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Maybole

The curious case of the tripping circuit breaker

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I am the family dhobi wallah. Earlier this evening I went to iron the day's laundry. the socket which I usually use and its neighbour in the same block were occupied by phone chargers, so I plugged my iron (steam Electrolux rated at 1800 watts) into the nearest socket available and the CB for the whole floor tripped. I unplugged, reset the CB and tried again. The main CB (not the one protecting the room ring) again tripped. I reset again and plugged into the neighbouring socket on the same double block, CB tripped again. I reset again and moved to a third socket, plugged in and the CB did not trip. I completed my ironing and, experimentally, plugged a kettle (Electrolux cordless rated at 2200 watts) into the suspect socket and the CB did not trip and the kettle boiled normally.

 I opened the suspect socket expecting to find a transposed earth and neutral or neutral and live, but all was in order.

 My house is just over 2 years old and I watched it being built. I paid particular attention to the electrical system and the electrician was competent. He used twin feeder 2.5 sq. mm. cable throughout, red for live and black for neutral and a separate earth wire (yellow at my suggestion). I am satisfied that the system is safe.

 So why did the main CB trip and not the circuit one? Why did my iron trip it and not the kettle?

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Posted (edited)

If a certain kettle trips things in almost any socket you put it, but nothing else does, then obviously it's a problem with that kettle. Why would you think this has anything to do with the house wiring?   Or am I missing something?

Edited by shdmn

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Shdmn; It's not the washer-man his kettle that tripped the CB but his iron.

 

Maybole, maybe your iron has internal issues and the electricity flows back trough the earth wire to protect you.

It is possible that the third socket hasn't the earth connected and the iron works 'fine'.

A steam iron, plausible that water seeped inside the iron.

 

That you, at time of building the house, did choose to use earth wire is a good thing.

 

Most kettles here are only using the live and neutrals, but irons use all three wires.

 

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14 hours ago, Maybole said:

red for live and black for neutral and a separate earth wire (yellow at my suggestion)

Are you sure he actually used  the black for neutral   because  black is "normally" (often) Live in Thailand.

maybe out of habit he got things mixed up ?

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What exactly is tripping?  The main (2-pole) breaker?  Is it RCBO?  (Safe-T-Cut)

 

What amp rating are the breaker(s) that tripped? 

 

Are the sockets you used all on the same circuit or different circuits?

 

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have tried the iron in all the other sockets in the room without a recurrence of tripping, it is only one socket and only the iron which makes the CB trip. 

 I checked the wiring in the suspect socket using a neon screwdriver, the red wire is live. The kettle is a cordless with a 3 pin plug. Neither iron nor kettle can be plugged in the wrong way.

 The distribution box has a main CB which  is a Schneider C50 of 30 amps. , the socket circuits are on C16 CBs with no rating visible. I do know a bit about electricity, but this is illogical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Maybole
correction of typo

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Which actual breaker is opening?

 

Do any of the breakers have a "Test" button (RCD/RCBO)?

 

Please post photos of your distribution board, we need to see what you have.

 

Do you have any test gear (multimeter)?

 

Have you verified that the outlet "neutral" really is connected to the neutral in the distibution board and is definitely NOT connected to ground somewhere?

 

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From what you are indicating if all the other sockets are good except one regardless if it test o.k. or not I would just replace it will run 50-100 baht. The quality of material I've found here is poor at best today I finished making some extra plugs outside when done I tried to plug one of my lights into the socket it wouldn't go in no matter how much force I put and this was a pretty good quality finally I just went and got another replace no problem.  There is just no quality control from my experience.

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57 minutes ago, thailand49 said:

From what you are indicating if all the other sockets are good except one regardless if it test o.k. or not I would just replace it will run 50-100 baht. The quality of material I've found here is poor at best today I finished making some extra plugs outside when done I tried to plug one of my lights into the socket it wouldn't go in no matter how much force I put and this was a pretty good quality finally I just went and got another replace no problem.  There is just no quality control from my experience.

I was lucky i had a good electrician, when my house was built, he told me " I will only use Panasonic sockets, if not i will not wire your house ! "   

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7 minutes ago, brianthainess said:

I was lucky i had a good electrician, when my house was built, he told me " I will only use Panasonic sockets, if not i will not wire your house ! "   


Did you know that there are probably more copy Panasonic sockets sold in Thailand than real ones?

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36 minutes ago, brianthainess said:

I was lucky i had a good electrician, when my house was built, he told me " I will only use Panasonic sockets, if not i will not wire your house ! "   

 

We used Schneider outlets and switches when we built, but over the years quite a few have been replaced with assorted other brands.

 

I like the range of things that Haco do including matching RJ-45 sockets.

 

One thing that miffs me somewhat is that the designs change and if a switch fails it may not be possible to get a replacement that fits in the grid, so a whole new assembly has to be obtained.

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The OP explained more than once that the main breaker tripped.

 

🤨🤨🤨🤨

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I'm not an electrician, but could a crack in the socket be a reason why only this one makes the breaker trip?

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10 hours ago, Snackbar said:

The OP explained more than once that the main breaker tripped.

 

Yeah, missed that, it's buried in his text. I must be getting old.

 

Did he also mention whether it's an MCB or RCBO?

 

It's worrying that an appliance opens the breaker in one outlet and not another. 

 

Do you have any ideas?

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