No earth, safe or not? - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

User Tag List

 13Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 13:17 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
nickoff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: near Grantham, Lincs.
Posts: 1,157
Thanks: 21
Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts
No earth, safe or not?

3 weeks ago whilst making our way back to Dunkirk to catch the ferry after taking in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany we stopped off at a campsite in France. After setting up the van I hooked up to the camp power board only to find that our plug-in indicator was showing that there wasn't an earth. Just to be sure I tried our spare lead which made no difference. I mentioned it to the chap in charge who after looking at the power board assured me that there was nothing wrong with it and so the problem must be somewhere on our motorhome. To be on the safe side I decided to not hook up at all. A little later another van parked next to us with UK number plates. After they had set up I popped over to see if they were having the same problem with the leccy as us. The chap told me that his indicator showed that there wasn't an earth but he wasn't at all bothered and was staying hooked up. Is the power so low on sites that there is no danger or would others do as we did and not take the risk?

Nick.

A small deed done is better than a great deed planned.
nickoff is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 14:04
EJB
Senior Member
 
EJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Suffolk (By choice)
My Motorhome: Burstner Nexxo t620G
Posts: 4,022
Thanks: 27
Thanked 124 Times in 114 Posts
220v is 220v!
Have never checked electrical connections in any country so I have saved about 60 years of worry and concern. Most Caravan/motorhome internal set ups are quite adequate to keep you safe. I used to be a spark but have forgotten what to look for now anyway!

Ted.
I try and state simple facts in a nice way.
EJB is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 14:06
Senior Member
 
Penquin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aquitaine
My Motorhome: Swift Kontiki 615
Posts: 18,576
Thanks: 607
Thanked 669 Times in 592 Posts
Personal Aire
I suspect that the same question has been levelled repeatedly at virtually every piece of gizmology with orange wire - the labels say they are "double insulated" whatever that means......

But we all use them....

Of course the trips will still work if there is a problem and I very much doubt that any of us would be taking a mains powered device apart while it is still connected and switched on.....

But perhaps I am wrong....

I would use the supply but exercise caution over its use (if that is not Double Dutch).

If you ever use a Honda generator, they are NOT earthed but still seem to be safe, in fact I believe they specifically say NOT to earth them - but why I do t know.
nickoff likes this.

Remember Jo Cox and what she stood for.

Any comments above are only MY OPINION and should be read as that.

http://www.leslezards.co.uk
Penquin is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 14:59
Senior Member
 
raynipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Normandy. Just up the D903 from the roundabout with the D15
My Motorhome: Hobby 750 now sold.
Posts: 19,958
Thanks: 1,012
Thanked 355 Times in 335 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to raynipper
Earths are only there to safeguard any fault. If no faults no problems.
It all depends on our individual chemical make up as to whether we might be affected in the event of a fault developing and no earth. I can feel a slight tingle on somethings I know there is no earth as I have deliberately removed the earth wire from that item. ELCBs and other modern trips can sometimes be too sensitive.

I agree with TED being an ex spark and don't go looking for trouble.

Ray.
nickoff and erneboy like this.

The FSA licensed a twice convicted fraudster to handle our life´s savings. Guess what? He robbed us of £750,000. http://raynipper.com
Brexit is madness orchestrated by the insane.
raynipper is online now  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 15:07
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK and Katowice, Poland, plus All Europe
My Motorhome: Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69GL (2003)
Posts: 12,369
Thanks: 852
Thanked 437 Times in 389 Posts
Nick


Change the MH - to one that does not tell you if you have an earth connection.



OR like us do not go on campsites and have no EHU cable.


We have lots of appliances at home that only have 2 pins.


What do you have in the MH that can draw enough current to worry about the need to earth? Isn't everything fused?


Geoff(not a sparks)
raynipper likes this.
nicholsong is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 19:58
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mid Norfolk
Posts: 1,306
Thanks: 111
Thanked 58 Times in 50 Posts
Once upon a time I "cured" a squeaky floorboard by hammering a nail in the middle of it. The power went off because I'd gone through the mains cable which was underneath it, a large current flowed from live (line if you prefer) to neutral (or possibly earth) and the fuse melted ("blew"). That's the purpose of a fuse.

Most domestic appliances will have at least a 3A fuse: 0.2A will kill you so don't expect to be saved by a fuse!

Alternatively, most modern systems require the current flowing in the live wire to be balanced by the current flowing in the neutral wire. If they are out of balance by, typically, 0.03A, they will "trip" and the power will be cut off. Usually that difference is caused by current flowing to earth, possibly via a human body; so you are "safe".

