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240V Protection

Discussion in 'Fuel System & Electrics' started by CoffsKombi, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. CoffsKombi

    CoffsKombi New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Coffs Harbour
    I have a 76 camper and have been advised by my auto electrican to have protection put on the 240 side of the electrical system, which i think is a good idea. Any one done that...whats involved.
     
  2. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    It will involve fitting a RCD (safety Switch) inline to your power cable in the bus. Depending on the size of appliances you use on the 240 V system, will determine the Amp size of the RCD. I would go for a 20 Amp. An enclosure will be needed for the RCD, depending on what type you get, and a decision on where to fit it.

    Caravan/camping grounds are supposed to already have them fitted in the power box for the site. So where the one in the bus serves its purpose is where you are plugging into unprotected supplies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  3. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,915
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    No, the size of the circuit (cable size) determines the current rating of the RCD. I'd go for 15A.

    You can also buy extension leads with a built in RCD.
     
  4. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    Yes sorry that is right Phill.

    The cable should be 2.5 mm to 4mm and up for a caravans etc, and that is rated at up tp 26A for 2.5mm and 34A for 4mm. A 20A rating will be more than sufficient to protect the cable.

    I am an electrician and I have never seen a 15 A RCD unit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  5. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,733
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    Mike correct me if im wrong but you must have this fitted for compliance for insurance and RTA compliance alot of old campers out there i bet have not been upgraded as yet

    and it must be done by a registered electrican not barry backyarder
     
  6. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    ttmck that is exactly right.

    It is actually illegal to electrical work without a license. And campers/caravans come under the same laws. (In queensland anyway)

    If people want to take the risk and fit these items then that is on their head. The cost of a electrician to fit the RCD is much less than the cost to replace your beloved camper if insurance refuses to pay out.

    An extension lead with an inbuilt RCD is always a good option if you dont want to fit an RCD in the camper. They can be bought easily and connected in series with the power supply by anyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  7. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,915
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Aren't most houses rated at 16A for 2.5mm?

    Yes, but what are the ratings for vans?

    What are the extension lead RCDs rated at?
     
  8. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    In the older house's it is common where early 2.5mm cable with a bare earth are protected by 16A wire fuses (sometimes converted to push in breakers). All newer houses/buildings are fitted with 20A breakers on 2.5mm twin and earth cable for your general power circuits.

    It all depends on how it is fitted eg: enclosed, surrounded by insulation, surface mounted. And the length. Fitted in the panel space near the roof and with such a short distance a 2.5mm cable should be good for about 26A.

    I think you can purchase RCD extension leads in 10, 15, 20 amp versions. Not to sure exactly so best to shop around.
     
  9. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,733
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    Mike i stuck this , its just too important not to let it slip bye and be lost in never never land i hope to hell people either get in contact with you or you can point them in the right direction with regards to 240v systems nice to have a sparky on board
     
  10. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,915
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    When I went to tech the cables were 3/.036" and 1/.064" protected by 15A rewireable fuses.

    Don't forget, there is a seperate SAA wiring rules for vans. I think that everything is derated.

    A 15A RCD extension lead would be the easiest.
     
  11. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    Thats a good idea ttmck.

    All cables are in metric these days and 15A protection devices are no longer really used. 6, 10, 16, 20, 25, 32, 40A are the most common.

    I will look into the ratings for campers and caravans tomorrow and post what I find.
     
  12. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,915
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Do you have the SAA book for vans?
     
  13. CoffsKombi

    CoffsKombi New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Coffs Harbour
    wow..opened a can of worms here. By extension lead do you mean the cable connecting the external power sourse to the van. If i get one with an inbuilt RCD then i dont need to have an inline one fitted within the van. Is the the way im reading it. Also, is external RCD waterproof.
     
  14. jerrys_bus

    jerrys_bus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW
    I used to have a portable RCD socket in my toolbox at the last place I worked like the one on the right in the photo below. This is not water proof, you can also buy one that will fit on the end of a lead just like a plug

    [​IMG]


    Though if its required to be fitted by law, this probably wouldn't pass as its not a permanent fitting. this would only cover piece of mind.
     
  15. Kombi_Kouple

    Kombi_Kouple New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Arana Hills - Brisbane
    Yes the cable connecting from the van to the power supply i believe that will do.

    It is legal for you to fit a plug in one, and I think you can get waterproof industrial leads to suit.

    I have attached the SAA Australian Standards for caravans/campers etc.
     

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