Jaycar new product - Portable RCD with 15A to 10A Mains Conversion

Submitted: Friday, Apr 05, 2013 at 12:15
ThreadID: 101523 Views:11198 Replies:4 FollowUps:43
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http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MS4044

A cheaper alternative to the other well known device?

Obviously not waterproof.

Anyone examined one?
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Apr 05, 2013 at 18:01

Friday, Apr 05, 2013 at 18:01
It’s looks like a standard RCD, if so it won’t function correctly running off a portable genset.
AnswerID: 508290

Follow Up By: Racey - Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 09:57

Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 09:57
Agreed; it's just a legal way of plugging a 15 amp connection into a 10 amp outlet.
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FollowupID: 785807

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 11:34

Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 11:34
Hi Racey,
That doesn’t apply to all cases
They function correctly on a normal household supply.
But on portable gensets it’s a different matter – as these gensets don’t have a bonded earth neutral.
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FollowupID: 785819

Follow Up By: Racey - Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 14:40

Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 14:40
Dennis, we are on the same page in the same book.
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FollowupID: 785829

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 20:14

Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 20:14
I've been down this road with this sort of device before.

In times past this sort of device would not have been allowed, it required a special and specific change to the standards to make these devices legal.

The intent was to remove the need for people to have dodgly 10 amp to 15 amp extention leads.

I'm of two minds about the whole idea.

The current standard allows these devices BUT.....as well as the 10 amp circuit breaker and only a single 15 amp outlet...for what good it will do..... they must have an earth leakage function too.

The first revision of the standard did not require the earth leakage.

It will function with a portable generator....but like any earth leakage device it will not work as it would when connected to grid supply.

There are so many things these days they are by law required to have an earth leakage breaker encorpirated.......but in lots of situations it will do bugger all.

A llttle reality check.....
All grid connected mains supplied power points are required to be earth leakage protected.
Earth leakage is somewhere between unreliable and completely ineffectual on portable supplies like generators and inverters.

so why do many things have earth leakage devices required in them.

Oh serioulsy don't get me started.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785857

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 22:07

Saturday, Apr 06, 2013 at 22:07
Hi Bantam
You are a little out of your depth on RCD devices.
They can’t function correctly on a system that doesn’t have a neutral bonded to earth.
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FollowupID: 785872

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 01:21

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 01:21
Not out of my depth at all regarding the functioning of RCDs....I understand their functionong better than most and better than many full ticket sparkies.

read my post.

the devices in question will work perfectly as far as they will allow a 10 amp supply to be connected to a 15 amp connection LEGALLY.

Which is the primary function and the reason these devices exist.

The inclusion of an ELCB is a regulatory matter, not the central function.

AS I said the earth leakage may not function as expected when connected to the MEN earthing system and bonded to the greater mass of earth.....as is associated with grid supply.

HOWEVER, the earth leakge breaker MAY provide some protection.

For example...a caravan wired to code will provide an environment with a workable earth reference, even though not bonded to the greater mass of earth WHILE all that is involved remains within the caravan.
Put one foot on the ground and all bets are off.

another examle......should someone stick a knife into a metal bodied toaster, even though not bonded to the greater mass of earth....should said knife connect to the metal body and the live element...the ELCB most certainly will trip.

another example.....should there be a fatal insulation failure within a metal bodied device supplied with a 3 wide cord and a 3 pin plug, the ELCB sholld trip.
likewise if you dropped said metal bodied toaster into a bucket of water the ELCB would trip, regardless of connection to the greater mass of earth.

The ELCB will however not function in relation to the greater mass of earth or in realtion to all sorts of metal and other conductive material that may or may not be connected to the greater mass of earth if the supply earth is no conected to the greater mass of earth.

A further case
IF a portable generator and one of these devices was used in conjunction with a permanently installed donga or shed, that had a permanent electrical system and was bonded to the greater mass of earth...the ELCB function should work perfectly.....but the building and the generator should also have ELCB protection built in if it is to current code.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785885

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 05:14

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 05:14
Nothing is perfect in this world and this unit ticks the box of being able to have power where no 15a outlet is available. This is very common at show grounds.

As for a genset, you would have to have 2 faults to get a belt. One side of the genny would have to be touching the frame which would then have to be in contact with earth and then you also would have to have an earth fault in the van or lead. Very unlikely but not impossible for both of these things to happen.

Good legal device that looks like it is made by clipsal.

