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Old Oct 3rd 2017, 2:03 pm   #1
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Default Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Our electricity is subject to constant RCD trips.
Constant - in the sense that we've been having them for years and have never managed to find the culprit.
This problem,which is very common in Spain, is due to what is known as “nuisance tripping” –i.e. something, somewhere probably causes a leak to earth which cuts our supply by shutting the main protection RCD (or “trip” switch).
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=nu....0.gCYYLNh6Fj4

99 times out of 100, we go straight to the fuse box and reset the switch without any further problem.
Occasionally, it will not reset – therefore we assume that the fault is still present, but it never lasts longer than 5-10 minutes before we can reset it. Of course, if we’re away, the pool turns to pea soup and the freezer becomes a slime heap.

It is possible that this fault is somewhere in our installation but we think it unlikely due to the random nature of the tripping. Sometimes it can be 2 months or more between “trips” but also it can be just 5 minutes, day or night, irrespective of what electrical devices are connected or working.

2 electricians I have spoken to have said that they could spend hours trying to find the fault and not succeed – especially as it is more likely to be located somewhere outside the property but somewhere in the neighbourhood. Therefore, probably due to the poor infrastructure of the electricity supply in our area (campo).

There is a possible solution which is called a “residual current device recloser” – i.e. a replacement for our 25 amp RCD switch which will trip when a fault is detected but immediately reset the switch on if the fault has disappeared. So it literally “recloses” the circuit to reinstate the power supply. If the fault is still present, it remains off.

There appears to be only one brand of this device in Spain – (Schneider) – and it is priced at approx. 200 euros. (Plus another 40/50 to fit it !).
According to an electrician in the UK, this type of device would not meet the necessary safety standards and they are not available there.
Does anyone have experience of these devices ?

Last edited by Rosemary; Oct 3rd 2017 at 2:40 pm. Reason: Please do not mess around with the font size and colour to this degree.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 10:09 am   #2
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Default Re:Nuisance electrical tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Pedro View Post
Our electricity is subject to constant RCD trips.
Constant - in the sense that we've been having them for years and have never managed to find the culprit.
This problem,which is very common in Spain, is due to what is known as “nuisance tripping” –i.e. something, somewhere probably causes a leak to earth which cuts our supply by shutting the main protection RCD (or “trip” switch).
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=nu....0.gCYYLNh6Fj4

99 times out of 100, we go straight to the fuse box and reset the switch without any further problem.
Occasionally, it will not reset – therefore we assume that the fault is still present, but it never lasts longer than 5-10 minutes before we can reset it. Of course, if we’re away, the pool turns to pea soup and the freezer becomes a slime heap.

It is possible that this fault is somewhere in our installation but we think it unlikely due to the random nature of the tripping. Sometimes it can be 2 months or more between “trips” but also it can be just 5 minutes, day or night, irrespective of what electrical devices are connected or working.

2 electricians I have spoken to have said that they could spend hours trying to find the fault and not succeed – especially as it is more likely to be located somewhere outside the property but somewhere in the neighbourhood. Therefore, probably due to the poor infrastructure of the electricity supply in our area (campo).

There is a possible solution which is called a “residual current device recloser” – i.e. a replacement for our 25 amp RCD switch which will trip when a fault is detected but immediately reset the switch on if the fault has disappeared. So it literally “recloses” the circuit to reinstate the power supply. If the fault is still present, it remains off.

There appears to be only one brand of this device in Spain – (Schneider) – and it is priced at approx. 200 euros. (Plus another 40/50 to fit it !).
According to an electrician in the UK, this type of device would not meet the necessary safety standards and they are not available there.
Does anyone have experience of these devices ?


Although 68 people have looked at my thread, there are no replies.
Hence I'm changing the title in the hope that I attract the attention of someone with the experience I need.


Ah - I see that hasn't worked.
I don't know how to edit the title of the original post.

Last edited by Loco Pedro; Oct 5th 2017 at 10:12 am. Reason: Did not achieve my intended result.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 11:03 am   #3
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Default re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

I can change it for you, just tell me what you want it altered to.

Rosemary
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 11:14 am   #4
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Default re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

I really don't think this is a good idea.

Have your wiring checked and repaired. Any competent electrician should be able to measure the resistance to earth and identify which circuit(s) is causing the issue and repair / replace it.

Are you are the only one experiencing tripping? Have you spoken with your neighbours?

PS: Avoid exPat unqualified electricians
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Last edited by missile; Oct 5th 2017 at 11:16 am.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 12:06 pm   #5
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Default re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
I can change it for you, just tell me what you want it altered to.

Rosemary
I think "Nuisance Electricity Tripping" would be better.
Thank you.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 12:14 pm   #6
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Default re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by missile View Post
I really don't think this is a good idea.

Have your wiring checked and repaired. Any competent electrician should be able to measure the resistance to earth and identify which circuit(s) is causing the issue and repair / replace it.

Are you are the only one experiencing tripping? Have you spoken with your neighbours?

