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Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution



 
 
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  #11  
Old June 25th 09, 07:09 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,397
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

cynic wrote:

A 3mA RCD should trip within 10% of the rated triping current so it
might open at 27mA. It should not trip at 50% of the rated trip
current so it should remain on at 15mA.


ITYM a 30mA RCD

Andy
Ads
  #12  
Old June 25th 09, 09:07 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 18,667
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.

Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.

In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.


Not true.

Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.

I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.

I must get down to fixing it..
  #13  
Old June 25th 09, 10:21 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 32
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

On Jun 25, 8:07*pm, The Natural Philosopher
wrote:
Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.


Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.


In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.


Not true.

Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.

I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.

I must get down to fixing it..


Ok - more information:
Consumer unit is a Crabtree Starbreaker. The RCCB (labelled as such)
is split load 63A/30ma (363/S030). The 3 MCBs it protects are 2x 61/
B32 MCBs and 1x 61/B20. The latter is for the extractor fan only. The
other 2 - 1 is for all of the sockets except the kitchen, the other is
the kitchen. I've pulled a few sockets apart tonight in the kitchen
but all connections are tight and no signs of problems; except the
freezer. The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.

Next steps - source an earth leak tester cheap on the net and test all
sockets. At the weekend scour the attic for dead/decaying vermin which
may have chewed a cable (beginning to seem like the most applicable
option).

One thing still puzzles me - 2 nights ago it tripped minutes after
boiling a full kettle. Same thing happened when trying this process 5
minutes later. Eventually plugging in the kettle just tripped the
sockets (as soon as the kettle was placed on its base) repeatedly -
even tried sockets in the living room. Hence replaced kettle following
day. That morning tripped around 1am.

I've moved the kettle away from the combi boiler - maybe the steam was
getting inside unseen?
  #14  
Old June 25th 09, 10:59 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 287
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution



Bear wrote:
On Jun 25, 8:07 pm, The Natural Philosopher
wrote:
Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.
Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.
In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.

Not true.

Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.

I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.

I must get down to fixing it..


Ok - more information:
Consumer unit is a Crabtree Starbreaker. The RCCB (labelled as such)
is split load 63A/30ma (363/S030). The 3 MCBs it protects are 2x 61/
B32 MCBs and 1x 61/B20. The latter is for the extractor fan only. The
other 2 - 1 is for all of the sockets except the kitchen, the other is
the kitchen. I've pulled a few sockets apart tonight in the kitchen
but all connections are tight and no signs of problems; except the
freezer. The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.

Next steps - source an earth leak tester cheap on the net and test all
sockets. At the weekend scour the attic for dead/decaying vermin which
may have chewed a cable (beginning to seem like the most applicable
option).

One thing still puzzles me - 2 nights ago it tripped minutes after
boiling a full kettle. Same thing happened when trying this process 5
minutes later. Eventually plugging in the kettle just tripped the
sockets (as soon as the kettle was placed on its base) repeatedly -
even tried sockets in the living room. Hence replaced kettle following
day. That morning tripped around 1am.

I've moved the kettle away from the combi boiler - maybe the steam was
getting inside unseen?


perhaps having the kettle on
drew a lot of power (13 amps)
which warmed the wires up
and the leakage increased due to the heat...

if it's like here
sometime the kettle socket has an extension lead
with 2 kettles, 2 toasters,
a microwave etc...

[g]
  #15  
Old June 25th 09, 11:50 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,698
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 13:21:50 -0700 (PDT), Bear wrote:

The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.


You have found a "fault" though and presumably corrected it. I'd be
tempted to wait a while and see if the problem has gone away but
having found one socket with a loose wire and knicked insulation I'd
be going round all the other accessories in the place, ceiling roses
included.

--
Cheers
Dave.



  #16  
Old June 26th 09, 07:45 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,702
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution


"Bear" wrote in message
...
On Jun 25, 8:07 pm, The Natural Philosopher
wrote:
Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.


Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.


In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.


Not true.

Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.

I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.

I must get down to fixing it..


Ok - more information:
Consumer unit is a Crabtree Starbreaker. The RCCB (labelled as such)
is split load 63A/30ma (363/S030). The 3 MCBs it protects are 2x 61/
B32 MCBs and 1x 61/B20. The latter is for the extractor fan only. The
other 2 - 1 is for all of the sockets except the kitchen, the other is
the kitchen. I've pulled a few sockets apart tonight in the kitchen
but all connections are tight and no signs of problems; except the
freezer. The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.

