At Estepona in Spain recently we were exhibiting at a show where we wanted to show two outstanding American made Hot Tubs we had some real fun connecting the electricity supply to our display model
In a nut shell our display Hot Tub in Spain was not having any of it in that it just refused to start up. Or to put it quite simply the fuse just kept blowing.
Very unusual and some thing that we have never encountered before on the installation of a Hot tub in Spain
But, then of course, this is Spain where many things are unusual
So this is the main meeting place for the public in Estepona the very same hall where the local people and political parties meet. Well, of course, you know that this building must be correct as it’s the flag ship of the local community. You can see I am already having my doubts.
Anyway having run a few standard routines checks on the Spa we now begin to think that perhaps it’s the venue.
An immediate clue was that the spa would run perfectly un earthed but not earthed hmmm seems like the earth might be live, Obviously we can not run the Spa with out a proper earth and all this means is that we have not found the fault we have just merely cheated by unhooking the earth.
Oh no – not again – as we find this in private houses in spain but not usually in local government buildings.
Well a volt tester on the Neutral and the Live gave a reading of 220 Volts a very good voltage but completely in wrong place as the earth should result should show nil. A further test on the Neutral and the Earth wires showed a healthy in terms of voltage but in terms of health and safety a lethal and absolutely staggering 400 Volts. Oh dear now there is a serious problem as its beginning to look as if possibly they have got a three phase supply leaking into the 220 Volt system as I said before this is Spain.
When this all started the first electrician from the venue who arrived when I started complaining, initially, stated its all fine and you have got no problems
That was when we were getting suspicious but had not yet tumbled on to either the exact fault or indeed how dangerous it was.
A few telephone calls in Spain and across the Atlantic convinced me that I better up the ante and get the organizers of the show forcefully informed that they are sitting on a time bomb which could prove lethal
The calls are made and next morning ,hey presto, a team of Spanish electricians have to turn half the lights off in the hall as they realize that they have some of the main lighting cross linked into the exhibitors stands which should not be connected to the lighting circuit.
The conclusion is simply that when it comes to Electricity one should only use experts and even more so when it comes to Hot Tubs only use first class American or European Hot Tubs and avoid cheap imports that have uncertain controls and non western electrical standards.