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Christy

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Hubby and I are having a "conversation" about selling old sewing machines and the possibility of electrical shock hazard.  He is saying if someone got a shock it would be 120 volts and could kill them.  He is claiming that someone could sue me.

To me, this seems a little off.  I am selling a used item listed an an antique and am sure not to say it's been completely serviced unless it actually has been.  I thought a sewing machine only carried about 12 volts?  

Do you check the wiring completely in any machine you sell or give away from motor connections all the way though to the wall plug and inside the foot controller?  Do you re-wire everything with a mild abrasion on the cord or any appearance of wear and tear?

 

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  • Christy
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Mkwatts

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All the used machines purchased from my local sewing center always cut the cord to the petal. I guess the thought is it I reattach it, it is my error that caused the shock. Not sure of the legality of this practice, but that is what they do.
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Zorba

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Vintage machines are 120 volts throughout, are made of metal, and are ungrounded. So yea, it can happen. Like anything else, common sense applies - and in our latter day "scared of life" mentality/culture, common sense has long since fled.
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Christy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkwatts
All the used machines purchased from my local sewing center always cut the cord to the petal. I guess the thought is it I reattach it, it is my error that caused the shock. Not sure of the legality of this practice, but that is what they do.


I've seen places do this so I guess it's their way of cutting their possible liability.  On many machines I have, I actually HAVE checked the wiring from one end to the other and often replace anything questionable. 

If I happen to have a machine that sews fine, and I find no obvious problems with, but I'm not interested keeping it for my collection,  I've never been concerned about selling it or giving it away, until now... dum dum dum!  *hear the ominous music and hubbies voice of doom and gloom.  [frown]

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  • Christy
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #5 
How about adding the words "as is" in your sale ad?  Or, something along the lines that you find it to be in good working order for a machine of that age?  
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Mavis
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Christy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavis
How about adding the words "as is" in your sale ad?  Or, something along the lines that you find it to be in good working order for a machine of that age?  


Well, I did put the age of the machine and also that it had some scratches and a couple abrasions on the cord but was in working order.  I thought that would be fine but hubby didn't, so I pulled the ad.  Now it sits on my table with the motor apart and I will have to buy a plug end and attach new wires if I want to sell it.  BUT, right now I hate the damn stupid machine and my husband and I'd like to throw it at him!  [mad]

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  • Christy
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jon

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Reply with quote  #7 
If the sewing machine is safe enough where you'd let your family in good standing use it then it's safe enough for sale.

Jon
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Mavis

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Tell your husband his chance of it being thrown at him and killing him are greater than a buyer plugging it in, using it, and being killed![wink]
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Mavis
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HelenAnn

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Reply with quote  #9 
I think your chance of being liable for someone being electrocuted,  are far better if you tell them that you, repaired the wiring. If you clean the machine and get it back in running shape you are fine. (My humble opinion)
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HelenAnn central Minnesota
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Christy

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Reply with quote  #10 
Jon, that's exactly how I felt about it.  I had no concerns about plugging it in and firmly grasping the cord and running it. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenAnn
I think your chance of being liable for someone being electrocuted,  are far better if you tell them that you, repaired the wiring. If you clean the machine and get it back in running shape you are fine. (My humble opinion)


HelenAnn, exactly!  In this sue-happy world they could come at you either way!  I honestly feel on a used item it's up to the buyer to double check any concerns they have.  Now IF I were a licensed repair person stating the machine was in good repair then I could understand someone feeling I didn't do my job!

Mavis, he is fully aware I am highly irked.  [mad]  He already asked what my plans are for today and it starts with going to the hardware store for a new plug end.  The machine is apart on the table and it will either get repaired or tossed in the bin at this point.

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  • Christy
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Farmhousesewer

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Reply with quote  #11 
I hesitate writing, because the last time I wrote about Legal Liability or even protection for your collection,  I almost got my head cut, off on another platform

A customer can sue the seller for selling a defective product or when the product causes them injury or sickness. The legal jurisdiction has an important impact on whether someone will be held liable. For example, I would never sell in California. State laws very widely. 

If you have worked on or  "repaired the wiring", if you rebuilt or reconditioned the sewing machine , especially if you have a business to do so, you are more likely to be held liable. One of the 8 basic rights of a consumer is safety.

England, Wales, Scotland  https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/product-safety/second-hand-electrical-goods 

I don't want to go into Product Liability Tort, but even if you are not held liable, the expense to fight an action can be devastating. 

Better safe than sorry. I have many electric machines to eventually get rid of. Most need work. Think I will think twice on what to do with them. Selling among ourselves, at TOGA and the like gatherings or sewing machine online group members is probably best.

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Maria
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wrubydog

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm new here.  You mentioned selling them at TOGA; what is TOGA?  Thanks


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Louise
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charley26

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Reply with quote  #13 
All electrical stuff sold in charity shops here in the UK have to be PAT tested (some sort of electrical test), and all such items will have a stamped sticker on to say this has been done. If not done, any plug will be cut off, and the buyer has the responsibility to sort out and test the wiring. Same with auctions. I am not sure what the situation is for individual sellers though.
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Marie
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Farmhousesewer

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Reply with quote  #14 
TOGA TreadleOn Gathering and Academy. Gatherings of individuals that collect, work on and use people powered sewing machines. Name from Treadleon.net and Treadleon IO (currently) group. We do allow selling and exchanging of electrical machines. Depends upon the Toga location and leaders.
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Maria
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #15 
Maria, ZERO issue with the "Legal Liability" post.  No real need to do the whole BOLD thing though....

wrubydog, TOGA is TreadleOn Gathering & Academy http://www.treadleon.net/

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #16 
Volts don't kill.
Amps do.
https://www.asc.ohio-state.edu/physics/p616/safety/fatal_current.html

Many motors use only 12VDC but they draw their power from 120V (or 220V etc depending on geographical location) from your home.

Of course, that doesn't answer anything about liability because it varies from country to country and state/province, etc.

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Tammi in Alberta, Canada
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Farmhousesewer

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Reply with quote  #17 
Steve, the "bold thing" had nothing to do with the post. Helps my aging eyes see better. 
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Maria
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