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Subject Topic: Faulty Caravan Site Hook Up
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Message posted by cliffbrown16/2/2019 at 7:42am
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I work on domestic appliances, shocks from the appliance is generally caused by no earth, when you touch it you make the earth!
use your multimeter on ohms setting measure between the earth and where you got the shock, the resistance should be very low, in domestic settings it should be below 0.1 ohm

Message posted by KarlFritz16/2/2019 at 1:27pm
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Quote: Originally posted by saxo1 on 15/2/2019
Morocco distribution system is an earthed system so should have an earth at the hookup point.
How do you test that there was no earth at the other posts?
Isolating the breakers in the van only isolates the equipment in the habitation area of the van.
The RCD on the post isolates the supply between the post and the distribution unit in the van(the hookup cable,the cable entry socket on the outside of the van and the short length of cable inside the van).
If there were a fault between live and any earthed part of the van on the incoming side the RCD on the post should trip.
I would check the earth continuity of your hookup cable,even if it is faulty the RCD on the post should trip.
saxo1



4 out of 5 Hook Up points looked at and only 1 had 3 Core Cable fitted, but the Earth was NOT connected to any 2 Hole/1 Pin Continental Sockets in the Hook Up Distribution place while 2 Hole Sockets clearly had no provision for an Earth Connection.

Test Meter also showed NO Earth connected.

I was also offered and tried a Hook Up Cable from a Dutch Camper which also gave the same 'problem' of 220V in the Chassis so there is nowt wrong with my EHU Cable.



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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by KarlFritz16/2/2019 at 1:31pm
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Quote: Originally posted by morepints on 15/2/2019
Live connected to earth at supply line?!!





I think you are correct and that is the answer to the 'problem' I encountered.

End of Story................

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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by KarlFritz16/2/2019 at 1:35pm
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Quote: Originally posted by navver on 15/2/2019
1. Possible live neutral cross at site post and neutral earth cross in EHU lead would effectively connect live to caravan chassis.

2. EHU lead earth conductor broken or pulled out of terminal.

For both the above, if the van has rubber tyres and plastic pads under steadies etc in dry conditions, there may not be enough live to earth current flowing to trip site RCD.

Very worrying though and it does need urgent checking as others may also be affected.

Did you have bare feet at the sites where you had no problem. It's surprising just how well rubber soled shoes prevent electric shocks.




1.Nowt wrong with EHU Lead as two different leads used with same result.
2.All checked out good solid and no problem.

Bare feet at both defective and good site.



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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by KarlFritz16/2/2019 at 1:39pm
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But I have to say that the reply from 'morepints' stacks up with the logic applied to the problem, especially when the RCD in the Caravan is turned OFF.

If I turned the RCD OFF at the Campsite Distribution Point then I would be extremely surprised to find any Voltage or Current making it via the EHU Cable into the caravan.

Never mind, it will be at least 2 years before we consider going back to the 'problem' camping site, but I know having used them that the other 30+ Sites do NOT try to 'FRY ME' !!!

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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

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Message posted by navver16/2/2019 at 9:03pm
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Somehow you've got live connected to your caravan chassis.

Your caravan is wired with the earth in your consumer unit connected to the chassis. This is standard practice and necessary.

Somehow the wiring in the site point has live connected to the earth core in your EHU lead. This earth core does not go through the RCD in your van in any way as it has no need to. It will make your chassis live waiting for you to touch it no matter what your RCD is set to.


Message posted by saxo116/2/2019 at 10:42pm
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If live and earth were reversed at the supply point you wouldn't have had any electricity inside the van.


saxo1

Post last edited on 16/02/2019 23:00:57

Post last edited on 16/02/2019 23:29:17

Message posted by ericmark17/2/2019 at 2:34am
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In the UK both line and neutral are both considered as live, the only need to ensure they are not swapped is because the fuse in only in the line.

Most likely there was no good earth on the caravan site and some other caravan had a fault which was causing the earth wire polarity to raise above earth, if like with UK sites there was a RCD on the caravan site supply as well as in you caravan that should have tripped with faulty caravan, clearly the site did not have RCD protection on all outlets.

Since the earth was live there was nothing you could have done to stop the shocks other than report it to site owners.

Message posted by KarlFritz17/2/2019 at 7:14am
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Quote: Originally posted by navver on 16/2/2019
Somehow you've got live connected to your caravan chassis.

Your caravan is wired with the earth in your consumer unit connected to the chassis. This is standard practice and necessary.

Somehow the wiring in the site point has live connected to the earth core in your EHU lead. This earth core does not go through the RCD in your van in any way as it has no need to. It will make your chassis live waiting for you to touch it no matter what your RCD is set to.





Exactly!

The campsite wiring at the distribution box was wrong.

NO Campsite gave me any problems before this one did, and no campsite has given me any problems since, so there is nowt wrong with the caravan.




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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by Bob6117/2/2019 at 9:21am
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Have you contacted the campsite to tell them so that nobody gets electrocuted?

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Message posted by ericmark17/2/2019 at 9:30am
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If as I suspect fault is in another caravan on the site, if you returned to site likely now no fault apparent. Although clearly the site has outlets without RCD protection.

We are told an earth rod needs 300Ω or less to ensure it has a connection and will not dry out, but with a 30 mA RCD to ensure no more than 50 volt above true earth 50/0.030 = 1666Ω which you could likely get from a tent peg.

If a RCD has become insensitive i.e. faulty then it would not need that much of a fault to cause the earth to become live, with no RCD on a 16A supply you would need an earth loop impedance of 3Ω to ensure the MCB tripped. To get 3Ω you would need a TN supply which in UK is not permitted on most sites as the supplies are normally TN-C-S to the site, and only where a TN-S supply is guaranteed can you use a TN supply.

