Normally found on European campsites but has been found in the UK Reverse Polarity is when the live is wired to the netural and netural wired to the live.

     

    Everything will still work but it can be dangerous if there is a fault on an appliance as the applance could still be live.

     

    The link below gives a guide to making your own reverse polarity lead, see also reverse polarity tester

    everse1.jpg

    Edited by markf



    User Feedback


    Posted

    THe main reason it is so dangerous in UK caravans is that in older ones we only switch the live wire at outlets 

    European vans switch both live and neutral at their outlets so it doesn't matter to them when switched off it is off irrespective - in some ways European wiring is better than ours in others less so 

    ALL of our plugs carry a fuse whereas European plugs do not so any problem doesn't just isolate the appliance it disrupts the whole circuit

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    Posted

    test

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    Posted

    Sorry Mark - your pressing of the test button did not break the continuity of this post.... :jump:

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    Posted

    Should have added for all you newbies out there you can NOT buy these leads as technically they are unnecessary here

    There is  a minute chance you will find one reverse wired pitch

    AND you probably will not find any abroad either as they just do not need them having dual pole switches 

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    Posted

    I was kicked off A,N Other forum  for urging extreme care when dealing with reversed polarity

    I was dismayed at  the solutions offered by some contributors , and said so, thus being banned for  the contradiction of mods and forum members with  high post levels ( as though that makes them experts and above criticism )

    You might notice from my signature that I may have some expertise  on the subject .

    All I will say is be very careful when making your own converter ,

    Get one of these

    http://martindale-electric.co.uk/martindale-cp501-classic-check-plug-240v-socket-tester-p-277.html?osCsid=7bf4c2d7c6986f7522a358ac192a21e0

    And be sure you test at every opportunity . starting with the caravan  mains lead

    I tested my caravan whilst in France this year and thought I had reversed polarity , but found a bought in lead was incorrectly connected on assembly  .

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    Posted

    I agree about the tester

    I'm not an electrician -  but have a knowledge of how many different ways you can get wiring mixed up when abroad 

    Strangly we too had a lead that was "funny" not only was it wired wrong the screws supposed to secure the wires were not tight 

     

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    Posted

    THe main reason it is so dangerous in UK caravans is that in older ones we only switch the live wire at outlets 

    European vans switch both live and neutral at their outlets so it doesn't matter to them when switched off it is off irrespective - in some ways European wiring is better than ours in others less so 

     

    European (?) vans do not have switched sockets and neither do continental houses.

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    Posted

    European (?) vans do not have switched sockets and neither do continental houses.

    Strange the ones I saw did although the switches for the outlets were separate 

    I know that Northern and Southern European domestic outlets are unswitched and assumed that other Euro caravans and M/h were same as those I saw in France 

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    Posted

    Strange the ones I saw did although the switches for the outlets were separate 

    I know that Northern and Southern European domestic outlets are unswitched and assumed that other Euro caravans and M/h were same as those I saw in France 

    Having owned five different makes of continental caravans none had switched sockets. At the German Caravan show last month  I can't  recall any with switched sockets amongst the dozens I viewed..

    French and German sockets are, in general, unswitched so why would caravans not have the same fittings?

    Modern caravans  have double pole MCBs and  RCDs which  are  not affected by reversed polarity so unless  fingers are put into light sockets or  appliances dismantled whilst are still plugged in  or connected  then reversed polarity should not be a problem.

    If a CEE17 (blue)  EHU socket has reversed polarity tell the site owner as the polarity is specific on these  plugs and sockets throughout Europe. Rectifying the problem by introducing an incorrectly wired  'reversed' lead is not the answer..

     

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    Posted

     

    Modern caravans  have double pole MCBs and  RCDs which  are  not affected by reversed polarity so unless  fingers are put into light sockets or  appliances dismantled whilst are still plugged in  or connected  then reversed polarity should not be a problem.

    Do UK build caravans have the double pole MCBs - I know German build ones do

    UK still tends to have single pole - try and get double pole MCBs here....

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    Posted

    Do UK build caravans have the double pole MCBs - I know German build ones do

    UK still tends to have single pole - try and get double pole MCBs here....

    You are correct  that obtaining double pole MCBs in the UK was a problem but they are available albeit in two module version.. double pole MCB

    I buy mine in France where single module/ double pole MCBs are available in all diy stores.  These will replace a single module/ single pole MCB without taking more space in the consumer unit.  I have some spare if you are interested all well known brands.

    I understand that 'modern' UK caravans now have dp MCBs but how far back I do not know so perhaps I should have been more specific? Weren't some UK manufacturers fitting cheap Chinese RCDs/MCBs that were failing? Back in 2003 my German 'van had single pole MCBs which I converted to single module/ double pole.  My 2005 German 'van came with paired single module MCBs with linked toggles to provide double pole units and, again I converted to sm/sp units so that I could add circuits in the same consumer unit.

    Example of French MCBs....http://www.bricodepot.fr/calais/disjoncteur-3-ka/prod13754/

     

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    Posted

    Could have done with that link a couple of years ago when the new board went in my house :;):

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    Posted

    I have 2 X 25m leads, one of them I have swapped the live and neutral wires at one end. I have used it all over France and in Spain with no problems at all. I use a polarity tester each time and decide which of the two leads I need to use.

