps Month ago

    No sound for me when 5.1 audio selected in Win10. Needed to switch to 2CH stereo to get sound in this video. All other videos work fine with 5.1 selected

  • Matt Battaglia
    Matt Battaglia Month ago

    I can't figure out how you connect the "flex" from your device into this plug. Am I missing something? Doesn't the power need to go through the protection before it goes to the device?

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago +1

      The protection is in parallel it clamps voltage spikes.

  • tom sims
    tom sims Month ago +1

    you could just take an existing plug and swap the back rather then rewiring the entire plug pretty cool

  • tom sims
    tom sims Month ago

    nice use of your giant plug

  • Analytical Justice
    Analytical Justice Month ago

    Watch this, what do you think 😶

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      I think the guy wants attention, or to cash in on the hysteria.

  • DFW rider
    DFW rider Month ago

    have you ever tried out heated socks? i just got a pair to review and they are cool, but there are reports of them failing prematurely and also of the element over heating and burning people. if you want to check them out i may be able to hook you up with a certain seller, not sure if this brand is on uk amazon though.

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      I've looked at various heated things like gloves. The heater pads are often quite flimsy.

  • Joe Hole
    Joe Hole Month ago

    The connection is pogo pins or spring loaded pins, they are becoming more popular with electronic manufacturers as the board connection is just pads ecthed into the circuit design and no cost in parts so the programming connector or test connector is pushed against a set position and makes the connection.

  • Alex Atkin
    Alex Atkin Month ago

    Picture quality seems much worse than usual, very soft/blurred. Zoomed is even worse still.

  • Helmut Dunkelangst
    Helmut Dunkelangst Month ago

    finally a video of you again. I thought you died !!

  • Papa Alpha Oscar
    Papa Alpha Oscar Month ago +2

    There are actually MOV's with series thermal fuses integrated into a single package. Littlefuse makes them, makes layout and design or adding protection to an existing circuit very simple.

    • Alex Law
      Alex Law 19 days ago +1

      and this is why I read the comments, knowledge is power.

  • Daniel Molan
    Daniel Molan Month ago

    Hi Clive,
    Mov's break down over time and end up leaking a current to the neutral. I've always sold an low currant circuit breaker to be installed in series, mainly as a cost saving so the surge protector doesn't waste power. Maybe that is why the thermal fuses are there.

  • Polite Cat
    Polite Cat Month ago

    why do surge protectors often use neon indicators instead of LEDs? i imagine they're more expensive, so why use them? i doubt it's because they "look cooler" to the manufacturer.

    • Winston Tan
      Winston Tan 16 days ago

      using LED would require an extra component: diode to prevent reverse current as LEDs cannot stand it ;)

  • john cajka
    john cajka Month ago

    clive the k indicates the tolerance 10 %

  • keith king
    keith king Month ago

    Do varistors clip voltage??

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      Yes. They conduct above a voltage threshold and are intended to clamp short duration voltage spikes.

  • Kenn Mossman
    Kenn Mossman Month ago

    I surged when i viewed..........Review of DANGEROUS Japanese Fanny Flambeaux doll

  • SkyWizardless
    SkyWizardless Month ago

    Not totally keen on the spring connectors, a high resistance connection between the screw head and the plunger or between the two sliding parts means the surge protection wouldn't be effective but could still pass sufficient current to light the neon.

  • Graham Denison
    Graham Denison Month ago +1

    There used to be fridge power loss alarm plugs that used a similar construction.

  • Tom Bunney
    Tom Bunney Month ago +1

    I wanna be. I wanna be. I wanna be like big clive

  • LostJohnny
    LostJohnny Month ago

    Could you squeeze one of these into a plug?

  • zx8401ztv
    zx8401ztv Month ago +10

    Go on swap the tops so you have two tone plugs :-D

  • flow
    flow Month ago +1

    Does anyone know whey it uses a neon indicator as opposed to an LED? I'd suppose the LED is cheaper and lasts just as long? CMIW.

    • flow
      flow 10 days ago

      @Alexander Moreau Thank you for the explanation 🙂👍

    • Alexander Moreau
      Alexander Moreau 11 days ago +1

      Neon indicator doesnt require stepping down the voltage, just throw a small resistor in. makes it cheaper for simple things that aren't using a transformer or voltage dropper of some kind to begin with.

  • ropersonline
    ropersonline Month ago +1

    6:31: "...miswiring..."
    Mind you, there's countries that use unpolarised plugs, and if this were shoved into an adapter with an unpolarised plug, the polarity could easily be reversed. It's even possible someone brings their foreign flex, plugs that into the wall with an adapter, and then plugs this into that with another adapter. That's not recommended of course, but people will use whatever they have to hand. So you absolutely can get the same effect without any actual miswiring in the house. OTOH, you might well argue that weird extension cord and adapter setups count as miswiring too. But try convincing people they should invest in a genuine UK flex... "But I've already got this and it works!"

