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  1. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Hi Folks
    This is my first post, but I've been reading many posts over the last few months and have found this forum very informative and some times very humorous, Thank you all.

    I have recently come across a problem whilst doing some PAT testing for a customer that has left me confused. Although this is nothing to do with PAT testing it was my PAT testing meter that highlighted the problem when I plugged it into a socket.

    The property is a 4 year old Timber barn and the loft has a small ring circuit with a spur off it feeding a socket below for a small telly.

    My problem is that all of the sockets are only giving voltage readings of 60v but the reading for the circuit at the CU is the standard 240v
    The only thing that I can think of is that when building the property someone has banged a nail through a cable somewhere.
    I have been round all of the sockets and checked connections etc and found nothing obviously wrong.
    When I mentioned it to the customer he said don't worry its probably been like it for ever and the sockets only supply low voltage stuff anyway.

    Well I am concerned that its wrong and there is possibly a nightmare waiting to happen.
    Im thinking of contacting the customer and trying to get him to let me rectify the problem
    Is there anything else it could be?

    I await your reply's with baited breath :)
     
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  2. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    need to know a lot more. are appliances plugged into these sockets working OK? what are the sockets used for? and more.
     
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  3. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    A voltage reading of 60v with respect to what?
     
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  4. Des 56
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    Des 56 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
    it was my PAT testing meter that highlighted the problem when I plugged it into a socket.

    The test for voltage should be carried out with a voltage tester to have a true indication of the situation
     
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  5. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Appliances are plugged in and working. All low voltage stuff.
    All voltages tested with a multimeter. Fluke 1653b
    60 volts at each socket (thought i'd said that)
    240 volts at CU for Circuit (thought i'd said that)
     
  6. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    something wrong here.if a 240V appliance works, there's no way there's only 60V at the sockets.
     
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  7. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    Could be looking at some Power supply 12/24VDC ,60V AC above earth ,and a very confused pat tester box.
    (Customer says worry not )... but you know something is off !

    Switch to DC , on anything apparently 0V !

    Check appliances not 120V and you are seing some weird 60-0-60 Configuration .
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  8. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    I think SC asked what the 60Volts referred to L-N, N-E, L-E When you say all low voltage stuff, what exactly do you mean? the system you are working on 24o Volts IS LOW VOLTAGE.
     
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  9. Des 56
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    Des 56 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
     
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  10. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    here we go again. poor terminology causing confusion:
     
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  11. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    I did indeed ask what the 60v was in respect to. If it's line/neutral, you could have a loose connection at the board. It's one thing sticking your probe (oooh err) in the MCB terminal screw and the neutral bar, but if it's loose, it's not going to help.
     
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  12. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    So many questions...

    For a start, describe exactly how you are making these voltage measurements, both at the sockets and at the CU.
     
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  13. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Guys
    I know 240 IS LOW VOLTAGE
    Once the pat tester highlighted the problem i got out the MULTIMETER
    60 volts L-E + L-N
     
  14. westward10
    Online

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I suspect the PAT does some sort of check at the socket and it is indicating a fault at the socket/s possibly an earth continuity fault and is showing a 60V potential at the earth. If there were 60V between line/neutral nothing would function.
     
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  15. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
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    Deleted
     
  16. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    That just leaves testing if N-E = 0 or 120V AC ?
     
  17. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Thanks for your help guys but as I'm 2 hours drive away from the customer I'll sort it out myself when I'm back there and delve deeper when I can.
    Toooo many questions and not a lot of help / suggestions
    I was worried that this would happen as I've seen lots of times on here
    Feels like I was back at collage
     
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  18. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    ( Customer may be , vague if he knows of some 240-120 convertor box ...
    wired inappropriately )

    IEC cables to USA plugs should have been clue ... GONE !

    If its wired weird , confirm a known good earth ref .

    60V sounds planned .
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  19. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    And you still expect more help?
    The questions you have been asked are relevant and will help with diagnosing the problem.
     
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  20. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    OP, unfortunately you're the one that's been to site and none of us (to my knowledge) are telepathic (although I am getting hints of beer and vino emanating from around Cheshire/Staffordshire and Northants for some reason) so it's natural we're going to ask questions to try and establish the fullest picture we can before dishing out advice, hence you see it happen a lot.

    It's not meant to be a pop quiz, but your OP was a bit thin in terms of information especially regarding the measurements. 60v.... between where? (you've answered, stating between L-N and L-E), but when measured at the board (I'm assuming the neutral/earth bar and the MCB output terminal screwhead) you're getting 240v.

    So if this was my problem, I'd be checking terminations and device connections in the CU. Especially as the issue appears to be affecting all sockets on the circuit... if it's a ring final circuit there is only one common place and that would be the CU, unless it's a lollipop, then there are two. If it's a radial, are the sockets the only thing on the circuit? If there is maybe a SFCU as the first connection, could be a loose connection in there which is having a knock on effect on the rest of them. But, as you can see, there are a lot of possibilities and so lots of questions.

