230v Socket Tester At Aldi.

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Old Soldier, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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  2. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    On a recent Motorhome guided tour I was surprised how many people did not have one of these, nor a conversion cable or device and were unaware that some sites had faulty wiring with reversed polarity. Out of the ten or so sites that we stayed in, seven were faulty and all were 4star!!, indeed, some had a combination of good and bad, even on the same electrical supply point.
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no surprise .. no earth being the most worrying..

    but out of interest.. when you identified a faulty supply... what then.. ?

    a) don't use
    b) don't use and report
    c) carry on regardless
    d) try to rectify, (fix reverse polarity and install an earth spike )
    e) go to another site
     
  4. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    I have a reversed polarity cable on board, some others were swapping live and neutral connections on their cable plugs. Some were not bothered..
    There was an earth, just that the switched and fused side of live and neutral were reversed.
     
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  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    thanks.

    no earth is rare.. but not unknown..

    reverse polarity common but not an issue in a continental van ..

    On reflection.. I think the safest way in Morocco is not to use EHU .. plenty of sun for solar power :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
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  6. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    True in most cases. I had an expensive CD player distroyed by reversed polarity a few years back. I had left it connected, switched off at the socket, when I left one site in France. Plugged into the new supply at the next site. Tried to use it awhile later and found it dead as a do do. On investigation someone showed me that we had reversed polarity, first I knew about it. Can't be sure of course but bought a tester and polarity change lead and used them ever since. Apart from fuses and trips not working I have also heard tell of some van battery chargers having problems so I don't take the chance any more...:smiley:
     
  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    This may cause further confusion but it might be worth trying to explain what reverse polarity is, because it is nothing like the reverse polarity you wouldwould get if say you installed the batteries in a portable radio the wrong way round.

    The voltage between the live and neutral wire is constantly changing between positive a negative. So one moment the live wire is positive, the next it is negative. If you measure the voltage between these wires with a suitable meter you will find it will be something between 220 and 240 volts, depending where you live.

    Now do the same measuring the voltage between the live and earth and the neutral and earth and you should see something odd. Between live and earth you should get the same 220 to 240 volts but between neutral and earth you will get a very low figure between zero and a few tens of volts at most.

    The explanation why this is so is the tricky bit but I'll try.

    [​IMG]
    Ignore the lower diagram above and just look at the top one. The three wires connecting the tips of this star are the three electrical phases, normally called red, yellow and blue. The wire in the centre is the neutral, confusingly in a domestic house also coloured blue but that's just a coincidence as it isn't the same as the blue phase. Your domestic supply will be taken from one of these phases and the neutral, it will be reduced by a transformer from say 11,000 volts to 240 volts but the point is it is a feed between a live phase and the neutral. In any one area the three phases are shared out with some houses on the red live supply, others on the blue and the rest on yellow. This is called load balancing.

    Some industrial sites receive a three phase supply so they can run things on 415 volts, which is the voltage between each of the three phases - the lower diagram shows this. These do not use a neutral at all but we can ignore this case in the context of EHUs.

    At the local sub-station the neutral wire is physically buried in the ground, this is why the voltage you measure between live and neutral is very low, ideally zero but sometimes a little higher due to local variations of load between the three phases.

    Now when your Aldi device tells you the supply is "reverse polarity" it doesn't mean positive or negative is reversed, it means what should be a neutral wire is a live one. The danger is if you only have single pole switches in your MH, which cut off the live feed, you could still get a shock from the device because the unswitched neutral wire is carrying the full 220 to 240 volts supply and this is what you will experience if you touch it.

    So in summary, reverse polarity won't damage your TV or whatever, but it does have the potential to damage you if your MH doesn't use an electrical system which can cope with reversed polarity, which do exist.

    A further risk of reversed polarity is how the protection device your MH works when live and neutral are reversed and the voltages and currents it is sensing are not where they should be, but I think that is enough for the moment!

    In conclusion, use a reverse polarity tester if you are unsure what sort of electrics you have and use it in all cases if you want to check if there is a working earth - which is a very sensible thing to do. :)
     
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  8. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Don't know about the confusion.......fell asleep half way through it!!:snooze:
    Only joking, good explanation. Simplified, test your supply each time you connect, at least you will know if your toaster is still live if you " accidently" scoop out the bread with your metal knife!!
    :think::think::tmi::tmi:
     
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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    and you were doing so well .. ;)
     
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  10. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Question for the elecxperts.....:think:
    Firstly,
    We all know that sockets may still be live even after they are switched off on reversed polarity hookups but does this also mean that fuses, that may be on the "live" side of an appliance plug for class 1 equipment will not blow first should a serious fault occur and therefore serious damage and even danger could occur?
    Secondly, regardless of the type of appliance, would the vans trips "blow" in similar circumstances?

    P.s. Just been to Aldi, got my spare tester at discounted price. :happy:
     
  11. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Is DBK out there? Any thoughts on this anyone?
    :hi:
     
  12. Dogsense

    Dogsense Funster

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    When making a revers polarity adaptor, do I need to swop the Brown & Blue cables on both end of the adaptor (the plug end and the Socket end) or only on one end?
     
  13. Poohbear

    Poohbear Funster

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    If you do it on both ends you won't be reversing it will you. The colour of the wire is not the issue here :)
     
  14. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Only one end. Make sure you clearly mark it as being reversed polarity for safety's sake.
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    in the event of a short or overload, the fuse will blow irrespective of polarity as will the vans MCB

    Regarding switched sockets.. if you have no switches on sockets... there is no problem with reverse polarity

    continental vans don't have switched sockets, so that issue doesn't arise (unless someone has changed them for UK 13A switched sockets) why the continentals don't worry about reverse polarity.. also, the plugs can put plugged in either way around..
     
  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I'm surprised no-one has said this but "no you didn't". As has been said, the continentals have plugs which can be plugged either so much of the time their kit is running "reversed", it's the same kit we have.

    Something else blew it.
     
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  17. Poohbear

    Poohbear Funster

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    Our new Swift doesn't have switches on the sockets
     
  18. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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    On the continent they switch both L&N - so reverse polarity will make no difference.
    Here in the UK we only switch L
     
  19. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Interesting that because it worked in the morning at one site with normal polarity and after connecting up at the next site that afternoon, where I had forgotten to check the polarity, it didn't and it had not been moved, dropped touched or unplugged. You of course may be right, it may have just packed in but I don't take the chance anymore. :smiley:
     
  20. Dogsense

    Dogsense Funster

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    Thank You Poohbear & Gellyneck.
     
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