    • ropersonline
      ropersonline Month ago

      @Bernd Eckenfels PS: A "misswired" would get Wired magazine into so much trouble in this Woke New World.

    • ropersonline
      ropersonline Month ago

      @Bernd Eckenfels Can't brexit the Europlug. ;-P
      Speaking of which, way back when, many UK appliances used to get sold without a plug attached, and buyers were expected to wire up a plug themselves. Now this may have been because the BS 1363 standard was still new, and many houses still had outlets that required different plugs, but I wonder if part of it was because mildly spiteful international manufacturers just couldn't be bothered to specifically cater to the ring circuit-happy UK going it alone with no Europlugs (save for shavers).
      There might be a Brexit lesson in there for all of us... :-|

    • Bernd Eckenfels
      Bernd Eckenfels Month ago +1

      All of mainland Europe enjoys their misswired type c connectors (CEE 7/16), I somewhat think it’s better to not have a design which actually depends on proper P/N location (and instead uses ground if needed).

  • Andrew Francis
    Andrew Francis Month ago +1

    WB try painting your work bench grey.

    • LaserFur
      LaserFur Month ago

      I was going to suggest that as well. I am guessing he is using a white card and manual white balance which would work as well.

  • Peter Larkin
    Peter Larkin Month ago

    How common are power surges? Is it usually caused by a home appliance or does the surge originate from the supplied mains? Thanks!

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      Often appliances with high inductive loads like motors can cause spikes.

  • Brendan White
    Brendan White Month ago

    I like the image the camera you used on this video has given. It's a crisp clear focus, but a slightly warmer picture, yet the white is still a nice, clear white.
    Sound is good too.

  • David Hench
    David Hench Month ago

    New sound for sure. Like it, voice better matches your insignia.

  • Franko Walker
    Franko Walker Month ago +4

    So instead of having to rewire your plugs, you could just replace the back of the plug. Nice.

  • dekjet
    dekjet Month ago

    In which scenarios should one use one of these?

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      Anywhere you want a little extra protection from mains borne spikes and transients. Like a computer.

  • Russell Hltn
    Russell Hltn Month ago

    I'm disappointed that did you didn't check what fuse was connected to what MOV. I'll assume that the one on the line side is in contact with the line-to-earth, and the neutral fuse is in contact with the line-to-neutral. Otherwise, the protection won't break the circuit of the failing MOV. There seems to be NO protection if line and neutral is reversed and the "neutral-to-earth" (now line-to-earth) MOV fails. Seems like a fire hazard to me.

    • Russell Hltn
      Russell Hltn Month ago

      @bigclivedotcom I did. I don't see where you indicated which fuse was associated with which MOV.

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      See the schematic I drew out.

  • Jordan Carter
    Jordan Carter Month ago +5


    • 5Rounds Rapid
      5Rounds Rapid Month ago

      Watt’s the charge? 😁

    • Tomasz Wota
      Tomasz Wota Month ago +1

      Currently. I'll break free, someday!

      You can't resist me forever.

  • Antonio Claudio Michael

    Interesting video Big Clive

  • toysareforboys
    toysareforboys Month ago

    I had to turn my subwoofers off to listen to this, lots of bass in your voice with this setup. Maybe use an audio program to remove any audio under 300hz or so would be good.

    • toysareforboys
      toysareforboys Month ago

      @bigclivedotcom I never assumed it was anything different, still need to do a low cut audio though :)

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago +1

      That was natural voice with no external microphone.

  • Andrew Dorsett
    Andrew Dorsett Month ago

    Awesome video Big Clive, I wish we had these in New Zealand

  • Ethel Ryan
    Ethel Ryan Month ago

    It's refreshing to finally see all that wasted space in these plugs be put to good use.

      PETER GREEN Month ago +3

      This isn't really doing that though, the design of the plug part remains pretty much as-ever and the surge protector is a bulky extra on top.

  • rakmanyt
    rakmanyt Month ago

    D = Disk?

  • bar10dr
    bar10dr Month ago

    Pictures in this video seems a lot less sharp than usual, have you thought about trying 4k?

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      4K would be difficult to upload on the outdated Internet services here. I think the camera I was using here was over compressing the images.

  • vijendra shirodkar
    vijendra shirodkar Month ago

    Clive i was thinking that why they are not using 10d371k mov.voltage will not go above 370v.

    • Monkeh
      Monkeh Month ago

      Because with 10% tolerance a non-trivial number will conduct every cycle, and even those which don't will have short lives.
      Plus, the greater energy dissipated will cause more heating of the MOV and shorten their lives even further.