Maybe people shouldn't put all their faith in RCD's. The rcd may operate but that doesn't mean you can't kick the bucket if your heart goes into fibrillation. At work they ran plug in machines with 130 metre leads that worked in up to 300mm of water. These machines were only earth protected for the actual machine protection. The trip point was set at 300ma. At 1000 volts you were going to get it big time if there was a fault
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FollowupID: 785886

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 09:10

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 09:10
There is an old saying that you have to do 3 things wrong to get into real trouble.

Thinking something is safe when it is not counts as one thing.

The whole thinking about electrical safety revolves around multiple faults and multiple faults do occur.

So we do need to be aware that Earth Leakage breakers do not work as well as people may think on portable supplies.

That said devices like the one shown, can be argued to remove "one thing wrong", by removing the need to run dodgy & illegal 10 amp to 15 amp caravan adaptor leads.

On another point
It can be argued......and the people making the original device in this market will be only too keen to point this out.....is that the item from jaycar is not in any way weather protected, so it can be argued that it is not suitable in some situations....and maybe...just maybe..it does not comply with some provisions of the standards re caravans.
That is a chapter & verse argument....

what is important is that the device originally posted must be used in dry situation where it can not get wet in any way.

So for people powering their vans at home...where the unit can be used in a covered area....great, fine & beaut.
but when camping and associated with generators...hmmm maybe not.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785902

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:16

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:16
Hi Rockape.
The device mentioned at the start of the thread is a 30ma device – the one you are talking about is a 300ma device and is too dangerous for protection of house wiring. Most electrocutions occur by an earthed person touching an active wire. At somewhere between 20 to 30ma the ELCB is designed to trip out, when this current is detected returning to the neutral via the earth. If there is no bond between the earth and neutral, as in small portable genets, the device won’t function correctly.
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FollowupID: 785908

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:27

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:27
Dennis,
yep I realise that, what I was putting across was not to put all your faith in them. The sparkies at work would do a 3 monthly injection test of all the rcd's on the site. I know that usually a couple would fail and they would change them out.

The drill rigs I was talking about had their rcd's pushbutton tested weekly and the drill starters that fed them tested monthly.

I don't think the average house or caravan would ever have their earth leakage pushbutton or injection tested.



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FollowupID: 785912

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:52

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:52
Dennis mate...every compliant 240v supply device, this includes portable inverters and generators must have the earth pin of the socket bonded to the neutral of the socket and to any metal case.

The issue is connection to the greater mass of earth.
Not just the connection of the generator but the connection of all surrounding conductive items.

OH and BTW the device its self will work perfectly.

What is important to understand is that a permanent electrical installation with an earth and neutral bonded to the greater mass of earth as prescribed in the standards, provides may layers of electrical safety protection....layers that in this day and age people take for granted.

Away from that situation a great many of the protective measures, not just ELCB do not work as people may expect....nothing like it.

AND we cant restore that situation just by driving an earth stake.

We must treat all portable supply devices like generators and inverters as unprotected little boxes of death and be scrupulous with how we treat them and appliances connected to them.

What little protection is provided by any ELCB or other device then becomes bonus protection.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785920

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 12:58

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 12:58
Bantam you are a danger to yourself and others when it comes to 240V AC.
Take your last comments
Quote "portable inverters and generators must have the earth pin of the socket bonded to the neutral of the socket and to any metal case"
to an electrical engineer or a supply authority inspector and see what reaction you get.
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FollowupID: 785930

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 13:47

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 13:47
Dennis mate......get out the standards and read.

In Australia we have the "Multiple Earthed Neutral' system. (the MEN system)

This requires that the neutral and the earth are bonded at multiple points in the supply system.

In our houses this happens at the switch board.
The earth common is bonded to the neutral common.

The neutral is also bonded at several points in the supply system, such as at every supply transformer and at certain other places as required by the standards.

In the reticulated supply, every time the earth is bonded to the neutral the earth conductor is bonded to the greater mass of earth By a driven earth stake.

EVERY source of 240v supply, the earth MUST be bonded to the neutral....somewhere.

In portable supply devices such as inverters and generators this can only be within the supply device, usually close to the supply socket.

This is central to the whole safety approach in the Australian electrical system.


If you doubt me.....get out your multimeter and WHILE THE DEVICE IS TURNED OFF .....take any portable source of supply...measure between the earth and neutral.......if it does not read ZERO or very very close to it..that item is non compliant or faulty and indeed dangerous.

