Switched outlets in Australia

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Old 11-15-09, 07:15 AM
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Switched outlets in Australia

I was down under recently, and am curious as to why ALL electrical outlets there contain a small switch. I know they use a higher standard voltage than N. America (240v?), but was hoping to discover why the outlets have to be switched??
 
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Old 11-15-09, 09:03 AM
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Sure it was a switch and not a breaker. In the UK many plugs have built in fuses. I think that is because of the ring circuits but not sure. Maybe the Australians went one better and put a breaker in the receptacle or maybe just an RCD (GFCI). Pure 100% guess.
 
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Old 11-15-09, 08:39 PM
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Not sure if it was a breaker because I didn't remove the cover, but in one position it gave power to the receptacle and in the other it removed it. These small toggles are about the size of a penny, and they are the exact same ones used on all the basic light switches too, which is what made me curious in the first place.
 
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Old 11-16-09, 07:14 AM
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I am a member of ECN and that forum said they are in fact switches and not a breaker they are just meant to break the circuit before you unplug a device so you will not see an arc by just pulling out the plug (in other countries they use alot of high draw devices with out power switches, so that is probably to make the receptacle and the plug on the device last longer)
 
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Old 11-16-09, 07:15 PM
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The Aussie and New Zenland both use the switch next to the receptale the main thing they can able turn off the power off before unpluging it { Keep in your mind the Aussies do use the crow foot recetaple format something what we used have in USA before }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-17-09, 07:40 AM
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That makes sense, and pretty interesting too. Thanks for the replies everyone!
 
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Old 11-17-09, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CircuitBreaker View Post
I am a member of ECN and that forum said they are in fact switches and not a breaker they are just meant to break the circuit before you unplug a device so you will not see an arc by just pulling out the plug (in other countries they use alot of high draw devices with out power switches, so that is probably to make the receptacle and the plug on the device last longer)
I wouldn't say that it's high draw devices (meaning high current), but rather the fact that it is a lot harder to break the arc as you start going up in voltage.
 
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