Home Hookup point.

May 24, 2014
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I have a home hookup point on the house wall that is IP 44 rated. During the recent bad weather we have had random tripping of the electric and finally narrowed it down to the hookup point. This was fitted by a qualified sparky, and consists of the hookup access pont on the wall, an isolator switch inside the house and of course its own breaker on the consumer unit. Once we had found the leak to earth, we removed the caravan hookup cable and found the plug had a bit of water in it. Considering the design of the plugs and how they fit upwards into the outlet, its hard to believe water would find its way uphill in such a quantity and past all the shoulders and shrouds on the connection. The logic therefore is that the water had come down somehow via the outlet and settled in the bowl of the plug.

I was quite surprised looking for a different type of outlet socket that many caravan park suppliers are offering IP44 rated boxes, I would have expected IP67. That is what I intend to use.

Where my struggle is , is in finding a suitable box and Im looking for recommendations hopefully. I would prefer a non-switched one (i.e no external switch) and I dont seem to be able to find one, either 16 amp or 32 amp.. My other option is an external weather proof box thats lockable, again any suggestions.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Hi Thingy ,
When ours comes home we put ours on the drive , lead the cable from the van into the garage and into a plug inside the garage , no external point . can this not be done at yours ?

Craig .
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Hi Thingy
I have a EHU on the outside as well. When I fixed it , because of the rough brick face and the mortar joints, I bedded the socket onto caravan sealant, preventing water running down the back, been there at this house ten years now, dry as a bone.
Inside I have it plugged into a a RCD which in turn is plugged into the garage ring main, not hot wired as they say. The RCD has not tripped yet but if it does, hopefully that will trip first, before the the Garage/house power goes. Don't think you'll need a sparky for that.
If I need to, when we go away i unplug it for safety.
 
May 24, 2014
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When ours comes home we put ours on the drive , lead the cable from the van into the garage and into a plug inside the garage , no external point . can this not be done at yours ?

Not really practical here, dont have a garage and its too long a run to either of the workshops.

When I fixed it , because of the rough brick face and the mortar joints, I bedded the socket onto caravan sealant, preventing water running down the back, been there at this house ten years now, dry as a bone.

Possible re the caravan sealant. I was looking for an IP67 unit, so it is fully sealed as is but good idea.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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DaveA1 said:
Hi Thingy
I have a EHU on the outside as well. When I fixed it , because of the rough brick face and the mortar joints, I bedded the socket onto caravan sealant, preventing water running down the back, been there at this house ten years now, dry as a bone.
Inside I have it plugged into a a RCD which in turn is plugged into the garage ring main, not hot wired as they say. The RCD has not tripped yet but if it does, hopefully that will trip first, before the the Garage/house power goes. Don't think you'll need a sparky for that.
If I need to, when we go away i unplug it for safety.

Ditto here. Mine is a wall socket with a hole through the wall and a 13A plug onto the other end into an adjacent socket. There is no RCD on that circuit - this application does not need one.

CEE17 plugs and sockets are only IP44 which is splashproof. IP67 are easily obtained but have a different mount to IP44 so if you use your standard on-site EHU cable you will have a problem, either at home or on site.

As above, take the socket off the wall, make sure the drain hole in the bottom corner of the box has been drilled out, and put a line of non-setting caravan sealant around the back being careful not to block the drain hole. If the cable enters the socket from the back then just put a ring of sealant around the hole and around the screw holes - that will make it watertight.

Another option is to get some sort of box - like an ice-cream tub - and attach it by some means to cover the top and front of the socket with plug in place and that too will help prevent water ingress.
 
May 24, 2014
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Another option is to get some sort of box - like an ice-cream tub - and attach it by some means to cover the top and front of the socket with plug in place and that too will help prevent water ingress.

Urghhh, like the ones sold by Bodgitt and Floggit. ;) I would do it with a proper lockable watertight box, if I could find one. None of those seem wide enough for our type of socket, they seem to be mainly for standard three pin domestic plugs.

Re the IP 67 boxes, I can find the right connections but all have a switch on the outside, or a visible and accessible breaker. Thats basically what I want to avoid. Cost isnt an issue and I have even looked at proper site bollards.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/abb-switched-socket-16a-2p-e-250v-6h-ip67/4415f
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Like Craig, I too just have the cable running into the garage underneath the rubber door seal. I have considered mounting an external socket though, and if I do, it will be an MK Masterseal, single socket, one which takes a standard domestic plug.

Whilst there are now many cheap immitations, the MK Masterseal is the market leader, a high-quality product from a very reputable manufacturer, and is IP66 which is more than sufficient ingress protection for this application.

I see this as being much more practical than a 16A round type socket, as first of all, it’s very neat and much more discrete than the alternatives the OP is considering, and will also be handy for other applications such as vacuum cleaner, power tools etc.

