reverse polarity question

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Welsh girl, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    We have 2 electric cables and we know we need a reverse polarity cable when we tour France, can anyone tell me if this is ok to do.........
    We want to take the end off one cable and reverse the wires and then effectively giving us a reverse polarity cable and one normal one, we need to buy a tester first to tell us if it is indeed reverse polarity before we use any one cable.
    Hopefully someone can shed some light on this? we have been told by the help on touring for the first time that a 6 inch one will do but as we have 2 cables perhaps that will suffice?:Wink:
     
  2. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Hi

    Yes it will work fine – but mark it clearly.

    You obviously will not be able to use it as an extension if you need a long lead on a site where the connections are not reversed.

    Personally I would make a short reverse lead in case I needed a very long lead.

    Mike
     
  3. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    I agree with gozomike what you have said is fine...but what a waste of a extension cable when a short purpose built connection would do .......you may need two cables in France if you are not close enough to the hook up point..( that is if the hook is polarity correct). in many cases the hook up is not at the side of your van...it could be a good distance away passing behind many other motorhomes....this is in France.

    Do exactly what you have said above, but with a short cable in between anything from a 6" to 12", and the polarity tester to check with.....you may even find when you check the hook up points one may be correct polarity one may be reversed

    Mel

    Mel
     
  4. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    We have bought a continental adaptor with the 2 pin plug, if we bought another end from a camping shop and reversed that one and used it as and when?
    Would that work?
     
  5. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Not all sites use a 2 pin connector it is the 3 pin one you need. The plugs are only around £2-3 at the shows.
     
  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    What I'm trying to work out is what kind of technology are they using in France on their hook up post, that tells it that an Englishman is plugged in:Doh:
    It seems to me that only the English are worried about reverse polarity:Doh:
    So why don't it Kill the French:Cool:
    Because it don't really matter do it:Wink:
    But if it makes you happy a short dedicated lead is the way to go, you will more often than not, need two long ones in France:thumb:and quite often here in the UK
    PS you will need a two pin and three pin to be fully coverd
    Geo
     
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  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    My RP lead is 6 inches long and has a UK plug attached, I just use a travel adapter for whereever we are. Most of the time in France and Spain, rather than dig this lead out, I just turn the continental plug upside down, this works more often than not:Smile:
     
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  8. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    I am a bit baffled here. We have never had a problem with reverse polarity but sometimes we need a continental adaptor like this one. Is reverse polarity really a problem? We only had 10 weeks in Europe last year and some of you will have much more experience, but everything was fine for us. :BigGrin::BigGrin::BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  9. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    How do you know a 2 pin plug is upside down, you can tell with 3 pin as you cannot put it in the wrong way but with a 2 pin????
    Also can I take the 2 pin adaptor off and put a uk plug on ( the blue campsite one) and just reverse the wires inside?
     
  10. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    On my two pin continental plug the lead comes out on one side. I normally put this in the plug so the the lead points down. There is often a cut out to accommodate the lead in the socket fitting. If I get reverse polarity I turn the plug so the lead comes out at the top.

    Having a Hymer it is not so important as the breakers are the continental type that break both contacts.

    John
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Is RP a problem? only to those who take electrical equipment to bits when its still plugged in:Eeek: ie experts who understand Electrikery
    95% of cables come out the bottom when plugged in, upside down and it come out the top:Doh:
    If you have a plug that has no particular orientation you wont know:Doh:
     
  12. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    As has been said many times it is not a problem for any equipment as we are talking about Alternating Current. The only issue is that the sockets we use have a single pole switch, so if this is off and the connections are reversed then the all the wiring to and back from the appliance could be live. It should not be a problem due to the insulation on the equipment but it is better to be safe and have the live switched.
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Lets examine where this reverse polarity problem came from
    Nowhere its always been there:Doh:
    a few years ago Motorhome Manf started making control panels with a RP warning light and or buzzer, I never figured out why
    in order to make this alarm go off, a RP lead had to be used to correct the polarity, since others were using, them every body thinks they need one:RollEyes:
    In the years prior to the smart control panels no one worried or even knew they were on a RP hook up:Doh:
    Even now, those that have not yet read about it go on blissfully unaware
    Im not aware of anyone getting into trouble
    UNLESS they have had there finger where they shouldn't with the power on,
    Chances are they'd be dead anyway even if Polarity was correct:Doh:
    The purist will of course argue it may/will affect the way some safety trips work, the chance of revers polarity in itself being they cause are as remote as running yourself over with your own motor home, but of course that is possible:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  14. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Im no expert but I spoke to a Motorhome mechanic / technician bloke a while ago and he said not to worry about it. I bought all the cables, adaptors etc of Ebay and never used the reverse polarity one in the end. It did however also come with a LED plug tester which is a normal 3 pin plug with 3 lights on the back which shows Normal, reverse polarity and no earth. I plug this into a short piece of cable which then plugs into the EHU point. There are two reasons I use this. half the EHU points never work abroad (well in France anyway) so you can quickly go round and see which ones are live without getting your EHU cable out. More importantly you would be supprised how many come up as having no earth which I am told is dangerous.
     
  15. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Perhaps we should start a thread to see if anyone has had a problem.:Rofl1::Rofl1:


    Unlikely I would guess.
     
  16. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    I ran myself over once with a Mini:Rofl1::Eeek:
     
  17. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Yes I agree again with gozomike ......when you use a single pole switch. and you switch off, you may think it is safe to remove the bulb ....no power.....what it means the power has by-passed the switch and it is still live through the bulb until it gets back to the switch.......but if its correct polarity the power stops at the switch first ...no power at the bulb connection......
    if its a double pole, switch then both wires disconnect at the switch (switch off)..live & neutral
    as many of the French switches are double pole...but like they all say YES it will work...if that makes sense to you.:Doh::Wink:
    if you have a free standing table light with a switch on the wire or on the light itself just unplug to isolate no problem........it is up to you
    Mel:thumb:
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Checking for an earth connection is a vital safety precaution .. :thumb:

    You should always check for an earth connection by pressing the 'test' button on the earth leakage unit . If it don't trip, no earth connection.

    No Earth = Don't Use.

    Reverse polarity ... I think most know my view on this.. :-x
     
  19. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    Personally I'd make up a short reverse polarity lead with a IP plugs and socket to avoid any confusion and keep both extensions, they are far to handy:thumb:

    (For mine I used blue cable so no confusion with other adaptors)

    Stewart
     
  20. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    I didn't say it was idiot proof:Wink:
    better a Mini than a Hummer:thumb::Eeek:
     

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