I may not be a full ticket sparky, but I am a trained technician with over 30 years of experience and a licenced electrical worker.....every 5 years I have to answer questions on these matters in order to renew my licences.


Don't worry a lot of people including plenty of full ticket sparkes have trouble with this......that is why the examine us every 5 years these days.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785932

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:14

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:14
Portable gensets don’t have a bonded earth neutral system ( unless you have tampered with yours)
I hope you next examination is soon Bantam, when this occurs, talk to your instructor about portable gensets and the effectiveness of an ELCB running from them. But because you say you aren’t a fully qualified sparky – well go and find one and talk to him.
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FollowupID: 785935

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:35

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:35
Sorry but I am going to have to eat my words.

I have just checked and opened up an inverter in my shed and checked an old generator.

The inverter has no earth connected to the mains socket whatsoever....... even though this inverter is a few years old and probably predates the standards ........this I find gob smacking.....none.... nothing....not even a wire going nowhere.

Further more the case of the device is connecteced to the DC supply negative......and it has an earthing terminall on the case with instructions to drive an earth stake which is contray to the requirements of AS3000 and more or less useless...no worse

This is frightening because if this device has an internal high voltage failure, the case and the frame of the vehicle it is connected to could become live.

HELL.....BLOODY HELL.......FFFFFFF..AAAAA....RRR.K

The generator is quite old so nothing would surprise me. But the earth does not seem to be connected anywhere either.

Regardless of either of these devices being compliant......it is therefore obvious that many portable sources of supply have absolutely NO earth connection whatsoever and no earth neutral bond.

I have always viewed inverters and generators as far more dangerous than most.

It now confirms that they are indeed "portable boxes of death".....because without any earth connection or earth neutral bond.....none of the protection facilities we expect will work AT ALL... NONE....and that includes some simple protections of basic fuses....oh no 240V fuse either.

I remain gob smacked, because this goes against all I have been taught, and against basic Australian electrical philosophy

Understanding this leads me to say.....only use double insulated devices with inverters or generators unless you know you are connecting to a system that provides an earth neutral bond.

And yes unless there is firstly a meaningfull earth connection AND an earth neutral bond.....an earth leakage circuit breaker will not work at all.....NOT AT ALL

There is NO WAY you will find me screwing one of these to a car, mine or anyone elses.

Now to dig up a copy of the current standard on inverters.

cheers
1
FollowupID: 785938

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:39

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:39
The original device will still work appart from the earth leakage function.

Which we had diacounted as unreliable at best on portable supplies anyway.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785939

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:41

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:41
Yep,
I asked the chef at Harrop park country club what they cook with. His answer was gas and I sighed with relief because I thought we all may die if he had a little box of death under the counter. To my credit I am still sober.

Dennis I went and had a look at the wiring diagram on my cheap Honda EU2.0 generator. You are very correct in saying the little cheap generator that conforms to australian standards has no bond to earth.

If I am correct which isn't very often the bonding of earths and neutrals down the supply line was bought about by people getting belts of water taps and the like. Hell I remember that well.

To me if a little genset is above earth most of your problems have gone away and if for some reason one side goes down to earth the rcd will now operate.

Bugger this I am going back to steam.
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FollowupID: 785940

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:42

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 14:42
Bantam,
yep and so will the plastic bag.
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FollowupID: 785941

Follow Up By: Racey - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 15:09

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 15:09
Bantam, Connections between earths and neutrals never have permitted in any appliance, including inverters and portable generators. About 5 yrs ago the inverter standard was re-written to prevent the HV ending up on the negative terminal of the battery. This was as consequence of a fatality on a construction site when using portable inverter from a car battery.

As a matter of interest to those with electrical knowledge. The Sydney Mono rail operates on 3 phase AC from a star connected secondary. The unusual feature is 1 phase is connected to earth in lieu of the star point. Which made it interesting to resolve the earth fault protection.

Cheers
Jon
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FollowupID: 785943

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 00:03

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 00:03
The difference is an inverter or a generator is not an appliance..it is a source of supply.

I am stunned that there is no earth connection at all in these devices.

If there is no earth connection in a generator or an inverter AND there is no earth neutral bond in a caravan.....correct me if I am wrong.

But a caravan or camper trailer..made of metal wired to code for 240v run off a generator or inverter could be a very dangerous thing because there will be no functioning protective earth and as a result none of the protective devices will work appart from circuit breaker in a short active to neutral.

so we have a completly unprotected floating supply.