Next steps - source an earth leak tester cheap on the net and test all
sockets. At the weekend scour the attic for dead/decaying vermin which
may have chewed a cable (beginning to seem like the most applicable
option).

One thing still puzzles me - 2 nights ago it tripped minutes after
boiling a full kettle. Same thing happened when trying this process 5
minutes later. Eventually plugging in the kettle just tripped the
sockets (as soon as the kettle was placed on its base) repeatedly -
even tried sockets in the living room. Hence replaced kettle following
day. That morning tripped around 1am.

I've moved the kettle away from the combi boiler - maybe the steam was
getting inside unseen?


I would not call small nick in a cable insignificant.
I have discovered that to be the most common fault of RCDs tripping.

When trying to find faults like this it is worth remembering that extra
loads (and that includes loads on the non RCD side of the board) can make
the RCD more liable to trip if it is a neutral earth fault.

Before buying a tester you might be better off checking behind every socket
in the house (you have found one potential fault) and seeing how things run
for a while.

Adam


  #17  
Old June 26th 09, 09:19 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 614
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

ARWadsworth wrote:
"Bear" wrote in message
...
On Jun 25, 8:07 pm, The Natural Philosopher
wrote:
Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.
Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.
In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.

Not true.

Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.

I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.

I must get down to fixing it..


Ok - more information:
Consumer unit is a Crabtree Starbreaker. The RCCB (labelled as such)
is split load 63A/30ma (363/S030). The 3 MCBs it protects are 2x 61/
B32 MCBs and 1x 61/B20. The latter is for the extractor fan only. The
other 2 - 1 is for all of the sockets except the kitchen, the other is
the kitchen. I've pulled a few sockets apart tonight in the kitchen
but all connections are tight and no signs of problems; except the
freezer. The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.

Next steps - source an earth leak tester cheap on the net and test all
sockets. At the weekend scour the attic for dead/decaying vermin which
may have chewed a cable (beginning to seem like the most applicable
option).

One thing still puzzles me - 2 nights ago it tripped minutes after
boiling a full kettle. Same thing happened when trying this process 5
minutes later. Eventually plugging in the kettle just tripped the
sockets (as soon as the kettle was placed on its base) repeatedly -
even tried sockets in the living room. Hence replaced kettle following
day. That morning tripped around 1am.

I've moved the kettle away from the combi boiler - maybe the steam was
getting inside unseen?


I would not call small nick in a cable insignificant.
I have discovered that to be the most common fault of RCDs tripping.

When trying to find faults like this it is worth remembering that extra
loads (and that includes loads on the non RCD side of the board) can make
the RCD more liable to trip if it is a neutral earth fault.

Before buying a tester you might be better off checking behind every socket
in the house (you have found one potential fault) and seeing how things run
for a while.

Adam


We got a split load board after a neutral to earth fault lost us all
power until it was traced. Problem with neutral earth faults is that
switching off individual circuits does not help to isolate the cause.

I would guess there is an underlying problem which puts the system on
the edge all the time.
Is it the same side of the CU that trips every time? If so trip could be
super sensitive. Can substitution be tried?
Can the trip be reset first time immediately after it trips? I would not
have thought this likely if the cause was very obvious transitory damp.
  #18  
Old June 26th 09, 12:35 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 32
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

On Jun 26, 8:19*am, Invisible Man wrote:
ARWadsworth wrote:
"Bear" wrote in message
....
On Jun 25, 8:07 pm, The Natural Philosopher
wrote:
Bear wrote:
Brief description of problem.
Electric sockets only are tripping randomly - happened four times
since moving into our new property on 22/5/09. The first time was two
days after moving in, when barely anything was plugged in. The house
was rewired a couple of years ago and the previous occupants state
they had a similar problem, but it only happened to them a couple of
times in the 2 1/2 years they were there. The most recent trip was at
1am this morning. When it trips, only the electrical sockets in the
house are knocked out.
In locating the fault, I'm making some assumptions: chiefly that if
all of the sockets are turned off (ie. no device is consuming power),
its unlikely that anything could trip the RCB.
Not true.


Any device that DOES draw power anywhere near a neutralearth short
will trip one.


I have the same problem more or less isolated to one ring thats been
extended..anything on a section that one trips the house.


I must get down to fixing it..


