Tripping the light fantastic

More detective work on the electrics. After Dad’s visit on Monday we now know a few more things:

  • The inverter is not part of the problem. The mains has gone through the domestic system before it reaches the inverter
  • Which means something else is providing the 45-odd second delay between resetting the RCD on the collar barge and the systems powering up on Hendrik
  • The 3-phase cable actually plugs first into a distribution box in the hold under the salon.

The distribution box was the focus of our efforts last night. Dad remembered that it has six switches on it and hoped we could use it to switch out circuits one by one until we found the one that was overdrawing. I spent about two hours trying the switches in different combinations only tlo find in the end that /all/ the domestic systems are controlled by a single switch on the distributor. That could well be because in three-phase mode there are two circuits each with one switch for each of the three phases. But as the domestic circuit on the first phase is evidently the one tripping the breaker, that doesn’t help us.

From observation we now notice that the longer the power has been off, the longer is stays on once reset. Dad’s working on the idea that somewhere a transformer or other component is heating up and going open-circuit. He’s going down to the boat today to do some more investigation and work out if we can just bypass the whole shebang and wire single-phase into the system after the distribution box and rectifier. He’s also suspicious of the startup delay and thinks that could have something to do with it.

In other news I finally found something worthwhile about Upminster: there’s a working shower there. Bliss.

- posted by James O'Brien on 12 April 2007, 11:32 in