Electric Shower Problems

C

Canapandy

Afternoon,

My friends shower stopped working over the weekend. I popped round last night (45A Pull Cord in hand).

The neon on the old one was blinking so I figured it was the problem - but after I switched them over theres still no power getting to the shower. I tested the connections in the Shower Unit and it's dead (no burnouts or anything, it looks fine).

I've grabbed a spare 50A fuse for the breaker (to replace the existing 40A) but I don't really have confidence in this fixing the problem. It seems like it must be something more simple. I'm heading round tonight to have another go, but any thoughts would be welcome.

Can the neon be lit by a small current passing through a faulty breaker? It's worth mentioning the mains had tripped but verything else in the house is fine.

Cheers Andy
 
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Do NOT change a 40A fuse for a 50A fuse just for the hell of it to try to save your mate a few quid. You clearly have a fault and what your propose is only likely to create further danger.

A neon blinking does not, with any certainty, indicate a fault, it could just be a dying neon, so ignore that for now.

How did you test that the circuit was dead?

You say the 'mains had tripped but everything else was fine', what does that mean?

I doubt that a faulty breaker is the problem, it's far more likely that there is a fault and I dont think you have the necessary experience or knowledge to find it, but here are a few tips. After making sure that the installation is dead (NOT WITH A NEON SCREWDRIVER!) then check all connections - at the shower, the shower isolator and the consumer unit.* Check for any signs of burning. If you find nothing and the MCB will not reset/fuse keeps burning out, then you need to ask your friend if he's been doing any DIY such as hammering in nails, or drilling any holes. If he hasn't then you need to check the cable run for damage by mice/rats/bears etc.

Could you also clarify whether you have a fuse or a breaker? Because what most people call a breaker does not contain a fuse, but rather a thermal and magnetic trigger and neither of these are replacable, so you've got your terminology mixed up somewhere.

*Remember that even with the main switch in the off position the top terminals and any exposed copper of the cables entering the top terminals will remain live, unless of course you have a separate isolator before the CU.
 
C

Canapandy

so..

took a meter to it. as suspected the switch was fine and found a burnt out neutral wire a good 6 inches from the terminal?

replaced and tested OK but when I hook it up to the unit - the shower is still dead. Again no evidence of burning in the shower unit. Could it be it's shorted something within the appliance and if so whats most likely to go and is there any point in trying to fix it?

As you can tell I am neither an electrician nor savvy in sparks lingo. However, I am fairly competent and at the end of the day it's not rocket science!

Cheer for your comments though - I did actually think that when you saw a neon blink that it was fudged.
 
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C

Canapandy

whats with the grief? I took it along just incase it traced back to the board and mentioned it incase anyone had experience of a fault occuring at this point under the circumstances...

in the end it wasn't needed, but answer me this, why would a wire burn out so far from the terminal?
 
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in the end it wasn't needed, but answer me this, why would a wire burn out so far from the terminal?
It could be that the wire broke inside the insulation (possiblly from excessive bending during installation) and that created a high resistance section.
 
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whats with the grief?
Why do you think it's OK to say that you're intending to replace a 40A fuse with a 50A one, let alone go ahead and DO it?

I took it along just incase it traced back to the board and mentioned it incase anyone had experience of a fault occuring at this point under the circumstances...
Nope - that's not a good enough explanation. Please try again.

why would a wire burn out so far from the terminal?
Because it overheated. :rolleyes:

If you don't know why wires overheat, then why are you messing with a 40A electrical circuit? :evil:
 
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At least he is asking for advice and is hopefully not going to go and replace that cable with 1.5mm T&E he has in the back of his Cortina 1600 Ghia :D

To the OP one thing I have learnt in the past few weeks is on here is that if you're unsure about doing work then just get a spark in, this fault is not going to be easy to fix without braking the law by the sound of it.
 
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He hasn't asked for advice at all. :rolleyes:

This fault is easily diagnosed and fixed, but not by someone who claims to be "competent" and yet demonstrates incompetence. Being mystified by something that he claims is "not rocket science" isn't a good starting point.

If the OP were to concede that he knows almost nothing, and shows that he can use both a multimeter and some plain English, then he might get somewhere.
 
C

Canapandy

I'll get there with bloody mindedness! I'm sorry - I thought you'd get useful advice on the forum as opposed to 'just stop and get a sparky!' This must a jobsworth forum?

I suppose this is why I've never asked a forum - nor shall I bother again.

Thanks all the same for your comments.
 

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