PS: Avoid exPat unqualified electricians
As the fault is so intermittent, it is hard to locate - so say several electricians. German, English, Spanish alike.
The trip sometimes also occurs with our neighbour.
Generally, I avoid ex-pat contractors in general as they tend to be here today & gone tomorrow.
I'm really interested for your recommendation for a local Spanish electrician who can eliminate the problem so efficiently. We are near Denia.
I assume I've only spoken to INcompetent electricians thus far !
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 1:37 pm   #7
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

I'm very surprised it's the main RCD that trips and not one for a specific circuit.

Is it overload perhaps?

I agree with the previous post, a GOOD electrician should be able to isolate the circuit and then the device (if it's not the actual cabling).
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:00 pm   #8
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Default Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Pedro View Post
As the fault is so intermittent, it is hard to locate - so say several electricians. German, English, Spanish alike.
The trip sometimes also occurs with our neighbour.
Generally, I avoid ex-pat contractors in general as they tend to be here today & gone tomorrow.
I'm really interested for your recommendation for a local Spanish electrician who can eliminate the problem so efficiently. We are near Denia.
I assume I've only spoken to INcompetent electricians thus far !
You did not say several you said two and have not said whether those are qualified? I would suggest you consult a reputable, long established, Spanish company. There are several in Denia.
You must know RCD is there for your safety and should not trip unless there is an overload / earth leakage? This makes sense to me.
Quote:
According to an electrician in the UK, this type of device would not meet the necessary safety standards
Snikpoh has suggested you may simply be overloading your circuit breaker. What potencia do you have installed?
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Last edited by Rosemary; Oct 5th 2017 at 2:19 pm.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:13 pm   #9
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Default Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by missile View Post
You did not say "several" you said two and have not said whether those are qualified? I would suggest you consult a reputable, long established, Spanish company. There are several in Denia.
You must know RCD is there for your safety and should not trip unless there is an overload / earth leakage? This makes sense to me.

Snikpoh has suggested you may simply be overloading your circuit breaker. What potencia do you have installed?
5.75 kW is shown on our bills.
We have an ICP and smart meter.

Last edited by Rosemary; Oct 5th 2017 at 2:19 pm.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:25 pm   #10
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

5.75kW should be enough to prevent nuisance tripping on a domestic supply.

Please check and advise the rating on the RCD
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:51 pm   #11
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Smile Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Pedro View Post
Our electricity is subject to constant RCD trips.
Constant - in the sense that we've been having them for years and have never managed to find the culprit.
This problem,which is very common in Spain, is due to what is known as “nuisance tripping” –i.e. something, somewhere probably causes a leak to earth which cuts our supply by shutting the main protection RCD (or “trip” switch).
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=nu....0.gCYYLNh6Fj4

99 times out of 100, we go straight to the fuse box and reset the switch without any further problem.
Occasionally, it will not reset – therefore we assume that the fault is still present, but it never lasts longer than 5-10 minutes before we can reset it. Of course, if we’re away, the pool turns to pea soup and the freezer becomes a slime heap.

It is possible that this fault is somewhere in our installation but we think it unlikely due to the random nature of the tripping. Sometimes it can be 2 months or more between “trips” but also it can be just 5 minutes, day or night, irrespective of what electrical devices are connected or working.

2 electricians I have spoken to have said that they could spend hours trying to find the fault and not succeed – especially as it is more likely to be located somewhere outside the property but somewhere in the neighbourhood. Therefore, probably due to the poor infrastructure of the electricity supply in our area (campo).

There is a possible solution which is called a “residual current device recloser” – i.e. a replacement for our 25 amp RCD switch which will trip when a fault is detected but immediately reset the switch on if the fault has disappeared. So it literally “recloses” the circuit to reinstate the power supply. If the fault is still present, it remains off.

There appears to be only one brand of this device in Spain – (Schneider) – and it is priced at approx. 200 euros. (Plus another 40/50 to fit it !).
According to an electrician in the UK, this type of device would not meet the necessary safety standards and they are not available there.
Does anyone have experience of these devices ?
We had the same thing happen on the house we bought and after much searching, checking each socket and appliance the problem was the trip switch itself. Had a new one fitted and its been fine.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 3:04 pm   #12
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by missile View Post
5.75kW should be enough to prevent nuisance tripping on a domestic supply.

Please check and advise the rating on the RCD
25amp
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 3:19 pm   #13
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Pedro View Post
5.75 kW is shown on our bills.
We have an ICP and smart meter.
The ICP is now redundant as it is now built in to the smart meter.

Is it the MAIN RCD? As suggested it may not be correctly rated.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 3:38 pm   #14
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
The ICP is now redundant as it is now built in to the smart meter.

Is it the MAIN RCD? As suggested it may not be correctly rated.


In fact, both the ICP & the main trip are 25 amp.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 3:54 pm   #15
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Default Re: Nuisance Electricity Tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Pedro View Post
In fact, both the ICP & the main trip are 25 amp.

We're on 5.75 as well.

ICP is/was 25A

Main RCD is 32A
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