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#1 brianysue

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:26 PM

We all know that power surges can damage electric appliances. When we came to live in Spain, we bought with us a few appliances from the UK with fused plugs. Does anyone know if the fuse will protect the appliance, if there is a power surge?

Brian and Sue

#2 Steve and Liz

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hi Brian & Sue

The fuse will work in Spain to protect against over current conditions, though the fuses that they use in the fuse boxes in Spain are RCD (Residual Current Device) and will protect against that anyway. It will not protect against spikes and surges. You can buy adapters often special 4 way ones that have a built in safety circuit that will protect againt spikes and surges. Most of the ferreteias on the URB sell them. They are essential if you want to protect computers and other electronic equipment.

All the best
Steve

#3 jimtaylor

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

Be careful if buying cheap surge protectors - they may not stand the load your appliances put on them (check their rating), and may not even protect against spikes. A couple of years ago I had my computer connected through a surge protector, and a spike blew both my computer's power supply unit and the surge protector. I now have a UPS as protection.

You can buy good units to fit between the incoming power supply and the consumer unit, to protect the whole house, but they're expensive.

As Steve says, the breakers in your consumer unit should provide protection against too much current being drawn. However, I'd still like to see fuses in Spanish plugs. If a fault occurs and an item shorts out completely, then the circuit breaker will blow. If it's not a total short then, say, with a table lamp having a 2 amp fuse in its plug on a circuit with a 16 amp circuit breaker, the fuse will blow before the breaker trips.

#4 craven

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:50 PM

I have just read in one of the freebies,that although Iberdrola promised to update their services in the La Marina area,they are now telling residents not only to get surge protectors but also to pull the plugs out every night before going to bed.
We were told several months ago,that the improvements would take about six months to complete,unfortunately they obviously adapted to Spanish speak, because they now say they have no idea how long it will take bagh

#5 tonyp

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:05 AM

I can remember a few years ago in the UK we had the Fire Brigade round our houses fitting smoke alarms an generally advising on safety One piece of advice that they did offer was that we should pull out the plugs on high wattage appliances,kettle toaster microwave etc,every night Even in Britain and we had breakers fitted you can get surges and spikes They also suggested we leave a key in the front door save having to hunt for one in an emergency

#6 DaveR

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:03 PM

Och ay, wer aar doomed!.

Calm down dear, its only a sunspot, the time to worry(or not) is when it burns up the earth itself. And some scientist believe this will happen in a few hundred thou years.
I am informed that it is possible to retro fit English type consumer units that would protect against most of these spikes & surges.
We can buy a decent sized one for approx, £70.00.

For me, I would have the whole thing changed over the the British type, That is If I had the good fortune to move over.

#7 bealerDSB

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:04 AM

http://www.amazon.co...1445872&sr=1-20
DSB.

Edited by bealerDSB, 11 March 2012 - 07:06 AM.


#8 jimtaylor

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:24 PM

I know I'm off topic, but then nearly everyone else is!

We had terrible problems with Iberdrola supply last Friday, with voltage fluctuating from 100 volts up to just over 300.
It stuffed our freezer and router before I realised what was happening and turned the power off completely.

This morning, two guys working for Iberdrola called round without prompting and asked if any damage had been done. They put details on an Iberdrola form, told me to get repairs done, and send the facturas to Iberdrola for payment. Shortly after they left, Iberdrola rang me on the same topic. My flabber was gasted!

DSB:
Incidentally, the battery in my UPS was pretty knackered, and rather than try to get a replacement battery, I treated myself to a newer and better one. Despatched from Amazon, so free delivery - just picked it up today:
http://www.amazon.co...s00_i00_details

#9 brianysue

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:51 PM

Thanks everybody for your replies...very interesting.

We do have all of our expensive electronic equipment protected except the aircon unit, which seems to be wired directly to the fuse box,

Any ideas how we can protect it? We had thought of putting in a on/off fused switch between the unit and the fuse box and keeping it off until we need it. Would it help?

We did notice that when the power came back on after the last power cut, the up/down air flow panels moved, just for a few seconds, even though the unit was turned off!

