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Michael Walker

RCD problem

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Michael Walker

I'm pretty certain it's not the RCD. I'm on my third!

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apprentice87
27 minutes ago, Michael Walker said:

I'm pretty certain it's not the RCD. I'm on my third!

 

Ok, then, assuming the thing does not trip with NOTHING, not even just an extension lead or other cable plugged into it, then you have DEFINITELY got EITHER something that IS connected to it with an insulation fault between "live" and earth. OR [because of the way the thing is wired] is placed on the ground and has a fault between earth and neutral...

 

To help you visualise this, imagine the current flowing down the "live" from the generator to whatever is being powered, across the neutral/earth fault, into the ground the piece of equipment being powered is standing on, through the ground back to the generator frame, where it "gets back" to the neutral terminal by means of flowing through the generator frame and the earth wire connected to it, to the neutral cable [which is connected to the earth cable] on the generator side of the RCD, thus BYPASSING the RCD, and PING!! instant trip..

 

What you need then is to do some insulation testing.. You will need some form of insulation tester. Perhaps something like this?? [It is cheap!!] https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MEGGER-INSULATION-CONTINUITY-ELECTRICAL-TESTER-TEST-METER-IN-LEATHER-CARRY-CASE/164019371978?hash=item263050ffca:g:vuMAAOSwUOJeEhTd

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Michael Walker

I have got a test metre that I use to assess the battery status. Will this work if I put it to 240ac?

The generator is still working fine 'at the moment '. M

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apprentice87
4 hours ago, Michael Walker said:

I have got a test metre that I use to assess the battery status. Will this work if I put it to 240ac?

The generator is still working fine 'at the moment '. M

 

No, you need a proper insulation tester, that can apply 500V to the bits you want to test and measure how the insulation stands up [or otherwise] to this voltage. You also need to know how to use it mind, or you could damage stuff you are testing, but i am sure we could explain what to do to you..

 

john..

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Michael Walker

I'll see what I can do. Living off grid is great, no electric Bill's,water from a spring etc, downside is no postal address for buying online.

I heard some sellers will send to argos

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Sharpend

That’s called click and collect option. Some use Argos, others shop and post offices. 
what do you do about your mail? PO Box? 

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ProDave
On 11/01/2020 at 13:10, Michael Walker said:

I'll see what I can do. Living off grid is great, no electric Bill's,water from a spring etc, downside is no postal address for buying online.

I heard some sellers will send to argos

How do you pay your council tax?  I mean where do they send the bill and how is it addressed?

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Michael Walker

I own 7 acres of woodland,  I live here in a small dwelling I built from the trees. My water comes from a spring, for 9 months of the year my solar panels are sufficient for my power needs unless I run the washing machine. The generator is used for this and topping up my batteries via an inverter/charger when the panels fall short at this time of year. I have a compost loo,chickens and a woman who is as nuts as I am.

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ProDave

Yes but do you have planning permission for you house built from the trees?  If you do, you will have to pay council tax, and will be allocated or able to choose an address.

 

No address and council tax suggests you have no planning permission, so unless you have "got away" with it for a number of years, you could be forced out of your home at any time.

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apprentice87
26 minutes ago, Michael Walker said:

I own 7 acres of woodland,  I live here in a small dwelling I built from the trees. My water comes from a spring, for 9 months of the year my solar panels are sufficient for my power needs unless I run the washing machine. The generator is used for this and topping up my batteries via an inverter/charger when the panels fall short at this time of year. I have a compost loo,chickens and a woman who is as nuts as I am.

 

Sounds great to me!! I know where i could lay my hands on 10 acres of woods.. Would have to do a part ex with my proper house though.. Very very tempting...

 

Just now, ProDave said:

Yes but do you have planning permission for you house built from the trees?  If you do, you will have to pay council tax, and will be allocated or able to choose an address.

 

No address and council tax suggests you have no planning permission, so unless you have "got away" with it for a number of years, you could be forced out of your home at any time.

 

Hmm, absolutely correct.. I know a bloke that converted what he claimed to be a farm building to a dwelling. The council could not prove otherwise, so had to give him a cerificate of lawfulness. They also, as part of the deal, made him pay all the council tax going back all them years..

 

Still, good luck to you??

 

john..

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ProDave

You need to "get away with it" for a certain number of years to get a certificate of lawful development.  You have to prove how long you have been using it.  Showing you have had post delivered to the property for a number of years is one way to prove it has been in use as a dwelling.........

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apprentice87
23 minutes ago, ProDave said:

You need to "get away with it" for a certain number of years to get a certificate of lawful development.  You have to prove how long you have been using it.  Showing you have had post delivered to the property for a number of years is one way to prove it has been in use as a dwelling.........

 

I think it is four years in the case of a house, for other things, such as illegal changes of use, i think you have to show the use has been carried on since something silly like 1960.

 

Cannot remember what my mate did, there was something to do with post though i am sure?? There was other stuff too, i know he had it rented out and i think he had records of this too?? Cannot remember as it was ages ago, i know he did it at least three times on the same patch of land though. I know he built them in the first place saying they were for the housing of "sick and pregnant stock" and "inwintering" of something.. There were a load of pigs that came into it to. You can for all intents and purposes build what you like for agriculture. It was 465 square metres a year so far as i can remember. He built a load of buildings claiming that they were for pigs. The council tried to stop him saying that he "could not have double glazed windows for pigs" The loony told them that he loved his pigs and that he could have any windows he liked for them. In the end the council had to cave in..