In UK the step down transformer has to have an earth rod better than 15Ω so even if site earth rod was zeroΩ you could still not guarantee it would trip.

So even on a UK site, we rely on the owner doing a test of all outlets to ensure the RCD works. In theory there is no point having a RCD in the caravan, as all sites should have a RCD on the supply anyway, however it is possible the site was laid out before the point when RCD's were required, my earliest version of BS7671 is 2004 when RCD's were required.

In UK there is no need to rush out and update installations when a new BS7671 is issued, in fact there is no legal requirement to follow it. However if you don't then if there is an accident then it can be used to show one did not take reasonable care.

So if a site was laid out in 1990 to 15th edition wiring regulations with ELCB-v fitted, there is nothing to say they must upgrade. As how one would today test an ELCB-v I really don't know? Today we use ELCB-c so modern test gear would not work with old units.

The old unit introduced a resistance into the earth and relied on no earth after the device, so if you connect the leg steadies to earth supply and wind them into the grass they would reduce the chance of a ELCB-v tripping, which is why their use was discontinued.

Problems with earthing is not only with caravan sites, I have found whole houses without an earth.

Because in Europe line and neutral may be swapped we really do need a plug in tester, with a loop test if possible, however since using an earth rod as long as the 500Ω light is on that's good enough.

One would also need a 16A to 13A adaptor to test before plugging in caravan. However with a ELCB-v the plug in tester would always show fail even if it was A1.           

Message posted by saxo117/2/2019 at 10:20am
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If as posted the other site users had no earth connected
then it needn't even be a fault in another caravan.
There will always be stray capacitance due to earth leakage, the combined leakage from the other vans could raise the earth potential by several milliamps, when the cable with the earth wire intact was connected this would allow the current to flow through the cable as this would present a better earth return than the general mass of earth.
saxo1

Message posted by KarlFritz17/2/2019 at 4:25pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Bob61 on 17/2/2019
Have you contacted the campsite to tell them so that nobody gets electrocuted?



They were advised of the 'problem' in 3 Languages (English, French & Arabic) at the time it was found.

Nothing had been done as we left 48 hours later.



-------------
According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by KarlFritz17/2/2019 at 4:27pm
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Quote: Originally posted by ericmark on 17/2/2019
If as I suspect fault is in another caravan on the site, if you returned to site likely now no fault apparent. Although clearly the site has outlets without RCD protection.

We are told an earth rod needs 300Ω or less to ensure it has a connection and will not dry out, but with a 30 mA RCD to ensure no more than 50 volt above true earth 50/0.030 = 1666Ω which you could likely get from a tent peg.

If a RCD has become insensitive i.e. faulty then it would not need that much of a fault to cause the earth to become live, with no RCD on a 16A supply you would need an earth loop impedance of 3Ω to ensure the MCB tripped. To get 3Ω you would need a TN supply which in UK is not permitted on most sites as the supplies are normally TN-C-S to the site, and only where a TN-S supply is guaranteed can you use a TN supply.

In UK the step down transformer has to have an earth rod better than 15Ω so even if site earth rod was zeroΩ you could still not guarantee it would trip.

So even on a UK site, we rely on the owner doing a test of all outlets to ensure the RCD works. In theory there is no point having a RCD in the caravan, as all sites should have a RCD on the supply anyway, however it is possible the site was laid out before the point when RCD's were required, my earliest version of BS7671 is 2004 when RCD's were required.

In UK there is no need to rush out and update installations when a new BS7671 is issued, in fact there is no legal requirement to follow it. However if you don't then if there is an accident then it can be used to show one did not take reasonable care.

So if a site was laid out in 1990 to 15th edition wiring regulations with ELCB-v fitted, there is nothing to say they must upgrade. As how one would today test an ELCB-v I really don't know? Today we use ELCB-c so modern test gear would not work with old units.

The old unit introduced a resistance into the earth and relied on no earth after the device, so if you connect the leg steadies to earth supply and wind them into the grass they would reduce the chance of a ELCB-v tripping, which is why their use was discontinued.

Problems with earthing is not only with caravan sites, I have found whole houses without an earth.

Because in Europe line and neutral may be swapped we really do need a plug in tester, with a loop test if possible, however since using an earth rod as long as the 500Ω light is on that's good enough.

One would also need a 16A to 13A adaptor to test before plugging in caravan. However with a ELCB-v the plug in tester would always show fail even if it was A1.           



Luvved your L O N G reply but this was in Morocco and a different set of rules and regulations apply and if you can find them, then you are a better man than Gunga Din!



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According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by KarlFritz17/2/2019 at 4:31pm
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Right Gentlemen.

In taking on board the words of DaveS1 namely:
"Oh dear! I can see another huge debate on whether or not reverse polarity is safe coming up."

Having asked a simple question myself and got the short sweet answer, I think that is the END of what has turned into a Debate.

So Thanks to all while there will be no more input from me.
Cheers.

-------------
According to Winnie the Pooh .... “Planning is what you do before you do it so that when you do it you don't get mixed up".

Message posted by Bob6117/2/2019 at 7:57pm
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Quote: Originally posted by KarlFritz on 17/2/2019
Quote: Originally posted by Bob61 on 17/2/2019
Have you contacted the campsite to tell them so that nobody gets electrocuted?



They were advised of the 'problem' in 3 Languages (English, French & Arabic) at the time it was found.

Nothing had been done as we left 48 hours later.





Don't they speak Spanish in Morocco?



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