Brian and Sue

#10 bealerDSB

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Jim - You were not off topic as far as I can see.
Good information, IE: If you happen to suffer electrical failure which in turn potentially damaged your equipment ----> Contact your supplier.

DSB.

#11 jimtaylor

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

Brian and Sue:
Don't worry about the aircon activating a bit when it comes back on after a cut - all three of ours do that.

Fitting a switch to the aircon so you can isolate it is well worth doing.

As you'll have gathered from the posts above, what you need to be concerned about is power surges where the voltage spikes or drops. Ordinary circuit breakers will certainly not give you any protection; you need surge protection. If you see or hear any evidence of extreme voltage fluctuations, lamps brighten or dim, or fluorescents start buzzing more than usual, then it is advisable to take action. If need be, trip all circuit breakers for circuits on which you have anything that might suffer (you can leave the lights on - after all, you need to see to read, 'cos you won't be watching telly!)

Anything with a motor running under load, like a washing machine, can easily have its motor burnt out if the voltage is too low. Electronic equipment is more typically damaged by high voltage.

The only real solution is whole house protection, and I wish I'd installed this before our recent problem. You should be looking at a surge protector made by a reputable company, like Obo Bettermann, and I'd guess that prices start around the €200 mark for one that operates fully automatically. It depends whether you want to fork out that sort of money. If not, be aware, and be careful if you see the warning signs.

#12 bealerDSB

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:06 AM

The only real solution is whole house protection, and I wish I'd installed this before our recent problem. You should be looking at a surge protector made by a reputable company, like Obo Bettermann, and I'd guess that prices start around the €200 mark for one that operates fully automatically.


Jim - I've thanked' this post bounce
Do our Spanish / English speaking Builders know of such an item?
I will definatley be getting one installed. [ if so what would 'they' call 'it' ] ?

I was concentracting on an UPS for Lounge behind the TV zone / etc.
But, taking into account Microwaves / Dryers / TVs [ multiple ] / Printers and so forth ::. This installation sounds like a no brainer for me.

Let me know - Ta.
DSB.

#13 jimtaylor

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

DSB - Thanks for the thanks; I appreciate it when I get brownie points - encourages me to keep posting.

The Obo Bettermann web page where you start looking at the different surge protectors is here:
http://catalog2.obo-...mView&catId=TBS

I haven't yet checked the Spanish electrical wholesalers out here to see if they stock them; if they don't then I'd check City Electrical in Torrevieja, and then of course the internet.

All that's needed for the installation is space in the existing main consumer unit, or an extra one if there isn't enough space.

I'm not impressed by Spanish electricians (In fact, I'm appalled by their workmanship), so if I couldn't do the installation myself then I'd be looking for a qualified Brit.

One I've picked up information about is:
http://tonysparksins...protection.html

If Jan deletes the link before you see it (sorry, Jan), then PM me and I'll send it to you.

I'd be grateful if you let us know how you get on - might encourage me to get it done myself.

cheers
Jim

#14 bealerDSB

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

Good data. Thanks Jim - Links worked.

I've recently upped my input to 9.2 from 3.3 [ 9.2 on the Ib Certificate ]
Fuse box's (2) , are large with heavy duty breakers [ very pro ].

Will look into having this system linked in. I have space.
Will pm you with my findings over the next several weeks.

DSB.

#15 jimtaylor

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:31 PM

Glad you got the link DSB.

You're lucky to get 9.2 - they'd only put me up to 5.75; mind you, that was a lot better than the 2.2 we were on contract for. I'd upped the fuses in the Iberdrola box (wire seals? what are they?), but the forced installation of the cut-off switch prompted the official upgrade.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

Incidentally, I'm just about to install the new APC UPS - it's a much better spec than the old one. For anyone who doesn't know what a UPS does, this one will not only protect my computer, monitor & router, but it will continue to run them for up to 17 minutes and, if I install the software, it should backup what I've not saved and do a shut-down. It will also protect the actual phone line into the router.

#16 DaveR

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:14 PM

Like I said & i repeat!, convert to the Brit standard.


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