HELL

cheers
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FollowupID: 785986

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:58

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:58
Hi Bantam you can’t have these bonds placed in caravans or in other ad hoc places not prescribed under regulations. If you had a bonded earth neutral at the van and a earth fault on the active, exterior to the van you could end up with an electrified caravan.
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FollowupID: 786010

Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 10:45

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 10:45
Dennis,
I can see where you are coming from. It would only take the wrong polarity, where the neutral and active were swapped in the plug or or socket of a lead feeding the van. I know sparkies check very carefully the polarity on a permanent installation.

Many will never have seen these power outlets that have all the pins exposed. I have seen one fail on a dcb and the outlet was sitting there live with 1100 volts between the pins. It had occurred after the fail safe relay welded closed. It was picked up during a monthly inspection by the sparkies.



Those outlets operate in horrendous conditions with mud, water and humidity present most of the time.

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FollowupID: 786014

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 11:25

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 11:25
Oh I certainly realise this.....but with no earth neutral bond anywhere, the earthing system is worse than useless....in fact the earth system could kill.

I can see why the regulators would choose to specifiy floating supplies for portable generating equipment that is intended for use with single individual appliances....I am old enough to remember the use of isolation transformers in industry prior to the advent of earth leakage devices.......I also remember those devices had collars on the outlet sockets so that only one device could be connected at one time.


But for those devices to be then connected to a device like a caravan or camper trailer wired with the asumption that it will be connected to some form of grid power that supplies the earth neutral bond......frightens the hell out of me.

To this point I have been very concerned by metal bodied camper trailers with canvas tops, that then have 240V supply ......but my concern becomes greater knowing that at least some, probably most portable sources of supply devices provide no earth reference whatsoever and no earth neutral bond.

Hell a camper trailer, a generator, a bit of dew and a faulty toaster and you have a most excellent killing device.

As result we have people using an electrical system that has compulsory ELCBs fitted and they will naturally think they are as safe as at home......but in fact not only do the ELCBs not work at all but neither does the earthing system when running on generator or inverter.

There is no compulsory warning about running multiple non double insulated devices, and the matter is not even widely canvased.

Even more so, I can now see why in QLD, inverters are banned on construction sites and generators must only be used with double insulated devices.

One assumes that generators that have an ELCB on board have an earth neutral bond, otherwise the ELCB would be completely pointless.

In that case, there should be a very strong recommendations (if not laws) that caravans, camper trailers and other portable buildings should only be connected to generators with on board RCDs

And realy other portable supply devices should only be fitted with 2 pin sockets so they only permit connection of double insulated devices.......but the Australian system does not allow for a 2 pin outlet

This is definitely a situation where regulation has not kept up with usage.

cheers
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FollowupID: 786018

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:28

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:28
Hi Bantam
Yes, portable generators as used by Rvers are fully isolated & approved
The earth pin is bonded to the frame but there is NO NEUTRAL[no earth link to one line to create a neutral]
A reason why double pole switching should always be used.

It has been long recognised by those qualified that Isolated sources,such as inverter , generators etc SHOULD always be treated with care
It is recommended that only one Class 1 device be connected at any time
IMHO that cannot be stressed enough
I have seen the results of not following that !!

Your Statement regarding deaths occurring due to inverter's 240V having a connection to earth [frame] is correct .
FOR OLD MODELS sold up to about 3years ago,& possibly many still in use
AND possibly still available by Ebay
THEY ARE PROVEN DEATH TRAPS


ALL users of portable generators & inverters
Should clearly understand :
[1],they are not toys
[2]They are potentially as deadly as your mains supply was /is if no RCD fitted
[3]A plug in RCD gives NO PROTECTION
[4] If plugged into a van [etc] power inlet socket the van RCD is inoperative
[5]Knowing the dangers concerns me, as the craze for their use is getting out of hand
[6]Almost every thing you need is available in 12V ,WHY have an inefficient inverter in the system
[7] The safest way is to have permanently installed by a competent electrician who KNOWS the requirements of AS/NZS3001:2008
This will ensure your van RCD is fully functional

Finally if you nust use one follow the SAFETY recommendation
DO NOT CONNECT MORE THAN ONE CLASS1 devise
BUT remember your van /motor home itself is a Class1 device
& it most likely will have other Class1 devices already connected
Peter Q
retired electrician
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FollowupID: 786184

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 12:28

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 12:28
I have always viewed generators and inverters as...DANGEROUS AS HELL.

