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Garden lights shorting out - Ants

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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1 Oct 2016
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4,250
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Hi all,

My garden lights was shorting out throwing the RCD

On investigation Ants was causing it, they was going crazy when I disturbed the nest and had started moving their eggs by time I got my phone
1628436188203.png

the box has a broken bit on bottom, which let them get in.

1628436263253.png


Will give them time to move they repair or replace box 😂
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
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25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,258
Location
Eastleigh
Hi all,

My garden lights was shorting out throwing the RCD

On investigation Ants was causing it, they was going crazy when I disturbed the nest and had started moving their eggs by time I got my phone

the box has a broken bit on bottom, which let them get in.


Will give them time to move they repair or replace box 😂
This fails electrical safety in so many ways...
  • Use of chocolate block connectors outdoors without water protection.
  • No sealing grommets.
  • Non weather tight box.
  • Use of insulation tape.
  • Use of indoor rated 2.5mm (?) cable outdoors.
  • Not using armoured cable.

Thank goodness for RCDs.

I did my garden (20 years ago) using, both garden lights, external 13A sockets for lawn mower and power to conservatory:
Buried SWA
Armoured SWA Cable
Underground junction boxes.
3-Way Black Under Ground Box Size 0 | Pratley (56202)
If I was doing it again I would use above ground junction boxes only, so underground cable runs have no joints. But then 20 years later power still works !!!
These to break out SWA underground cable to above ground cable for lights.
20 Amp Wiska 108 Junction Box 76 x 76 x 51mm - Black IP66 | Wiska (10061998 / 10111273)
30 Amp Weatherproof Junction Box - IP65 | Spels (802-407)
Lights wired up using this running round back of garden beds and tacked to fences.
1.5mm² 3 Core NYY-J Cable - Black
Also used these where "a big boy came in and cut the cables too short" !!!
6A Gel Insulated Straight Through Joint - 3 Core Flex - IPx8 | Wiska (SH0325W)
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
Thread starter
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
4,250
Location
Yorkshire,UK
This fails electrical safety in so many ways...
  • Use of chocolate block connectors outdoors without water protection.
  • No sealing grommets.
  • Non weather tight box.
  • Use of insulation tape.
  • Use of indoor rated 2.5mm (?) cable outdoors.
  • Not using armoured cable.

Thank goodness for RCDs.

The RCD saved to day for sure.

The enclosure was only IP56, have a new IP67 on its way.
All the cable outside is armoured cable, but lacks attention to detail. When river gets high enough it 'will' be underwater so will the lights on wall
1628497932653.png


Had to lift all the cable as over the years wall must of moved a bit and there wasn't enough slack for cable to reach, it wont be perfect when its done, but some what better 😬
 

Zeus.

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Thread starter
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Yorkshire,UK
I'd be having kittens every time it rained heavily

You sound like my wife 😅
some flood pics I got from previous owners earlier this year, water level had dropped a bit too, it was the highest the previous owners had had it in just over 8yrs- I've circled the plastic enclosure
1628505853189.png


and garage - red line on wall is about highest river has been in over 20 years
1628506038610.png


Tank room is about 6-8inches higher than garage floor.

But on a positive side I never have to worry about spilling water anymore 🤣
 

Tim Harrison

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8,644
Location
UK
You sound like my wife 😅
Crikey, and with good reason :oops:

My house buying mantra has always been never buy a house on a floodplain.
But I'm about to break that cardinal rule and move back to where I grew up :rolleyes:
I hope I don't wake up one morning to a similar view :p
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,044
Location
Netherlands
My house buying mantra has always been never buy a house on a floodplain.

Even that ain't any guarantees... See this bellow, no river nor creek insight for miles but it's small a village a stone throw away from my place and its downhill from 3 wind directions. We had some unexpected heavy rainfall last month. It's the first time in my life I've seen this village flooded.

 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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12,461
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
My house buying mantra has always been never buy a house on a floodplain.
I live near the top of a <"hollow limestone hill">, but I still worry about flooding. I grew up on the edge of the Wye valley, and even though the river is about six miles away, you could see the <"flood at Letton"> in the winter.

10596286.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,044
Location
Netherlands
And you would expect these taking days to develop, but it evidently can happen in hours time, the video above was about 2 or 3 hours after it started to rain. And it ain't the worst footage they made. It simply was an insane amount of water falling from the sky that day.

I've seen this only once more 20 years ago on vacation at the African Atlantic coast, raindrops falling from the sky in the size of chicken eggs for maybe one hour changing a small dry valley into a rafting monster. Never thought something like this could happen in Europe almost next to my door. Fortunately, my house is on top of a hill. I only can get caught but never flooded.
 

Zeus.

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Yorkshire,UK
My house buying mantra has always been never buy a house on a floodplain.

So was mine, but present house is less likely to flood than last house, however the cellar/garage in present house will flood when the River Ouse is above 4m. After I contracted Bacterial meningitis in Egypt a few years back and it was touch and go 😬 flooding isn't something that over concerns me as long as we survive.

