Thinner Low Amp Ehu Cable?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by TeeMyob, May 8, 2015.

  1. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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    Hello,

    I am looking for a thinner lighter EHU Cable.

    Fairly long, say 25m, preferably on some kind of reel.

    We dont use much power with our new motorhome, no electric heating or cooking appliances.

    I cannot seem to find anything, they all seem to be 16amp and heavy. Buying by the meter seems expensive.

    Any suggestions please?

    Trev
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    16 amp is the industry standard for hookup leads and i doubt very much you will find anything less.

    If you really want a low amp lead you will need to make your own...but bear in mind, in the UK the hookup breaker will most likely be 16 amp and your lead may only be capable of carrying 6 to 10 amps so no overload protection from the hookup post breaker.
    if inadvertantly loaded to more than it can handle (6 to 10 amps) theres a very real risk of the lead bursting into flames....even moreso if it isnt fully unwound.

    Stick with whats safest and for a few ounces extra weight it far outweighs the fire risk.
     
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  3. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Standard EHU cable 2.5mm sq 20amp rating.
    I don't use mains much and I use a 1.5mm sq 16 amp cable much lighter, just buy some cable & connectors and make your own.
     
  4. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Can I also say that keeping cables rolled up, particularly on tight little drums has the potential for overheating and possibly catching fire. Even a kettle can cause problems in these circumstances, particularly if the cabeling is underated.
    :shake:
     
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  5. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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    Thank you.

    We do not have it on a reel, we just loop it up like gig riggers to avoid twisting the cable. We always unwind it.

    Trev
     
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  6. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Funster

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    I have been thinking along similar lines. I would use a short length of 2.5mm cable to an IP68 box like this.http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/KBJB004.html
    Inside the box have a 6A MCB then the small cable from there on.

    The box is twin outlet and is just an example to give you the idea.
     
  7. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Good to hear that.
    It surprises me as to how many EHU cables you see still wound round the drum and then thrown under the van...A disaster waiting to happen.
    I don't speak without experience, I spent many of my early years in the Army providing power from generators to communications vehicles whilst in the field. Cable overheating was a common problem in those days if not done correctly.
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    WHY.???

    What is the point, apart from saving a few oz in weight there is no advantage.
    You will pay the same for electric as the van next to you running a 16amp cable.
    My fixed hookup cable, I don't have a vanside socket, is rated at 50 amps....as thick as your thumb....but I can still only draw 16amps from the hookup post.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    why would you do that ?

    I would not advise this, it may draw the attention of site wardens, and also another place for water ingress and potential problems.. KISS

    as @lennyhb said, 1.5mm cable is rated at 16A .. only downside over 2.5mm is a slight increase in volt drop at full load.

    On aires in France, most French use 1.5mm domestic cable extensions on drums, don't care about unwinding them, piggy back several vans onto one cable.. yes, it makes me cringe at times, particularly when they unplug your cable and piggy back onto it... if you comment about it, they just shrug and make French sounding noises .. :LOL:

    On aires, quite often the EHU point is a good distance away .. so have also used an extra 20 mt domestic drum extension .. and on one occasion, had two drums plugged in to reach the post.. total about 60 mts.. we live to tell the tale..

    CC site wardens would have heart attacks if they were in charge of aires :eek:.. over crowding, non compliant EHU leads, dumping grey, cleaning cassettes at drink water taps, .. oh the list goes on ..
     
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  10. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Quote me whatever facts or figures or Ohm's law or the cooking time for lobster thermidor you want but no one will convince me that, with normal use of motorhome electrical appliances, a coiled up hook up cord will "burst into flames" or even smoulder a tiny bit.

    Obviously you don't listen to me and you must follow your own inclinations!

    Don't cross a road... People really do get killed doing so...

    JJ :cool:
     
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  11. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    As other people have said, why? What are you hoping to achieve?
     
  12. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    Some of the Artic hook-up cables sold on eBay are 1.5mm2.
     
  13. Shovelheadrob

    Shovelheadrob Read Only Funster

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    I do a lot of site work & it surprises me that the commonest culprits for using extension leads still wound up tight on drums are electricians, you really would think that they would know better. I haven't seen one actually burst into flames, but I have seen one that had melted to the point that it wouldn't unwind!
     
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  14. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    as @pappajohn for a few ounces not worth the bother just carry a half gallon less water to save a bit of weight
    bill
     
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  15. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    We've got the standard 25m x 2.5mm EHU cable but also made up 10m x 1.5mm EHU after our 50m domestic extension got run over by forklift (don't ask)!
    If you've got a 13A (1.5mm) extension lead you could fit adaptors at either end which would fuse it at 13A but a lot of expense \ effort for what benefit?
     
  16. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    On the rare occasion I use a EHU I leave mine would up, I know what I'm doing and would only be charging the battery & running the fridge don't have anything else in the van that runs off mains, so not dangerous.
    Please don't tar everyone with the same brush some of us know what we are doing, if I was to plug a heavy load in I would fully unwind the cable.
     
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  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    likewise.. and I should also know better, :rolleyes: and I was only using a small angle grinder.. too lazy to unwind fully.. first I noticed was smoke coming from the drum.. :eek:
     
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  18. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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    It is bloody heavy to wrap up too!
     
  19. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    While only being used to power "normal motorhome appliances"?

    Surely NOT!


    JJ :cool:
     
  20. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Funster

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    I can't comment on the original posters reasons but I will give mine.

    We have a PVC four berth and in the summer we go away for four or five weeks at a time, two adults and two children. Weight is not particularly an issue, storage is. A 25 m 2.5 mm² hook up cable is an absolute pain to store.

    I designed and built my van myself and in almost all conditions it is completely self-sufficient electrically. There is 300 W of solar and a quality pure sine inverter running continually. We have an under slung gas tank and a Truma Combi so heating and hot water are catered for, the kettle goes on the gas rings. The only time we need hook up is if we have been stationary and without sun for an extended period, about three days.

    So, our hook up cable almost never gets used, and if it does it is only to supply the 35 amp battery charger which draws less than 500 W. Something like this

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FAITHFULL...106?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item43a21bf55a

    will more than cope with that duty, and is small and neat. The problem with this cable is that if it is to be plugged into a 16 amp outlet it would have to be protected by a fuse/MCB, hence my idea for a waterproof junction box with an MCB inside.

    At the van end you just need a short length of cable with a 16 amp socket and 13 amp plug. The extension lead itself can be sat on top of the rear wheel out of the rain.

    As to using an extension lead wound on the reel, that comes down to common sense but get it wrong at your peril. If you do overload a coiled extension lead it will indeed overheat and very possibly catch fire without any safety device to prevent it.

    Most good quality extension leads are dual rated if you read the spec on the sockets, it will say something along the lines of maximum load 13 A uncoiled, maximum load 4 A coiled.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
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