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16-05-2005, 13:49   #1
masterK
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Iron keeps tripping fuse box

I live in a newish house with the more modern fuse box where the trip switch is activated before any fuse in blown. The problem I have is that the last few Irons I've had get to the point where every time I plug them in the power trips. I then have to buy a new Iron, I've tried replacing the fuse in the plug on the iron, it makes no difference.

Can anybody tell me why this happens and what to do about it, I read somewhere that there may be an earthing problem with the electricity in my house.
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16-05-2005, 14:01   #2
prospect
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Are you plugging the irons into the same socket, or even the same socket circuit every time?
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16-05-2005, 14:11   #3
jhegarty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospect
Are you plugging the irons into the same socket, or even the same socket circuit every time?
also what else is plugged into the same circuit... any extension plugboxes ?

does a new iron solve the problem?

does another device in the same plug cause a problem ?
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16-05-2005, 14:15   #4
air
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Either you have an issue with earth leakage somewhere on the circuit or else the circuit which it is on is overloaded & the load from the iron (which is quite high) is causing an overcurrent on the breaker.
Is it an MCB or an ELCB that's tripping?
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16-05-2005, 14:30   #5
masterK
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To answer your questions.

1. I have tried the Iron in several sockets in the same room, but not any other room.
2. I've bought several new Irons, they last for a while and then the same thing happens again and I have to replace the Iron.
3. I have nothing else connected to the sockets when the problem occurs.
4. I'm not sure if it's an MCB or an ELCB, how can I tell?

Even If I have an Iron up at it's highest level I presume that this should not occur or is it a fairly common issue?

Thanks for your help.
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16-05-2005, 14:48   #6
air
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Well to answer your questions:
1. The sockets in the same room are possibly (more than likely) on the same main ring so it would be a good idea to try elsewhere.
2. You're probably wasting your money buying new irons, its unlikely that its the iron thats the problem every time!
3. Its possible that there are sockets in another room or another large device on the same ring.
4. Have a look at the attached photo.
There is only one elcb there (second from the right) the rest are mcbs.
Basically mcbs trip on over current (too high a load) while elcbs trip if there is leakage of current to earth (i.e. when you drop the hair dryer in the bath )

Its not a problem that should occur regardless of the setting on your iron.

I would suggest that you would do the following:
1. Try the iron in a few different locations until you find somewhere that it works without a problem.
2. Once you've established that the iron itself is working ok, bring it back into the kitchen & plug it in.
Switch off everything else electrical in the house and swtich on the iron.
Switch back on your other equipment one item at a time & this may help to identify a particular item that is a high load.

At the end of the day though you'd be best off to get an electrican in to sort it out. Its probably just a circuit with too much on it.
It may be a simple job of installing higher rated mcb if the wiring is sufficient.
Don't go poking around too much yourself if you don't feel competent at it.
Risk of serious injury / death & all that.

Last edited by air; 16-05-2005 at 14:50. Reason: forgot image & couldnt be bothered seeing as i'd have to host it.
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16-05-2005, 15:08   #7
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Good advise to track the problem down but it's probably just a simple as a faulty iron. An electric kettle or a wash machine generally take more power than a iron. Seeing as these are mostlikely in the kitchen too it's probably the iron. Of course there is a the posibility that all three are on at the same time as. If a washing machine and kettle can be on at the same time the problem can pretty much say the Iron is faulty.
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16-05-2005, 15:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningStar
If a washing machine and kettle can be on at the same time the problem can pretty much say the Iron is faulty.
Did he not say that he has bought several Irons? Surely they all can't be faulty?

B.
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16-05-2005, 15:29   #9
air
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As BaZmO says (& as I hinted above) its highly unlikely that its multiple irons with problems. Much more likely that there's an inherent problem with the electrical installation in the house.
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16-05-2005, 15:31   #10
prospect
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Sounds to me like the MCB isn't suitable.
The kitchen and utility were probably put on the same circuit. So there could be a few high power apps, (washer / dryer / oven), and the usual suspects, (fridge / freezer / TV).
But 'air' has the proper idea with his/her post.
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16-05-2005, 15:34   #11
jhegarty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterK
To answer your questions.

1. I have tried the Iron in several sockets in the same room, but not any other room.
2. I've bought several new Irons, they last for a while and then the same thing happens again and I have to replace the Iron.
3. I have nothing else connected to the sockets when the problem occurs.
4. I'm not sure if it's an MCB or an ELCB, how can I tell?

Even If I have an Iron up at it's highest level I presume that this should not occur or is it a fairly common issue?

Thanks for your help.
first thing is to try a plug on a different socket... if you are not sure which plugs are on which circuits, flip the fuse for that room and check you have power on the socket you want to check on...
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16-05-2005, 15:38   #12
MorningStar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaZmO*
Did he not say that he has bought several Irons? Surely they all can't be faulty?

B.
opps missed that
but I checked it washing machine easily takes more current than a iron and a kettle is about the same. It sounds like they could be doing some thing to the iron. The socket in the kitchen might be the cause because of position. If the plug lead is under pressure when plugged in the high current can damage to the lead, this takes a little while so it might explain the delay. It would also explain why it's the iron causing the problem and nothing else.
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16-05-2005, 20:29   #13
masterK
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In response to an earlier question, it is neither a MCB or an ELCB. It's a RCCB (residual current circuit breakers).

Morning star your explanation makes a lot of sense, it takes a few months for this to happen with a new Iron. It would usually always have been used from the same socket. The iron itself no longer works after this happens.

Is there anything I can do myself to check the socket in question or should I just get an electrician?
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16-05-2005, 22:51   #14
Victor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterK
Even If I have an Iron up at it's highest level I presume that this should not occur or is it a fairly common issue?
Always turn on an appliance at a low level, leave them get up to power (in the case of an iron when its hot), then increase it to the maximum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by masterK
Morning star your explanation makes a lot of sense, it takes a few months for this to happen with a new Iron. It would usually always have been used from the same socket. The iron itself no longer works after this happens.
Are you blowing the fuse in the plug attached to the iron?
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16-05-2005, 23:05   #15
air
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An RCCB performs the same function as an ELCB to the best of my knowledge, its just the way that they sense earth leakage that differs.
AFAIK an RCCB trips if there is an imbalance between the current on the live and the neutral (current missing, must have gone somewhere - to earth), whereas an elcb detects current flowing on the earth itself.

Anyway if you're tripping the rccb you have an earth fault either on the circuit or in the iron and if a new iron doesnt cure it call in an electrician.

With respect to turning on applicances at the low setting, there is no need to do this as mcbs are rated for short term startup current to deal with this - usually a B or C rating in domestic installations (type B: 3-5 times rated current, type C: 5-10 times rated).
This means that if you start up something with a large inrush current (like an applicance with a large motor) it will tolerate an overcurrent situation for a short time to allow the device to start up and the current to stabilise instead of tripping out.
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