But now finding that a very large number of them have NO earth to neutral bond and NO mains earth connection whatsoever, realy gives me the horrors.

Yet there are plenty out there who just do not want to know.

I realy would like to know, how many inverters and generators including current product, have an earth connection of any type.

From what I seem to be hearing, unless the generator or inverter has an on board RCD, it will not have an earth neutral bond and possibly NO earth connection at all.

From this time forward my recommendation is.

Do not use generators or inverters unless absolutely necessary ( no change there)

Do not connect any non double insulated device to a generator or inverter.......double insulated only.

The same goes for ya caravan and camper trailer, if you are running on a generator or inverter that does not have its own RCD and a proven earth connection and earth neutral bond....even then not recommended.

It would seem far far safer to install dedicated inverters for each device powered right next to the device, where it is necessary to run 240v devices.

This will remove many of the probelms, and the inverter would only need to be energised when the device was running AND it would offer complete isolation if AS standard inverters where used AND it would reduce the required 240V wiring and thus the opportunities for faults.

As I have said before, In this day and age there is less and less reason to have 240V supplied devices in camping & caravanning situations, because so many devices are available 12 volt native and actually run more efficiently on 12 volts.

Hopefully within a short time we will find it common for campers and caravans to have no 240v connection at all appart from the battery charger.

cheers

cheers
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FollowupID: 786192

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 13:30

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 13:30
You are a bit paranoid about electrocution Bantam.
The way you are going you will die of a heart attack before being zapped.
In a home or caravan - as long as everything is earthed in line with the regulations and installed by a licensed electrician the risk is low. If you are concerned get a sparky to check your earth continuity once a year.
There are millions of older homes in Australia without earth leakage protection - it’s not a high risk.
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FollowupID: 786198

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 16:20

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 16:20
Hi Bantam

Another from the past
For many many years it was COMPULSORY to earth the secondary of ALL step down transformers.
Based on the possible failure of insulation between primary & secondary windings
But things started to go wrong with the wide spread use of transformer welding machine meeting that requirement
Burning out of primary earth cables by welding current became common[with the attendant damage to adjacent 240V cables]

It took quite a while to accept that was a case where the real dangers were occurring
I, personally, received a very severe shock from just such a case when attempting to switch off a 415v welding machine to test why it was not supplying full output

Finally the requirement was dropped, but I cannot recall exactly when
"Safetypaks" introduced around 70s accepted the fact that a fully isolated supply could be very safe,with ONE PROVISO

ONLY CONNECT ONE, CLASS1 DEVICE
Shortly after they came into use , I personally had to investigate how TWO shocks had occurred in two instances
Both were due to double adapters being used to supply two Class1 tools

The current approved fully isolated sources have very strict requirements for manufacture & testing to minimize the risk of primary to secondary leakage occurring
PeterQ
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FollowupID: 786213

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:11

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:11
It has been bought up about this unit not being waterproof and there are not many waterproof things out there. Water resistant yes but waterproof no. I would think it is the same as the rcd in the photo which is IP33.

It is raining here and it took me about 1 minute to make this so no water can are ever going to it.

Cost me a bit of coat hanger wire that I use to hang items when painting and an old plastic sample bag. Bent the wire so it doesn't penetrate the bag.





AnswerID: 508396

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:55

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 10:55
Rock ape mate...I think what you have there may not be standards approved, but by the look of it would be IP43 rated.....If ya put a zippy tie around the bottom I recon you would push the rating up to IP44.

cheers
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FollowupID: 785921

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 11:17

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 at 11:17
Oh for goodness sake. The item posted complies with the australian standards. It can be made rain proof. It will work with a genny that has a bonded earth. It will protect due to it being 10 amp current limited. The rcd in the van will also operate if there is leakage.

I am going to the pub now and hope the power station hasn't tripped on earth leakage making the beer hot.

I hope there are no little boxes of death at the pub.
AnswerID: 508405

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 10:51

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 10:51
Hi
The unit posted complies with the Standards for a "portable RCD"

THAT does not mean it complies with the Standard for an adapter for
"Transportable Structure "
IN fact, it does not in several ways!!
Two important ones are:
It does not have a restraint from the Extension lead plug partially or fully pulling out

It is not suitable for outdoor use

Improvised protection IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

It's only useful Approved use would be supplying from indoors, but the question would then need to be asked how do you SAFELY get the Extension lead outdoors??

The claim by the suppliers for use at motels etc is a little! bit of advertising .
Do you believe all advertising??


