I have a European power strip Schuko socket with switch (it looks like this

Close up of European power strip Schuko socket with switch

and this).

enter image description here

Mine has 3 Schuko sockets. I cannot open the power strip because it has round head carriage bolts with fastner-like threads(what's the name of their thread?) instead of screws.

Its Shucko plug (CEE 7/7 plug) is connected to a Shucko socket (CEE 7/3 socket) in the wall that has only one live wire (I've checked), which is the normal way things are here, and I'm pretty sure the ground is properly connected. Someone mentioned that's possible both wires can be live but this is not the case for me, that's why I mentioned this info.

The power strip and its light switch seem to work as intended, except when I connect my newly defunct washing machine (which stopped working during the last rinse cycle, for reasons yet to be determined).

The machine acts as if it's not receiving any power, however the power strip's light switch remains lit regardless of the power strip's switch's position (on or off) when (and only when) this washing machine's Schuko plug (CEE 7/7 plug) is connected to this power strip.

What and why could cause the power strip's light switch to light up even when the switch is in the off position ?

Connecting other plugs into the power strip do not cause the switch light to light up while in the off position! So there must be something that the defunct washing machine "does" internally that's causing this.

I've tried rotating the Schuko plug of the washing machine but the switch light still stays lit while in the off position.

However, I just tried rotating the Schuko plug of the power strip itself and it worked: the switch light is no longer lit while in the off position. Frankly I don't remember if the light was ever on while the washing machine was previously working(as in, not defunct) and the power strip's switch was in the off position. I do however remember the power strip's switch light being off when it was turned off, while the washing machine wasn't defunct, without having changed the power strip's Schuko plug wall position! This leads me to believe that somehow the washing machine defunctness is the cause of the power strip's switch light being lit even while in the off position, but I've no idea why would this happen!

UPDATE: I was able to take the following picture from inside the washing machine:
washing machine electrical connection
The white pipe-looking thing is the power cable.

EDIT: To get a clearer idea of how the above actually looks like, here are two pictures from somewhere else: enter image description here Surge filter for washing machine Indesit C00091633 (With cord) Apparently it's called a "Surge filter". So I can only infer that the way it broke makes the off position of the power strip switch's lamp light up.

UPDATE I pulled out the surge filter from the washing machine, here's a better picture of the meltage:
(I can't upload images for some reason(imgur won't do anything), so here's the link) https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/40925413/47820832-fdd41880-dd5e-11e8-8171-9fc270164ac6.jpg

I've also broken into the power strip (because it wasn't working too! took me a while to realize because I didn't try to use it until now). So one of the contacts inside the red switch was melted into the plastic, no doubt a side effect of the above:

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have an RCD? \$\endgroup\$ – Jeroen3 Oct 22 '18 at 8:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jeroen3 I don't know what that is \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 23 '18 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jeroen3 I have something that looks like this somewhere on the top near the ceiling where I cannot easily reach it. \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 23 '18 at 13:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, that's a melted plastic on the input capacitor. Unplug it right now! \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Oct 24 '18 at 3:42

Your washing machine probably has a ground fault.


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Based on reversing the plugs you can get these two situations:
- Top schematic: ideal situation, switched live.
- Bottom schematic: switched neutral. Ground fault in washing machine still lights up the indicator.

An RCD will probably trip when you close the switch. If the fault current is high enough.

Sidenote: washers and dryers are not supposed to go into powerbars. This is a fire hazard.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited the question to add the picture from inside the washing machine. Does this help or change the answer to the question? \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 24 '18 at 3:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarcusLinsner yeah, it's burning up. Melted plastic! Unplug it and leave it unplugged. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Oct 24 '18 at 3:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby Thanks! I didn't plan on keeping it plugged in even since it went defunct. But who knows when the plastic melted? it's an 11year old machine. \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 24 '18 at 4:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can't really tell, but I've never seen a machine causing melted plastic and then continue to work without issues for years afterwards. If you washer just stopped working, I bet that melting is part of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Oct 24 '18 at 4:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it does, and is explained on this answer. Basically a short between wires, internally in the washer, which explains the heating/melting. A new path for the light (neon indicator most likely) to turn on with. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Oct 24 '18 at 4:09

It could be that someone has wired the socket backwards (with neutral switched and live unswitched, then grounding the switched neutral (through the capacitance of the washing machine) will light the lamp

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited the question to add the picture from inside the washing machine. Does this help or change the answer to the question? \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 24 '18 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ it looks like that power entry module is damaged. (the case is warped and there appears to be heat or smoke marks on the white connector, \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Oct 24 '18 at 4:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Schuko plugs can be inserted both ways into socket. There is no way of guaranteeing which way blue and brown will have neutral and live. Which is why power strip switches are required to switch both wires, as switching just one wire will be dangerous. \$\endgroup\$ – Justme Oct 25 '18 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Justme true, I've just checked my power strip's switch and it's switching both wires, however one of the switch metals was melted into the plastic and maybe this added to the OP as to why the switch light was lit even during the switch's off position. I'll update the post with some picture(s). So, according to my father's guess, one of the capacitors(0.025uF) between line and ground likely shorted(because that's how the picofarrads ones die out, tho now I see that's 25nF not pF, so I dno) and that's what caused all the melting (in both surge filter and power strip). \$\endgroup\$ – user201933 Oct 31 '18 at 21:13

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