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Posted By Topic: Overloaded Adapters 16A plug top up to 32A female

Jan 06 2018 11:51

There are a number of registered electricians out there that think its OK to make an adapter with a 16 amp plug top up to a 32 amp cord connector. See this happening on marinas where a vessel which has on board a 32 amp shore power set up has shifted berths from a 32 amp marina receptacle and now the only one available at the new berth is 16 amp so the electrician comes along and makes the above adapter with out an in line de-rate 16 amp CB. Also the test and tag man OKs these for another year as required by the marina. Can someone point me to the most pertinent reg that alludes to this practice being illegal.
The electricians argument is well the 16 amp marina receptacle is protected by a 16 amp CB.
Guys/shit we just do this shit eh ?


Jan 06 2018 11:52

Sorry meant to say Guy and girls we shouldn't do this shit eh?

Jan 06 2018 15:06

adding an in line CB @ 16Amps wouldn't achieve anything as the outlet is already protected by a 16A CB.

The only issue would be the total power usage on the boat as they would now only have effectively a 16A maximum load.

I had a really quick look thru AS.NZS3004.2 and can't see anything that prohibits adaptor cables like you described


Jan 06 2018 15:08

Fitting the adapter to the 32A rated boat charging system would render it electrically unsafe per ESR23.

That said, the 16A MCB at the pillar keeps it from becoming dangerous. The danger arises when the adapter is connected to a circuit overt 16A capacity.

Jan 06 2018 16:33

Yes I read as electrically unsafe. The issue is the adapter can be plugged into another facility where the outlets are not individually 16amp protected

Jan 06 2018 16:59

Don't lose sight of the fact that for caravans and motor homes there have been a number of adapters (10 A plug to 16 A cord connector) approved for sale. BUT they also contain a circuit breaker or RCBO (if earth leakage protection is also needed).

It is the addition of the overcurrent protection in the adapter that makes them electrically safe and does NOT expect that the socket outlet providing the supply overcurrnt device will do this function.

Jan 06 2018 17:18

So for an electrician to make such an adapter with out a derate CB in line is assembling an electrical unsafe fitting and opening themselves for a complaint levelled against them of they think its OK

Jan 07 2018 07:29

See all sorts of weird shit that "qualified' folk have knocked up to bridge the gap between available socket outlet and appliance- does anyone apart from the folk who come here actually read the Electrical(Safety)Regulations?

Jan 07 2018 08:04

The statement that the outlet is protected by 16A MCB is fine except remember the MCB isn't to protect the outlet it's to protect the circuit. However sometimes this is the same. Take domestic. 20A circuit. 10A outlets. You can safely draw 20A from the outlet without damaging the circuit. Won't do much good for the outlet though. I don't have an issue making something like this for myself for testing or whatever but to hand it out to Joe Public where I don't have control. Nah ain't going to happen unless I safeguard it so someone won't do something stupid. I made something similar but used an E3 box with 2 outlets and a MCB.

Jan 07 2018 09:15

Guys any Safety Reg/ NZ AU 3000 clause that would succinctly highlight this safety concern?

Jan 07 2018 12:53

As Mowgli said: ESR 23.
specifically (1)(g)

Jan 07 2018 13:22

Yep looks like the one, thanks !

Jan 07 2018 13:35

Funny isn't it the old (non electrician) Test and Tag man comes along and says its OK.
That test and tag regime is the biggest gravy train in NZ. That's for another thread !

Jan 09 2018 17:32

"Funny isn't it the old (non electrician) Test and Tag man comes along and says its OK."

Nah, not funny dude, just incompetent, much the same as the plonker that made the lead up in the first place (and put a 3760 pass tag on the thing likely as not).

Much the same as a welder that has a rated current of 20+ amps, a 10Amp plug, and a "pass tag" issued by an "E" license holder.

Hopefully, once the new government is bedded in, they'll take a look at the training regime for TnT and conclude that a better system would improve things.