If I did do this of course, I would make up a second, shorter cable, just for charging at home with a round blue 16A socket on one end to plug in to the van, and a astandard domestic plug on the other end to plug into the external MK Masterseal socket.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I use an MK IP66 rated wall socket. It is spurred through the wall to the back of an internal 13 amp socket which is protected by the house consumer unit. As our external walls are rough Cotswold stone I have to chisel and grind a flat area to mount anything external. Invariably I don't get it totally flat so I bed external electric in using electrical cable duct sealant. It comes in extrudable tubes, or I prefer the packs with the lumps of the stuff a bit like modelling clay.

I went for conventional three pin external sockets as I can then use a variety of domestic power equipment too. For the caravan supply I have a 3 ft cable coming from the wall socket. One end is 240v domestic three pin, the other is a CEE. I then have a longer cable with CEE connectors at both ends. Where the two CEE connectors join I wrap them in a couple of plastic shopping bags sealed with duct tape. and they sit on the ground under an overhanging protector.

I tend only to connect the van up to top up the battery occasionally if the van hasn't been used for a while, or to check the systems before a trip and then power up the fridge the evening before trip.
 
May 24, 2014
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Good ideas, both the box from the Prof (when does he ever fail us) and switching to a domestic ip67 socket and using a standard plug.

Thats the way im going to go, and use both. Thanks chaps.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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How far away is your workshop?

My caravan is parked next to my workshop and connected electrically to an internal socket with a normal caravan EHU cable plus adapter.

20180402_084959_1.jpg


..........no waterproofing problems and secure from meddling interference.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Gafferbill said:
How far away is your workshop?

My caravan is parked next to my workshop and connected electrically to an internal socket with a normal caravan EHU cable plus adapter.

20180402_084959_1.jpg


..........no waterproofing problems and secure from meddling interference.

I have to say Bill, your IP0 solution bears a striking resemblance to the pictures showing how the Hatton Garden thieves gained access to the vault ...

2iscwtk.jpg


Well, they did recently say that there was at least one suspect still at large ! :p

There’s nothing quite like making progress, and I’ve no doubt that you posted your helpful picture with the very best of intentions, but do try not to leave any more self-incriminating evidence ! :evil:
 
Jul 15, 2008
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Not guilty M' Lud :S ........different modus operandi!

My method .........
Remove half brick with hammer and chisel.
Insert old piece of plastic gutter downpipe as mould.
Insert with down slope to outside so that any water drains away.
Pack with mortar and finish off.
Carefully remove plastic pipe as soon a mortar goes solid.

Tip ........ask the owner of the wall for permission and only suitable for an outbuilding. :whistle:
 
May 24, 2014
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OK, need a bit of help here. We had been having trouble with the home electrics tripping and narrowed it down to the caravan hookup. We have had the socket replaced with the Weathermaster with built in RCD and moved the supply to the non protected side of the home consumer unit. This hopefully to stop tripping the whole house and let the weathermasters RCD trip on its own which does seem to have worked. However we are still getting trips on the hookup.

This seems to be happening either via the caravans charger or when the heater is on in the caravan, running the heater on 4 or 8 amp. Haven't narrowed it down yet to which one. Its not instant, and can run for a couple of hours or more before this happens. We do have a bit of a flaky supply to the street and very often get dips and spikes so its hard to be definitive. My question is that if either of the caravans systems, charger or heater had enough of a problem to trip the hookup points RCD, is it likely that it would trip the Sargent unit in the van too. Its not blowing fuses and the vans RCD never operates when this happens. I would have though that if it was such a fault it would trip instantly, not after some hours running.
Im beginning to run out of ideas here.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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We have had a history of spurious domestic rcd trips. What was worrying is that unlike a power cut the RCD doesn’t reset. This means that if we are away then the heating goes off and stays off as does the alarm system.
We have had electrical specialists in who have tested all circuits but found nothing. We haven’t been able to localise it to any specific equipment being used. It happens very infrequently too. One theory is that with the home network having filters these create a “pre load” on the rcd such that when a combination of other loads come on line they are then sufficient to trip the rcd. Yet in themselves aren’t considered at problem level. I don’t know whether such a hypothesis is correct but trying to validate it would be difficult in the extreme.
 
May 24, 2014
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Tell me about it. We have definitely narrowed it down to the caravan side of things, I just dont get why the RCD in the caravan doesnt trip, yet it trips the 16amp weathermater RCD.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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It sounds like there may be a bit of confusion here Thingy between the purpose and function of a circuit breaker and an RCD.

A Breaker has a current rating, such as the breaker you mention which has a rating of 16A. This is designed to interrupt the live feed to the electrical supply if the current passing through it exceeds its rating. A domestic breaker is a thermal trip and is there to protect the electrical supply from overload. A breaker is the modern equivalent of a fuse and is neccesary because the electrical components and cabling supplying an electrical circuit can only safely carry a certain amount of current, beyond which they will begin to break down and overheat, leading to potentially catastrophic failure and fire.

An RCD is a completely different thing altogether, and in a single phase system interrupts both the live and neutral of the electrical supply when an imbalance is detected between the current flowing through the two. An RCD trips through electromagnetic induction.

