What is causing my electrics to trip ?

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Tom
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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by Tom » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 pm

There is a blue switch that trips...and also has a blue pushy in thing. (It is written protection) Then you have the row of individual disjoncteurs.
The switch that is tripping is surely an interrupteur différentiel and the pushy in blue thing is its test button. This is a device that shuts down if it detects a small leakage of current so a crappy extension lead could well be the culprit.

:D Now that it's been replaced you'll soon know.
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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by RobertArthur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:17 am

Only two light circuits and two socket circuits in this tableau électrique secondaire? Switch off the lights, unplug everything. Still the same problem? Something wrong in your wiring somewhere. A spot the source of the problem? An RCD device detects only leakage currents to earth so there should be a path to earth. Real leakage coming down from the roof somewhere after heavy rainfall? By the way, the reading lights I had the pleasure to live with never had any earth wire. A small leakage between phase and neutral will not trip a RCD, MCB or fuse, go unnoticed until it sets your house on fire because of overheating. After the smell of burning plastic.

Curious about the outcome of a littlebitmoreresearch.
Last edited by RobertArthur on Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mike
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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by Mike » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:18 am

Or could just be a over sensitive interrupteur différentiel that has gone rogue, they don't last forever.

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by RobertArthur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:35 am

Mike, low budget Brico stuff can cause problems already after a few years (Debflex and others). Almost no problems with Hager, Legrand, Schneider, Merlin Gerin here in France. Elsewhere in Europe more popular: ABB. If ID's give up the will to live it's mostly because of overheating problems. Overloading, too many circuits. No wonder the standard 40 amp device is on the retreat, replaced by the heavy weight of 63 amp, see page 10 of the Amendement 5 changes.

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by alittlebitmorefrench » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:49 am

RobertArthur wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:17 am
Only two light circuits and two socket circuits in this tableau électrique secondaire? Switch off the lights, unplug everything. Still the same problem? Something wrong in your wiring somewhere. A spot the source of the problem? An RCD device detects only leakage currents to earth so there should be a path to earth. Real leakage coming down from the roof somewhere after heavy rainfall? By the way, the reading lights I had the pleasure to live with never had any earth wire. A small leakage between phase and neutral will not trip a RCD, MCB or fuse, go unnoticed until it sets your house on fire because of overheating. After the smell of burning plastic.

Curious about the outcome of a littlebitmoreresearch.
The problem is that it happens once a week or maybe every two weeks. All at night. Like I said, everything is off.

The fact that my son turns off his reading light at the same sort time it happens can't be coincidental.

I did not trip last night and we had thunderstorms.

The tableau powers the 'grange' (now cinema room) and veranda and one bedroom. The veranda and bedroom is an extension.

It also powers the kitchen which we moved to the salon some time time ago. The tableau is basically the other side of the wall so the electrician used that one.

The other tableau powers the rest of the house.

The make is 'hager'.

Can someone explain what a current leakage is please. What does that mean ?

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by Le Démerdeur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:59 am

Is it by any chance one of those touch sensitive reading lamps?

Current leakage, lets say an appliance consumes one amp, if the installation is safe there will be one amp of current passing through both the live and neutral cables, it could be 0.9 amps or 1.1 amps as long as its the same in both the live and neutral, if there is say a 50ma difference, which is the trip current for an ID it means that 50ma is effectively leaking out of the circuit either to ground or to the earth conductor of the circuit, you do not want any more than that 50ma to be passing through your sons body to ground or earth for more than 30 milliseconds.

touch control lamps do rely on a tiny current being passed by the human body, if the lamp is one of those it could be trying to pass more and the ID trips or the ID may be too sensitive, better too sensitive than not sensitive enough.

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by RobertArthur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:06 pm

The currents flowing in phase and neutral should be the same. As soon as you touch the phase - in the bathroom - the electrons will be happy to take your body as a shortcut to earth, the wet tiles below your feet. Result: unbalance in a RCD device, detecting it and switching off before matters become worse. Keeps you and your beloved ones alive. More info everywhere, but also on this still familiar website.

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by alittlebitmorefrench » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:12 pm

I forgot to mention...there is a bathroom as well powered by that tableau.

A few years back I replaced the light switch in said bathroom, and yes I forgot to turn off the electricity.

Being ALBF, I trimmed the plastic on the wire with my teeth. Like you do.

The circuit tripped. It saved my life obviously.

Eeek..

So yeah, I could have a current leakage. But why only at night ?

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by alittlebitmorefrench » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:17 pm

Another question, you know sometimes when you put a plug in an extension lead and there can be a spark or a light. Or sometimes when you take a vaccum cleaner out of a socket when it is still running. What is that ?

I still think it is the extension lead or the spot.

Everything else is used during the day so logically it would trip then rather than when it is off at night.

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Re: What is causing my electrics to trip ?

Post by RobertArthur » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:43 pm

ALBF, mission narrow down:

1/ Extension lead with two pin or three pin plug, in other words: earth wire nearby? The same for this now famous reading light. Your multimeter (hint: father's day 16th of June this year) should be able to detect in it's high resistance range if there is something wrong. Or try another extension lead.

2/About this reading light: old school Mr. Edison bulb or a modern led thingy? Including perhaps a sort of power line filter (unlikely).

3/ Just in case this reading light - or power supply of a laptop - has a filter on board it could be a case of a (half) defective capacitor inside. Provoking a little surge current to earth when switching off. When your mains sine wave (two upper traces) is riding high or low, the effect will be more pronounced. Happens at random, depends on the timing of disconnection. Only very experienced qualified electricians are able to switch off when the phase is exactly in between top and bottom of the sine wave. Solution #1: confiscate reading light and your son's laptop. Solution #2: hire a qualified electrician, 24/7.

4/ Spot in the ceiling including earth wire? Check and double check.

5/ Bathroom and garden wiring: always happy to bother you with nuisance triggering of RCD devices.

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