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Electrical devices protection in Spain

Now that we are confined indoors because of the Coronavirus, we rely on all types of electric and electronic devices to work and to keep in touch we our love ones, so we should take care of them, as our live will be even worse under these exceptional circumstances.

 

First thing first.

Although it seems obvious but each electrical appliance must be used for the purpose for which it was manufactured. Incorrect use can lead to overloads or lead to a doubtful state of preservation that puts people's safety at risk. In this sense, one of the factors to consider is the type of electrical insulation. Due to frequent use of household appliances, the wire and metal parts that connect to the circuit must be adequately shielded to withstand pulling, falling or wear and tear from continued use.

The Spanish Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulation (REBT) establishes the technical conditions and guarantees that electrical installations must meet to ensure their normal operation. The objective is to preserve the safety of people and property. This classification tries to specify the protection that exists of the electrical apparatus with respect to the people who intervene in its use. According to the regulations, the devices are classified into four groups, according to the degree of protection and the type of insulation:

 

Class O.

 They are the most dangerous devices, since the metallic parts that are connected to a conductor do not have protection devices. They also lack earthing and their insulation is functional, that is, the necessary to ensure that the appliance works. This insulation is used in small household appliances. To identify them, the devices may be inscribed "Class 0" or have no indication.

Class I.

In addition to basic insulation, the metal parts are connected to a ground terminal, which in turn connects to the circuit. Earthing is a very important element of protection, since it protects the user against possible electrocution. They are distinguished because a symbol appears as an inverted pyramid, with a vertical bar in the middle on the nameplate of the device. This insulation is suitable for large household appliances.

Class II.

They are the most reliable. They have double insulation or reinforced insulation, which achieves safer and more durable protection. The metal parts are separated from the rest of the device with insulating parts. Its identification is a symbol formed by two squares (a smaller one inside a larger one) or "Class II". These are the appliances that are commonly used outdoors or in places where they can come into contact with water (bathroom), such as a hair dryer or a shaver.

 

Class III.

Refers to appliances that operate with low voltage voltages, less than 50 volts. It is a frequent insulation in toys. These devices are distinguished by the inscription "Class III" or the value of the nominal voltage inside a diamond.

 

Other safety regulations.

To guarantee the correct use of electrical appliances, the REBT Technical Application Guide contains another series of very simple rules. Thus, it is recommended handling appliances with dry hands and never in the bathroom or under the shower, since there is a risk of electrocution. No appliance should be left near the bathtub to prevent it from falling into it, nor should appliances with bare wires or broken plugs be used.

Don’t pull the cable to disconnect the devices or accumulate several connections in one plug

As for the connections, it is not convenient to accumulate several into the same socket or use a multiple socket rack, leave electrical devices connected within the reach of children, disconnect them by pulling or plug them into an outlet which power does not match that of the appliance. In the latter case, the socket base could be burned.

And that is all for this week. Take care friends.

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