Everyday we wake up is another day, as soon as we walk out of the house there risks. The neighbour said he has canoed over to RAF Linton when the river was in flooded which is about a mile away, looking forward to see it flood.
 

ian_m

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Eastleigh
This is what I had to fit to my garage door. Sorry for crap pic.

We kept getting flooding of our garage once every couple of years. Previous years due to collapsed/blocked Southern Water storm drains, but last year Southern Water admitted it was due to "hydraulic overload" ie drains couldn't cope. The last flooding happened a couple of days after I have spent days of lock down tidying the garage, numerous car loads to the tip and cleaned the floor. Luckily a lot of stuff was lifted off the garage and only a bag of cement got wet, but did deposit mud all over my nice clean garage. Got two years compensation of water bill back.

1628581493597.png


So I fitted a rubber strip to the floor of garage (the bit with yellow stripe) and a sealing strip to bottom of garage door, that makes a waterproof seal. Rather amazingly it works. I have stood outside, watched the water pouring down our drive and puddling up to about 5cm deep on garage door. Inside the garage a few leaks around the strips but easily sorted with sealant.
 

PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
I remember working on site at edge of a village some years back it was on a hillside and the houses had as remember unusual foundations and block and beam floors because of the water course that travelled underground. The architect and planning designed a strip at hilltop with special trees that took up the water As far as l know it worked never any flooding in the properties
 
Joined
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346
Location
Bristol
And you would expect these taking days to develop, but it evidently can happen in hours time, the video above was about 2 or 3 hours after it started to rain. And it ain't the worst footage they made. It simply was an insane amount of water falling from the sky that day.

I've seen this only once more 20 years ago on vacation at the African Atlantic coast, raindrops falling from the sky in the size of chicken eggs for maybe one hour changing a small dry valley into a rafting monster. Never thought something like this could happen in Europe almost next to my door. Fortunately, my house is on top of a hill. I only can get caught but never flooded.
I remember a crew change in Gabon a few years back, flying along the dual carriageway in a minibus, a tropical storm started and in no time the water was over the door steep and into the veichle, did not stop the speed of the driver, but he did stop well before the Jett as you could see where the vessel was tied up but not where the quay ended, by the time the bags were opened 48 hours later when on the mothership there was a lot of very damp smelling washing to do, fo all us consigners, even with good help Hanson duffle bags.
So was mine, but present house is less likely to flood than last house, however the cellar/garage in present house will flood when the River Ouse is above 4m. After I contracted Bacterial meningitis in Egypt a few years back and it was touch and go 😬 flooding isn't something that over concerns me as long as we survive.

Everyday we wake up is another day, as soon as we walk out of the house there risks. The neighbour said he has canoed over to RAF Linton when the river was in flooded which is about a mile away, looking forward to see it flood.
oh you won’t have to wait long, family have lived around York for a while and the Ouse is up and down all the time, im supposed the pub in town is still allowed to serve with the barrels on the bar in these stricter health and safety days.
 

Zeus.

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Got a new enclosure crimped all the connections up with a little Silicone Grease. I wasn't 100% with it at all, but have yet to decide what to do with lights thinking low voltage or solar long term and have ordered an RCD to run the lights off in hope it trips them before the main RCD on the consumer unit.

Didn't test them when I had the enclosure apart and when all back together again and lights switched on the RCD went again :rolleyes::banghead:😅

so checked the 12 lights one had a little issue
1628951031782.png

1628951064959.png


Gave ants time to relocate, brushed all dirt out and a little WD40 and some sealant to block there entry route and all working fine.
 

ian_m

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Eastleigh
Outdoor lights & power should always be run from a separate mini consumer unit, so if there is an issue it wont affect the rest of the power to the house.
1629101669004.png

Something like with can take a 6A RCBO (combined over current trip and RCD) for the lights and 16A RCBO for any power sockets.

Also outdoor cabling should also be SWA (armoured cable) and buried deep enough to prevent someone stick a spade (or digger if garden is big enough) through it.

In the mean time change all your outside "non compliant" chocolate block connectors to these to keep ants and moisture out.
6A Gel Insulated Straight Through Joint - 3 Core Flex - IPx8 | Wiska (SH0325W)

Done this with a mates outside lights "done by an electrician" apparently, not sure 1.5mm in ducting is compliant !!!. His outside lights kept tripping the RCD (a fused spur off a 13A socket) due to water getting into the not very water proof garden lights.
 

Zeus.

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Messages
4,250
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Also outdoor cabling should also be SWA (armoured cable) and buried deep enough to prevent someone stick a spade (or digger if garden is big enough) through it
Its all armoured cable, however its not very deep in ground ( well the cable I took up was- needed to move it a bit as wasn't reaching the enclosure) the cable was under a steel bar as well.

Difficult to make it all waterproof as even the light fittings may be underwater at times 😬 Its a case of 'make do and mead' for time being :rolleyes:

Need a high volume pump also for pump house as the present high volume one a out of order
1629103697915.png

There's a sump about 8ft deep below boards

So far have a ProMax MudDrain 30000 Drainage Pump shortlisted
 
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