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 Post subject: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:07 am 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
We have an external socket in the terrasse.
It is only connected to the mains via the terrasse light.

That is only live when switched on at the switch inside the room.
It has been used for years for the chainsaw and a small grill cooker, entirely without problems.

The other night I connected the latter prior to grilling and, although it was switched off, and the internal switch was switched off, it tripped the switch at the box.

I tested it with a rechargeable torch. The torch did not work until the internal switch was on. It did not trip the switch at the box.

I can understand that the grill, would trip the switch if its internal connections had become degraded with age, but what completely defeats me is how it trips the box when plugged into a socket which is isolated by a switch, as shown by the refusal of the torch to work under the same conditions.

Any ideas please?

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:08 pm
Posts: 2471
Location: Basel and Suffolk
Many light switches will only switch the live - the neutral (and earth) are continually connected back to the supply.

If you short neutral and earth (both continually connected) some trips will trip.

I am sure Peake will come up with other suggestions.

J


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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
Thanks J, sounds like what might be happening.

The grill's for the bin I think and I'll have to check out another. We have found it very handy as we only have a small oven/grill in the house, and, as it is so sheltered, I have often cooked outside even in winter. :)

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:29 pm
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Location: Alpes-Maritimes
Try plugging in something else that is earthed, like an electric kettle, and see if it trips.


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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Location: Ardeche
I cannot claim to be an expert in moving electrons around, but it could be that your switch is on the neutral and not the live side of the circuit.

In normal use you would not be able to tell, but in the event of a fault the system can draw excess current and deliver it to earth - hence a cut out even if the switch is not closed.

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:16 am 
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Location: Minervois Nr Carcassonne 11
I'm with you Andy. The French don't give 2 short shirts which way around the system is wired. They claim that it's not important as both line and neutral are protected at the distribution board.

An example of that is this wall double socket. The 2 sockets are wired together with the earth pin in the middle and the 2 outer sockets are connected vertically, line on side and neutral the other. This meand that the top plug has the opposite polarity to the bottom one.

Image

What is the wattage of your grillé? Because what ever it is a socket should not be run off of a light switch and circuit. The only things that should be run off light circuits are lights.

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:40 am 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
Blimey John, over many years this connection has powered a pond pump that lifted water from one pond to another, a distance of 20 metres linear and about 3 metres vertical. Also the chainsaw to allow me to cut logs in the shelter of the terrasse as well as this grille. No idea what the wattage of that is.

I don't use the pump or the chainsaw any more, but was planning to replace this grille at some point soon.

What is the danger, now after 17 years, of doing so?

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:08 pm
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
Certainly switched neutral and permanent live could cause similar problems as well.

If at the moment only the grill causes problems then that is likely to be where the problem is - with a short of whichever is permanently on to earth.

17 years of switching a load > 5A will have taken their toll on the switch (and the wires?) - I guess any danger would stem from that - either in the form of an electric shock or house fire in a worst case scenario.

J


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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:14 am 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
Perhaps better get a man in to make a proper feed to the terrasse then.

Just off to check the electric kettle there, as Dave suggests, but will have to log off here first. Can't be doing with messing around with Windows to get everything going again.

Will report back in a couple of days after my imminent trip round the north. :)

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:56 am 
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Location: Minervois Nr Carcassonne 11
Take care, we want to talk to you not about you :shock: :shock: :shock:

There is possibly no problem with your setup, it's just that it isn't legal and if there was a big problem your insurance company would be seen vanishing in the distance toot-sweet! ;;) ;;)

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
Back again, the test with the kettle produced no problem so I reckon the insides of the grill must be knackered and shorting out. Especially as I also tested it at a proper socket inside the house and it still blew the system.

So, a new grill fitted properly, or perhaps a gas barbie as I have propane bottles lying about unused so no extra outlay on that score.

Thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions, I am totally lost when it comes to electrics, as you can well deduce. 8-| :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:08 pm 
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For €10.99 you could do worse than investing in a multimeter like this. Not as risky as trying it out with the kettle...

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:29 pm 
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
Spardo wrote:
I am totally lost when it comes to electrics, as you can well deduce. 8-| :lol:


Perhaps go with the gas option replacement then - esp as you do not know whether 17 years of abuse on a lighting circuit has done any damage.

J


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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:22 pm 
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niemeyjt wrote:
Spardo wrote:
I am totally lost when it comes to electrics, as you can well deduce. 8-| :lol:


Perhaps go with the gas option replacement then - esp as you do not know whether 17 years of abuse on a lighting circuit has done any damage.

J


But never try to light it if you left it on when last used :-q i

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 Post subject: Re: A bit of simple leccy advice please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Location: Le Périgord Vert (24)
I love it here, when this part of the house was first completed the light feed was left dangling uncovered outside of the building. :o

I suppose they left it like that as they didn't know what kind of fittings I would like. However, on more important matters they did consult extensively on what wallpaper and tiling we wanted. :))

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