new view on reversed polarity

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by pappajohn, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    been reading another thread regarding leads and reversed polarity in France.

    many of us know some French site electric can be reverse polarity as they use double pole RCD/MCB's, so reverse polarity shouldn't be a problem in the slightest.

    In a reversed polarity situation, the mains breaker/fuse box in your van will simply be a distribution panel for the various circuits and if an earth fault occurs in your van the site's H/U post breaker will trip instead as its double poled, so any faulty equipment in the van cant possible become live.

    this depends entirely on the posts breaker working correctly of course :Doh:


     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    And if iv'e got this right John
    If i reverse polorise my batteries, the more i use em the fuller they get:thumb:
     
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  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    correct Geo, but loony panels have the opposite effect....they flatten your batteries in daylight. :thumb:
     
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  4. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    many, many many years ago

    many, many, many years ago when I had a Glendale motorhome with a zig unit, I was in Andora and connected to a power tree and that blew the zig unit...

    These days in the RV I had VanBitz fit a purpose made unit that switches as soon as it reads a reverse situation.. also had light on it to show if it is the same as we have in the UK or it has been forced to reverse.. cannot afford to have my Winnebago electrics damaged.

    Bob:thumb:
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There is a race condition, does your on board UK single pole breaker trip quicker than the site one ?
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Bob

    may well be, but it wasn't due to reverse polarity .. perhaps a voltage spike but not wrong polarity..

    First of all, it is a misnomer to talk of polarity with AC, because it has none .. what you have is a live and neutral.. the voltage alternates in a cycle, or frequency, between positive and negative 50 times per second.. or 50Hz

    I know of no electronic equipment that can be damaged by 'wrong polarity' .. as an example and to put your mind at rest, look at any computer kit, printers for example, they normally have a power supply lead and a two pin plug that is ambidextrous.. ie it can go in either way.. it doesn't matter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  7. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    One site in Greece had reversed polarity and no earth... Kettle worked fine and so did the battery charger. We just unpugged the kettle when we weren't using it as opposed to relying on the socket switch to isolate it.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    No earth is worrying. That means the whole van body could be live. Come back from showers, damp, grab door, die.

    There must be someone out there who carries an earth spike connected to the chassis.
     
  9. aba

    aba

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    funny you should mention that as i have never seen anyone earth spike their genny either
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ah, now that one is debatable.

    If you don't earth your genny you can't have the body live with respect to earth, the whole 240V is floating. You could wire the genny live to the body and not get a shock to earth, BUT DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

    The bottom line is you are meant to die if you die from electrocution in a MH, it's pretty difficult.

    On the other hand, obesity and alcoholism, dead easy.
     
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  11. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Me !!

    On a site in Spain soon after we got our 5'er I connected,tested and got reverse polarity, not too worried about that so left it connected. Few days later cleaning the wheel rims with soapy water and sponge kept getting little tingles, I bite my nails so put this down to strong cleanser. Eventually found cause to be no earth, tester does not show no earth when showing reverse polarity only when connected with correct polarity, a possibly dangerous situation in my opinion. Eventually had to use long lead to connect to another post, a friend, who knows about these things, told me that because we had a transformer for the american voltage equipment it was essential to have an earth, not just for faults.
    I now carry an earth spike but have not had to use it as I always make sure of correct polarity and test for earth.
     
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