Washer repair & Earthing ?


I recently had to have my Hotpoint washing machine repaired. When the engineer arrived, he said that under new rules he had to do an earth leakage test on the house electrics before he could do the repair. He plugged in a tester and said, oh dear, it's more than 200 Ohms. He tested various circuits around the house and still it was more than 200 Ohms. I asked him what it all meant. His reply was very vague, in so much as his reply was, he knew there was an earth, but it was more than 200 Ohms and really he shouldn't repair the machine until such time as it was put right and I would have to get an electrician in. After chatting with someone on the phone he eventually did the repair. My earth is provided by a metal rod sunk into the garden which is under a flagstone and a green cable from that to a terminal block and then to the fuseboard. All connections are tight. In between the meter and the fusebox is a Residual Current Operated Circuit Breaker, 204V 50Hz 80A Load to BS4293, Model WSES 80/2 30mA Trip. At my previous house, we had one of the former (Similar) with an earth cable attached to that as well as an earth rod.
I have just be reading about different types of earthing systems.
My questions are these:- Which earthing system have I got ..... ? Although I have an earth, what was he on about ..... ? I always thought that if you had a earth it was okay. Should I be unduly worried ..... ? Could it be that the earth cable at the earth rod has come off some how by rotting away.
Electricians are expensive and I want to explore every possible avenue first.
Your help and advice are most welcome. -- the_constructor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have a read of http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/electrical/electrical.html#system
Your system is wired as a TT system, although it may be a TN-C-S that has not utilised the supplied earth as the main bonding to the water and gas is not done. Your supplier can tell you what type of supply you have.
I seem to recall that you do need an earth loop of less than 200 ohms on a TT system but plugging a tester in to a socket is not the correct way of testing the earth rod. You really should be disconnecting the rod from the CU and testing it on it's own.
I really do not see why a washing machine cannot be repaired because your house has got a poor earth but it was good of the repairman to bring the information to light. Time to lift the flagstone and inspect the cable I think.
Adam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you for your reply Adam.
Will I be in order then to connect the Gas supply (as per Corgi installers request a couple of months ago) and the water pipe to the earth terminal block that is at the side of the Consumer unit, before I ask someone to come and test it again. I don't supose you can have too many earth routes. I shall be earthing the new kitchen sink when installed in a couple of months time.
The Hotpoint engineer said that this test was brought in by Hotpoint because they do a lot of Garauntee work for British Gas who are fanatics and that they had been told not to repair any machines if the earth test was greater than 200 Ohms. As mentioned earlier, he did the repair after consulting someone on the phone. I can only pressume that because there was some form of earth he was told it would be ok, but he did give me a printout of the earth fault to show an electrician.
Oh by the way before I forget, I had a look in the RCD inbetween the consumer unit and the meter and there is no earth terminal at all. -- the_constructor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, do this ASAP. Use 10mm cable so you are covered if the supply is PME You still will need the earth rod sorting if you have a TT supply
I

No need. See page 26 of the OSG

Great. What does it say?

RCDs are not usually connected to earth
Adam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HERE GOES:- Our Service Engineer has carried out a routine test of your electrical supply and has noticed and where possible will have explained to you a potential problem that has been identified with the earthing efficiency. We strongly advise you to make the necessary improvements and repairing the fault(s) identified. Please note that such work should be undertaken by a qualified electrician.
AT RISK: Where an item has been identified as 'AT RISK' we recomend that you DO NOT USE the instalation until the fault has been repaired.
Your installation has been identified as 'AT RISK' for the following reasons:- A... B... Earth loop RESISTANCE greater than 200 Ohms (RCD Protected Circuit) C...
That's it Adam.
You say quote: "RCDs are not usually connected to earth" but the one in the previous house was all black with switch and reset button on it and meter tails went in the bottom and consumer unit tails came out of the top and also a green/yellow earth cable, which was connected to a separate terminal inside. I do appreciate that we had overhead cables to the house and at this house the cables are underground.
--
the_constructor



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You had an old voltage operated circuit breaker in the old house. These are no longer used and were replaced by current activated RCDs several years ago. Underground cables are rarely supplying a TT system. Is the supply cable a lead sheathed one or an armoured cable. If so the chances are your supply is not TT. Call your supplier and ask what supply you have.
Adam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<SNIP>

Which side of the Gas meter does the earth bond need to be on, or should it be loop to both ..... ? I have looked at my friends gas meter and his is on the main inlet pipe but looking at my neighbours, hers is on the outlet pipe. Very confusing indeed.
--
the_constructor



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Adam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

--
the_constructor



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wonder what his reaction would have been if he refused to repair it and you refused to pay his call out charge - on the grounds that he hadn't done anything for you!
Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm afraid that scenario wouldn't have happened. The washing machine was only purchased last November and so was under guarantee, but if he had refused to repair it, then probably WW3 would have broken out.
--
the_constructor



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This certainly would not have helped, but yesterday, I finally got around to looking at the earthing to the house as I also wanted to put an earth connection to the gas pipe.
I traced the earth cable from the house that goes into the garden and found the earthing rod under a couple of paving slabs. Yep! one slab ontop of the other. The ground was dry as a bone underneath. I have now decided to put peagravel ontop of a liner where slabs were.
The cable was in contact with the clamp but when I gently pulled the cable, the clamp came off the rod. Putting it back on the rod showed that it had never been tightened in the first place.
Put new clamp on rod, with new cable into house, put cable onto gas pipe and fed that through wall also and connected both to earth block together with wire from Consumer unit. There is no an earth lead that comes from the Neutral of the mains to the consumer unit, yet, my neighbours whose houses are fed from my mains input do have.
I think I shall have to contact NEDL to come and do the necessary. They shouldn't charge me should they ?
--
the_constructor




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't think why they wouldn't charge.
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.