Have a look @ the Ampfibian ,
It is fully compliant, why do you think the maker did all that ??
Simple answer
SO IT WAS COMPLIANT fot use with 'Transportable Structures" in accordance with the requirements of the STANDARD AS/NZS3001:2008

PeterQ qualified electrician


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FollowupID: 786181

Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 12:31

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 12:31
G day Peter,
I know all the standards can be quoted and they are there for a purpose.

But lets have a look from another angle.

Lets call this water shielding. If you are running a genset then it would be very silly to be using it in the rain. So now there is no problem. Well we have to use it so the first thing we do is place it somewhere it is not going to get wet. Now the 10/15 amp current limiter can get wet so we place it so it can't get wet. If my plastic bag indoor house works then no problem or I will have it sitting under cover somewhere.

As for the restrained plug and getting the lead outdoors I will answer.

The ampfibian does have a 1 restrained plug but the other one can pull out just the same as the 10 amp current limiter. If that happens to either all is well as there is now no power. As you know it is not good practice to have the lead going into the top of an electrical devise that is sitting in the weather. As time goes by the combination of sun/time and handling usually results in the ingress of water.

Now getting the lead outdoors is just the same as getting the ampfibian lead outdoors.

The reason I am being a bit of a pain in the arse is the amount of times this problem comes up. It is now quite rare except at some showgrounds and they normally have a meter box where you plug in so the limiter can be placed in there to keep it dry.

The main place this problem occurs besides using a generator is leaving power on the van at home to keep the battery topped up.

The current limiter is a simple fix for someone who has a 10a power outlet on the wall which most of the time is inside a shed.

People would maybe buy this product now and not use a small lead with a 10a plug and 15 amp socket. Some may buy an ampfibian if they have the cash. But for the amount of times I use my adaptor lead I could not justify the cost.

Many gensets used by RV people including mine can't even put out 10 amps and I might strike a problem with a 10 amp outlet every 2 or 3 years. Please remember this is not about RCD's but just the safe a 10a supply lead to a 15 amp plug. It is actually not about genset or inverter safety or earth leakage. It just happens to have an earth leakage breaker instead of a straight circuit breaker.

Cheap way as you know is to change the 10 amp outlet at home for a 15 amp one.

I must admit my van does not have any whizz bangs or high current draw items as many seem to.



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FollowupID: 786193

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 15:39

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 15:39
Hi Rockape

[1]Yes, YOU may be able to put it undercover or wrap it in plastic
But that is not considered a satisfactory IP rating for the simple reasons
All may not take care in wrapping to ensure it does not actually become a bucket

[2]All may not do that as a standard practise,leaving the situation where it can be water attacked due to sudden rain .a sprinkler turned on etc
These thing can happen @ night once in bed
Who will jump out in a storm to wrap it up.

[3]
Yes, it's use in garage /shed is indoor use & for limited use OK

[4]Another requirement of the Standard is that the supply plug connection must also have no strain on it,
The Ampfibian required a mod to meet that requirement
it now has a support hook!!

[5] As you are no doubt aware the Ampfibian WAS available with just a 10A olcb
To protect the 10A plug & socket from OVERLOAD.
But there was no classification for such a unit it had to be approved under a special approval.

[5]Yes, getting any lead from an inside power socket to the outside presents problems,which the makers of this unit seems to ignore
The Ampfibian is fully protected & approved for outdoor use

[6]Changing /installing a 15A outlet for home use is the BEST way to go BUT it may not always be the cheapest as it may require a whole new circuit & possible switchboard update!!
[7]The home made 10A to 15A leads are illegal cannot be purchased or sold for one simple reason .
Their use cannot be controlled
2nd hand vans have been bought with the kind hearted seller leaving his illegal adapter for the purchaser to use
The purchaser , no doubt like many, not understanding the potential risks


PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786209

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 15:57

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 15:57
Hi Rockape
re[quote]"Oh for goodness sake. The item posted complies with the australian standards. It can be made rain proof. It will work with a genny that has a bonded earth. It will protect due to it being 10 amp current limited. The rcd in the van will also operate if there is leak [end quote]


It complies with the Aus Standards as a portable RCD for certain types of use & situations [It does not meet the requirement of AS 3001:2008 for supplying "Transportable Structures"

No small portable generators are now sold with with a bonded earth /neutral connection plug in RCd or van RCD can function with such

