mains hook-up

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by oldmanonthefarm, May 4, 2011.

  1. oldmanonthefarm

    oldmanonthefarm Read Only Funster

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    Hi everone, my name is tony and I have been busy refurbing a motorhome (my first) previously we did a lot of caravanning uk and europe.
    I have a querry; I have re-installed all the electrics as they did not functiomn correctly and some were disconnected. and the distribution panel was u/s.
    I have installed a zig cf400 panel, simple and adequate, I have installed LED lighting as all the lights are filament spot rather than fluorescents, they are fine and very low wattage, similarly the fridge, boiler (gas truma) and heater controls are done too.
    My concern involves earth connection, obviously the vehicle electrics (mitsubishi base) use chassis return with the neg to earth, the habitable area uses wire return ie 2 wires to each device/appliance but as I have a ryder smart relay installed as well to run the fride and also charge the aux battery, the aux battery is also neg earthed to the chassis in order for the relay to function, so far so good, no problems or issues, now to the problem! do I connect the mains earth at the consumer unit to the chassis or not? my reasoning is this, the vehicle is isolated from the ground (rubber tyres) if, hypothetically, the hook up at the site distribution is not earthed (and I have witnessed some real nightmares abroad) and some mains operated device in the motorhome developed an earth fault, the chassis could become live (eth not connected at distribution point) and anyone getting in or out could get a belt by grounding themself while touching the bodywork. is this possible or am I totally wrong ????? ps I also have a small generator that I can plug into the inlet point but of course, generators ar not earthed unless you use an eth spike!
    sorry if this seems to ramble on a bit but I'd like to know what others think and wether anyone knows the definative answer! thanks in anticipation
     
  2. JohnM

    JohnM Read Only Funster

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    Sorry cant help with your question but quite sure someone can.So good luck & welcome to the fun:thumb:
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39pQ4aW-8ls[/ame]

    You might find this useful!
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Here is the definitive answer..

    Extracted from The Electricians Guide Fifth Edition

    Caravan regulations and guide (same regs for motorcaravan )

    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Book/7.9.2.htm


    As for this concern:
    Yes, so have I , so it is prudent to check with a plug in mains tester that you have correct polarity and most importantly an Earth ..

    Personally I don't worry about Reverse polarity but wouldn't use an EHU supply that had no Earth
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  5. oldmanonthefarm

    oldmanonthefarm Read Only Funster

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    Ok, thanks for the info re 16th regs, very useful, but being a german van, and a bit elderly at that, some of the permanent, existing installation is different anyway to the current regs, just like old buildings. All I really need is to ensure that its a safe environment when hooked up abroad, as a point of possible interest, the only thing/device's that will be plugged into the mains sockets are double insulated, un-earthed, items. only the fridge which is hard wired has an earth. thanks again
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I don't know your level of skill and electrical competence, but if you are in any doubt about the installation I would advise to have it brought up to the 16th edition regs, then checked by a qualified electrician and have him issue a test certificate.. better safe than sorry.. this is also required by your insurance company.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Never herd of that before Jim :Eeek:
    terry
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Perhaps I worded that incorrectly Terry .... it would be required for insurance purposes.. they don't demand it before insuring .. however and I quote:

    The 17th edition wiring regulations (BS 7671:2008), regulation 622.1, stipulates that a periodic inspection and test of an electrical installation should be carried out at a frequency determined with regard to the type of installation and equipment. In regulation 721.514 there is direct reference to this subject with respect to Caravans.

    So, it is not mandatory but .... in the event of an (electrical) accident caused by a faulty installation and there was no valid test cert the owner could be prosecuted by the HSE and the insurance company would wash their hands.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  9. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Wise words!

    Though in reality, anyone with a little knowledge can rewire and install these sorts of systems to their vehicles, you would be mad not to spend £40 on a professional check in my opinion.

    It would be like giving your insurers a 'get out of jail free card'. Not worth the risk when so much work and money has gone into a build. It also covers your rear if something were to go wrong, you know you cannot be to blame.
     
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