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Posted By Topic: Heat Pump Wiring-Is this normal?

Apr 24 2018 11:42

Hi, I am not an electrician and hope it\\\'s ok to ask here. Please see picture. Heat Pump wiring was done around 7-8 years ago. Painters removed the cover to repair some damage to cladding etc. and I noticed this joint in the wiring from the isolator switch to the external unit. Looks like the tape in the link was used but not sure whats underneath? Why would the Sparky have a joint here or is it not a joint? Should I be worried?

Apr 24 2018 11:45

Larger picture here

Apr 24 2018 12:03

Who knows what is under that tape. There might be a waterproof, double insulated connection under there, most likely there isn\'t. The cover will not meet the ingress protection rating required. Best to get it checked out.

Apr 24 2018 17:10

I agree.
And get that switch checked at the same time - it should be an isolating switch, but doesn\'t look like a proper one to me.

Apr 24 2018 19:30

Thanks for the replies. I would prefer to have a brand new cable instead of this ugly joint and since house getting painted get the cover replaced at the same time?
It is I believe a HPM isolation switch but neighbour got Hp installed and his switch is huge compared to
Mine. Will I need COC or ESC if the cable and or switch is replaced? Any of you a sparky from around east east Auckland by any chance or know a good one?

Apr 25 2018 10:43

Keevee. There\'s no rule prohibiting joins in cables. That one might not be beautiful, but you have no idea what\'s under that tape - it is probably a perfectly good joint. The tape itself is fire rated and weatherproof. Much better than normal electricians tape. It looks like the outdoor unit might have been relocated for some reason.

As for the isolator, it wouldn\'t comply for a new install today, but it did comply at the time it was installed.

Spend as much money as you want, getting anything you want replaced or repaired. That installation has lasted quite a number of years already so it\'s unlikely there\'s any problems with it.

Apr 25 2018 15:05

Thanks DougP. Guess what’s happening now, heat pump has no power. Either a big coincidence that it happened while the painters were doing their job or they somehow made the joint or the isolator unhappy. I need an electrician to replace that cable and the isolator switch with a more modern one which complies. Any recommendation for an electrician. I’m in East Auckland. Just hope nothing is wrong with the heat pump.

Apr 25 2018 16:01

Seems as the tape is not waterproof as was previously stated, I would say that there are just tunnel connectors under that tape and due to the cover being removed, moisture has got in or the joint was poor and has been disturbed creating an issue. The cable can be joined using crimp links and suitable heat shrink, nothing wrong with this as long as the outer sheath protection on the cable is also reinstated with thick walled heat-shrink like Raychem. The cover that was removed will not need replacing as long as it covers the entire run of the cable and pipework and is not cracked or split.

Apr 25 2018 17:04

So it’s ok to leave that isolator switch? Since I have to call a sparky should I just get the cable replaced and the isolator switch too? Any of you guys a Sparky from around East auckland? Thanks

Apr 25 2018 17:23

The cable can be repaired and remain in use if it passes testing. Can\'t comment on the isolator without more information about it. Sorry but I\'m on the wrong island to do the job, search your local electricians with google and read some recommendations. Tell them you may need an isolator, although they should have one in their van stock.

Apr 25 2018 18:15

Isolator is HPM WS170 20A
Thing is house is getting painted and I’m away next week. So I only have tomorrow and day after to get it done if it needs to be done before house is painted. I would prefer to get it done after I come back but painting will be finished by then. If the isolator needs replacing then does it need to be sealed using sealant around it as it will look ugly with fresh paint. It’s a plaster house and here is a picture of the existing isolator to give you an idea.

Apr 25 2018 18:48

That should be suitable if the heat pump draws 20A or less. If a new one does indeed need installing, if it is done correctly, it shouldn\'t need any sealer. You really need to get an electrician, it is not really possible to cover all eventualities from just a photo and description.

Apr 25 2018 18:50

I would put sealant behind it before screwing it to the wall if sealing is required. As you said it looks ugly putting it on afterwards. Any good tradesman should be able to estimate how much without it going all over the place.
If the same sort of switch is being fitted and the base is OK won\'t need to touch the base.
If a newer larger Isolator is fitted should be able to hide what is already there.

Apr 25 2018 19:01

I see the link above calls it an isolator but the manufacturer calls it a switch. The Code WS I fairly sure is Waterproof Switch.

Apr 25 2018 19:08

Well this installation was also done by an electrician who gave COC etc. too but he put sealant all over the switch around it. Also made a wrong hole next to it. Can an electrician also replace that plastic if cover duct pipe thingy if required or a heat pump installer is required for it.
In simple terms what is the difference between what’s installed and an isolator? I just don’t want to end up having a cowboy again. Any recommendations welcome.

Apr 25 2018 19:50

A decent sparky or decent handyman should be able to replace the duct cover. An isolator has a bigger contact gap and is guaranteed to isolate the circuit. A switch has a greater chance of “leaking” voltage across the contacts.