How do you deal with reverse polarity?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by euphony290, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. euphony290

    euphony290 Read Only Funster

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    I thought I had placed a post somewhere on the site about this but I can't find it and, as there have been no responses, I reckon it didn't happen.

    I think I understand the concept of reverse polarity (RP) - (Blue and Brown wires reversed) but how do you discover the socket you are about to link into is RP?

    If you find a socket is reverse polarity how do you overcome it? I think you utilise a small extension cable but how would this be wired up so as to make it all safe?

    We took delivery of our first 'home this week and are keen to get on with it all but I am concerned about this subject as we live in France and mainland Europe is where I suspect this issue will surface.

    Thanks in advance for all help and suggestions.

    euphony290
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    a mains socket tester will indicate a reversed situation...available on ebay for a few quid.

    remedy....a short lead with EITHER (but not both) the plug or socket rewired backwards...live wire to neutral/neutral wire to live.

    be sure to mark the lead "reversed" or you may reverse a good post socket in error.

    another option is plug into a different post, or even a different socket on the same post...it may be wired correctly.

    more important, and far more dangerous, is a lack of earth......no earth indicated on the socket tester then DO NOT use that hookup post socket.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  3. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Something like this will do.

    You have a tester you plug in your mains socket once you are on mains hook up. The lights on the socket will tell you if it is ok or reversed polarity
    The adapters will allow you to change the polarity and the test plug will then show you if it is ok.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EU-Europe...n_Cables_Leads_Connectors&hash=item51ac2930a7

    The tester will also warn if there is no earth.

    [​IMG]
    :thumb:

    :BigGrin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  4. missbusybusy

    missbusybusy Read Only Funster

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    ditto to both the above NEVER had a problem yet :Smile:
     
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome to the fun. All connections are reverse current for half of the cycle so a reverse connection is not in itself likely to damage anything. However UK built vans are only fused on the live side with neutral connected to earth potential. In France they fuse both the live and the neutral in their vans so no need to correct it. In short it is only a problem if you have a short circuit, bit could become live. I have had a look at the Burstner manual and its not clear if it is fused both live and neutral. But then my manual is an old one you may find different in yours. If you do need one then pappajohn has detailed how to make one, good luck
     
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  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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  7. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    Reversed polarity is a problem for British vans because the UK uses single pole switching, where the polarity needs to be correctly maintained, to safely switch things off. On the continent they employ double pole switching and, therefore, are not concerned about polarity to achieve isolation of equipment.

    However, circuit protection shouldn't be an issue for UK vans when the polarity is reversed. Circuit breakers and residual current devices should still operate.
     
  8. euphony290

    euphony290 Read Only Funster

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    Thank you one-and-all. I knew I would get a result by asking on this site.

    I have taken advice and ordered the full kit on eBay and it should be here within a week. For £30, including postage to France, it is worthwhile as it's too much to risk without.

    We are just waiting for a few good days, weatherwise, and we'll be off around Normandy and Brittany, to start with at least.

    Thanks again folks.
    Regards
    :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  9. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Two points.

    1. All you need is one adapter. A miniature EHU lead about 500 cm long with the live and neutral wires reversed at on end. Just palce this between the EHU lead and the motorhome to reverse the polarity.

    2. If you use one of the foreign to UK electric plug type adapters (bottom right hand corner of photo) then you will OFTEN find that they often reverse the polarity anyway so using one in conjunction with a plug tester will result in erroneous readings.
     
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