Help - Reverse Polarity

Discussion in 'France' started by Tweedie, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Tweedie

    Tweedie Funster

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    Am going to buy a 2 pin plug adapter for hook up in case needed in France but was wondering about a reverse polarity tester. Have been told that if you have a new motorhome then reverse polarity is not an issue, is this correct?? I don't really understand electrical workings very well so am not sure if I need a tester:unsure:.
     
  2. davanne

    davanne Funster

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    Our Aldi had some testers in the clearance section think they were about £6.99 we already have one else may have been tempted to buy one.
     
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  3. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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  4. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    Hi your power supply unit or control panel in van may already have a light to indicate reverse polarity...but the plug in testers are handy with other features as well as polarity testing.
    20160202_174452.jpg


    Ta andy
     
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  5. Pilote87

    Pilote87 Funster

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    The previous replies have assumed that you have a UK-made motorhome. Continental manufacturers always (I hope) fit a double-pole RCD, in which case you have no need to worry as the protection is there. If UK-made then some may consider that it is important to check polarity.

    J
     
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  6. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    All RCDs are double pole, it's the MCB that are single pole in the UK (y)
     
  7. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    From tweedies profile..bailey autograph 740.
     
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  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    It's no big deal unless you are planning to carry out any maintenance on the electrical system with the hook up lead plugged in. (y)

    Be aware of it I suppose but don't worry too much about it. It isn't anything like as important as some people would have you believe.
     
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  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sort of, what you get is the windscreen wipers working backwards to warn you.
     
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  10. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

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    Like that, Obi Wan!
     
  11. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Our Bailey 625 has two pole circuit breakers.
    Therefore the important thing is to check there isn't an earth fault.
     
  12. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    My tester won't show an earth fault unless the polarity is correct.
     
  13. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Surprising how many professionals use the polarity tester to check new wiring - they say they are just as efficient as the old meter and save hours of messing around
     
  14. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    The tester pictured above will check that.. but the vans earth trip device would come out anyway... They are very sensitive... something like 30ma bringing them out..
    Andy
     
  15. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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  16. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    This might be of interest.
    Because of the problem of encountering so-called 'reverse-polarity' at some European campsites, it is vital you test for this on arrival, and correct as necessary. The simplest way to do this for motorhome or caravan users, is to connect the hook-up cable, and then plug into any socket inside the van, a tester that will indicate live/neutral reversal—from £6.99. If required, you can then simply insert this reversing-adapter on the source end of your mains cable, and thence into the power-point.
    The great advantage of this method for counteracting 'polarity-reversal' is that it works on your main cable rather than in a Euro-adapter, which of course isn't now required on many Continental campsites, as the majority are adopting the standard blue IEC60309 (BS4343) that we use.


    Why this situation can occur on the Continent:
    In UK, switching is only done on the live line, and because our plugs & sockets are always connected the same, both switches and circuit-breakers (including RCDs) render cables & devices completely off, and safe.
    In Europe, generally, switching is done simultaneously on both the live AND neutral lines; and because of this safer practice, it is not unusual to find live or neutral randomly connected to live. This is perfectly fine and safe, but does cause issues for UK visitors.
    Firstly, many of our switches and RCDs, including some in motorhomes/caravans are single-pole, (meaning that they ONLY disconnect the live—or at least the expected live), but where the lines are reversed, they only pointlessly disconnect the neutral, leaving live power running past the switch/RCD, through any following cable and into all connected devices…even after any single-pole

    RCD has 'tripped'!
    Using a 'correcting' adapter like this will channel the reversed-live from the power hook-up into the proper live line of both switches and RCDs.
    Another reason why getting your live/neutrals round the right way might be important, is that some devices simply won't work properly, or worse, may be damaged; (notably some computers, microwaves, VCRs, DVDs).
     
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  17. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    So all the devices sold on the continent are different in some way to those sold in the UK?
     
  18. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    I've never bothered about it we have a French van and there are thousands over there not having any trouble. I think it's often one of those little britain things ........you know doing down johnny foreigner
     
  19. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    When I said earth fault I meant a fault with the earth . IE no earth connected to the MH. An earth trip will only occur if there is an earth. So the device above indicating NO EARTH is more serious that reverse polarity, in my view.
     
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  20. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    Agree Reverse polarity isn't a ptoblem as long as it's understood..
    But....

    I don't think that is strictly true... agree there should be an earth circuit or wiring,but an earth leakage device can trip a circuit even if there is no earth... ie through you...It doesn't have to leak through a conventional earth... It just needs to detect an out of balance current in live and neutral.. so not having an earth while been important won't stop a trip from working ....
    That's my understanding...until I'm told I'm wrong lol.
    Andy
     
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