RCD tripped

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RCD tripped

Post by dbroada on Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:32 pm

2016 Nuevo EK.

Some time this morning I lost mains power. I checked the site ehu bollard and the rcd had tripped. After resetting it I got back into the van to find I was still without power. After a few more trips to the bollard and flicking rcds and mcbs I looked in my wardrobe and found the rcd had tripped there.

Perhaps coincidentally, last night I heard, many times, a clicking noise from the area of the wardrobe. It sounded like a relay but I couldn't locate the source of the noise.

We have since moved to a different site and to my surprise all seems well. The wardrobe is pretty full and it is possible that the psu overheated, but would that have tripped an red?

Do you think I need to worry?

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Re: RCD tripped

Post by -mojo- on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:47 pm

No - an overheating PSU should not trip an RCD. In the case of most recent power supplies they can detect excessively high internal temperature and switch themselves off, but that should never result in an earth leak fault.

There are a few situations that can cause an RCD to trip without there being a fault as such. For example if you use an appliance such as a kettle which has got water in the internal parts that are not normally expected to get wet - for example if stored with other very damp items. Once the appliance has dried out internally you should expect it to work normally again.

However... the more normal (in my experience) cause is a fault in a heating element. For example, in a water heater the heating element can pinhole or otherwise develop a fault to earth.

If you're lucky you may be able to notice the fault as it happens. In that case it makes diagnosis much easier, because you can disconnect all of the MCBs, reset the RCD and then switch them back on again to figure out which circuit is the cause.
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Re: RCD tripped

Post by dbroada on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:09 pm

Thank you.

I didn't think an overheating psu should trip the rcd as I would have expected a thermal switch to be present. The trip happened this morning some time during the 'get ready to move on' stage but remained un-resetable while we were on that site.

Once we got here I plugged us in and turned things on. The only change I have made since is to switch from exclusively electricity to electric/gas mix. I haven't heard the 'relay' noise yet this evening.

I will pour myself a glass of red and ignore it, until next time.

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Re: RCD tripped

Post by Gromit on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:17 pm

If it's of interest Dave, I've built a simple wire cage around our PSU because our wardrobe is sure to be at least as full as yours.  Whistle1

It just keeps the coats away from the ventilation slots, and for a job that took less than half an hour it gives peace of mind. (I like that when we're on holiday!  up!)

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Re: RCD tripped

Post by brodco on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi  wave

I agree with  -mojo-  if there is a fault it's most likely to be an element leaking current to earth but on  modern van I would have thought it unlikely.
broad wrote:The wardrobe is pretty full and it is possible that the psu overheated, but would that have tripped an red? ?
No! not in itself.

A component would have to fail or something would have to burn to create a leakage current path to earth and in a modern power supply that's unlikely (even the old Zig shuts down if it over heats).

There are a lot things that could cause what's known as "nuisance tripping"  that means that the trip goes without an actual fault being present.

Unfortunately without the relevant test equipment being available at the time it's impossible to say if there was a real fault or not.
dbroada wrote:Do you think I need to worry?

Personally I wouldn't worry immediately  I'd wait and see if it happens again. For your own piece of mind you can get an electrician to test the system for earth leakage if you want to.

That simply involves connecting a higher than usual voltage between live and earth and measuring the current flow. The extra "stress" tends to show up marginal leakage that could cause  intermittent problems.It only takes minutes so shouldn't be expensive.

It might be prudent to look inside the plugs and sockets in the hook up lead and perhaps inside the mains plugs of anything plugged in at the time to see if there are any obvious problems. It's a good idea to do that periodically anyway.

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Re: RCD tripped

Post by nzowner on Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:25 am

dbroada wrote:2016 Nuevo EK.

Some time this morning I lost mains power. I checked the site ehu bollard and the rcd had tripped. After resetting it I got back into the van to find I was still without power. After a few more trips to the bollard and flicking rcds and mcbs I looked in my wardrobe and found the rcd had tripped there.

Perhaps coincidentally, last night I heard, many times, a clicking noise from the area of the wardrobe. It sounded like a relay but I couldn't locate the source of the noise.

We have since moved to a different site and to my surprise all seems well. The wardrobe is pretty full and it is possible that the psu overheated, but would that have tripped an red?

Do you think I need to worry?
Hi, I have experienced this situation a couple of times. Both occasions due to ants in the EHU socket.
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Re: RCD tripped

Post by meanchris on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:57 am

nzowner wrote:
Hi, I have experienced this situation a couple of times. Both occasions due to ants in the EHU socket.

Gets my vote for "Daliesque/Surrealist Post Of The Year" award. hugegrins up!

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Re: RCD tripped

Post by -mojo- on Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:01 pm

That's certainly a bit surreal (and probably not so likely to happen in the UK) but it won't produce the symptoms that the OP is seeing, as it should only trip the campsite bollard, and not the RCD inside the van.

As both RCDs tripped, you can be pretty certain that the fault is within the van, after the van's internal RCD. It's not likely to be anything to do with the EHU cable or plug/socket.
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Re: RCD tripped

Post by dbroada on Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:09 pm

We survived the night with no further loss of power so for now it will be treated as an isolated incident. Hopefully i won't be back.

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