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Topic Title: Shower isolator off after use?
Topic Summary: Cooker isolator as well?
Created On: 07 March 2019 04:59 pm
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 07 March 2019 04:59 pm
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Foffer

Posts: 61
Joined: 30 July 2018

I am guilty of never switching the shower isolator off after use. Recently I had a warranty problem on my home electric shower and their engineer came to sort it out. Whilst he was here he told me off about leaving it on all the time, so I asked him if he always turns off his cooker isolator when dinner is cooked.

I'm afraid the shower isolator is one of a growing list of stuff in my house that never gets turned off. TV, STB, Radio, Computer, Alexa, Dishwasher, Washine Machine, Tumble Drier and so on....

Am I lax? What should be turned off? I would value opinion on this subject.
 07 March 2019 05:20 pm
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 17795
Joined: 13 August 2003

As you say it's an isolator, rather than a functional switch. It should be turned off whenever electrical work needs to be done on the shower (so not quite "never").

- Andy.
 07 March 2019 05:31 pm
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perspicacious

Posts: 8055
Joined: 18 April 2006

Does BS 7671 specifically require an isolator for the shower?
I'm aware of the requirement for manufacturer's instructions to be followed but if these don't mention the provision of said isolator, does BS 7671 require one?

Regards

BOD
 07 March 2019 05:36 pm
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chrispearson

Posts: 1095
Joined: 15 February 2018

Originally posted by: Foffer

TV, STB, Radio, Computer, Alexa ...


All those little LEDs add up. All of it could go off at bed time, with the possible exception of Wifi so that you can look in here in bed.

The computer may be the biggest culprit, but some broadband/cable/comms stuff can be ticking over quite nicely when not in use.

I have been wondering whether to fit an isolator to my office. Notwithstanding Mrs P's use of electric fires, I think a surprising amount of power is consumed in here and may be a significant proportion of the total. A clamp meter suggests as much as 500 mA may be in use overnight which would be just under 1 kWh per day or about £60/year.

Dishwasher, Washine Machine, Tumble Drier and so on....


We turn ours off when we have finished with them, so no standby mode there.

The other thing which have I found was a surprising amount of earth leakage which needs FI when I can get around to it.
 07 March 2019 06:18 pm
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alancapon

Posts: 7492
Joined: 27 December 2005

Hi Chris,

You need to know the power factor too to work out the bill. In the UK, the domestic tariff is for kWh not kVAh, which is what I suspect you have calculated if you did volts x amps.

Regards,

Alan.
 07 March 2019 08:18 pm
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broadgage

Posts: 3170
Joined: 07 August 2007

I see no merit in turning of the shower isolator when not in use, there is no parasitic consumption whatsoever in the shower itself, and the neon lamp is too small for even me to worry about.
Estimated loading of neon lamp is about one tenth of a watt, or about 850 watt hours a year. About 12 pence a year.

Repeated operation of the pull cord operated shower switch might loosen the connections or pull the fixings out of the ceiling.

I do turn the cooker off when not in use, but not for energy saving, it consumes nothing whatsoever when not in use.
More as a safety feature, turn off each ring or the oven, AND turn off at the wall as a precaution against forgetfulness resulting in fire.
 07 March 2019 08:38 pm
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mikejumper

Posts: 2810
Joined: 14 December 2006

Originally posted by: broadgage
I do turn the cooker off when not in use, but not for energy saving, it consumes nothing whatsoever when not in use.

More as a safety feature.................

I think that is worth doing.
Our top oven started turning itself on a few years ago with the control in the off position.
 07 March 2019 09:58 pm
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chrispearson

Posts: 1095
Joined: 15 February 2018

Originally posted by: alancapon

Hi Chris,

You need to know the power factor too to work out the bill. In the UK, the domestic tariff is for kWh not kVAh, which is what I suspect you have calculated if you did volts x amps.


Alan, will it not be close to unity?
 07 March 2019 10:46 pm
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 17795
Joined: 13 August 2003

Alan, will it not be close to unity?

Not necessarily - some cheaper (and older) electronic PSUs can have really awful PF.
- Andy.
 07 March 2019 10:53 pm
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geoffsd

Posts: 2342
Joined: 15 June 2010

Originally posted by: perspicacious

Does BS 7671 specifically require an isolator for the shower?


No.
 07 March 2019 11:40 pm
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alancapon

Posts: 7492
Joined: 27 December 2005

Originally posted by: chrispearson
. . . Alan, will it not be close to unity?

As Andy suggested, if you measure it you may be surprised (and disappointed) how bad the of is.

Regards,

Alan.
 08 March 2019 09:20 am
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chrispearson

Posts: 1095
Joined: 15 February 2018

Originally posted by: alancapon

Originally posted by: chrispearson

. . . Alan, will it not be close to unity?


As Andy suggested, if you measure it you may be surprised (and disappointed) how bad the of is.


Alan, Andy, thank you. How do I measure the PF of the whole house, a single circuit, or even a single socket please?

Do I need a smart meter?
 08 March 2019 09:37 am
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Zoomup

Posts: 6117
Joined: 20 February 2014

I suppose that by turning off a shower isolator switch it is less likely that the shower will turn itself on due to an internal fault and fill the room with steam, use gallons of water and use up your electric meter's 50p coins when you are out.

Z.
 08 March 2019 10:59 am
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ebee

Posts: 6735
Joined: 02 December 2004

I`ve met a few folk obsessed with isolating after each use though.

One time I saw one with no isolator it could actually have benefited from having one. Very old, badly fitted and faulty it kept cycling hot and cold on the thermal cut out whilst not in use.

Apparently it had been like that for a few months too.

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 08 March 2019 03:16 pm
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 17795
Joined: 13 August 2003

Alan, Andy, thank you. How do I measure the PF of the whole house, a single circuit, or even a single socket please?


I use a plug-in energy monitor to check single appliances (or groups of them on an extension lead) - the one I've got measures V, A, VA, and PF as well as the usual W and Wh. Mine came from Maplin years ago and doesn't seem to be available any more, but this one looks to have similar capabilities http://www.screwfix.com/p/ener...wer-meter-socket/3477h (check the instruction manual). Other makes are available.

- Andy.
 08 March 2019 04:29 pm
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Blencathra

Posts: 219
Joined: 07 November 2017

No isolator on my shower, its usually the first thing to fail, switch off the mob when away, back in the 80s electricity board used to fit showers with just a 30 amp switch fuse at the mains until NICEIC pulled them on it
 08 March 2019 05:25 pm
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perspicacious

Posts: 8055
Joined: 18 April 2006

back in the 80s electricity board used to fit showers with just a 30 amp switch fuse at the mains until NICEIC pulled them on it

As "conforming bodies", the RECs argued successfully that they didn't, and still don't need to (unless in manufacturers' instructions).

Myth busted !

Regards

BOD
 08 March 2019 05:33 pm
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 17795
Joined: 13 August 2003

Does BS 7671 specifically require an isolator for the shower?

As with (almost) any item of equipment there must be some means of isolation - where it's located it a matter for the designer - other than if it's not within sight/control of someone working on the shower it needs to be capable of being locked off. If the upstream distribution equipment (say an old Wylex standard CU) doesn't have any lock-off facilities then a local isolating facility near to the shower makes a lot of sense.
- Andy.
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