ANY generator with a bonded earth /neutral SHALL have a suitable RCD permanently fitted & permanently wired in
suitable types will depend on the wave form of the respective generators or inverters

We should never,IMHO, promote unsafe practises
even if we, knowing the risks, do so
This is one of the thing that frightens me with forums ,the many unsafe practices & ideas that are promoted to those who may have little understanding of the risks & how to minimize the risks


PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786211

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 16:27

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 16:27
Hi
Sorry, an edit to the above
" No small portable generators are now sold with with a bonded earth /neutral connection"
A plug in RCd or van RCD cannot function with such "
PeterQ


0
FollowupID: 786215

Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 17:01

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 17:01
Pete,
Ok. I was trying to say something is better than nothing.

It got way off track with the fact the rcd won't work of a genset that has no reference to earth and it doesn't have to work.

I hope you point out that although the amfibian is well made it's rcd won't work either with a genset that has no reference to earth.
It has an ip rating of IP44 which is ok but if it is left on the ground in the rain it is useless.
It has a hook but somewhere there has to be a place to hang it, also the simple unit has a handle so it can be hung up just the same.

So the only unsafe practice you are talking about is the difference in ip ratings which was addressed with a plastic bag.
Funny the non forum sparkies at work did exactly the same thing to stop water ingress into far more potentially dangerous equipment. The electrical mines inspector also came around about every 3 months and would check paper work + tour the underground workings. Guess he was either ill informed or said to himself good to see them keeping the gear dry.

I see far great risk in people not looking after their leads and running them across the ground than using something that although legal is not quite perfect in all situations.



0
FollowupID: 786219

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:14

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:14
Hi Rockape

Re" I hope you point out that although the amfibian is well made it's rcd won't work either with a genset that has no reference to earth"

I believe I have with the post prior to yours.
With THIS
"Sorry, an edit to the above
" No small portable generators are now sold with with a bonded earth /neutral connection"
A plug in RCd or van RCD cannot function with such "

PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786371

Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:18

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:18
Peter,
What peeved me was the fact that a few decided how the 10/15amp unit was going to work. The amfibian has advantages but when someone starts quoting the rule book at me I get peeved.

The first thing that happened was the product was put down. I pointed out that it was better than a 10 to 15 amp lead but no we have to state every standard in the book to stop it's use.

Old mate who was so worried about the little boxes of death stated in a post today that he charges his nicad batteries in a fridge. Wow!!! the same dude says he has an electrical ticket. Double insulated Drill battery charger placed in a fridge, then close the door on a lead that barely covers the wires, and then turns it on and chargers the battery.

Maybe some of the people that have tickets may need to have a look at themselves. Maybe they should look at the fact that around 1300 people are killed each year in Australia by mobile equipment and around 20 killed by electricity. Most of that is not by modified equipment. Maybe the same dude should have a look at the neutral connection on the entry to his house, because if that breaks it makes everything in his house that is connected to earth live.

As for the amfibian. No underground electrician worth his salt will ever
enter a cable from the top, when the gear is going to be used in a wet situation. All cables enter from the bottom, because that is how water flows.

I am not finished as you took time to make a comment about the water shielding I showed. Well show me the entry on the side of the van that is water shielded if a sprinkler comes on, or the outlet on the other side of the van does the same, or the person that leaves end of the lead lying in the rain.

I will say it again. It is not an amfibian but the only difference by the rules is it's ip rating and the amfibian is not that high in that either.
0
FollowupID: 786381

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 23:05

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 23:05
Re {qoute] [1]
"As for the amfibian. No underground electrician worth his salt will ever
enter a cable from the top, when the gear is going to be used in a wet situation. All cables enter from the bottom, because that is how water flows.

[2]I am not finished as you took time to make a comment about the water shielding I showed. Well show me the entry on the side of the van that is water shielded if a sprinkler comes on, or the outlet on the other side of the van does the same, or the person that leaves end of the lead lying in the rain[end quote}


Hi Rockape
[1]water proof glands have a proven record, been used for a looong time on submersible pumps etc
An "approved " device for that purpose

The Amfibian IS IP44 rated [weather proof]

Regarding mining equipment,
I believe the Equipment used depends on how hazardous the situation is!
Far more than just being waterproof, in many cases it also has to be explosion proof
I would be surprised if any inspector would consider plastic covering as a means of primary water proofing!!

