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15325 posts

Uber Geek


# 257097 15-Sep-2019 00:27
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We have had an underground water tank to collect rainwater off the roof. This has a submersible pump with the electrician has wired up for. We noticed however that the electrician installed an IP 53 rated power socket on the wall of the plastic inspection hatch at the top of  water tank, as shown in the photo below. Yes that is waste just below it.  I would have thought it would have made sense to hard wire the pump into a high IP related waterproof connector box. I am not sure if the switch is on an RCD or not, however the plug and socket is always wet with condensation due to the high humidity inside a water tank. I didn't think electricity and water are a good mix when it comes to power points and plugs in wet areas. I am also concerned about durability of the plugs prongs and socket corroding after a short period of time. If I pull the pumps plug out of the socket, it is all soaked on the back of the plug where the prongs are, due to the humidity. Anyone know if how this has been done correct or the best way to do it?

 


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820 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2317978 15-Sep-2019 00:42
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Adventurous installation. I would be very surprised if it complied with the rules of conduct in New Zealand.





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  # 2317979 15-Sep-2019 00:43
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The IP 53 spec seems to have some expectations around the angle of splashing water of 60 degrees. Presumably, that means it's OK for splashes coming largely from above and to the side?

 

Any electricians here on GZ to weigh in? I've got a near-identical one for my continuous gas unit, and that's just outside mostly exposed - you'd think he'd have put the box on the outside and route the cable through a grommet, or is there a risk of flooding or something?

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2317982 15-Sep-2019 01:02
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This forum covers a similar topic - not clear but suggests it's not the right way to do things

https://www.electricalforum.co.nz/index.php?action=more_details&id=1563834338 

Not an electrician, but for my parents water tank the sparky ran the pump cable through flexi conduit to the house nearby, where it is terminated/switched




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Uber Geek


  # 2317983 15-Sep-2019 01:04
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insane:

 

The IP 53 spec seems to have some expectations around the angle of splashing water of 60 degrees. Presumably, that means it's OK for splashes coming largely from above and to the side?

 

Any electricians here on GZ to weigh in? I've got a near-identical one for my continuous gas unit, and that's just outside mostly exposed - you'd think he'd have put the box on the outside and route the cable through a grommet, or is there a risk of flooding or something?

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a white connection box  behind this switch, which is on the outer side of the tank, which I am guessing is just a cover for where the conduit enters the tank. So I don't know why they didn't feed the cable through the hole in the tank, to that. It is a new tank and a new install. But I suspect the electrician wired it up prior to the pump being installed, and the plumber then just plugged the pump in at a later date.  




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Uber Geek


  # 2317984 15-Sep-2019 01:08
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nickb800: This forum covers a similar topic - not clear but suggests it's not the right way to do things

https://www.electricalforum.co.nz/index.php?action=more_details&id=1563834338

Not an electrician, but for my parents water tank the sparky ran the pump cable through flexi conduit to the house nearby, where it is terminated/switched

 

 

 

Thanks, that is interesting, as it looks like a similar situation. They suggest a pitbox outside the water tank to protect it from moisture. There however doesn't need to be an isolation switch for the pump, as there is already an isolation switch inside the house for the pump. So I would have thought they could just hardwire the pump it into the connection box on the outside of the tank, and connect it to the mains cable, which then feeds back to the switch inside the house.  As this hatch is on the roadside, anyone walking past can lift off the hatch and plug anything into the power plug, which is less than ideal.


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  # 2317991 15-Sep-2019 06:08
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mattwnz:

 

We have had an underground water tank to collect rainwater off the roof. This has a submersible pump with the electrician has wired up for. We noticed however that the electrician installed an IP 53 rated power socket on the wall of the plastic inspection hatch at the top of  water tank, as shown in the photo below. Yes that is waste just below it.  I would have thought it would have made sense to hard wire the pump into a high IP related waterproof connector box. I am not sure if the switch is on an RCD or not, however the plug and socket is always wet with condensation due to the high humidity inside a water tank. I didn't think electricity and water are a good mix when it comes to power points and plugs in wet areas. I am also concerned about durability of the plugs prongs and socket corroding after a short period of time. If I pull the pumps plug out of the socket, it is all soaked on the back of the plug where the prongs are, due to the humidity. Anyone know if how this has been done correct or the best way to do it?

