Last Wednesday we returned home after spending three weeks camping along the river Loire between Orleans and Tours. Driving onto our little courtyard we noticed some lights were on in the house, meaning there’d been a power outage (some of our LED’s switch on when the power comes back up).
Entering the house we noticed nothing wrong at first, but some lights didn’t work. Checking which group was out, we realised the fridge and freezer in our storage room was on the same group….
Indeed it had completely defrosted and the resulting water had spread over the storage room floor. The smell wasn’t too bad until I opened the freezer. We quickly removed the drawers from the freezer with their rotting content and moved them outside. I switched the group back on but the fuse blew again after a minute or so. The rest of the afternoon was spent on cleaning and finding the reason for the fuse blowing.
The group covers the storage room, Y’s bedroom and my office room above it, and surprisingly the garden and the shed. I had expected outside to be its own group. Alas not. Switching everything off in the house, the issue remained, pointing to the garden. I checked the outside fixtures, and while everything seemed ok and dry the issue remained. Whenever things worked for a while, after the next rain shower the fuse blew again, despite everything I had checked still being dry. So I fully disconnected the outlets and lights in the garden and the shed one by one. It seemd to have helped, as for a number of hours everything worked. Except the next morning the fuse blew again.
This afternoon I started another round through everything systematically and did I get to the likely culprit. I decided to disconnect almost everything in the garden and shed (which I had already done one by one) by disconnecting the main power line into the shed altogether. When I opened the box where the main line comes into the shed and gets split up to the shed’s lighting and a line going into the garden, the connector for the neutral-line fell out, leaving it blank and in very close proximity to the also blank PE/Ground-line. This likely was the reason for the short-circuit, and for its intermittency: air humidity likely bridged the last tiny bit of gap between the two wires. The box was open to the air because one of the outgoing lines on the back was smaller than the hole for it, meaning there was no seal against air or moisture.
With outside now disconnected (except for an outlet and a light on the side of the house), everything is now working again as it should. Hopefully this time it lasts, because I’m out of ideas otherwise.
If it stays this way, I will later redo the outside stuff with better material than the previous owners used to install it.
Meanwhile the storage room is clean and smell free again too.
Time to finally unpack our luggage.