    Do you have other electrical test equipment (such as an earth fault loop impedance meter, low range continuity tester etc.) to test the circuit itself for other faults?

    Where did that come from?
     
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  21. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I am in Northants, I hasten to add not born in Northants and no devils juice has passed by lips:innocent:
     
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  22. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    Fault finding an install is clue based ,
    If someone has an adhock 120V , departure from the norm , wired in UK Square
    plugs , but located somewhere out of the way . They may play dumb ... Concealment . (was attempting to be kind )

    This could be a weird 60v series daisy chain for all we know .
     
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  23. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    I say old chap, think you missed the word YET out at the end of your post :D.
     
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  24. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    I'm just about to have a sip or 6, like many I hate posts like this one, with very little information, with responses from lots of people only to be told, not much in the way of help was forth coming, as I get older (yes it was my birthday on Tuesday) I tend to get rather upset at some of the more, shall we say difficult posts to get any help from the poster, to that end I will not take part in any further discussion with regards to this post. Instead I will retire to the Drawing Room with her in doors, and continue to sip the red nectar.
     
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  25. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    A belated Happy Birthday Pete ;):)
     
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  26. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    Well thank you Andy
     
  27. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Well belated birthday greetings :)

    I shall be indulging in a beer or two later as compensation for coming home absolutely filthy three days in a row this week, so I shall raise a bottle or tinny to you :D
     
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  28. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    Happy birthday!
     
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  29. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Your welcome buddy, enjoy your tipple. I'll have some later :).

    As for the thread, I'm not even going to bother responding. My crystal ball is in for repair & the OP's attitude stinks.
    Off to pick the kids up, catch you later.
     
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  30. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales

    Anything nice SC ?
     
  31. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Not sure yet, going to have a nose at the real ale in Asda and see what tickles my fancy. Might get a couple of bottles of SA in, who knows :)
     
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  32. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Thanks for the info much appreciated.
    You've confirmed my thoughts, so I'll be checking/testing everything on the circuit
    The one place I couldn't get to for long was CU as we had to vacate the cabin as it had been booked out
    As I keep saying the instrument I used for my testing wasn't the pat tester.
    It was/is a Fluke Multimeter 1653b (does pretty much everything)
    As I said to begin with its a sm Ring final circuit with 1 spur off.
    I think that people have assumed I'm not qualified
     
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  33. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Thanks SC
     
  34. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Thanks SC
    Thanks Mate
     
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  35. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    A belated birthday greeting , Pete999
     
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  36. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    You're welcome.

    I didn't check the model number, but multimeter and multi-function tester are different things to me. One is what I use to test electrical installations and the other is what I use to do diagnostic work on electronic equipment. So I've (incorrectly) assumed 'multimeter' = 'multimeter' when in fact you're talking about an MFT. I'm not big on Fluke model numbers so it didn't click, hence my question about other test gear.

    I re-read your OP whilst writing my reply and I missed the part where you said it was a ring final, sorry. So yes, check at the start of the circuit for loose connections and work from there.

    If the place isn't too old, do they have the EIC from the original installation? I'd be asking for that and check some of the readings for the circuit against what's down on the cert. Could be a good indication of changes they haven't mentioned.

    2 hours drive... hope you're charging them for that :)

    Good luck and please come back and let us know what you find.
     
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  37. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    As SC said let us know your findings.
     
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  38. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    I apologise if you think my attitude stinks I never intend to upset people I just find it frustrating that I have to repeat stuff.
    I also apologise for not having more information for everyone but it was a couple of weeks ago and its all I had and its been bugging me.
    All I was really looking for was a couple of pointers I'd possibly not thought of.
    Again please accept my apologies and I'll try harder next time.
     
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  39. Andy
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    Andy EF Member

    Location:
    Burnley
    Sorry you are right I should have said Multifunction tester. My mistake.
    Would be nice to be paid for the journey but it was quite a lot of work so I just charged all on a day rate (3 days). They've also asked me to do the electrics on a new very large cabin they are building in a few months (loads of work) :)

    I will definitely let you know what I find.
     
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  40. buzzlightyear
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    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    upload_2017-7-14_14-42-22.png happy belated birthday pete.
     
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  41. westward10
    Online

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Eightieth think Pete might choke on that.
     
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  42. buzzlightyear
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    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    upload_2017-7-14_14-58-9.png for pete ,sent you a funky chicken card !

    upload_2017-7-14_14-57-34.png
     
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  43. westward10
    Online

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    They look like they have just been electrocuted.
     
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  44. static zap
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    static zap Regular EF Member

    Location:
    west midlands
    I'm missing the Funky gibbons theme !
    ( On the wrong track as normal )
     
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  45. buzzlightyear
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    buzzlightyear Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    yeah, gibbon. are think of the goodies song .
     
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