Discuss Storage Heaters - RCD Required? in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Dan924

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Hi all
As storage heaters are on a dedicated restricted single use circuit, do we need to use rcd/rcbo protection, I can't seem to find any guidance?
My gut feeling would be no as the sudden power serge could cause unwanted tripping, I would be interested in other opinions thanks:confused:
Or a pointer in the right direction.
 
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Spudnik

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  • #2
If the cables are less than 50mm in the wall etc etc, then yes, they should be RCD protected.

There is nothing about a storage heater that would cause unwanted tripping, unless there is a fault somewhere.

No different from 'normal' circuits.
 
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Dan924

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  • #3
That was a lucky guess! as they are all on external walls which have been clad with 50mm thermal board :eek:
Experience is a wonderful thing when you do things correct without knowing why.

Cheers for the repose
 
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wattsup

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  • #4
Why would unwanted power surges trip an rcd?, sorry I'm not with you on this
 
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electro

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  • #5
Hi Dan924


shame on you wattsup mocking.. Dan as Jason6930 said you need RCD protection if the cables are concealed, you also need to evaluate the earth leakage from storage heaters, this could cause problems if you use a main RCD and individual CB's for your circuits. RCBO are good if your cables are concealed. If you only want to install a few heaters you could use a main RCD, but if you get a faulty heater you will lose all the heat for the property. With storage heaters that could be up to 24 hours without heat?


Regards
 
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Spudnik

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I think in this situation, although expensive, i would use RCBO's.

As electro said, one fault on a main switch RCD would take out ALL the heating.
 
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wet string

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i dont see the problem with them all being protected by one rcd? sure if one developed an earth fault ,then they would all go off, but is this a major inconvenience? turn all cbs off, reset rcd turn on one at a time etc,
how often is this likely to happen in the life of an installation?
 
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Spudnik

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i dont see the problem with them all being protected by one rcd? sure if one developed an earth fault ,then they would all go off, but is this a major inconvenience? turn all cbs off, reset rcd turn on one at a time etc,
how often is this likely to happen in the life of an installation?
Absolutely, but if there is a fault and the RCD trips, this would normally happen at night and so would wake up to a cold house!

If there is an elderly person living there then i think this becomes more relevant using RCBO's.

Thats my take on it.:)

Then again, im still trying to think of what could go to earth in a storage heater through fault?
 
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andyb

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i dont see the problem with them all being protected by one rcd? sure if one developed an earth fault ,then they would all go off, but is this a major inconvenience? turn all cbs off, reset rcd turn on one at a time etc,
how often is this likely to happen in the life of an installation?
Jason's right about a cold house, also during the day there would be no supply to the board so the faulty circuit could not be found this way.
 
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wet string

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  • #10
i just think things have gone too far, that elderly person has t coff up maybe an extra £240 on top for rcbos on circuits that are most unlikely to ever develop an earth fault, with that scenario i think id tell the oldie to save their money for the leccy bill!
 
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Spudnik

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  • #11
Gotta be honest i agree with you there, but if a CU for N/S is being replaced, it more than likely has to have the circuits RCD protected one way or another, and the circuits should be organised so that inconvenience is kept to a minimum.

I have just replaced an old N/S heater CU with one that has an RCD main switch, but this was in commercial.

Residential of course is a different matter.

How would anyone else approach this in a domestic situation?
 
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wet string

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  • #12
its 'conveniance' thats open to debate, i interprete that as, 1 fault dosnt take out all the lights, all the power, water heating, shower, cooker,so you divide up the circuits so that upstairs lights are on one rcd downstairs another, and so on. so assuming a 17th board for standard circuits and an rcd board for ns heaters, thats 3 seperate rcd protected groups........how far do you go, personally i find 'selling' all this extra kit and bonding upgrades to clients hard enough as it is.
 
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electro

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  • #13
Hi

You could always install totally surface then you don't need RCD's and it will reduce a lot on labour and materials charges. I'm afraid, times have changed and more thought is required in modern day installations. You should always give the customer the options there's plus and minus with each of them.
regards
 
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Spudnik

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We are talking about an off peak cu upgrade.

Granted, on a new install you could wire surface.
 
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electro

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We are talking about an off peak cu upgrade.

Granted, on a new install you could wire surface.

Hi


your response has inspired me to start a new thread/posting.. upgrading consumer units.


regards
 
P

Plan

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  • #16
ive spent a lot of time reparing storage heaters and ive known the wire element type heater blow and short to earth (dead short 0M ohm live to earth).
ive also come across tennants tampering with them to get compo claims off council, but thats another story!!!!!!!
 
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hughesy

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  • #17
Jason's right about a cold house, also during the day there would be no supply to the board so the faulty circuit could not be found this way.
if you talking about off peak you can over ride the radio teleswitch or even wire a temporary supply from mains board which is usually next to board for oph.
 
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wet string

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  • #18
thats how id do it, unless you want to stay on job till 1am to do your testing.
 
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Spudnik

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  • #19
Indeed but some tariffs have a midday boost.

If it has, you could always arrange the time for testing then.
 
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wet string

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havnt come across those yet. something to bear in mind next time i have the cover off one, with no isolator fitted, i usually pull service fuse, disconnect tails, and rig temps for testing .safest way i can think of.
 

andyb

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if you talking about off peak you can over ride the radio teleswitch or even wire a temporary supply from mains board which is usually next to board for oph.
thats how id do it, unless you want to stay on job till 1am to do your testing.
Indeed but some tariffs have a midday boost.

If it has, you could always arrange the time for testing then.
Or in 5 minuets you could do an insulation test on each circuit.
 
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Spudnik

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Or in 5 minuets you could do an insulation test on each circuit.
Not on the heater though.

This would only test the circuit up to the point of connection to the heater.
 

andyb

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Arms
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Switch the heater on, test with 250 volts.
We're only trying to find an earth fault.
 
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