  • Mat Smith
    Mat Smith Month ago

    Audio in this video is very ASMR

  • YTANDY100
    YTANDY100 Month ago

    one reason for incorrectly wired sockets is the fact that different makers put the connections were they like so if someone goes to b+q or some such and gets nice new shiny sockets , switches off the power and removes old socket and fits new socket they will just fit the wires same as old socket which may have L + N opposite way round , when they plug something in to test it works , job done :-)

  • Art
    Art Month ago

    It hurts each time you say letter "s". The mic picks up the whistling sound way too much, maybe just increase the distance to the mic a little?

  • Mui MasMacho
    Mui MasMacho Month ago

    Wought you say? Fuses?
    So how will all the Sympathetic Magic Smoke evacuate the smokeproof enclosure with those sacrificial, serial-discontinuity devices imbedded?
    That's downright unAmerican.

  • LPMaster
    LPMaster Month ago

    is this video supposed to be muted or why is there no sound?

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      Check your surround sound settings. Dolby will be sending all the audio to a missing middle speaker.

  • pmailkeey
    pmailkeey Month ago

    Would be even neater if they'd not used bayonet socket contacts - as it is them that's driving the height of the plug top.

  • Popescu Paul
    Popescu Paul Month ago

    What lamp holder is that with the spring loaded pins? I don't quite get it

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey Month ago

      Any you push & twist the bulb to fit it. Normally referred to as 'bayonet'

  • twocvbloke
    twocvbloke Month ago +1

    Pretty neat design, especially the way it utilises a standard plug... :)

  • UnrealVideoDuke
    UnrealVideoDuke Month ago

    Pretty sad that it doesn't indicate that the main(replaceable) fuse is blown or not!

    • Rubén Balea
      Rubén Balea Month ago +1

      When the main fuse blows the indicator goes off too, if the indicator is off after replacing the fuse then the surge protector will have some damage.

  • Peter B
    Peter B Month ago

    Hi Clive. As you have been at this TheXvid thing for quite some time and have put out quite s few videos, is there any chance you could show us around your recording setup, both on the video and audio. Simple things like what stand or other do you use to get the overhead view would be very helpful to know especially to those of us thinking of doing a vlog (I think that is the correct term!)
    I believe you once used an ipad as a camera, did you use the internal microphone? Maybe a bit of history about how your recording setup has evolved would be useful too.

  • Tim Clarke
    Tim Clarke Month ago +4

    "odd but clever" describes CPC pretty well

  • Steve Page
    Steve Page Month ago +18

    Clive didn’t checkout the “D”! Well, there’s a first time for everything, rofl

  • Alan Cartwright
    Alan Cartwright Month ago

    So if I understand right, this is more for indication than for protection, as the connection is never broken to the device, but the neon indicator goes out when there has been a surge? It wouldn't actually protect your equipment from said surge but only provide evidence that there has been one?

    • Alan Cartwright
      Alan Cartwright Month ago

      @Patrick Wigmore Thanks for explaining, I think I get it now. The devices don't get 'in the way' of the surge, they draw it away from the equipment instead and dissipate it, I guess is how I would put it?

    • Patrick Wigmore
      Patrick Wigmore Month ago +1

      ​@Alan Cartwright The MOVs become temporarily low-resistance when the voltage rises high enough to trigger them, causing a temporary short circuit. Because the electrical wiring has non-zero impedance, the short circuit causes voltage drop in the wiring, dragging down the voltage and protecting the appliance. Normally this will only be for a very short period of time (milliseconds).

      Considering each MOV individually, the wiring and the MOV together form a potential divider across the origin of the voltage spikes. When the MOV is not conducting, its resistance is much, much higher than that of the wiring, so most of the potential difference (voltage) is across the MOV and thus also across whichever parts of the appliance the MOV is in parallel with. When the voltage rises and the MOV begins to conduct, the MOV's share of the total circuit resistance falls, and thus its share of the potential difference also falls.

      (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

    • Alan Cartwright
      Alan Cartwright Month ago

      @bigclivedotcom I feel like I'm missing some basic knowledge here because I can't see how a circuit can protect a device while the circuit to the device remains in place, if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it doesn't work, I just can't see how it does work.

    • Monkeh
      Monkeh Month ago

      @bigclivedotcom Very little does, really.. Lightning has a tendency to win.

    • bigclivedotcom
      bigclivedotcom  Month ago

      It will shunt spikes and transients. It wouldn't deal too well with a direct lightning strike.

  • dl200010
    dl200010 Month ago

    I once heard about how bad knock off apple chargers are and I did buy one off of ebay, so I tore both the original and knock off apart. Man, the differences in them! I do not know a lot about circuits, but the difference was night and day.

  • Electra Flarefire
    Electra Flarefire Month ago +1

    If you have some spare tops, you can replace them when they get damaged.
    Also; I thought they often used LEDs because if you get a spike big enough to destroy the LED, then there is a good chance that the protection has failed?

    • Aaron Brandenburg
      Aaron Brandenburg Month ago

      You may have a point there but it's probably because the car me and stuff but I don't know anyone that guy comments on that?