Why is my dishwasher suddenly tripping the electrics?

(15 Posts)
PingPongBat Wed 27-Apr-16 20:48:23

Just had new kitchen / utility done and a new consumer unit installed. No problems for several weeks.

This evening our lights kept going out - we think we've narrowed it down to the dishwasher (turned everything off in the circuit except the 2 fridge freezers & left the dishwasher running - tripped again after about 30 seconds). The dishwasher was in the drying cycle so the heating element would have been on. We've since turned off the dishwasher, switched everything back on & so far (fingers crossed) the lights are still on.

The dishwasher's pretty old, but we had no problems before the fuse box was replaced.

Are we best off just getting a new dishwasher (have been contemplating this anyway)? or should we investigate any other possible causes first, before splashing out on a new machine?

TwentyOneGuns Wed 27-Apr-16 20:50:51

Ours did this the other week, we've got a service plan so called them out and it turned out to be a split pipe. Don't know why that would cause it but apparently it did!

WellTidy Wed 27-Apr-16 20:55:12

Mine did this before Christmas. I got the Bosch man out and he said that the rubber seals around the bit where you put the salt in had rotted. It was tripping the electrics as a safety mechanism. There was nothing that could be done, so we bought a new one. Dishwasher was 5 1/2 years old.

PingPongBat Wed 27-Apr-16 21:52:00

Thanks.

I"m wondering whether modern consumer units are more sensitive, it just seems like a bit of a coincidence that this happened just after it was installed. Does anyone know?

Quickchangeup Wed 27-Apr-16 21:56:38

Our Bosch dishwasher did this and it was because a seal had eroded and water was leaking into the base. It couldn't be repaired.

PigletJohn Wed 27-Apr-16 22:01:18

What is written on the thing that trips? I expect it either says "B32" or "80A" or something like that. It might be twice as wide as all the other devices and have a "T" or "Test" button on it.

anyoldname76 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:02:43

we had this too, ours had been leaking (not enough to notice) it was unrepairable, has it been moved about with having a new kitchen? i doubt its anything to do with your new fuse box

PingPongBat Wed 27-Apr-16 22:15:35

Ooh hello PigletJohn I was hoping you might be around smile
But I'm not sure what your question means blushconfused

If it helps, on our consumer unit there are two sets of switches. One set has 5 switches, one is a bit narrower the rest. each wide switch has been marked (by the electrician) in biro with 'sockets', 'upstairs lights', 'downstairs lights' etc. It's the narrow switch in this set that trips, not one of the wide ones. Does that make any sense? DH thinks we ought to ask the builder to get his electrician to come and look at it as he thinks we can't isolate it to the dishwasher.

The dishwasher is in the same place, but we had 14 down lighters added in the kitchen and utility room, so they put a new 'ring' in (I think that's it... I have to say I can't really remember what they said but it made perfect sense at the time!)

PingPongBat Wed 27-Apr-16 22:39:40

Here's the set of switches, it's the pale grey one in the right that ends up in the down position.

PigletJohn Wed 27-Apr-16 22:44:57

does it look something like this?

or this?

Observe they both have "B32" printed on them (and other stuff).

whereas this says 80A and has a "Test" button.
this is similar but 63A and a "T" button.

It is important to know what is the thing that is tripping.

PigletJohn Wed 27-Apr-16 22:52:19

I see it now. It is marked 63A and has a Test button.

It is the RCD which detects earth leakage and turns off several circuits. On a dishwasher it is most likely the heating element, breaking down with age. Oven heater elements do the same. It is possible to repair it if you think the cost is worthwhile. It can also be a water leak dripping onto an electrical part, this is less common and you may see evidence of water underneath if you tip the machine backwards (don't tip it forwards).

If you put the machine onto "rinse and hold" which is a cold water cycle, it will probably not turn on the heating element so will not cause a trip.

It is possible that your old Consumer Unit did not have an RCD, so would not have detected this fault, especially if it was rather old.

PigletJohn Wed 27-Apr-16 22:53:54

BTW you should press the Test button at least quarterly to ensure that the power goes off. If not tested for long periods, they are more likely to stick and jam, and may not work in an emergency.

PingPongBat Wed 27-Apr-16 22:58:28

Huge thanks PigletJohn, that's a really clear explanation. DH set it to do a pre-rinse (cold) so we could get it to drain out the water from the cancelled washing cycle, and it didn't trip.

So all the evidence is adding up to it being a dodgy dishwasher. I don't think it's worth repairing, it's probably 7 or 8 years old now and the rinse cycle has been a bit rubbish for a while. I think it's time to invest in a new one.

McBaby Thu 28-Apr-16 08:26:49

Same happened with ours when we got our consumer unit changed. It turned out the socket it was plugged in to wasn't wired up correctly but it didnt blue the old fuse or give us electric shocks till then!

PingPongBat Thu 28-Apr-16 09:17:05

Electrician who installed it all originally has been this morning, he checked the plug socket and the adjacent socket it's feeding from, & found nothing wrong. As it's a month since the works finished and we've been running washing machine, tumble dryer, 2 fridges etc simultaneously without problems since then, he also thinks it's the dishwasher. He says it might be a 'nuisance' trip which is detecting a loose connection in there, or it could be the heating element etc. So I'm going to plug the dishwasher into a different socket in the hall later and run a full washing cycle, if it trips again we'll buy new one!

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