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Thread: Earth leakage trips then stops.

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    Earth leakage trips then stops.

    Last night the E/L in the house kept on tripping within seconds of switching it back on.
    I switched off all breakers then switched them on one at a time, waiting
    about a minute between each one until all were back on. The E/L has not tripped since.
    Can anyone make sense of this??????

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    It's probably right on the borderline of its tripping point. You'll need a mega tester or earth leakage clamp meter to do some tests. If you don't have the equipment then it's probably better to get an electrician to cast a beady eye over the installation and narrow down where the problems lie. Usually this is less than an hours work so it's shouldn't be expensive. Once you know where the problems lie you should be able to get a quote for the remedial work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boeriemore View Post
    Last night the E/L in the house kept on tripping within seconds of switching it back on.
    I switched off all breakers then switched them on one at a time, waiting
    about a minute between each one until all were back on. The E/L has not tripped since.
    Can anyone make sense of this??????
    This is not cast in stone but usually when there is a delay of a few seconds in tripping there is a water ingress fault somewhere. Perhaps the outside equipment which may have been subject to the recent rains.
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    It had been raining. I assumed that the problem was at the pool so I switched off the pool mains switch but
    the problem persisted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boeriemore View Post
    It had been raining. I assumed that the problem was at the pool so I switched off the pool mains switch but
    the problem persisted.
    It could still be the pool.
    Your earth leakage unit monitors the earth leakage losses running from your Neutral to Earth as well as from Line to Earth.
    By turning of the live circuit breaker you are isolating the supply from the fault however a connection between the neutral and the earth will also make it trip.
    To eradicate the pool as a suspect you need to isolate both neutral and line from the earth leakage unit by turning of the two pole isolator, presuming you have one installed.
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    The pool switch is single pole, but normally when E/L trips during prolonged rain, switching it off sorts out the problem.
    I switch it back on after it has been exposed to the sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boeriemore View Post
    The pool switch is single pole, but normally when E/L trips during prolonged rain, switching it off sorts out the problem.
    I switch it back on after it has been exposed to the sun.
    I had a similar problem many years ago and found that the problem lay with the cable supplying electricity from the pool db to the motor.
    There was an open joint in the cable and it was partly buried in the mud. When the rain came the mud became wet and the earth leakage started to trip.
    If the single pole circuit breaker you mention is in the main db in the house, (it is not clear where it is), then the problem could also be a damaged supply cable to the pool db outside.
    A test is to turn of the double pole circuit breaker in the pool db when the problem occurs, and leave the above mentioned single pole circuit breaker on. If the tripping ceases then the fault is most likely after the double pole circuit breaker. However if the tripping continues then the fault is in the supply cable between the house and the pool db
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    The single pole switch I refered to is by the pool db. and there is no double pole breaker anywhere except the house geyser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boeriemore View Post
    The single pole switch I refered to is by the pool db. and there is no double pole breaker anywhere except the house geyser.
    Ok then your pool db is illegally wired as per SANS 10142-1:2009, and I quote
    "6.6.1.1 Each distribution board shall be controlled by a switch-disconnector" (double pole isolator)
    This might be a problem one day when making an insurance claim. I would suggest you get a certificate of compliance inspection done soon to get an evaluation just how bad things are.

    Apart from that I think its safe to say that you have water causing problems in the pool box somewhere
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    ELU tripping, almost 90% of the time water or moisture.
    The problem can also and is often the fridge.
    There is a heating element in there to prevent freezing, the rubber grommets on each side sometimes are perished and water gets in. Then it trips. 5 min later switch everything on and viola, all is fine. The heat on the heater had dried out the moisture.

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