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currently working in a restaurant at the mo till i sort my self out with a job.

got a problem with the neon "bar open" lights, theres 3 of them around the perimeter of the restaurant, just started tripping off tonite. at first it's everynow n then, but now its instant. its on a c10 breaker, 3 neon "bar open" signs, and inside bar lights. The neons are connected by plugs, with a switch on the bar to operate the sockets on/off. I've narrowed it down to one neon bar sign. all the rest are fine when there on. So i was wondering if someone could explain about neons, and whether when they faultly or of age, that they start to draw more and more power, causing it to trip (overload?). Is my diagonistic correct that its probably the neon? or could it be something else? your thoughts....

note: I've only been doing electrics for a year, so i havnt really come across problems, as i've usually just done new installations.

regards luke
 
M

mdshunk

As neon sign transformers age, they suffer from insulation breakdown, typically on the secondary side. This secondary voltage can be in 10-15 thousand volts, easily. Doesn't take much insulation breakdown at that voltage to really drive the amp draw up. Worse, insulation breakdown on the primary side, while less common, will have the same effect and is more easily measurable with an insulation resistance tester from the plug of the sign.

On a related note, it's possible that the circuit is simply overloaded. I'm not sure about the UK, but in the US, beer companies give the bars new neon signs and fluorescent signs constantly. Some bar owners feel compelled to plug in and display as many as possible, with little regard to how they're loading the circuits up. Unplugging one or two may make it appear like they've found the "offenders" that are tripping the circuit, except all they've really done is lessened the load.
 
check the rating of the transformer. bet its not more than 3 amps.
would think that is where your fault is.
neon signs in the uk run up to 10kv centre tapped so theres up to 5kv on each cable.:eek::eek:
cable breakdown is quite rare but with all the cheap transformers now flooding the market this would be my first port of call;);)
 

ian.settle1

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As MDSKUNK say's voltage to these lights are 10-15,000 volts so if you don't know what your doing leave well alone
 
S

Spudmiester

I have a transformer made by a company called F.A.R.T. (its true), taken from a fish and chips sign. Its 25kv secondary, but if you need one PM me. It will be cheap !
 
hi ian and spud
think you will find the secondary side of your transformer is more likely 2.5kv.;);)
it is a requirement in the uk that max voltage is 10kv normally up to 50 mA.
f.a.r.t is the transformer that most sign companies now use and are very reliable.
 
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ian.settle1

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Flukey
whether voltage is 2.5, 10 or 25 KV if he does not know what he is doing he should still leave it alone as if the is an accident and investigation he could end up to his neck in the ****e.
 
point taken.
ive been fitting neon signs for over 20 years and most sparks are scared of touching them :confused::confused:
best call a sign man out then, shame i am in essex ;)
 
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