[2]
The fittings used SHALL have the"approved" rating
[IP 24 MINIMUM] both with plug in & with it out

The person that leaves the end of the lead lying on the ground is the same person who could not be relied upon to make the subject of the original post IPx4 rated by wrapping in plastic or putting it under cover!!

The very point that the authorities KNOW & why the RULES /Standards say such a unit is for INDOOR use

You have just reinforced my point!!
Thanks!!

PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786388

Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:41

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:41
High Peter.
[1] waterproof glands work but as soon as the insulation is pierced but ads soon as the outer insulation is damaged which happens often the water runs dow the SWA and enters the enclosure.
[2] Many times they will pull a flygt pump out that has tripped and remove the top to find it full of water. Maybe one a fortnight.

[3] The cheap item shown is IP33.

[3] You just reinforced my point by being happy for people to use a short adaptor lead rather than maybe purchase a a cheaper item that can do the job.

[4] It looks like most people realise the danger of an appliance no matter what it is, and water coming together. That is born out by the electrocution statistics.

[5] As for the mines inspector. No he wouldn't approve of a plastic bag as the original waterproofing but he does approve of things being kept dry. Someone with common sense. I don't think you would want that same inspector to audit your work as he is very hard and thorough.

[6] The item shown by the OP is an approved appliance to Australian standard and can be used for the purpose of changing from 15 amp back to 10 amp end of story.

0
FollowupID: 786396

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:26

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:26
Hi Ro

Hi Rock ape
So sad you just do not get it or understand what the Standards are all about
They are about preventing accidents
They are about saving lives & property
They are about protecting people from their OWN foolishness
They are about ensuring products are USED for the purpose they are designed for
You should be aware that there are Specific standards for the mining
Industries As/NZS4871
It is very stringent & all equipment must comply with that Standard AND other cross referenced standards

Now taking your points
[1]&[2] of course ANY equipment can be damaged & need repairing or replacing

But IT must be APPROVED for that use initially
That means undergoing stringent testing for suitability FOR PURPOSE
NOT SOME IMPROVISED MEANS as you seem to believe!
[2]
Yes the cheap unit is IP33 ,That is why it is not approved for
"Transportable Structure " use
Which clearly states SHALL be IPx4 as minimum
[3] What a ridiculous statement!!!
I more than most here & elsewhere have continually pointed out the illegality the dangers of having a HOME MADE NON APPROVED 10 to 15A adapter[
So just to clear that up
AT this time there is only one fully APPROVED device for that purpose Ampfibian
AS I said early in this thread the Jaycar unit is for INDOOR
If it can be safely used IN THAT SITUATION then use it
But if running leads through doorways or windows give serious to the risks involved
[4]Yet YOU mentioned the lead end lying on the ground
[5] no problems, all my work use to be fully inspected by a supply authority inspector until they brought the so called self regulation [inspecting ,testing ,& signing off on your own work , the greatest joke ever thought up]
[6]
The item meets the approval for for a portable RCDi
NO MORE NO LESS
That does not cover the AREAS OF USE
Those are determined by the relevant standards .
In this case AS/NZS 3001
I would suggest that would be the same case as you suggesting it is suitable for the mining industries!!

Finally no inspector would complain about ADDING ADDITIONAL PROTECTION. PROVIDED THE EQUIPMENT FULLY COMPLIED FOR THE USE WITHOUT THAT ADDITIONAL PROTECTION!!

PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786412

Reply By: Racey - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 18:27

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 18:27
I think we have exhausted this topic
AnswerID: 508681

Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:21

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:21
No we are not, the OP will decide that or the moderator
0
FollowupID: 786383

Follow Up By: Lex M - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 23:01

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 23:01
the OP stopped reading all this waffle days ago.

I just thought someone might have like to know of a cheaper legal way of connecting a van to a 10 amp plug.

Sorry I mentioned it.
0
FollowupID: 786387

Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:45

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:45
Lex,
I apologize for going on and on and I thank you for posting availability of a more affordable appliance.

I will make no more comments.

RA.
0
FollowupID: 786397

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:37

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:37
Hi Lex
I too apologise for the way this has developed, BUT as an electrician I have a duty to ensure that people are not mislead by "arm chair experts"

An ESO I contacted agrees the SALES speil is misleading & perhaps should be referrred to Consumer Affairs!!

But since it has an "approval" as a portable RCD issued in SA & as Jaycar do not claim it is suitable for outdoor use, & as long as it complies with the StandardAS/NZS 3109, they, ESO cannot do anything


PeterQ
0
FollowupID: 786418

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