Online assistance for electrical trade people in New Zealand and Australia Login  |  Register  |   Forgot Password
Assistance for electrical trade people
 

 

 

 


Click here to send Forum Admin a pdf document for publication on this Topic

Documents must be less than 200k in pdf format

Posted By Topic: Caravan 3 pin plug - Earth and Neutral wrong way

timscabin
Dec 14 2019 12:53

Hi,
I recently bought a caravan that came with an extension cord to plug into 240V mains with standard 3 pin caravan plug ends. When I opened the ends to check the wiring I found that the male socket with the pins had the earth wire connected to the neutral pin, and the neutral wire connected to the earth pin.
According to the guy I bought the caravan from, it worked fine this way. Is this possible??
Thanks, Tim.
   

medistat
Dec 14 2019 16:08

You're obviously not a sparky so strongly sugegst that you get BOTH ends f the cable checked and tagged as being OK by a registered electrician. Indeed, some motor camps now require this before they'll allow connection.
   

ShaneR
Dec 14 2019 22:20

Yes it is possible.

Safe, no
Legal, no

If the supply is RCD protected, the circuit should trip.
   

action
Dec 15 2019 07:57

Maybe its wired the same both ends? seen that before
   

Sarmajor
Dec 27 2019 21:43

While I am aware that some caravan parks require a tested and tagged lead, they are only doing it because of the T&T practices that have evolved in NZ and they perceive some bum cover from this practice.

The supply lead to a caravan is included in the WOEF and that is all the testing that it legally requires.
   

SteveH
Dec 29 2019 19:38

"While I am aware that some caravan parks require a tested and tagged lead, they are only doing it because of the T&T practices that have evolved in NZ and they perceive some bum cover from this practice.

The supply lead to a caravan is included in the WOEF and that is all the testing that it legally requires."

Off topic and no answer to OP's question

   

DougP
Dec 29 2019 20:15

Medistat raised the question about getting the lead tagged. So sarmajor was just responding.
   

SteveH
Dec 30 2019 07:44

"so strongly sugegst that you get BOTH ends f the cable checked and tagged as being OK by a registered electrician. "

OP described an incorrectly wired plug and asked why would this work in it's present configuration, Medistat's response was advice, and a response to OP, sarmjor went off on one of his many diatribes regarding something that he clearly finds offensive but not helpful to the OP.

Funnily enough, the OP's issue is something that a competent test and tag would reveal, unless the same conductors are similarly transposed at the socket connector.
   

AlecK
Dec 30 2019 09:17

Actually Sarmajor's post was directly relevant to medistat's advice. It cannot be correctly described as a diatribe; nor did it convey any sense that the practice offended. It was just providing correct context for medistat's advice. In my view not off-topic at all.

As for not answering the question; the only direct answer so far has been ShaneR's. While rambling off into completely unrelated areas should be discouraged, if we all restricted ourselves to just a straight answer to each OP's direct question, this forum would be a great deal less helpful than it is.\

In this case the OP only wanted to know if it were possible for the incorrectly-wired lead to work. So if Sarmajor is to be called out for going off-topic and not answering the question, then same would have to apply to medistat. And now to me. The way I see it, the only post so far in this thread that is completely unhelpful is SteveH's first.
I'm not a believer in New Year resolutions; but please can we all try to play nice?

   

tyrvin
Jan 03 2020 11:15

The lead would still work if both ends had a transposed earth and neutral, or the power supply wasn't RCD protected.
Either way the lead doesn't comply and should be fixed.
   

Andrew
Jan 13 2020 11:20

slightly off topic, but if the cord has green to neutral at both ends and blue to earth at both ends is it actually non-compliant? That is, can anyone point me to a rule that requires green wires in adapters/cords (as opposed to installations) to only be used for earth?
   

pluto
Jan 13 2020 13:34

Andrew Jan 13 2020 11:20

Your comment (part only)
That is, can anyone point me to a rule that requires green wires in adapters/cords (as opposed to installations) to only be used for earth?

AS/NZS 3199 for extension cords

AS/NZS 3000:2007 +A1+A2 Clause 3.8.3.2 figure 3.1 for flexible cords

Just 2 for easy refences and there are more in other standards
   

AlecK
Jan 14 2020 10:48

Andrew's question is specifically NOT about installations, so reference to "3000" is not relevant.
And if we were looking at "3000", better clause refs would be 1.7.2(f) & 3.8.1; which specifically prohibit use of green, yellow, or G/Y conductors as active or neutral.

3.8.3.2 is Exceptions allowing As & N's to not follow the colour code even when ID is by colour, but can't over-ride 3.8.1's specific prohibition on using G for anything other than earth; which ALWAYS applies even when colour is not the chosen form of conductor function ID.

Fig 3.1 doesn't set any requirements at all, it simply provides info relevant to clause 3.8.3.3.

"3199" is specified in Schedule 4 of ESRs as the relevant Standard for a cord extension set, but I strongly suspect it's limited to those with "3112 / 3120" type (3-pin flat pin) ends. I don't have a copy to check; would have to see the Scope clause to know whether it can apply to a caravan lead.

Even if it can / does; remember that ESR 80 doesn't require compliance with Sched 4 Standards, it just cites that as IF the item complies with relevant standard then it's deemed to be electrically safe. So we'd need either another ESR requiring compliance with the Standard, or one declaring the unusual core allocation to be electrically unsafe, before declaring it 'non compliant' with ESRs.

I can say that the reversal at both ends so that the N conductor is green and the E conductor is blue is not "kosher"; but not electrically unsafe, and I can't put my finger on a specific requirement that would make it a breach of ESRs for a lead in general.

However for a caravan lead in particular; ESR 60 says "connectable installations" must comply with both Part 2 of "300o" and with "3001". The component parts of a caravan lead are specified in Section 5 of "3001". Clause 1.2 which requires all aspects of the transportable structure to comply with "3000" "except as varied herein". So even though the caravan is not an "electrical installation", but a different sort of thing called a "connectable installation" ; it still has to comply with installation rules and the prohibition on using green for anything other than earth (clause 3.8.1) applies. Including to the supply lead.

   

Andrew
Jan 27 2020 13:04

So it will fail a WoEF if submitted for one, and will be non-compliant to use to supply a connectable installation, but could still be compliant if supplying something else (like an appliance)...
   

AlecK
Jan 27 2020 14:09

Applying the WoEF requirements strictly as written; it wouldn't fail a WoEF assessment. Clause C7.3 says "supply leads shall have the correct polarity"; which (assuming both ends incorrectly wired in similar manner) it will pass. We have to check that each pin of plug is connected only to the corresponding contact of the connector; but nothing requires us to open it up to check conductor IDs.