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Reversed polarity on EHU?

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6 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners, even though by now most caravans now have double pole MCB's. I don't understand it. I've never come across anyone on the Continent even giving it a thought.

 

Some UK caravanners :-) and I don't understand it either.

 

I think it falls under the category of 'a little knowledge .....'

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10 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners, even though by now most caravans now have double pole MCB's. I don't understand it. I've never come across anyone on the Continent even giving it a thought.

 

Me neither, especially as almost all appliances in use in the UK are certified for use across Europe.

 

I think its down to a little knowledge.

 

Just going to post and LiF beat me to it. :lol:

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7 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners, even though by now most caravans now have double pole MCB's. I don't understand it. I've never come across anyone on the Continent even giving it a thought.

Only in Britain were installations to British Standards which mandated correct polarity and a Good earth. With these there was no need for switches in the neutral connector. The rest of the world is less fussy about polarity in the installation, so switching both wires is an essential safety precaution.

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14 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners, I don't understand it. 

 

 

I think it is a throwback to the days when there was no protection. By the way, does anyone know from what date was adequate protection from reversed polarity introduced in the electrical circuits?

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7 minutes ago, BOAC said:

By the way, does anyone know from what date was adequate protection from reversed polarity introduced in the electrical circuits?

I think the DP MCB requirement was introduced with the 16th Edition of the wiring regulations (1991/1992)?  Certainly IET Forums quote the regulation that mentions them here .

 

15th Edition (1981) certainly required RCDs in caravans and caravan sites' supplies, plus the 16A connector we all love as I still have my copy of that one.

 

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24 minutes ago, BOAC said:

 

 

I think it is a throwback to the days when there was no protection. By the way, does anyone know from what date was adequate protection from reversed polarity introduced in the electrical circuits?

I think I'm right to say 2004 was the year when Caravan manufacturers all used DP MCB's. Before that, sockets were  switched. Appliances still have a fuse in the plug but its just for standardisation.

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29 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners, even though by now most caravans now have double pole MCB's. I don't understand it. I've never come across anyone on the Continent even giving it a thought.

 

Because we are advised by our leading Caravaning & Motorhome club not to use outlets with "reversed polarity".

See the guidance on this near the bottom of this "Technical Advice Sheet":

 

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/technical-advice/mains-electrical-installation/

 

My own personal take on this is there are the correct and incorrect ways to do things, I simply prefer to get it correct.

I have not bothered to get a current copy of BS 7671 , but I suspect there somewhere they state the cores should be identified and treated in a manner where they are not causally switched live with neutral?

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When you don't have an RCD or it is faulty a fuse will protect the wiring against a L-N short and a L-E short UNLESS the polarity is reversed.  A fuse should protect the wiring against excessive current whatever the cause!

 

I tested the sockets in my caravan; they are all switched but only single pole.  I would not want RP.

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6 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

Because we are advised by our leading Caravaning & Motorhome club not to use outlets with "reversed polarity".

See the guidance on this near the bottom of this "Technical Advice Sheet":

 

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/technical-advice/mains-electrical-installation/

 

 

There's no reference to any date in the club's technical advice sheet so there's no way of knowing whether it is still valid today or not.

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10 minutes ago, Ern said:

I think I'm right to say 2004 was the year when Caravan manufacturers all used DP MCB's. Before that, sockets were  switched. Appliances still have a fuse in the plug but its just for standardisation.

 

Some time ago I found a document on the Caravan Club web site that said that double pole MCBs were made compulsory in 1992.

 

7 minutes ago, kelper said:

I tested the sockets in my caravan; they are all switched but only single pole.

 

Even before I changed them to 'continental' ones none of the sockets in our caravan were switched.

 

8 minutes ago, kelper said:

 I would not want RP.

 

Why?

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13 minutes ago, Lost in France said:

 

Even before I changed them to 'continental' ones none of the sockets in our caravan were switched.

 

 

 

Many UK domestic sockets are not switched either.

The UK and the rest of the world have different approaches to electrical safety, with different safety measures.

Our fused plugs, with shielded pins and gated sockets are streets ahead of their European and American equivalents. It would take a brave expert to debate which is actually safer, but "mix and match" can cause issues.

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21 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

There's no reference to any date in the club's technical advice sheet so there's no way of knowing whether it is still valid today or not.

 

No, but as you found out just now it remains the current guidance the club gives, and could well answer your question, "Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners---?"

Many members I suggest would simply follow this advice on such a dangerous field as mains AC power, not all know better.

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6 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

No, but as you found out just now it remains the current guidance the club gives, and could well answer your question, "Why is this only an issue among UK caravanners---?"

Many members I suggest would simply follow this advice on such a dangerous field as mains AC power, not all know better.

 

I only asked because I've not heard of any genuine electrical safety issues on the Continent. Unless one ignores plain common sense, the risk of electrocution is a lot less than encountering many other everyday hazards.

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1 hour ago, BOAC said:

By the way, does anyone know from what date was adequate protection from reversed polarity introduced in the electrical circuits?

I think the DP MCB requirement was introduced with the 16th Edition of the wiring regulations (1991/1992)?  Certainly IET Forums quote the regulation that mentions them here .

 

15th Edition (1981) certainly required RCDs in touring caravans and caravan sites' supplies to caravans, plus the blue 16A connector we all love as I still have my copy of that one.

 

This reversed polarity issue has been debated on here frequently. 

Groundhog Day?  Deja Vu? I think so.

 

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7 minutes ago, Rodders53 said:

 

This reversed polarity issue has been debated on here frequently. 

Groundhog Day?  Deja Vu? I think so.

 

 

Indeed it has and the same theories/arguments/opinions/points of view are posted. 

 

I liken it to the “Heating in the caravan over winter” and “Are caravan covers worthwhile” threads that also appear every so often! There doesn’t appear to be a right or wrong answer to any of them, just a huge variety of opinions. 

 

It is, I think, useful that they DO come around every so often, mainly for the benefit of those new to the hobby so they can see all of the views and then make up THEIR minds. 

 

Me?   I’m staying “neutral” on it ;)  (geddit?) 

 

Andy 

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Thank you all for your input. Interesting.

 

It has run to the end of the debate I feel, so to get an overall opinion please vote HERE

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