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 Post subject: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 am 
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Six months ago I had the consumer unit replaced which gave me trouble with the sensitive rcds tripping all the time. I eventually traced it to the solar panels which required its own separate box with ahigher rated rcd.

So today the electricity company sent round a chap to install a new smart meter (in dumb mode) and now the hot tub keeps tripping the rcd. I've just gone round all the earth connections inside the hot tub to clean and make sure they are tight but its still tripping when i try to turn a pump on.

What can I do now? I want to use the hot tub. Is it easier to put a higher rated rcd in the hot tub consumer box or just get them to put back an old meter?
Im fed up of this all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Less sensitive RCD not permitted, but many RCD's are. So you use RCBO's one on every circuit instead of one or two RCD's for whole house.

Likely you had lost your earth, and when new meter fitted it has been corrected, and the hot tub has been faulty for ages, and the smart meter may have saved your life by correcting error.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:57 pm 
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I called my electrician who installed the hot tub and he has a record of the earth reading which is 0.26ohms and he said that is fine.
I also called a hot tub repair company and they recon the main pump is faulty however, I have tried to have one of the other pumps running without the main pump on and it still trips. Surely a faulty pump would trip the mcb not the rcd? There was nothing wrong with the hot tub this am before the 'smart' meter was installed.
The meter installer said that the new meters have no resistance and will detect earth faults more easily. Im not sure if i believe that tosh as its just surely recording power used?
Anyone got any other theories?


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Get an electrician out to look at it would be my advice.
As Eric says above, it's possible you have had a lucky escape.
If the rcd is tripping there is a reason. It's there for your safety.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:39 pm 
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As per above, if it was an issue with the new "smart meter" then anything and everything would cause the RCD to trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:55 pm 
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themoog wrote:
Surely a faulty pump would trip the mcb not the rcd?


Seems you miss understand what does what.

An MCB will trip if too much current is used.

An RCD will trip if something is leaking to earth.


For example if water has got inside a pump it can allow current to leak to earth (really) and the RCD detects this and trips.

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Having an earth loop impedance of 0.26 ohms at the time the hot tub was fitted has nothing to do with the ELI at the point when the Smart meter is fitted.

Wires can become disconnected and it would seem the earth wire had become disconnected and was reconnected when the Smart meter was fitted.

Either that or some other change, for example line and neutral reversed, if you have a fault neutral to earth it may not trip a RCD, but same fault line to earth would, so yes could have either been an error before or after the Smart meter was fitted.

However even if you now have two faults, for the RCD to trip there must be a fault.

What the RCD does is measure amps in and amps out which should be the same, it does not measure amps going to earth, it assumes if amps in does not equal amps out then the difference is likely going to earth. There will be some capacitive and inductive linking so amps in are never exactly amps out, so we allow the difference to reach between 15 and 30 milliamp before the RCD trips.

The bigger the installation the more natural leakage so if you have 14 mA natural leakage then the slightest fault could trip the RCD. So there is a limit how much can be fed through one 30 mA RCD.

Most consumer units are designed to have two 30 mA RCD's but they can also use RCBO's which is a RCD and MCB combined, depending on design of CU you may need to convert all MCB's coming off one RCD to RCBO's and replace the RCD with a simple isolator, or you may be able to have RCBO's as well as the normal two RCD's or the box may be too small or old and RCBO's will not fit.

The main idea of RCBO's is you don't lose two circuits when there is only a fault with one, and the small amount of earth leakage for many circuits does not add up to cause problems.

However it seems now you do have a known fault. With your car if the brakes are binding on the rear wheels we don't simply disconnect them and just use front brakes, we fix the rear brakes. The same with electrics we don't hide the fault by fitting a larger RCD, we fix the fault causing it to trip.

Since the meters required are expensive, and some skill is required to use them, the way forward is get an electrician to test it for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Smart meters do not have an earth connection.

No earthing terminals should have been touched.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:45 pm 
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OnlyMe wrote:
Smart meters do not have an earth connection.


Neither has my "antiquated" analogue meter.

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:26 am 
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Do you think a hot tub specialist or a regular electrician is the way forward?
Fortunately the hot tub has its own consumer unit next to the main one in the garage so it doesn't affect the rest of the house like the solar panels did until that got its own box too.
I had another look at the main pump in the hot tub and it does look like it may be a bit water contaminated. It must have been like that for a while though.
Maybe im just a bit thick and should stick to plastering but I like to know why its tripping now and not before the meter was changed.. Thanks for the replies and information.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:57 am 
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someone-else wrote:
Seems you miss understand what does what.

:hello2: Since you are teaching us grammar in your signature, it is "misunderstand". :hello2:


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:19 am 
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OnlyMe wrote:
Smart meters do not have an earth connection.

No earthing terminals should have been touched.

Are you saying when the power is restored to a property you don't test the earth loop impedance and correct any faults?

This was always the problem when doing a PIR/EICR at some point you need to switch off power, so before switching power back on it is up to you to ensure it is safe to do so, so if you find a code 1 fault you can't switch the power back on, however neither can you make the dwelling uninhabitable without arranging alternative accommodation. (Although nothing about who pays for it in the rules)

I know in the old days the meter installer would switch off the isolator and test meter to isolator leaving the home owner to switch the isolator back on, so it was then the home owner who was responsible for rest of house. In fact the DNO often insisted the home owners electrician was in attendance when power was switched on.

It makes no difference if power off for 5 minutes or 5 weeks, before switching it back on they need to ensure it is safe to do so, there for even with father-in-laws house where meter is outside, before turning power back on they needed access to CU in garage.

What they failed to do was re-light the pilot on central heating and left a 91 year old man in the cold. OK that was the gas not electric meter.

I agreed with mothers house to have a Smart gas meter, however they would not change gas meter without also doing electric meter, which I said no to, so never changed.


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 Post subject: Re: Here we go again..
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:07 am 
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Well I did some investigation myself yesterday. All pumps work ok with the heater unplugged.. So I took the plastic cover off the heater connection and low and behold is a small microswitch (pressure switchI think) and it was melted and loose where the wire screws to it.
I cant find / buy the switch itself but a whole heater unit is only £70.


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