In simple terms, in a correctly wired and safe circuit without any malfunctions, the current flowing “in” through the live conductor should be the same as that flowing “out” through the neutral. If there’s a difference, something is wrong, and this will cause the RCD to trip. Just to put this into perspective, most standard domestic RCD’s will trip when they detect an imbalance of just 30mA (3 hundredths of an amp). As such, RCD’s are very effective safety devices, but are also rather sensitive, and are often considered to be somewhat of a nuisance, particularly with older systems, but if an RCD is regularly tripping, in the interests of safety, the emphasis really should be on rectifying the cause rather than the inconvenience of the device tripping.

In my experience, putting aside faulty appliances (particularly those which use water !), water ingress and loose connections are the most common causes of nuisance RCD trips.

Hope this helps,

Ic.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Icarus,

To be fair to Thingy, he made it very clear it was the household RCD tripping not MCB's or fuses. So if the RCD is tripping it will be one of two things. The obvious one is a current leakage somewhere causing a current imbalance in the RCD, Or it will could be an over sensitive or faulty RCD.

Over sensitive RCDs are faulty and should be replaced.

However in this case the problem is confusing because (and assuming the reports are accurate) the problem only occurs when the caravan is connected, and when the charger and water heater are switched on. but even so the occurrence is not predictable. This makes fault finding tricky. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the house hold RCD is tripping whilst more local RCD's remain untripped.

I can think of two possible scenario's how this can happen.

First. There will always be some small differences between the sensitivity of RCDs, and if two RCDs are used on the same circuit, the most sensitive will trip first. It is possible that Thingy's household RCD is the most sensitive of the three he reports are in circuit.

Secondly The RCD sensitivity is 30mA, if any single appliance in the house has a leakage of less than 30mA it will not trip the RCD, but if an appliance in the caravan also has a leakage which combined with the other faulty appliance has a combined leakage that exceeds 30mA it will cause the main RCD to trip, but could leave the local RCD u tripped.

The uncertainty of when the RCD will trip could suggest that each of the faulty appliance have a timer or thermostat.

Historically appliances that heat water are the most frequent culprit, but that is not a certainty, but it is where I would start looking.

As with all electrical safety systems unless you have appropriate raining and experience it is sensible to refer the investigation and rectification to a competent electrician who can fully check the system.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I think he said heater. Water heater?
Thingy. If it is your room heater, the Trumatic Ultraheat , then it is possible one of the Thermal overload devices is faulty and causing a spike which trips the home RCD.
Does it trip with the Ultraheat off and say the Truma Ultrasore on, water added of course! ?
 
May 24, 2014
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Sorry if I have caused confusion, I understand what I'm trying to say but possibly I'm using incorrect terminology.

So:
Our supply locally is very flakey and can drop out, spike or dip. Every time we have a storm, the pylon behind us in the field gets hit by lightening, spectacular but a pain in the proverbial.

Originally, I had a site type connector (as in bollard) IP44 rated, connected through an isolator switch to the RCD protected side of the domestic consumer unit. We began to get random trips and the sparky detected an earth leak. Tracing this we found that water had somehow entered the hookup cables plug and assumed we had found the culprit. As this plug connected from below, it seemed a reasonable assumption that water had entered the plug via the bollard type socket.
After advice on here, we swapped the blue socket for a Weathermaster 16amp twin socket with built in RCD, IP66 rated and then moved the supply from the RCD protected side of the consumer unit to the non protected. This to stop the house being tripped if the caravan connection acted up again. That side of it has worked.

Today I washed the caravan and when I had finished I connected the hookup to charge the battery (service day Wed, need the motor mover), and as we were spending some time in the van, I ran the room heater side of the combi on its 8 amp setting. When I was in the shed, the lights dimmed and the caravan supply (wall) RCD had tripped. An hour later it did it again as did the lights. I assumed at the time it was the caravan doing it as this was also the sparkies suggestion. Since then, the caravan charger has been connected and the heater running for some hours without tripping, so touch wood it may be coincidence and the wobble in supply may have caused the RCD to trip.
Where the question about the caravans RCD and breakers come into it is that if there was such a fault on the caravan, wouldnt the caravans RCD have tripped too, maybe blown a fuse also?
I should also say that when the sparky was here, he tested the whole house and we even went to the trouble of operating each appliance in turn to see if anything showed up on the megger. We had originally thought that maybe the domestic fridge or freezer was causing it.
 
May 24, 2014
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As a final update, things are looking good. No further trips on the RCD. Looks like the original problem was the IP44 socket and connecting cable, the later trips coincidental with the flakey power supply. Van been serviced today and I had them check thoroughly. All good news.
 
Sep 4, 2017
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What you really need is IP65

First Digit (Dust intrusion protection)
1.No special protection<
2.Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from 3.solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
4.Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
5.Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
6.Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc).
7.Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
8.Totally dust tight.
Second Digit (moisture protection)
1.No protection.
2.Protection against condensation
3.Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
4.Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
5.Protected against water spray from all directions.
6.Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
7.Protection against strong water jets and waves.
8.Protected against temporary immersion.
9.Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.
 

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