How many watts can you get from 6 amps??

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by nomadic, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. nomadic

    nomadic Funster

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    Having read the thread on EHU's I am reminded of a recent event we experienced in France, between 28/12/08 to 2/01/09, a cold spell.

    We booked in, and the ehu charge was €5/day. It was confirmed the supply was 6 amps, which gives us 1380 watts. Having pitched, checked and corrected the polarity, I was asked to confirm exactly what we could run. We could run 900watts heating OR, electric ring on cooker @ 800watts OR the oil rad @ 750watts, all leaving capacity for the charger, fridge, tv, decoder, and laptop. I added that the ehu cupboard was not locked, so if we trip, we can reset it ourselves.
    Next morning, returning from the shower, I was told I had made a mistake with my cals!! Why, because someone forgot to turn off the heating, when the kettle was put on the ring, drawing 1700watts. So we turned the heating up to 1800watts, with the ring still "on", now we were drawing 2600watts + fridge and charger and tv on standby!! are we on 6amps or more??

    I went to the ehu point to check the mcb's, yes they were "C6" 6amp, all 7 of them, were protected by a rcd rated at 63amps!! 6 wired to cee sockets, the other one to a park light. Only two sockets were in use, ours and another camper, so I selected a mcb which was not in use and tried to trip it out. It was frozen solid and I could not trip it out. In fairness, the temperature had been zero or lower, from before our arrival to when we left.

    We enjoyed a very comfortable stay, at €5 / day, very good, but seriously,

    1) If the mcb is frozen, will it allow unlimited supply until it defrosts???

    2) Were in the supply chain is the risk of fire, rcd, mcb, other??

    Our own consumer board did not, at any time trip out, so we assume we stayed within the m/h electric constraints.

    Any advice/observations aappreciated.


    Nomadic
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    The board RCD is usually rated to suit the main supply, in your example that was 63A .. quite normal.

    Q1 I doubt very much that the mcb was frozen due to being wet, it would have tripped the Main RCD .. but who can say for sure ..
    It is more likely to be simply seized .. not uncommon with elderly breakers, especially ones outside and exposed to dusty conditions ..so in all likely hood it would never trip..

    Q2 There was no risk of fire, your van mcb would trip before the current exceeded the ehu cable rating.

    It is more common to find MCBs that won't reset .. I've come across quite a few when touring France.. another one I'v seen is an adjustable MCB..small dial on the front that can be adjusted from 6 - 16A .. guess where they are usually set :Laughing:

    Jim
     
  3. nomadic

    nomadic Funster

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    Hi Jim

    Thanks very much for your reply:thumb::thumb:

    All that you say makes sence now, yes the wires inside the "box" were a least the weight of a hook up cable.

    I think I was blinkered with the sub zero temoeratures, lateral thinking will be employed in the future.

    On the point of adjustable dial amp meters, we were offered (in France) the option to upgrade from 6 to 10 amps, usually for an additional €2 / day. When we did we then had a mini heatwave, and could have managed on 6 amps....still thats life for a full timer.:Rofl1:

    Thanks again


    Nomadic
     
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