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Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
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One of my electric circuits has tripped in the consumer

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One of my electric circuits has tripped in the consumer unit. I cannot find any faults in the wiring, but if I reset the trip the lights will work for up to 2hrs.
JA: Who makes your lighting? How old is it?
Customer: One of my electric circuits has tripped in the consumer unit. I cannot find any faults in the wiring, but if I reset the trip the lights will work for up to 2hrs
JA: How long has this been going on with your lighting? What have you tried so far?
Customer: About 2 weeks.I have checked the switches and lampholders for burns or short circuits
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: A pal said he thinks it is a earth leek

Which switch in the consumer unit is tripping? And when it trips, can you reset it straight away?

If it's an MCB (for example a B6) then it isn't an earth leak. However, it could be a slight overload, or a faulty MCB. Could you count the total power (in Watts) of all lamps on the circuit that are on when it trips?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
T. C.) The total number of Wats on the circuit is 400 Watts (JA)The wiring is about 30yrs. old. Make of lighting no idea.It is strange that lights come on after reset for a short period of time 50% of time.I do not understand the question.Who makes your lighting.

Thanks for counting up the load - 400W is definitely not a high load.

Could you attach a photo of the device in the consumer unit that's tripping?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The consumer unit is a WYLEX overall size is 11in X 6 3/8 in. their are 4 wired fuses,which I think are 15 amp and 4 30 amp circuit breakers. I do not know how to send photos by email hence the description of the unit.
I think it best that I explain to you that I am a 87 year old pensioner on state benefit and have a failing memory. I would have prefered to speak to you by phone but funds are low. Regards ***** *****.

Hello Michael

I'm sympathetic to your memory and, I assume, some reduced mobility. If it comes to the point where we need to speak, we can exchange phone numbers.

I still need to know one fundamental thing before I can do any more reasoning - what is the device that's tripping? All I need to know is the writing on the device whose switch you have to reset.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
front) WYLEX / B6 ON / 3000 OFF / 240v- CE / BSEN60898 /(rear) 700A0612 06B 03 76
(recessed on both sides ABB )
It’s possible that something is heating up and is shorting after two hours, but at this point I would be putting a clamp meter on the MCB live, which would reveal whether the load is near the breaker rating.Which lights are on when it trips?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When the MCB trips I loose 2 lights in the hall, 1 light in the bathroom and 1 light in the bedroom.
Is this a duplicate question?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am not quite sure what you require ref. to your request ie. "Is this a duplicate question?

Hm. Apologies - I think there was a temporary problem with the web site as it showed me only your original post and none of our exchanges since! So please ignore that request.

Could you tell me more about the light fitting in the bathroom? Is it an IPX4 fitting? Basically, is it sealed? If you're unsure, can you either attach a photo of it, or describe it?

(Please note that I'm about to leave my desk for two hours.)

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I would not think that it is up to the IPX4 standard, but it is not subject to any water spray from any direction.
Regards. ***** *****.

I understand that it might not be sprayed, but there's a regulation about bathrooms, and it's partly because of the potential for condensation.

I also understand which lights become inoperative when the MCB trips, but I'm more interested in which lights are actually on at the moment of tripping.

Tim Cooke and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sorry I misunderstood you.The next time it trips I will make a note and let you know.

I shall await the event with interest!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have just upgraded my P.C. to windows 10 ,and at the moment I am struggling to get to grips with my emails, so if things seem to go wrong this will be the reason.
Regards ***** *****.

Hi Michael, no problem. I will be waiting to pick up your post as soon as you have further information.