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Samsung RSH1DBBP Fridge freezer tripping power supply

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by SteveHarvey, 1 Oct 2012.

  1. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    Hi,

    Over the last few weeks I've had some intermittent issues with an appliance triggering the main power supply on my consumer unit and cutting off all the power to the house. Fortunately yesterday it happened while I was at home so by isolating each RCD I was able to identify the source to a kitchen appliance and then to the American style fridge freezer I have. It's about 5 years old but hasn't shown any noticeable faults (ie getting warmer etc).

    I say the fault is intermittent, it can go for weeks without causing a problem but then (as it did yesterday) continually trip when you switch the main power back on.

    My question is what I should do next (well, other than the fact that I've disconnected the fridge!) It's an expensive item to replace, though I'm not sure what the likely faults might be with it that's causing the power to cut off to the entire house yet appear to be working 'normally'? Would I need a specialist or is this something that most electricians would be able to help with?

    I'd appreciate any advice as to what steps I should take, especially if there are less expensive options to begin with.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JohnD

    JohnD

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    check the easy things first.

    Any damage to the flex, eg from animal teeth or having an appliance stood on it?

    Any sign of water on an electrical part? (you will have to pull the fridge out to look at the evaporation dish for defrost water).

    You might like to get an RCD adaptor, as used for lawnmowers, and plug the fridge into that. In my experience they tend to trip a bit faster than the RCD in the CU, though most likely both will trip together.

    If you can experimentally plug the fridge into a different circuit having a different RCD, for example using an extension lead, you can confirm that the fault moves as well.

    It is good practice, though not very common, to put a freezer on a separate radial circuit with its own RCBO, so that you don't lose frozen food due to a fault on another part of the installation.

    p.s.
    reading your post, do you know the difference between an RCD and an MCB?
     
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  3. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    Thanks John. There was no visible problems with the flex or plug, they all looked like new to me.

    This particular model of fridge/freezer has had issues where ice builds up in the back compartment. I've not had issues with it cutting the power supply before but I have had to get the hairdryer out to melt it! Not sure if that could be the issue but it sounds like it would be worth me removing the interior back panel again to check and remove any ice/moisture there. I hadn't thought of that.

    I think I have an RCD adaptor somewhere so I can certainly try that.

    When it was tripping I did try an extension lead, but I didn't think to try it on a different circuit, I just ruled out any issues with that plug socket as the same problem did occur. Again, that's something I can try.

    And you're right, I didn't know the difference between RCD/MCB's - I've now checked and these do look like MCBs!

    Thanks again, appreciate your help so far. If any of the above helps with diagnoses, just let me know.
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I wonder if it might be the defrost heater element? That will run at various odd times, either at xx hour intervals, or when it senses an ice-build up in the ducts.

    Try to sit with it and detect if the trip occurs when the motor starts/stops, or at some other interval.

    some electric motors can get carbon dust buildup, but I would expect a FF compressor to have a brushless motor.
     
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  5. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    That sounds very plausible. I think I'm going to start by removing the inside panel and drying out any ice build up etc then plugging it back in when it's all dry. If it then runs without any hitches for the next 6/12 months or so (about the time I would expect the ice to build up again!) then that might help to identify it.

    Otherwise if it starts tripping again, I'll listen out for any noises that it might be trying to make.

    Thanks again, your points have been really helpful and I appreciate your time.
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Testing what causes a RCD to trip is not easy. Because many items only switch the line items plugged in but not used can cause problems.

    The problem arises because the more power a device uses the higher it raises the neutrals voltage above earth. So a fault with a low current user like a PC can cause the power to trip when the kettle is switched on.

    So to test it needs to be the only item plugged into that RCD to be sure that is the item at fault.

    Most PAT testers will monitor earth leakage and as long as the fridge is warm enough to run you should be able with a PAT tester see if it has a fault on the motor circuit.

    However many of the more expensive freezers have a frost free function which after a set amount of time switches freezer off and puts a heater on then returns back to freezer function again. If you have a fault with the auto defrost it is very hard to find and normally needs some dismantling to find it.

    All RCD's are not the same. Read this on X-Pole and you will see some even monitor the leakage also tripping at 90-100% of 30ma instead of 50-100% of 30ma means less likely to trip.

    The older RCD's can easy be tripped by spikes which can be caused as a motor starts. This could be what is tripping your RCD. Because of the problem with a RCD tripping with stuff in a fridge/freezer it is permitted to have a non RCD protected socket for them. This would mean likely a dedicated circuit wired in Ali-tube cable but as to if it would be practical depends on kitchen layout. I have considered running a SWA around outside of my house to feed such a socket.

    Your fridge/freezer may be faulty. But until tested I would not be jumping to that conclusion it could well be something else left plugged in or a RCD not able to handle spikes.
     
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  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    But surely, Eric, your installation is under the supervision of a skilled or instructed person?
     
  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Yes of course and I planned it before 2004 :LOL:
     
  9. TicklyT

    TicklyT

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    That could be an issue with door seals or door alignment allowing warm air into the compartment, where the moisture it holds forms more ice than anticipated, eventually overtaking the 'defrost' cycle ...

    Where did the melt water go when you defrosted it?
     
  10. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    The water goes down a small opening/hole which is designed to take moisture away from the inside back part of the unit. These Samsung fridges have a known fault where ice builds up behind the panel and eventually freezes the motor. I have to remove it the panel, melt the ice and dry everything about once a year.

    Just by way of update, I removed the panel tonight, of course any ice has now melted as the machine was unplugged for 24 hours. I dried everything, put the panel back on and have now left the fridge on. It's been on for several hours and hasn't tripped the mcb yet.

    I've had some great tips/advice here so thanks everyone for contributing. I've found a defrost element which is about £20 for this fridge so if I still get problems after trying all the suggestions here, I will probably opt to replace this part as it's relatively inexpensive.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    For anyone interested, after ringing around a few people I was advised to contact Samsung directly as this model fridge has known issues that they were extending warranties to cover.

    Spoke to them over the phone, they said my fridge was due a 'home improvement visit' which when I pushed translated means they need to preform a safety check on it so it wont catch fire (some kind of surge issue) and at the same time will also do any repairs needed.

    The engineer is here right now (next day service, not bad eh?) and says the Heat sensor has gone which would explain the icing up issue I've been having, plus the tripping of the RCD (edit: yes, having checked again it's definitely the RCD that is tripping not the MCB).

    Hoping this will be the end of the story...
     
  12. JohnD

    JohnD

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    that sounds like a very good result.

    If you post the make and model other owners will find your thread when they search.
     
  13. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    It does indeed. All paid for by Samsung. ;)

    My fridge is a Samsung RSH1DBBP

    I bought it at least 5 years ago, but there's plenty of stuff online about the issues Samsung have had with these models so contacting their customer services team is the place to start. They told me mine was out of warranty but that they would repair it this time as it needed this safety upgrade anyway. Call Samsung on 0330 7267864 if you have a similar problem.

    Thanks again for all your help, particularly JohnD.
     
  14. paullockhart

    paullockhart

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    I too had the RCD tripping problem caused by the fridge frosting over due to poor design. I called Samsung on their Customer Helpline and they replaced the whole back panel free of charge despite the freezer being 4 years old and out of warranty. Excellent customer service.

    I wouldn't have known about this or even diagnosed the problem without this posting so thank you very much.
     
  15. SteveHarvey

    SteveHarvey

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    That's great, Paul. I'm glad you've got a good result there too.

    :cool:
     
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