Wikipedia, VC and naked wires in my hands

Our vacuum cleaner stopped working and my wife asked me to buy a new one. Even though I do not mind buying new devices, shopping for a vacuum cleaner is pretty boring process. You need to go to Google first entering “Best vacuum cleaner rdquo;, then read VC ratings, pick one in the area of $1K, find the vendors that are not too cheap and not too expensive ndash; preferably the one that you “ve dealt with before.

But our ten year old VC didn “t die suddenly. Over the last years it stopped working with some electrical outlets in our house, with gave me the idea that it might be something inside its plug. In general, I wonder how the vendors of house appliances survive? VC, laundry may machines, and refrigerators work for years and years and people do not change them often enough. Poor vendors have to come up and add some revolutionary features to these devices to give people some justifications for replacing their appliances with the new ones.

Anyway, I decided to cut off the plug and see if my VC will work if I insert naked wires into the outlet. Scissors did their job, and I discovered two wires there ndash; white and black. Even though my physics knowledge is rusty, I realized that these wires are colored differently for a reason and if I insert them in the wrong order, something bad may have happened to myself, VC or the house.

What would you do in this situation? I went to and started reading about conventions in wire coloring.

Since my VC was made in Europe, I was not sure if its manufacturers knew about these conventions. I was not convinced. I need to ask someone I trust.

If I “d be sitting in the TV studio of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire? rdquo; and had to use the option “Help from a friend rdquo;, I “d know who to call to. Papa I Mama just knows everything, and most importantly, he ‘s always willing to help.

BTW, one guy put Encyclopedia Britannica for sale on eBay. His item description was short but cute, “Don ‘t need it anymore. Got married and she fking knows everything! ”

PiM is a great guy. He was on Skype, and here “s cut and paste form our dialog

[6/27/2008 12:48:13 PM] YF says: I cut off the plug and trying to see if the problem is there. On Wikipedia now – trying to learn colors of electric wires – want to replace the plug. If you won ‘t hear from me within 20 min, I did it in a wrong way 😦

[6/27/2008 12:48:13 PM] PiM says: red (bright) is power, black is 0, green is ground

[6/27/2008 12:48:35 PM] YF says: I have just two wires – black and white.

[6/27/2008 12:48:47 PM] PiM: black is ground/0

[6/27/2008 12:49:16 PM] PiM: it has to have words ground along the wire along with gauge #

[6/27/2008 12:49:53 PM] PiM: you can also use ohmmeter on the plug/wires u cut

[6/27/2008 12:49:54 PM] YF says: No words. As per Wikipedia, black is phase. Which color corresponds to the wider blade on the plug?

[6/27/2008 12:50:09 PM] YF says: Do not have ohmmeter

[6/27/2008 12:50:32 PM] PiM says: 1.5v lamp and battery?

[6/27/2008 12:50:58 PM] PiM says: (from hand light?)

[6/27/2008 12:51:13 PM] YF says: I ‘d rather google it up

[6/27/2008 12:51:22 PM] PiM says: that is NUTS

After this message I decided to switch to the voice conversation, and PiM gave me a short lecture evaluating my chances to be killed by electric current in this situation. The chances were pretty slim, which was encouraging, and I poke the wires in.

My VC worked! I did not need to do this stupid shopping. Found an old TV cable box, cut off its plug, and short trip to Home Depot for electric tape made my happy and proud of myself. I called my wife. She was not happy, “Can we replace the entire cord to make it safer? rdquo;

Ok, Ok, back to Google, “Miele parts rdquo;, and five minutes later the order have been placed. Next week the cord will arrive. Expect to read another blog about how I was taking the VC apart trying to replace the cord.


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