     

     

      Les

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    Posted

    I have 2 X 25m leads, one of them I have swapped the live and neutral wires at one end. I have used it all over France and in Spain with no problems at all. I use a polarity tester each time and decide which of the two leads I need to use.

     

     

      Les

    I'm sure  you have clearly  marked the leads accordingly ,hope you dont mind me asking

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    Posted

    You are correct  that obtaining double pole MCBs in the UK was a problem but they are available albeit in two module version.. double pole MCB

    I buy mine in France where single module/ double pole MCBs are available in all diy stores.  These will replace a single module/ single pole MCB without taking more space in the consumer unit.  I have some spare if you are interested all well known brands.

    I understand that 'modern' UK caravans now have dp MCBs but how far back I do not know so perhaps I should have been more specific? Weren't some UK manufacturers fitting cheap Chinese RCDs/MCBs that were failing? Back in 2003 my German 'van had single pole MCBs which I converted to single module/ double pole.  My 2005 German 'van came with paired single module MCBs with linked toggles to provide double pole units and, again I converted to sm/sp units so that I could add circuits in the same consumer unit.

    Example of French MCBs....http://www.bricodepot.fr/calais/disjoncteur-3-ka/prod13754/

     

    Just a note of caution here

    Unless they have wired feeds , double pole MCBs have a live and  neutral  bars feeding them . so unless you are VERY sure of what you are doing , you could end up with alternate MCBs being connected to neutral instead of live .

    The French DP MCB shown  would require wired links for the live and neutral  .quite  a fiddly job

    So the whole issue of resolving cross polarity is a minefield of potential problems  if the person dealing with it  is unqualified

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    Posted

     

    Just a note of caution here

    Unless they have wired feeds , double pole MCBs have a live and  neutral  bars feeding them . so unless you are VERY sure of what you are doing , you could end up with alternate MCBs being connected to neutral instead of live .

    The French DP MCB shown  would require wired links for the live and neutral  .quite  a fiddly job

    So the whole issue of resolving cross polarity is a minefield of potential problems  if the person dealing with it  is unqualified

     

    Thank you

    All the MCBs I have seen are wired feeds and, in fact, I haven't (yet) seen a busbar fed version but, no doubt they exist. Personally. I didn't consider wiring dp MCBs to be particularly difficult.

    Perhaps, in place of 'unqualifed'  unaware may be more appropriate?

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    Posted (edited)

     

    I'm sure  you have clearly  marked the leads accordingly ,hope you dont mind me asking

     

     

    Rodders 

     

    I don't need to as ( the French one ) is white 2.5 cable and the English one is orange.

    Edited by carper

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    Posted

     

    Rodders 

     

    I don't need to as ( the French one ) is white 2.5 cable and the English one is orange.

    Is that not marked then? :;):

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    Posted

    Is that not marked then? :;):

    i would prefer something more definitive such as a label each end indicating a non standard lead .

    The problem is we are now going down the path of simple well meaning advice from a position of some expertise being unpicked ,much as happened on the other forum . To keep everyone happy I am going back to my original position after getting the elbow from CT , never to comment or give advice on matters electrical .

    . I will always be safe from a position of expert knowledge .........

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    Posted

    :rolleyes3:Is that not marked then? :;):

    no they are both clean as I wipe them each time I use them.:rolleyes3:

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    Posted

    i would prefer something more definitive such as a label each end indicating a non standard lead .

    The problem is we are now going down the path of simple well meaning advice from a position of some expertise being unpicked ,much as happened on the other forum . To keep everyone happy I am going back to my original position after getting the elbow from CT , never to comment or give advice on matters electrical .

    . I will always be safe from a position of expert knowledge .........

    So lets pick this post back together then shall we...

    carper has 2 leads: an orange correct polarity one and a white reversed polarity one, in his mind these leads are marked (the fact that the reverse polarity one is white marks it in a land of orange EHU leads) - even though a stranger picking one up would not know - why would a stranger need to know? Suppose the leads are stolen and the thief sells them on eBay - the buyer is not to know that the nice white one they buy is stolen or a reverse polarity one - and no doubt will never check it.

    Now lets have a look at the picture of the reverse polarity lead it is a male and female joined by a short piece of wire, it is totally useless as a EHU lead as it is too short - which will mark it even if the marking label does come off.

    A reverse polarity lead should be as short as possible, certainly no more than 400mm long, and should be marked "WARNING Reversed Polarity" on both the male and female ends. This lead should be used in conjunction with your standard lead when needed.

     

    BTW Rodders - This is NOT CT :;):

     

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    BTW Rodders - This is NOT CT :;):

     

    No,:2thumbsup: I am glad to say , thats why I am here and not there

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    Posted

     

    Rodders 

     

    I don't need to as ( the French one ) is white 2.5 cable and the English one is orange.

    So an incorrectly wired EHU is rectified with an incorrectly wired adapter cable?

    Two wrongs making it   white? :undecided:

    .

     

     

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  • Touring and Tenting - Glossary V2 Copyright 2015 all rights reserved

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