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Thread: What can bypass earth leakage and is it safe?

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    What can bypass earth leakage and is it safe?

    Electricians rewired the full db board. Never heard it before but the circuit was broken into 2 sections, plugs after the earth leakage ;and stove, aircons, lights, geyser after only the local switch(ie no earth leakage). Is this standard practice and does it not put my family life in danger. The argument is earth leakage can't handle the load, items that operate with gas, water etc, ie aircons and stove must not go on earth leakage. And lights not on earth leakage in case it trips so that there is still lights. This is all new to me and I'm concerned that it's not correct.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    The current electrical regs require that all socket outlets are supplied via the earth leakage, lighting circuits and certain other circuits can be optional so it's possible that what you were told is correct. My personal preference would be a split DB with 2x earth leakages, one for socket outlets and the other for stove, geyser etc or even using RCBO's but there are cost implications.
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    Gilberto, what you describe is compliant with SANS 10124-1 edition 1.8 which is applicable today. Flicking through the Edition 2.0 draft however, I note that changes may be coming; the draft has geysers requiring earth leakage protection.

    I had to say reading it, my first thought was Andy's point not that long ago that RCBO's probably are the way to go.
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    Something I noticed too is that the aircon is not through the ELCB. That is incorrect. All electric motors, pumps, fans and aircons must also ghave ELCB protection. If the geyser is installed inside the bathroom it must also be supplied by the ELCB.

    The claim that the ELCB cannot handle the load is bull. They are usually 60Amps which is almost if not the same as the main switch.
    Last edited by Sparks; 16-Jul-16 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Addition.

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    Thank you very much gentlemen. Part of me makes me feel more comfortable with what was done. Now I just need to worry about the upcoming geyser change, the potential that the aircon is not behind a ELCB. I'll be looking further into this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    Something I noticed too is that the aircon is not through the ELCB. That is incorrect. All electric motors, pumps, fans and aircons must also ghave ELCB protection.
    In terms of which part of the current code, Sparks?

    Yes, there are some specific circumstances, but as I recall saying "all" is going a bridge too far.
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    hi sparks. why should an aircon be on earth leakage relay if its supplied by an isolator not a socket outlet? also other pumps and motors that are not for pools,jacuzzis etc do not have to be on earth leakage relay if supplied by an isolator. (fixed appliances)

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    Lights need to be after earth leakage if you have ceiling fans. And most houses have ceiling fans.

    Also, having lights connected after earth leakage will probably give you a smaller shock when changing a light bulb than if the 10Amp circuit breaker had to trip?

    Would you prefer the earth leakage to stop you from being shocked or the stove's 40Amp circuit breaker?

    There's a sticker on my Defy stove/oven saying "This appliance does not need to be connected through the earth leakage system(SABS code 0142). Nuisance tripping will occur in damp conditions if connected to the earth leakage unit as the cumulative leakage current of all of the oven and other appliance elements may exceed the trip value."

    I would guess that placing sensitive electronics (printed circuit boards etc) after the earth leakage might help protect with lightning, like a stove/oven digital clock, aircon electronics, remote controlled ceiling fan? If the lightning causes the earth leakage to trip before a larger current reaches the appliance?

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