Ok - more information:
Consumer unit is a Crabtree Starbreaker. The RCCB (labelled as such)
is split load 63A/30ma (363/S030). The 3 MCBs it protects are 2x 61/
B32 MCBs and 1x 61/B20. The latter is for the extractor fan only. The
other 2 - 1 is for all of the sockets except the kitchen, the other is
the kitchen. I've pulled a few sockets apart tonight in the kitchen
but all connections are tight and no signs of problems; except the
freezer. The live connection wasn't tight and there's a small nick in
the wire which could have connected to the securing screw for the
socket. Doubt this is an issue though.


Next steps - source an earth leak tester cheap on the net and test all
sockets. At the weekend scour the attic for dead/decaying vermin which
may have chewed a cable (beginning to seem like the most applicable
option).


One thing still puzzles me - 2 nights ago it tripped minutes after
boiling a full kettle. Same thing happened when trying this process 5
minutes later. Eventually plugging in the kettle just tripped the
sockets (as soon as the kettle was placed on its base) repeatedly -
even tried sockets in the living room. Hence replaced kettle following
day. That morning tripped around 1am.


I've moved the kettle away from the combi boiler - maybe the steam was
getting inside unseen?


I would not call small nick in a cable insignificant.
I have discovered that to be the most common fault of RCDs tripping.


When trying to find faults like this it is worth remembering that extra
loads (and that includes loads on the non RCD side of the board) can make
the RCD more liable to trip if it is a neutral earth fault.


Before buying a tester you might be better off checking behind every socket
in the house (you have found one potential fault) and seeing how things run
for a while.


Adam


We got a split load board after a neutral to earth fault lost us all
power until it was traced. Problem with neutral earth faults is that
switching off individual circuits does not help to isolate the cause.

I would guess there is an underlying problem which puts the system on
the edge all the time.
Is it the same side of the CU that trips every time? If so trip could be
super sensitive. Can substitution be tried?
Can the trip be reset first time immediately after it trips? I would not
have thought this likely if the cause was very obvious transitory damp.


I have checked around 1/2 the sockets in the kitchen but will check
the remaining ones this weekend. Yes it is the same side of the CU
that trips every time - only the sockets and cooker hood appear to be
protected by the RCB. As for substitution I'm not entirely certain
what you mean.

The trip can be reset first time after a trip, but last night I
switched off the MCBs and then the RCB and unplugged all appliances.
Then I switched on the RCB and MCBs. No problem until I started to
plug in devices. As more were plugged in the RCB tripped (I couldn't
isolate it down to either a device or socket). Resetting the trip
wasn't always possible first time - some times I had to wait 10
seconds or more before it would reset.
  #19  
Old June 26th 09, 01:05 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19,765
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

In article
,
Bear wrote:
The trip can be reset first time after a trip, but last night I
switched off the MCBs and then the RCB and unplugged all appliances.
Then I switched on the RCB and MCBs. No problem until I started to
plug in devices. As more were plugged in the RCB tripped (I couldn't
isolate it down to either a device or socket). Resetting the trip
wasn't always possible first time - some times I had to wait 10
seconds or more before it would reset.


Have you got an ordinary DVM? If so try measuring the resistance between
earth pin and neutral, earth pin and line on all the suspect appliances.
Obviously with them unplugged - but switched on if they have a switch on
them. And report the results. Not as good as using an insulation tester -
but can often show a fault.

--
*Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake.

Dave Plowman London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
  #20  
Old June 26th 09, 02:24 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 32
Default Electric sockets tripping - mystery! Need help finding solution

On Jun 26, 12:05*pm, "Dave Plowman (News)"
wrote:
In article
,
* *Bear wrote:

The trip can be reset first time after a trip, but last night I
switched off the MCBs and then the RCB and unplugged all appliances.
Then I switched on the RCB and MCBs. No problem until I started to
plug in devices. As more were plugged in the RCB tripped (I couldn't
isolate it down to either a device or socket). Resetting the trip
wasn't always possible first time - some times I had to wait 10
seconds or more before it would reset.


Have you got an ordinary DVM? If so try measuring the resistance between
earth *pin and neutral, earth pin and line on all the suspect appliances.
Obviously with them unplugged - but switched on if they have a switch on
them. And report the results. Not as good as using an insulation tester -
but can often show a fault.

--
*Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake. *

* * Dave Plowman * * * * * * * * London SW
* * * * * * * * * To e-mail, change noise into sound.


Excellent idea. I do have a DVM - will try this upon returning home
this evening.
 




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