Electric problem

Apr 6, 2020
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Hi guys
I currently have a sterling elite searcher 2005 and have a electrical problem I need advise on.
The caravan is sat at home at moment and plunged into house electric. The problem being every time I switch the fridge to 240 v it trips out the van and the house electrics
Is this a fault with fridge earth supply ?
Many thanks
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Do you mean it trips the RCD or the MCB in the van, and does it take out the house RCD or a MCB/fuse?
The 240V element in the fridge sits in a chimney which will be earthed for safety. If the element has deformed or broken it could be touching the chimney and taking out the trips of whatever variety.
Try finding the mains plug for the fridge - fridges are usually plugged into a 13A socket somewhere adjacent to the fridge. Get out your test meter (you have got a test meter haven't you) and measure resistance across the live and neutral plug pins. If the fridge is under counter it will pull about 120W which for 240V <should> show a resistance of about 480 ohms (or 480R): a tall fridge pulls about 170W whence the resistance should be about 340R. I say should as Dometic, being a European fridge will likely be rated to pull the advised power at 220V where the resistance should be about 400R or 285R respectively.
Then check for <any> resistance between live or neutral and the earth pin of the plug - it should be infinity. If it is less than say 8,000R (or 8K) then you have a serious fault which will need fixing by a dealer as the fridge will need to come out.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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The 240V element in the fridge sits in a chimney which will be earthed for safety. If the element has deformed or broken it could be touching the chimney and taking out the trips of whatever variety.


Not correct.
The electric elements, both 12v and 230v sit in a short tube which is welded to the chimney for the gas and as such it is in permanent contact with the chimney.

It would be a first ever if the element has deformed , never seen or heard of that happening, but element failure is common, usually resulting in the mcb tripping.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Not correct.
The electric elements, both 12v and 230v sit in a short tube which is welded to the chimney for the gas and as such it is in permanent contact with the chimney.

It would be a first ever if the element has deformed , never seen or heard of that happening, but element failure is common, usually resulting in the mcb tripping.

Do you mean the element goes short circuit? If so not very good design is it?
 

Damian

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Do you mean the element goes short circuit? If so not very good design is it?

Yes I do, and as far as design goes, I cannot print what my real feelings are, I would have to ban myself !!!!
They are cheap, nasty and some last a good while , others lucky to get a 12 month life out of them.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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Yes I do, and as far as design goes, I cannot print what my real feelings are, I would have to ban myself !!!!
They are cheap, nasty and some last a good while , others lucky to get a 12 month life out of them.

Sadly seems to be a reflection of the caravan industry overall then? Those nast Chinese NCBs and RCDs, using 15mm screws to hold the hinges of relatively large doors which come loose every time you tow, etc etc
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Sadly seems to be a reflection of the caravan industry overall then? Those nast Chinese NCBs and RCDs, using 15mm screws to hold the hinges of relatively large doors which come loose every time you tow, etc etc
And don’t forget the dreaded electric flush Thetford discussed only recently and bonded led awning lights too.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Er, bonding LED awning lights? They run of 12V so don't come under regulations.
Well Damian has posted that on some caravans they are bonded to the body and can be very difficult to remove without risking damage to the body panel. I didn’t say earth bonding.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Er, bonding LED awning lights? They run of 12V so don't come under regulations.

Ermmmmmm,,,,,,,,,,I think you are reading the post incorrectly.
I said that on most vans now the awning light is bonded to the van wall, ie, stuck with sticky stuff!!!!!!
Nowhere was earth bonding mentioned.

Blame it on lockdown fever ;)
 
Jun 17, 2011
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If the element has broken it could be just touching its case and shorting. Normally you know it’s failed when the frozen food thaws. On the bonding issue everything is stuck on our caravan. Windows, roof lights!
 

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