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What's blowing my electrics?
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Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 11:12 am    Post subject: What's blowing my electrics?  Reply with quote    

Yesterday at about 7am, same today and around 4pm yesterday.

All times the boiler should fire up.

It also blew just now. The boiler was off, with not even the power light on, and not due to fire up. It appears dead. (Before it blew this last time).

The main circuit in the house is blowing. It's taking out the lights and sockets as its tripping the whole board. The extension is fine and not affected, which includes the kettle.

The kettle was also used at the time it blew.

I can't get any life out of the boiler and have, since the last trip, turned the mains switch to it off.

Is it possible that even with no obvious life in it, with the mains switch on, it's causing the trip, or is it an innocent casualty? The boiler had a service and repairs a few days ago. Odd drip of water inside is my thought?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.

Only other recent change to the electrics is a new router, with psu. But it's on the whole time.

Boiler man comes Monday morning, but his job is to fix the boiler, not find an external problem.

Only things I can think of that fired up at those rough times, or have been changed as far as I can think.

Thoughts welcome.

crofter



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 2252

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: What's blowing my electrics? Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.



Sounds like the boiler.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4296
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: What's blowing my electrics? Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Yesterday at about 7am, same today and around 4pm yesterday.

All times the boiler should fire up.

It also blew just now. The boiler was off, with not even the power light on, and not due to fire up. It appears dead. (Before it blew this last time).

The main circuit in the house is blowing. It's taking out the lights and sockets as its tripping the whole board. The extension is fine and not affected, which includes the kettle.

The kettle was also used at the time it blew.

I can't get any life out of the boiler and have, since the last trip, turned the mains switch to it off.

Is it possible that even with no obvious life in it, with the mains switch on, it's causing the trip, or is it an innocent casualty? The boiler had a service and repairs a few days ago. Odd drip of water inside is my thought?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.

Only other recent change to the electrics is a new router, with psu. But it's on the whole time.

Boiler man comes Monday morning, but his job is to fix the boiler, not find an external problem.

Only things I can think of that fired up at those rough times, or have been changed as far as I can think.

Thoughts welcome.


If there's a shortcircuit somewhere in the boiler, this would explain it?
NB - my expertise level is about "can change plugs"

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What's blowing my electrics? Reply with quote    

crofter wrote:
Nick wrote:
Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.



Sounds like the boiler.


Could it cause a problem just by being there? It wasn't supposed to turn on, I think all the lights (including power) were out.

I'm assuming that with the mains switch to it ON there could still be power in there somewhere, and if it's shorting, that could be the issue.

Or does the lack of power light rule it out?

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41740
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dodgy earth somewhere?

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: What's blowing my electrics? Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Could it cause a problem just by being there? It wasn't supposed to turn on, I think all the lights (including power) were out.

I'm assuming that with the mains switch to it ON there could still be power in there somewhere, and if it's shorting, that could be the issue.

Or does the lack of power light rule it out?


You would have thought the power light would come on as soon as power gets in to the boiler but I wouldn't be surprised if it's all now controlled by the main circuit board electrics and if they've blown (melted) then no power light and the possibility of a short.

Certainly wise to keep the switch to the boiler off until your boiler bod checks it over.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Main power board was replaced under a week ago. But it did run well for days.

Boiler remains off until Monday. If it blows before then, it's something else. If not, well. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the input so far.

Marionb



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 5243
Location: Mid-Wales
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another vote for dodgy earth

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Marionb wrote:
Another vote for dodgy earth


Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?

crofter



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 2252

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Marionb wrote:
Another vote for dodgy earth


Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?


Look for loose wires, scorch marks, mouse shit, chewed insulation, melted plastic etc. Make sure there is no power supply to the boiler first. But there might not be any obvious signs, and it might not even be the boiler, although from the story so far it seems to be the likely culprit.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

crofter wrote:
Nick wrote:
Marionb wrote:
Another vote for dodgy earth


Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?


Look for loose wires, scorch marks, mouse shit, chewed insulation, melted plastic etc. Make sure there is no power supply to the boiler first. But there might not be any obvious signs, and it might not even be the boiler, although from the story so far it seems to be the likely culprit.


With the usual caveats about if in any doubt consult a qualified electritian / sacrifice a small animal...

When you say blowing I assume you mean the RCD is tripping? Wiki is quite good at explaining an RCD: "RCDs operate by measuring the current balance between two conductors using a differential current transformer. This measures the difference between current flowing through the live conductor and that returning through the neutral conductor. If these do not sum to zero, there is a leakage of current to somewhere else (to earth/ground or to another circuit), and the device will open its contacts. Operation does not require a fault current to return through the earth wire in the installation; the trip will operate just as well if the return path is through plumbing, contact with the ground or any other current path. Automatic disconnection and a measure of shock protection is therefore still provided even if the earth wiring of the installation is damaged or incomplete."

So, some of the current is going somewhere unexpected and a likely place is it's earthing out. As has been said, with the power off, check for water, perhaps a connection to the main board hasn't been fully engaged. Depending on how it's put together check the wires haven't been bent or squashed when putting the boiler back together, a seemingly undamaged but bent wire can cause leakage and a trip.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And, in today's update, with the boiler switched off, it blew when the kettle was turned on.

New kettle today as a holding pattern until boiler man arrives.

We shall see.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14844
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What else is on the circuit with the boiler?
You could switch off that circuit for a while and see if that makes a difference?
It is possible that the boiler thing is just a coincidence.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33086
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

boiler fault seems likely

modern consumer unit breakers will trip if there is a fault even if the item is turned off as they detect problems in the earth and return as well as the (switched) feed

that the problem seems to happen when things other than the boiler are turned on and the kettle plug was separate from other circuits it seems plausible that the wiring is

A: not quite as logical as it should be
B;has a fault/s somewhere
C:it could be a wiring issue that caused the boiler problem.
AND
D:it could be a fault in another item and the boiler fault is a coincidence.

get the boiler checked ,especially the replaced board and see if that cures it

BUT

mark one eyeball is sensible but unless you are planning on lifting boards, removing plaster, crawling about in roof voids etc etc only bits will be visible.

it would be a good idea to get a well qualified spark to fetch their meters and test the whole system for faults and layout , a house the size of yours should not take more than half a day to test thoroughly and might cost around a couple of hundred quid. a good investment considering how much the loss of freezer contents (or potentially far worse) electrical faults can cost .

ps just cos somebody put a tested sticker on the consumer unit does not necessarily mean all is fine and dandy, when i did the kitchen i found 5 seriously dangerous electrical faults such as overheating bends and wires dangling behind units from plugs and switches, one high fire risk fault (the extractor fan pipe was twisted to the point of no air flow) and about 15 potentially dangerous electrical ones ranging from rings within rings,spurs on spurs and two supplies to the same circuit ("ring main" and cooker supply both connected to a sub ring) that had been "passed" by whoever did it a few years earlier.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33710
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hairyloon wrote:
What else is on the circuit with the boiler?
You could switch off that circuit for a while and see if that makes a difference?
It is possible that the boiler thing is just a coincidence.


God knows. The house is sprawling, electrically, with various add ons and extensions and lights run from socket circuits. I've even got a socket next to the bog. It's a part of my life I just ignore.

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