Learning experience re Electric

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Giddy Lynn, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Giddy Lynn

    Giddy Lynn Funster

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    Hi all

    Please excuse the terminology I use as I am not yet up on the technical terms.
    Just wanted to pass on this experience I had to all newbies (regulars will know this), regarding plugging in the campsite's electric.

    On arrival I plugged in and had TV, battery charger, fridge on, all good, I then went to switch on the hot water heater and electrics switched off! Turned off hot water then reset electric on campsite's EHU box, all good, switched off TV, fridge, turned hot water heater on, electrics shut off again. I went to reception and explained and was told the hot water heater is taking too many (this is where I get mixed up) Amps as they only had 10amps. So we turned everything off and put the hot water heater on again it blew again so we used our gas. To cut a long story short we then turned on what we first had on arrival and it blew again! By the next day we turned everything off except the camping kettle and that blew the electric box. So not having any knowledge of electrics I (wrongly) assumed my MH was at fault and intended to book it in to the garage the next day. As we were packing up the next morning (only booked for 1 night) the warden (who is a member on here) came to me and enlightened me that their electric unit was possibly faulty, and that every time it blew it would take less and less amps until it couldn't take the camping kettle, aargh so it wasn't my MH.

    So that weekend I learnt something but I wished I was told sooner. I had a word with the owner so they could put it right even though they already suspected a part needed replacing! Hope that helps any newbies that it may happen to, as had I had the knowledge of this I would have asked to be moved to another unit.
     
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  2. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    So, the campsite knew that they had a fault with their electrics, They knew that in doing what you were doing, you would receive an ever decreasing ampage but they were happy to bu&&er (technical term) you about, take your money and do nothing.
    Disgraceful
     
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  3. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    And as we know electrical faults can be responsible for fires.
     
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  4. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    Shocking . . .
     
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  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I don't understand the ever decreasing amps bit, 10A should be 10A or nothing, we have an option to set ours to 1, 2 or 3Kw settings which might overcome that issue for us, but most don't have that adjustment

    We regularly trip electrics forgetting we have heating on and then using kettle, so much so that we now only boil water on gas (y)
     
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  6. Giddy Lynn

    Giddy Lynn Funster

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    Like I said I don't understand the terminology but they said it was a part that needed replacing....not sure if it was called a 'reenergiser' or did I just make that up ha ha! It was definitely their unit and not mine.
     
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  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Its all one long learning curve, some bits are a lot steeper than others, but we never stop learning (y):)
     
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  8. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I think that the warden is talking nonsense

    There was either a fault or not

    Can you plug your motorhome in at home and try it there? that way you know what to expect the next time you go to a campsite
     
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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes.. he's talking nonsense..

    as he is a member, maybe he could enlighten us with the 'decreasing amps' theory .. ?
     
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  10. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    If I remember my theory correctly, an RCCD operates by having 2 coils wrapped round a single ferite toroidal core. The coils are wrapped in opposite directions so that incoming current is balanced by outgoing current. If there is an inbalance a magnetic field is created proportional to the inbalance. This magnetic field is what causes the trip to trip.
    The usual reason for an inbalance is if any current is escaping via earth then it is not returning via the neutral line.

    I can kind of imagine a situation where continuous fault situations have caused the toroidal core to become partialy magnetised by a very tiny amount. This may be enough to cause the circuit to trip with a lower current flowing through it than normal. With each trip causing a slight increase in the residual magnetism.

    This is just a theory based on my memory from electronics courses from over 25 year ago so may be well clear of the mark. I am happy to be corrected on this one.
     
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  11. Andy in Lossie

    Andy in Lossie Funster

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    The supply was probably through a standard type B circuit breaker (I don't have my copy of the regs with me so can't remember what the special conditions for camp sites says should be used) as opposed to an RCD (which only isolates a grounding fault rather than an overcurrent fault, unless the site was using RCBOs, which are about 3 times the price of a CB alone) CBs can weaken after being operated several times and unless they are given time to cool down (a minute or so will do) ie. reset straight after tripping, can trip again but at a lower current draw. Which is probably what the warden was aluding to.
     
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  12. Robin McHood

    Robin McHood Funster

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    Aha @Andy in Lossie another lecky eh? Agree with you, the heating effect would only be temporary and not account for an ever decreasing trip point over an extended period. My guess is they had a hot joint (bad connection which heats up and eventually burns out the connection) in the box which was gradually failing. Hehe just had one of those last night took out one of our main thruster control panels, fortunately when we were tied up safely alongside...
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    just what we needed on the forum..... two more electrical experts..;)

    popcorn time :)
     
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  14. Giddy Lynn

    Giddy Lynn Funster

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    We had a few weeks before been on 2 sites which had 18 amps and ran everything on together without a problem. When i plug in at home there is no problem either. It is a learning curve with every outing.
     
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  15. Andy in Lossie

    Andy in Lossie Funster

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    DP thruster? You don't want one of them failing whilst on station!

    Yup I was in the airforce for 30 years as a leckie/avionics tech and then offshore pipeline testing and A60 accommodation design and build
     
  16. Andy in Lossie

    Andy in Lossie Funster

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    Exactly, as Robin said earlier, it was probably the supply post on site. Weak CB or loose connection. A rapid boil kettle plus your hot water boiler will trip some 10 amp supplies mind
     
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  17. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    As a matter of interest @Giddy Lynn did you try plugging in to a different elh post?

    Also did you check the elh was actually fitted with a 10 amp breaker and not something lower rated?
     
  18. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    That's new one on me. :Eeek:

    I doubt it. 16 amps maybe?
     
  19. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    The proportion on here does seem a lot higher than the population in general doesn't it?

    Even assuming that they aren't all self appointed and do actually know what they're talking about there does seem to be a lot.
     
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  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    may as well get my oar in the water.. :LOL:

    This would depend on whether it was a magnetic or thermal/magnet CB

    If the former the temperature would affect the time delay, but not affect the trip current

    If the later yes, it does need time to cool.. but as you said .. only a minute or so..
     
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