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Socket Tester error only when shower is running

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by TM1303, 6 Oct 2019.

  1. TM1303

    TM1303

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    Evening.

    After testing every plug socket in the house and finding them all to be ok, I left the socket tester plugged in to a socket with the switch switched off. I didn't leave it plugged in intentionally, I'm just lazy.

    Days later, I'm in the kitchen and all of a sudden the socket tester starts buzzing even though the socket is switched off. Curious. The error code (one red, pictured below) isn't listed on the tester, the plot thickens. Switching on the socket and the OK code shows, switching off and we're back to this unlisted error code.

    And without warning, the error clears.

    It didn't take too long to work out that when the electric shower is running the switched off socket shows this error. When the shower stops it clears. I moved the socket tester and find the same behaviour throughout the house.

    It's an old house with trad wire colours, but we have a modern RCA board with the shower and the mains on different switches.

    Any idea what this all means?

     
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  3. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    Do you know what make sockets you have, if not post a picture.
    It may be they are single pole switched and there picking up a stray voltage between E and N, possibly induced by the high current used by the shower. if you have a multimeter you may be able to safely measure this voltage
     
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  4. RF Lighting

    RF Lighting

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    Sounds like a high resistance earth and possibly a fault of some degree on the shower heater element to earth
     
  5. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I would suggest it is just an increase in PD (voltage) between N & E, due to the resistance of the neutral when it came under higher load of the shower. Nothing to worry about.
     
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  6. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    As these testers cannot distinguish between Neutral and Earth, can that be deduced?
     
  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I believe so, lacking a live, the electronics would be back fed by the PD between L & N.
     
  8. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    This could be a problem with a high resistance neutral (connection) to the supply.

    I strongly suggest that you measure the voltage on the Neutral with respect to Earth when the shower is not in use and when it is.
    If the voltage rises "significantly" you could have a faulty Neutral connection.

    https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/site..._report_-_final_version_25_september_2019.pdf details the result of a faulty neutral connection eventually going open circuit.
     
  9. aptsys

    aptsys

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    Do you have an earth rod/TT supply?
     
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  11. andy11

    andy11

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    Very interesting reading. Did the girl survive? The report doesn't say whether she did or not; although the report doesn't refer to the electric shock as a "fatal electric shock".

    The moral of the story is: tighten the screws fully and don't nick the conductors.
     
  12. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I had a lost neutral in 3ph commercial premises once (damage in the road) and the voltage zoomed up and down damaging quite a lot of stuff.
     
  13. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    Further information at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09...en-tap-electrocution-report-released/11553734

    This "situation" was discussed on https://www.renovateforum.com/f195/dangers-neutrals-126786/, which you may care to read.

    I do hope that TM1303 is taking this information into consideration!
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2019
  14. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    Given the advice and examples quoted, it is quite concerning that TM1303 has not responded in the 4/5 days since the original post.
    One must hope that he/she has acted to locate and correct what may be a quite serious problem - and I am not joking when I write this.

    A response from TM1303 would be appreciated
     
  15. Colin Brenton

    Colin Brenton

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    Switch the socket on...
     
  16. Colin Brenton

    Colin Brenton

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    Sorry, please ignore my post - that'll learn me to not read the thread properly before posting!
     
  17. TM1303

    TM1303

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    Sorry for not getting back to you, this is basically what the electrician said ^ and he's a good egg.

    Thanks all for your concern and your input, always valued x
     
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