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Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:12 pm
by Ford Prefect
I wonder if anyone can help?
I've just had to test an extraction cabinet with twin lights and a fan.
The unit has a standard 4m flex supplying a twin switched socket and a single switched socket.
The lights plug into the twin socket and the fan plugs into the single (all by means of standard 13A plugs) this arrangement is controlled on the front of the cabinet by a single push on/off dimmer and a twin domestic light switch (one switch controls both lights the other the fan on and off ).
I have tried testing the 3 sockets as an extension block (IEC Lead x 3) all was fine until the tester got to the polarity test which failed as O/C (I guess this is Open/Circuit?) I've tried all the combinations I can of the switches but can't stop the O/C Fail.
Has anyone got any ideas or can tell me what test I should be doing?

Re: Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:54 am
by Patnik
Not 100% sure from your description but assuming the dimmer is controlling the sockets then it will presumably be acting as a resistance between mains in and your socket. The extension lead polarity test is only looking for continuity or open circuit and over a certain resistance it will show open circuit. Check the dimmer is set at it's brightest, if you still have a fail then just use a plug-in socket tester to confirm polarity.

Depending on the environment and skill of user you might want to get the sockets labeled as I doubt the dimmer will supply 13A and you wouldn't want the cleaner plugging the floor buffer into it ;)


Re: Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:36 pm
by Ford Prefect
Cheers for that.
I have tried all possible combinations of switches on and off, dimmer up and down (yep I was there for a while :D ) all showed O/C fail.
Going back to it today I have tested all the sockets on an individual basis and it's only the dimmer controlled one that fails.
Thanks for the tip about the socket tester I tried it and it shows all correct (although the tester does say it will not detect earth neutral reverse)
Now I know that I can test the twin socket as a 2 socket extension, but any ideas how I would (using the Apollo 600's Manual Test and the socket tester) enter the test results into PATGuard3 and print a ticket?

You've met our cleaners then :lol:
Seriously though there should be no problem about misuse of the sockets as they're 7ft off the ground and on the back of the unit, the technician for that area is pretty switched on (no pun intended!) so should be no problems.

Re: Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:24 pm
by Ford Prefect
Hi Patnik,

The problems I'm having with the dimmer reminded me about another bit of kit we have that failed the Wiring Polarity test. It's Photon Beard Quattro Lighting Dimmer MOD D100R an old but still usable item. It's been checked by an electrician and he can't find a problem and the socket tester shows no problem.

This got me thinking is it dimmers in general that PAT testing equipment doesn't like?

Re: Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:33 pm
by Alan Freeman
I would be fairly certain that the reason for the O/C on the light circuit is the dimmer. On my trusty Europa+ the polarity check is done at 40v. Dimmers would need 240v to pass any current as they are unlikely to be just resistance. I don't even think a polarity tester would show anything unless you plug one light into the socket and test the other socket - all to do with minimum current draw on the dimmer (some even state a minimum wattage bulbs).

Not sure about the fan circuit - is that on a dimmer or speed control circuit as well??

Re: Apollo 600 O/C Fail Help

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:42 pm
by Ford Prefect
The dimmer just controls the speed of the fan.
I've attached (I think it worked!) a quick diagram to see if that will help, not sure how useful it will be.
Might make the mud a bit clearer. :D