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Old 2017-10-30 , 22:25
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Unhappy Beware of your friendly electricity supply...!!

Hell's teeth, we just had one of the most strange and scary incidents I've ever experienced, with our electricity!!!

We've got 2 phases - one half of the house's supply tripped safely, the other half stayed on with phones ringing like something out of a scary movie, and our kettle that was in use at the time actually CAUGHT FIRE, INSIDE!!

We recovered fine from it, except the kettle and phone lines are kaput! Strangely the ADSL still works.

Conclusion - another attempted theft of cables in our area, ending in a nasty short circuit.
But that's not a known fact, so will be very interested to hear other ideas or any factual input.

TV's etc. somehow all ok.
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Old 2017-10-30 , 23:01
DPA1 DPA1 is offline
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Something or someone trying to talk to you
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Old 2017-10-30 , 23:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPA1 View Post
Something or someone trying to talk to you
That did cross my mind...

Kettle's element is fried, an amazing sight. Can only have been a surge of some sort.
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Old 2017-10-31 , 07:06
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Halloween comes to mind
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Old 2017-10-31 , 07:35
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Originally Posted by Luke7777 View Post
Halloween comes to mind
That must be it


Halloween shock.jpg
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Old 2017-10-31 , 07:51
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The electrical guys call that a floating neutral. In a normal supply you have three wires in the supply , live neutral and earth with 220v measured between live and neutral.
In a 3 phase supply you have 5 wires, Neutral, the red phase, the blue phase and the yellow phase. The supply voltage between the phases is measured at 380v and between neutral and any of the phases 220v.

When the neutral gets disconnected or broken one of the phases acts as the neutral. This is when things go horribly wrong. You will find that one of the phases now measure at around 10-15v and one of the other at around 340v. Anything plugged in at that stage will either be fried or damage due to a too low supply voltage to function.

You can read more about this at https://electricalnotes.wordpress.co...-distribution/
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Last edited by Jan Horn; 2017-10-31 at 08:02. . Reason: Added link to an article
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Old 2017-10-31 , 07:58
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Sjoh... could've been much worse I guess!
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Old 2017-10-31 , 08:19
cdbjhb cdbjhb is offline
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Is there any way to safeguard a house from this?
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Old 2017-10-31 , 09:04
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The normal household will have a single phase connection and should not be effected by this.
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Old 2017-10-31 , 09:31
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I think Jan is on the right lines, Brian.

This has nothing to do with cable theft; possibly an Eskom "maintenance" issue; or, equally likely, a fault in your board where the neutral has come adrift. The symptoms will be the same to you. Check with a next door neighbour who also has 3-phase, whether they have the same issue.

It's most unlikely that you have 2-phases. You'll have a 3-phase supply into your property.

You can check this at the main board. There will be a 3-phase master breaker. and the rest of the trips will be organised into 3 rows, one each for the red, white and blue phases; each row with an earth leakage trip. I've illustrated this on my board, in the attached photo.

I'll discuss my hand written notes later -- it's an interesting and important anecdote.

If the problem persists you should get a decent electrician to come and check the wiring at the board; if your neighbours have not experienced the same problem, it's likely there is a problem with the neutral at your board; this is more common in older houses. Check if there is any "smelling"at the board.

Don't remove the cover!

Cheers, K.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3-phase board.jpg (138.5 KB, 11 views)
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Last edited by Sandtonman; 2017-10-31 at 09:33. .
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