Re: Way Back...
" Makes it obvious that it's NOT a regular power outlet."
That's the rub. If there was a regulation colour for these sockets, or even if someone had the foresight to _label_ them a lot of angst would be saved.
On a slightly larger scale version of this, about 25 years ago I solved a similar problem which had been flummoxing our staff for years. A site was reporting critical equipment (radio-operated phone system long before the days of mobiles) failing over the weekend and when we got out on site it was always working perfectly. As it was a safety requirement needed to talk between the customer's base and ships anchored about a mile offshore taking their bulk product (titanium ore) it was causing major problems and the faults were becoming more frequent.
The site was about 100 miles from base, so callouts were difficult and the customer wasn't willing to pay callout charges in any case for what they felt was our problem.
One friday evening, I'd finished late at a remote site about 200 miles from base and was heading home when a call came in that this site had just reported a fault and as i was about to pass it, would I call in and see what's up?
Late on a summer's night (10pm sunset) is spooky on an ironsands mining barge when everything's shut down, but once on board I made my way to our equipment cabinet to find what was apparently a power supply failure. 5 minutes of prodding and poking later established that the dedicated socket installed and labelled for the equipment ("Do not turn off at any time") was dead and further prodding/tracing revealed that the socket was wired back to the "Non-essential" power cabinet - and had been since our equipment was installed 20 years earlier.
Guess what happened at 5:30pm every night? The hint's in the name "Non-essential power"
Thankfully there was a live socket about 2 metres away, so phone service to the ship visible on the horizon was quickly reestablished. The following week someone went out and replaced the lead-acid battery in our cabinet which proved to be thoroughly trashed. 20 years of being discharged overnight every night and deep discharged every weekend/public holiday had taken its toll and it was lasting about 15-20 minutes at best. I don't know if the dedicated socket was ever rewired to the correct power cabinet or whether the short extension cable to the essential outlet was left in place.
Checking the installation documentation it was clear that the customer had signed off on the requirement that our kit was on an "essential" power feed and that over the years they'd verified it wasn't connected to the non-essential power when we asked them to double check. (The plug was labelled as "essential power, do not switch off", but the circuit label on the socket was in site convention for their non-essential stuff(*) and we verified it actually went back to the breaker it said it did)
(*) Site caretaker electrician "That's a non-essential circuit designation, they get switched off at 5:30" - to which my response was "It's supposed to be on essential power, we're going to have to verify this"
The customer got a report. They still complained about the length of time that it'd taken to diagnose the fault, despite the fact that due to the nature of the power "failure" (and the responses of their supposedly qualified day electricians) the problem could only have ever been diagnosed onsite at the time it was happening. I was the first out-of-hours visitor _ever_ and they'd been the ones to refuse out of hours callouts due to the charges they'd incur. The only reason I was there was because they called it in whilst someone was still in the office _and_ someone was in the area who knew the site (it was regarded as dangerous due to the bailey bridge used to access the barge, so going there needed a familiarisation trip) and it had such a long and frustrating history of "no fault found".