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Your opinion, please

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Post by DavidinDevon Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:58 pm

We took a new £65k Broadway to a campsite.   We were boiling some water on the hob and a small amount overflowed and went down the back of the cooker.  This blew all the lights and tripped the site's electricity supply.  

The supplier of the van tells me that there is a socket where the water fell.  

Their 'solution' is for us not to spill any more water.

I think it's really bad for Auto Sleepers to have this socket in a vulnerable position.  I don't think the design is fit for purpose.

What do you think?
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Post by RogerThat Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:34 pm

How did it get down the back?  Are there vents there? (I don't know what cooker you have)

Or is the cooker not tight up against the wall?  Would a bead of silicone sealant do the job?
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Post by Caraman Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:57 pm

If its like ours there are vents all along the back and yes I agree it is a very bad design for the main electrics to trip if a pan of water or kettle boils over or is spilt.  By a spooky coincidence our EHU tripped a couple of hours ago.  When I asked my wife if she had overfilled the kettle she was very indignant about it.
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Post by DavidinDevon Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:59 pm

Thanks for your reply, Roger.

The cooker is a Thetford K1520.  There are three little walls around the sides and back and water can pass underneath these.  I understand it is not expected to be sealed.  The water only had to travel an inch or so to get to the corner where it disappeared.  

I think it's madness to have a socket directly underneath.  Am I being unreasonable?
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Post by DavidinDevon Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:04 pm

Hi Caraman

Thanks for your message.  This is my first motorhome and I'm getting the impression they are really fragile.
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Post by Richard G Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:00 pm

Its a poor design of campsite electrics if an individual outlet causes all site to trip out!
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Post by Toffee Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:34 am

I would modify the cooker with silicone sealant, screw fix sell some plastic spatulas for dressing the bead of silicone rather than using your fingers to make really neat job.
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Post by groundhog Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:37 am

Not familiar with it at all but could you move the socket? Does sound like a bit of a design fault.
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Post by Molly Motorhome Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:11 am

The socket on my Burford is mounted on the drawer runner side panel under the cooker.
I would suspect installing an electrical socket under a vent that can allow and is susceptible liquid running through it would breach the electrical regulations in a house or business premise.  Need the feedback from someone who test and checks for EICR certificates?
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Post by DavidinDevon Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:50 am

Many thanks for these really helpful comments.  The van is actually back with the supplier to correct a number of faults (eg leisure battery will not charge).  However, they will not acknowledge or act upon the design problem.  Maybe they are worried about about effectively accusing A/S of poor design.

I have sent one final email and after that we will seek a full refund.

Thanks again for your help.
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Post by groundhog Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:38 pm

Are you saying you are asking to return the van for a refund because of the socket location?
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Post by gemdeco Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:02 pm

Hi David
    I think you are exactly right, you have paid a lot of money out and Autosleepers advertise as being the best, A motor home should have careful design and be carefully thought out, to have electrical connections under a cooker is poor design and potentially dangerous, liquid spills from a cooker are not a rare occurrence.
regards
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Post by Molly3 Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:42 pm

I can't  understand  why  their is a socket behind the cooker  ,how would you access it ?? Or am I  missing  something.?
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Post by Flyingv58 Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:59 pm

The socket in question is the one that supplies the radiant hob ring on the cooker. You would not be unplugging this on a regular basis. Why don't you change the socket for a flex outlet spur to minimise water ingress. Also silicone around plastic socket box
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Post by PLOUGHLIN Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:09 pm

The cooker socket on my Gloucester is in the lower undersink cupboard next to the cooker. Not vulnerable to accidental spills.

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Post by DavidinDevon Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:22 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have just heard that the supplier has finally decided to involve A/S.  Hopefully progress can now be made.
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Post by Bad Penny Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:23 pm

I would definitely have the socket moved from that position.
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Post by IanH Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:41 pm

The socket is there for proximity to the cooker 240v requirements for its electric hob. However, within reason the socket could have been placed almost anywhere within reason.

I, personally, would involve AS, there is a possible safety issue here too.
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Post by Tinwheeler Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:45 pm

I did that, Ian, with my potentially dangerous fridge flue issue. I’ll just say head and brick wall.
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Post by DavidinDevon Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:20 pm

Tinwheeler seems to be right!  Here is the Auto Sleepers statement about he socket behind the cooker:
 
Auto-Sleepers have no concerns about the position of the 230V Plug socket that served the Thetford cooker/oven in this motorhome.
The vehicles are designed to comply with the requirements of the IEE wiring regulations and undergo a series of tests and inspections during the production process prior to being signed off by a NICEC registered electrician.
The Oven/cooker installations are also approved by Thetford – who inspect and pass off all our installation designs prior to their release from R&D to production and sales.
And finally, the National Caravan Council (NCC) attend and approve all Auto-Sleeper motorhomes, checking against all the applicable standards when they do.
I hope this information allays any concerns you might have had concerning the location of this socket.

The supplier, Marquis added:

We have also compared the cooker gap with other vehicles on site and confirm that they are all identical and whilst I acknowledge that fluid is able to penetrate the underside of the hob, the unit is installed as per specification and functioning as designed.
Given the information above we are not able to agree that the unit is unfit for purpose.
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Post by IanH Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:26 pm

Wonder what the IP rating of the socket/socket cover is then...

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Post by rgermain Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:48 pm

Oh dear do I read Marquis rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes
------------
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Post by Richard G Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:29 pm

How about redesigning the electrical distribution system on the site?

The rcd in the van seems to have done its job as designed.
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Post by Tinwheeler Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:01 am

My condolences, DavidinDevon. My ultimate action was to make sure my suspect flue was safe by modifying it and I had it inspected by Dometic. I then washed my hands of Marquis and AS and am managing to lead a less stressful existence.
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Post by ajrm Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:09 pm

All those institutions saying the socket is safe doesn’t alter the fact that a small amount of water spilt down the back of the cooker blew all the electrics and posed a potential danger to anyone in the van.  Even when these things are pointed out to the manufacturer, they still ignore the danger. 
We had a 2013 Broadway FB and on two occasions the kitchen waste pipe ( in two different places) came apart and flooded the van, water running under the sink and under the side sofa where all the electrics are situated. If we hadn’t been so quick in cleaning it up and had parked on a slope so the water ran against the side wall, I am dure we would have blown the electrics too. 
Another one of many design flaws we encountered in 3 years of ownership.

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