Have just wired in two 58W fluorescent striplights to sit under
decking & it looks pretty good, when it works. Problem is, sometimes
when I switch on, the main trip on fusebox goes off. The two PIR
floods I wired in at the same time work fine. Can't find any fault
with my wiring! The lights are connected to a ring main via a switched
FCU. Any ideas, please??
Thanks in advance, Paul.
Check that the cable you've used is not clipped to tightly and causing to
much of an earth leakage or that you haven't put a nail through or clipped
against anything sharp which is cutting into the insulation.
Make sure you've made the connections properly in the Spur Unit, or simply
take the connections out of the Spur (FCU) and put a plug top on the end of
the cable and plug it in to see if it still trips the MCB in the Consumer
Are the Floods also coming on with fluorescent lights ? as this may be
taking to much load all at once and also causing the breaker to trip.
Sorry, so many things could be wrong that I could go on all night with
things to check, so please advise of anything else which you've done to
create this installation.
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What do you mean by 'main trip'? Is it the MCB serving that circuit or
something like an RCD main switch, protecting several circuits?
If it is only an MCB, it could be the start-up surge from switching on the
fluorescents. Experience suggests that switching more than about 70W at a
time can produce intermittent tripping of a standard 6 amp MCB. Your options
are to uprate the MCB to at least 10A (if the cable is suitable for this
current), to fit a type C / type 3 MCB, or to fit separate switches to the
lights and turn them on one at a time. The last is probably the easiest and
Upgrade the main RCD to 100mA, and split the consumer unit so the rings
that represent a hazard are on a separate 30mA RCD.
I got so sick of triping on my box, now its all om 100mA, and there
ain't enough room to split it and I can't be arsed either.
Thanks for the answers, sorry my question was a bit lacking in
essential details! The fluo lights are proper external ones, & my
connections all seem OK. It is the main 30mA RCD that trips, the MCB
is not affected. The lights were working fine for about a week & have
only just started playing up - nothing has changed in that time as far
as I know! Perhaps the RCD is just too sensitive?
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