I'm having a bit of "fun" with my electrical system at home, and would
appreciate any advice.
The system has a RCD between the meter and the consumer unit (not sure
why, it was there when I moved in, but it has proved useful). The earth
is a spike in the ground at the back of the house.
Thursday night just as I turned the shower on, the RCD tripped out. So
I found a torch and reset the trip in the dark. I tried the shower
again, and off went the power again. I concluded that the shower had
died (it is 10-12 years old, so that seemed a fair conclusion).
This evening (Saturday), I was busy cooking my evening meal (on an
electric hob), and after about 10 minutes, off goes the power. Having
been moving the wiring for the boiler earlier in the day, I wondered if
I had got something wrong on that, so I turned off the RCD for that on
the consumer unit, put the power back on, and went back to cooking. 5
minutes or so later (certainly not straight away), off goes the power
again. I turned off the hob (which is 15 months old, so should have
some life in it yet), reset the trip, then tried the other two rings,
and within a minute or so, off goes the power again. The good news is
that by now the spuds are done, so at least I can get something to eat.
Having eaten the spuds, and thought about it, I consulted my tame
electrician (Dad). One thought that crossed my mind was that after a
long dry summer, the earth spike could be making a bad contact (*), so
whilst it was a long shot, it was worth a try. So I slowly poured some
salty water round the spike, allowing it to soak in. I then tried the
hob again for 20 minutes or so, and this time it was fine.
(*) memories of tales of old phone systems not working until a bucket of
water was tipped over the earth lead.
So, is it a coincidence that watering the earth spike has got things
working ?. Is there anything else I should do (getting it looked at
professionally will be arranged next week) ?.
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