 

 

 

 

 

This is non compliant, this is a fixed water container, AS/NZS3000: 6.2.4.2 does not allow any sockets in zone 0 (zone 0 is in a fixed water container). ask your electrician for a CoC and an ESC saying it is safe and point out this clause, tell them to fix it.

 

 




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Uber Geek


  # 2318176 15-Sep-2019 18:07
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Thanks for that. I didn't think it looked right. Would it be considered unsafe in it's current state?


 
 
 
 


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  # 2318177 15-Sep-2019 18:11
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mattwnz:

 

Thanks for that. I didn't think it looked right. Would it be considered unsafe in it's current state?

 

 

Well it's non compliant with AS/NZS3000 rules so the only correct answer to that is yes.

 

If it's unlikely to end up being submerged then clearly the risk isn't that great and it's not that unsafe - but that doesn't change the fact it's non compliant.

 

 




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Uber Geek


  # 2318183 15-Sep-2019 18:45
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sbiddle:

 

mattwnz:

 

Thanks for that. I didn't think it looked right. Would it be considered unsafe in it's current state?

 

 

Well it's non compliant with AS/NZS3000 rules so the only correct answer to that is yes.

 

If it's unlikely to end up being submerged then clearly the risk isn't that great and it's not that unsafe - but that doesn't change the fact it's non compliant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks that is what I thought.. My concern was because water is a conductor of electricity, and all surfaces are wet around it, including around the pins of the plug, due to the high humidity in the tank, whether someone could get a shock from touching or pulling out the wet cable, or touching water on the enclosure could get a shock off it. I am not sure if it is on an RCD either , because the electrician hasn't identified the circuit number it is on. If the pump is wired in properly to a waterproof connection box, should it be put on an RCD, or would it be at risk of nusience tripping?


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 2318193 15-Sep-2019 19:13
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It is an outdoor plug so it has to be on an RCD.

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  # 2318194 15-Sep-2019 19:18
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I should read the question properly. If it is on a permanent connection it doesn't have to be on an RCD. The permanent connection should still be outside the tank, otherwise condensation will cause maintenance problems.

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  # 2318230 15-Sep-2019 20:58
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Basically nothing electrical is allowed inside a water container (shower/bath/tub/pool etc) unless it has been specifically designed for the application (such as a underwater pool light or a water heater element) so no sockets, switches or permanent connections.

 

If it was me I would be on the phone 1st thing in the morning with a please explain as to why this blatantly dangerous socket was put in there. If they don't turn up ASAP go right to the EWRB with a complaint.

 

But most of all make sure this does not get used until it is fixed - it is a death trap waiting to kill someone, I would put good money this is not on a RCD as there would be constant nuisance tripping.

 

 




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Uber Geek


  # 2319392 17-Sep-2019 19:34
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This is what it looks like now to correct it. Guessing the big box was needed so it matched the screw holes of the old switch.

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2319396 17-Sep-2019 19:42
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mattwnz:

 

This is what it looks like now to correct it. Guessing the big box was needed so it matched the screw holes of the old switch.

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah Nah, I wouldn't take that either, still in zone 0 and it doesn't look like there is a gland in the bottom.

 

The simplest solution would have been to mount the powerpoint on a post outside of the tank.

 

I would at a guess say the plug has been chopped off and joined in that box now.




15325 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2319401 17-Sep-2019 19:49
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There is a small round box junction box on the exterior of the tank behind this, which was previously there when the socket was there.

 

They say that the cable join is in that round box. This is shown below, so this round box is directly behind the square box inside the tank.  

 

 

 


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