Imagine that your metal framed fire or metal kettle etc develops a fault and the live wire comes into contact with the metal. IF that metal is not earthed then current cannot flow along that route so the safety device will not operate. Imagine that you touch the metal; your eyes will not tell you that it is "live"! Now current may flow through you and the safety circuitry will come into play and you will be "safe", although you may have uttered a few choice expletives before the power is cut off. If you are wearing thick rubber-soled boots, the current will be smaller than if you are in firm contact with a large sheet of metal: it's all down to the resistance of the path.

Volts shock; current kills.

Gordon
erneboy likes this.
H1-GBV is online now  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 20:47
Senior Member
 
raynipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Normandy. Just up the D903 from the roundabout with the D15
My Motorhome: Hobby 750 now sold.
Posts: 19,958
Thanks: 1,012
Thanked 355 Times in 335 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to raynipper
As you say Gordon you managed to hammer a nail in the middle of a board when everyone knows cables and pipes are run along the middle of boards.
Y'assee in a perfect world you would have missed the wires and faults going to earths would not hurt people.

The likelihood of a metal kettle or fire which is probably double insulated developing a fault and not tripping the ECLB is pretty remote. So a 'shock' is even more remote and being actually hurt is even more remote. I would say winning the lottery or being struck by lightening is more likely.

But if your determined to stand on wet grass in leather shoes and grab hold of a bit of bare metal of a camper with no earth and a fault actually exists, you might feel it.
What are the odds?

Ray.
p.s. amps don't kill unless you have plenty of volts to create the path. We can hold both terminals of a 12v 660a battery but try 660v and 12a.
nickoff likes this.

The FSA licensed a twice convicted fraudster to handle our life´s savings. Guess what? He robbed us of £750,000. http://raynipper.com
Brexit is madness orchestrated by the insane.
raynipper is online now  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 20:58
Senior Member
 
KeithChesterfield's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Guess!
My Motorhome: Pilote Reference P716
Posts: 3,137
Thanks: 57
Thanked 134 Times in 90 Posts
Personal Aire
This Link may help - or not .....

It's never caused bother or worries for us while we've travelled abroad for a decade or more.

https://www.toughleads.co.uk/pages/european-sockets
nickoff and raynipper like this.

For Videos of the Aires we've used, Eurotunnel journeys and many other more obscure Videos have a look at - www.youtube.com/user/KeithChesterfield

For Recommended Vets in Europe have a look at - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?msa=0&mid=zTPBDq9Df4L4.kSm3eLuvVb2g
KeithChesterfield is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 14-08-2019, 23:12 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
nickoff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: near Grantham, Lincs.
Posts: 1,157
Thanks: 21
Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts
Thanks Keith. Your link seems to be referring to different electric plugs whilst abroad. My question is that the lead that I use is the standard UK version that fits into many of the supply units whilst in Europe. I have come across the 2 pin connection and that's not a problem as we have a continental plug on a short lead that connects to our usual lead. The site that we were staying on had the UK type of plug in.

Nick.

A small deed done is better than a great deed planned.
nickoff is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 15-08-2019, 19:52
Senior Member
 
HyFy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire
My Motorhome: Pilote Galaxy G781GJ Emotion
Posts: 132
Thanks: 32
Thanked 20 Times in 6 Posts
Hi,
I am open to correction but I was always taught that in the UK the "Neutral" is earthed at the sub-station and that is why all UK plugs etc. have Live, Neutral and Earth marked. When I was re-building barns in France a few years back and working alongside french artisans, I was told that that was not the case in France. The "Neutre" was not earthed at all. They couldn't understand why it should be! Hence or maybe as a result they don't show which terminal in a plug or socket is "Phase", "Neutre", or "Terre". There was talk of always using the left terminal as "Phase" but no-one would say from what direction the "left" was viewed. All the cables were colour coded but some even allowed "black" to be "phase"!!
So when you plug into many French campsites or aires you can find that the Live and Neutral is reversed as checked by your (UK) tester.
When I last had a UK built motorhome it would tell me to disconnect immediately and rectify the issue. I used to think that there would be catastrophic results if I didn't. I had a "euro" plug and socket with reversed connections (suitably marked with red warnings) in order to correct things. I have since had three continental built motorhomes with the same makes of electrics as the UK one and I have not had any problems.
At one aire at which I had found the Live and Neutral to be reversed, I later found a chap from the local Commune working on it. I commented on the reversed polarity. He just said "So What". "Just make sure that you have both poles disconnected before you try to dismantle anything." How sensible even if you are not in France!!

HyFy

PS The same school taught me "Volts shock but Coulombs kill" (1 Coulomb = 1 Ampere in one second). But I guess the practical difference is academic if you will excuse the pun!
nickoff likes this.

Last edited by HyFy; 15-08-2019 at 19:55.
HyFy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome