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I have a popcorn maker that when you plug it in it just starts working. Theres no on/off switch and it's kind of annoying. When you unplug it you always get a big blue spark which seems kind of dangerous to me, it might not be but it seems like it would be. It has a standard 2 prong AC power cable. How can I make an on/off switch for this without breaking it or shocking myself?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Two words: Power Strip \$\endgroup\$ – user3624 Jun 12 '12 at 3:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ The main thing in your popcorn makes is probably a headting element, which draws a substaial amount of current. Make sure the power strip or plug in switch is rated for the amount of current your gadget draws! (Can probably be found on the type plate.) \$\endgroup\$ – Wouter van Ooijen Jun 12 '12 at 10:14
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The easiest and safest method is to buy some form of switched outlet with a cord and plug. It would be possible to make one yourself but the cost will exceed that of a premade one and there are significant safety issues.

The spark on disconnection is not dangerous as long as there is not flammable gas present - in which case the danger would be extreme even without the spark.

As long as you stay out of contact with the mains connections there should be no great danger from the equipment.


Plug in switches like the one shown below are available from here. Allowable current not specified.

enter image description here

You can IR remote control appliances up to 10A current rating with items like this one from here for $US6.

enter image description here

More this one is a triple pack

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, thats a lot less screwing around than cutting wires and trying to safely put it in a box and whatnot, thanks for the answer! \$\endgroup\$ – John Jun 12 '12 at 8:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could also move to the UK ;-). All our wall sockets have switches. Unfortunately our 240V ac mains supply would probably fry your popcorn maker! \$\endgroup\$ – uɐɪ Jun 12 '12 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I was going to suggest a microswitch that triggered when the expanded popcorn rose to a certain level, but I guess that's more fun than the OP was looking for... \$\endgroup\$ – mickeyf Jun 13 '12 at 4:02

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