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La Poste

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Greetings.

I've got a friend who lives in Thailand in a house with no earthing.
It's a two wire system with a RCD/ELCB at the point of entry to the house.
They seem to do this in Thailand, put an RCD at the main incomer even though they have no earth circuit.
I guess something is better than nothing and the logic is if there is an earth fault to the frame of an electric heater for instance and you then touch
the frame of the electric heater and get an electric shock the main RCD will switch off the supply as long as more than 30ma flows through you to earth.

My friend is getting electric shocks off of his computer equipment, the metal frame of his PC.
Without going into the earthing system of the whole house would it be safe just to earth the PC chassis by means of an earth rod without involving anything else in the house?

I'm thinking if just the PC is earthed with a local rod this should take care of any leakage current that is building up.
My friend has no test equipment and we don't know anything about the local transformer or whether the transformer is earthed itself.

Is this a safe thing to do and what would you recommend in these circumstances?

Thanks.
 
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La Poste

La Poste

Regular EF Member
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And here's the life saving RCD/ELCB positioned at the electrical point of entry of the house:

IMG_0515.JPG
 
E

Engineer54

Are you saying there are no CPC's for any of the circuits throughout the house??
 

Richard Burns

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If you have a voltage already present on the case of the PC and provide a good low impedance path to earth then that should ensure that the RCD trips and wont reset.
The leakage current from a PC should not be enough to sense as it should only be a couple of mA and sensation is at about 5mA.
I would say that there are other problems here not just leakage current. Need to sort those rather than sending fault current to earth.
Get your friend to sit on an insulating chair and use rubber shoes, no path to earth then!

It also looks like the RCD is set to 15mA.
 

Taylortwocities

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Can I get one of those RCDs here?

Looks like there's an over-ride position (the RED bit). That would stop all that niusance tripping!:49:
 
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La Poste

La Poste

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There is no earth circuit in the house at all.

From what I can gather, and I will ask more questions later, the PC is not earthed and is supplied with two wires line and neutral.

My friend says he gets a mild shock when he connects his I phone and other appliances to his PC.
 
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La Poste

La Poste

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I guess the question I'm really asking is whether it is safe to individually earth separate appliances with a rod to take care of leakage currents.

Rather than have a complete house re-wire which this place obviously needs would it be acceptable to install a rod just to take care of one or two pieces of equipment?

I'm not sure of the leakage current rate of IT equipment but it does sound quite a common problem for people living out that way IE they get mild shocks of from their computers.
 

Strima

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You could try a temporary earth to see if it cures the problem but then any earth faults on the whole system may decided to transmit themselves through the PC depending on how the whole lot is wired.
 

timbobelfast

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I had a similar problem when I had a house built in Thailand a few years ago. I foolishly let the locals wire it and there wasn't a cpc to be seen!
I was able to sorce some T&E type cable in Bangkok and re-wired the place. Got some BS material shipped over from the UK aswell.
My place like most is TT so installed a ground rod aswell.
Electrics in most of Thailand is shocking to say the least.
Best thing to do is to get your friend to get his wiring done properly and ship over some BS materials.
And when he's done, put that RCD in the trash!
 
E

Engineer54

I guess the question I'm really asking is whether it is safe to individually earth separate appliances with a rod to take care of leakage currents.

Rather than have a complete house re-wire which this place obviously needs would it be acceptable to install a rod just to take care of one or two pieces of equipment?

I'm not sure of the leakage current rate of IT equipment but it does sound quite a common problem for people living out that way IE they get mild shocks of from their computers.

Normally in the summer months when the heat combined with a humidity in these South East Asian countries that can easily be from the low 90 to 100%+. Making floors and other surfaces damp or even wet to the touch, including hands, if not the whole body!! ...lol!!!

Personally, if your friend intends to stay at this house for any length of time, it would be prudent to give the place a rewire, or at the very least pull in CPC's for the existing circuits. Coupled with a decent TT system that goes down at least 3 metres. An electricians rates in Thailand are not at all expensive. Either that, or you go out and have a free holiday with a couple of day's or so, spent doing the necessary, to get your mates house up to a decent safe standard... lol!!!
 
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La Poste

La Poste

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Thanks for the comments.

Apparently you have to be a bit artful if you want to do your own wiring in Thailand, foreigners are not allowed and only local Thai electricians are authorised.

The problem is most local Thai electricians out in the sticks don't even understand earthing.
 
E

Engineer54

Thanks for the comments.

Apparently you have to be a bit artful if you want to do your own wiring in Thailand, foreigners are not allowed and only local Thai electricians are authorised.

The problem is most local Thai electricians out in the sticks don't even understand earthing.
Things must have changed a hell of a lot out in Thailand then, since i was last there!!!
 
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La Poste

La Poste

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I'm not sure how it is in the big cities with large projects but this information comes from another friend of mine who has lived in the north of the country for many years.

I will double check this fact though.
 

timbobelfast

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If it's your mates house then he can do what he wants. There are no Part P police in Thailand!

Anything is better than the state it is in now!
 
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La Poste

La Poste

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Yep you can do it yourself, I have just been told by an expat who is getting his mate in to do the wiring.

He says it is much safer to do it that way.

I think it's the setting up of a business as a local electrician you would have a problem with in terms of local bureaucracy and possible back handers.
 

Strima

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Mate of spends six months a year out there doing building work and has no problems with the local 'authorities'...
 
E

Engineer54

Northern Thailand is Bandit country (or was). They make their own rules as they go along, normally whatever brings in the most money...lol!!!

I wasn't talking about big projects before, i was talking about general house bashing over there....lol!! Believe it or not, some of the better Asian electricians i've come across over the years, on the major overseas projects, have in fact been Thai. A very close second to good Filipino and Indian electricians...
 
E

Engineer54

Mate of spends six months a year out there doing building work and has no problems with the local 'authorities'...
Among other things, ...Right?? lol!! Hope he gets himself checked out on his return to Blighty...lol!!!
 

Strima

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Among other things, ...Right?? lol!! Hope he gets himself checked out on his return to Blighty...lol!!!
Now that would just be pure speculation... :lol:
 
E

Engineer54

Now that would just be pure speculation... :lol:
You obviously haven't been to Thailand then, ...speculation let alone ''pure speculation'' doesn't even come close into the equation, if your mate is, or still a single, free, and happy go lucky guy. I'd say that, it's the very reason for your mate spending 6 months a year working in Thailand, ....And bloody good luck to him too...lol!!!
 

Strima

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You obviously haven't been to Thailand then, ...speculation let alone ''pure speculation'' doesn't even come close into the equation, if your mate is, or still a single, free, and happy go lucky guy. I'd say that, it's the very reason for your mate spending 6 months a year working in Thailand, ....And bloody good luck to him too...lol!!!
He is single funnily enough...

He started out as a panel wirer then moved onto the building side of life, made quite a bit of cash in the UK and rents out several properties and uses his six months as a 'working' holiday sorting out holiday apartments etc. If I was single, I'd be there!!!
 
S

Swicade

The earth leakage to the PC in Asian countries is so that the internet gamer doesn't fall asleep while farming ingame credits (gold,etc) to sell for cash on ebay (and other associated internet sites).
 
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