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#21321 06/10/03 1:05 PM
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leonius Offline OP
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How do all of you deal with the IEC 320 rolleyes leads being changed from machine to machine without knowlege of the EBME Dept.
The problem as i see it, as the leads are moved around the correct rated fuse in the lead is swapped. Also some leads are only two pin and therfore could get moved to a class 1 device. being a newbie this issue may aready have been discused in that case a link would be nice.

#21322 06/10/03 1:42 PM
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Big problem!!!!

Class II leads can't be stuck into class I sockets 'cos the earth pins in the way.

But as far as swapping the leads, thatís a different matter. I can't see any way around the problem, but what we do here is to put a laminated label around the lead indicating the lead was test on that particular machine on that date, if the staff swap the lead, then thatís up to them.

I have sent Memoís, spoken to the General Managers, emailed around the Trust not to swap leads, but still it happens. Iíve ended up sticking 3 amp fuses in all the leads apart from those that need a higher rating and if they are swapped and the fuse is popped, you can ask the question why was the lead changed?

Paul.

#21323 06/10/03 2:10 PM
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Big problem, no easy solution. I would indicate though that the fuse should not be a problem since the fuse is there to protect the cable and not the appliance, so rate the fuse to suit the cable.

#21324 06/10/03 2:36 PM
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0.75mm^2 up to 6A fused; 1.0mm^2 up to 10A fused; 1.5mm^2 up to 13A fused (for detachable IEC) isn't it? Depending upon the rating of the plug-top and IEC connector, of course. Any comments welcomed.

#21325 06/10/03 7:17 PM
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Fuse is there to protect cable and provided it's right, it does.

Aren't detachable mains made detachable so they can be? Safely? What's the issue?

#21326 06/10/03 8:17 PM
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Don't think there is an issue as long as the fuse is rated correctly, the lead's inspected and safety-tested and identified as such.

Does anyone know of a reliable and effective method of managing the safety of IEC leads, including labelling as "inspected and tested"?

Any companies out there that produce a novel way of marking/labelling/identifying leads?

What inspection intervals should there be on IEC leads intended for use with medical equipment?

#21327 06/10/03 8:31 PM
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Grahame,

I have got to agree, the fuse is there to protect the cable. IEC leads are designed to be detachable so they can be used on different equipment. I have removed ALL 3 amp fuses from our cables as most are rated at 10A or more.
Why fit a 3A fuse to an IEC lead that is rated at 10A then plug it into a piece of equipment that draws 7A ?
3A fuses should not be fitted to IEC cables. I say 7A minimum.

Todd


Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals... except the weasel.
#21328 07/10/03 10:25 AM
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We never use less than a 7 amp fuse. The heavier duty cables we fuse at 10 amps. Equipment which is rated lower than that is protected by its own fuses. In theory there should be no problem with swapping leads (except on high current equipment where it takes out the 7 amp fuse - but better that than melt the cable) but the detatchable leads are a real pain because they generate so many "false" failures - just because they're not plugged into the equipment properly.

There was a notice put out by the MDA a few years ago which suggested that all detatchable mains leads should be tested every six months because they were prone to damage. Ours get tested every 12 months along with all the toasters and kettles. The company who do the work stick a laminated label round the cable with the tested date on - but not a re-test date - just in case they're late getting round to it next year !

They find quite a few with the insulation pulled back or a connection broken - sometimes the earth - so it's definitely worth doing.


Today is the day you worried about yesterday - and all is well !
#21329 07/10/03 11:01 AM
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We check the IEC lead of the equipment with every PPM and apply a label indicating the ID no. of the equipment to which the lead is attached (at the time of testing), the date, fuse rating and engineers initials.

If any leads are found to be faulty or damaged, they are replaced.

This doesn't stop the users moving the leads between different pieces of equipment once we've gone, but without fitting retainers to fix the lead to the equipment, what can you do? confused

#21330 07/10/03 5:26 PM
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Some years ago I got fed up with the spare mains leads hidden in drawers problem. Staff would regularly "find" leads in drawers that hadn't been tested for years and stick them onto equipment.
I decided to serial number & log every IEC lead, following which I planned to forbid staff to use unlabelled "found" leads.

I chose a really robust cable labelling system and started testing & labelling. After about 500 leads (1/4 of the stock)I dropped the project.

It took 2 minutes to test a lead, 6 minutes to label it up!

6 years later I still find my labelled cables around, the numbering beatifully clear but quite impractical.

I used to fuse all syringe pumps at 1A until I started finding the leads swapped onto defibs. I standard fuse leads at 7A these days.

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