 

Then there was the illegal tipping....

 

john..

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ProDave

And you cannot deliberately hide it. Remember the bloke built a castle and hid it behind a stack of hay bales.  After he thought the time was up he moved the bales.  But it was decided in court he had deliberately hidden the building so it was still classed as illegal and it had to be demolished.

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Michael Walker

On the deeds for the woodland it says I can erect a 'steam powered sawmill and attendant buildings'. They were dated 1920.

I moved here 3 years ago. Sold my place in Sussex and am living on the proceeds. Money goes a long way with no heating/electric and other household attending bills to pay.

No planning but could post a good argument for staying if needed. I use a logosol sawmill for planks etc, my home is one of the attending buildings. 

The farmer knows I'm here,as do the local hunt ( most likely landowners, councillors and other sundry nobs) and have never seen anyone I didn't invite. Still I do keep my fingers crossed 😀

Generator still functioning as normal, even in this biblical rain. 

I was raised to go for my dreams. Having raised 3 kids myself, I'm living my dream now before it's too late.

Incase you're wondering, I'll be 59 in March. M

 

 

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Sharpend

You sound as though you should be living out in Alaska with the bare basics but very happy and content. 

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Michael Walker

No sharpend, I like Tesco and casualty being less than an hour away.

Maybe 30 years ago

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apprentice87
1 hour ago, Michael Walker said:

On the deeds for the woodland it says I can erect a 'steam powered sawmill and attendant buildings'. They were dated 1920.

I moved here 3 years ago. Sold my place in Sussex and am living on the proceeds. Money goes a long way with no heating/electric and other household attending bills to pay.

No planning but could post a good argument for staying if needed. I use a logosol sawmill for planks etc, my home is one of the attending buildings. 

The farmer knows I'm here,as do the local hunt ( most likely landowners, councillors and other sundry nobs) and have never seen anyone I didn't invite. Still I do keep my fingers crossed 😀

Generator still functioning as normal, even in this biblical rain. 

I was raised to go for my dreams. Having raised 3 kids myself, I'm living my dream now before it's too late.

Incase you're wondering, I'll be 59 in March. M

 

 

 

Can say what it likes on the deeds, makes no difference to planning.. Still, you have not hidden it, indeed, you have posted the details on a public forum. only one year left, and you are in the clear!! For gods sake MAKE SURE that when you eventually tell them, or they find out, that the building is your home, and NOT to do with the sawmill, as otherwise you will be knocking it down..

 

There are different rules for sawmill sheds etc and you would have to show that you were operating the thing since 1960 i think it is to retain it, than there are for a dwelling..

 

Oh and it is what it is, NOT what you are using it for. so if you put up what is clearly a workshop or barn and live in it, makes no difference, could be there for 20 years, if they then find you are living in it, you will be knocking it down, or at the vey least you will have a stop notice preventing you from doing whatever you are doing in it... Got an idea though that IF the BUILDING ITSELF is permitted, but there is unauthorised use as a dwelling [and not a barn], that they CANNOT issue a stop notice, but not sure what they would do instead though..

 

In the same way, if you put up what is clearly a dwelling, but say it is a pig unit and fill it with pigs, they will not have that, they will knock it down, so make sure your home is clearly a home and not an engine shed for the saw, do not try to rely on the old deeds, as you will shoot yourself in the foot as they will straight away quote the "attendant buildings" bit of it back to you

 

I know that if you have animals they HAVE to let you put up a house, BUT, you have to show that it is a viable agricultural unit.. There are set rules for this, my mate had to get 200 pigs as you had to show that it was all intensive enough to require you to spent 2080 [i think it was] hours a year attending to the things/place.whatever..

 

They had to let him put up a house because of the pigs, but it was tied to the pigs if you see what i mean. Get rid of the pigs, = get rid of the house.. The house though, was a residential caravan. Sure enough after the pigs were gone they issued an enforcement notice to remove it. Now, this caravan, was raised about 2 feet off the ground. My mate had built a wall all around it to stop the wind from blowing under it... He decided that if he sawed off the towbar it would not be a caravan and then the council would not be able to do much, as the enforcement notice referred to a caravan.. I told him this would not work as it would still be a caravan, but with a sawn off towbar..

 

I came up with the idea of totally filling the area contained within the wall, with concrete. We did this, and when the enforcement lot arrived with their court order thingy, said, "What caravan???" it is a prefabricated building on a concrete base!!! There was precisely nothing they could do. They tried to start again, but the four years were already up, they have four years in which to start, or purport to start enforcement, and they had spent all this time trying to enforce against the wrong thing!! In the end it was such an eyesore they gave him proper planning to remove it and build a proper house. The muppet let this run out though and ended up with nothing.. [having demolished the original in the meantime]

 

Hope you get it all sorted though!!! I should do the same!!

 

john..

Edited by apprentice87

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Michael Walker

The 'Sawmill' is in a separate structure John. Also, Wales has slightly different planning regs to England. All I'd have to prove if things got awkward was that I can earn £500 a month from the woods. Plus, charcoal burning is an ideal reason to stay to watch a fire that burns for 3-5 days.

Planners want to insure that the countryside doesn't vanish under development, so they would find me in full agreement. When I'm too old to carry on here my family will help remove anything that would not rot to nothing within 100 years. Solar,windows,log burner. Cooker,pots pans, the lot. There is no road access. The nearest lane is a mile away. Planning permission would be a waste as I've no intention of a permanent dwelling. 

I'm just having a last, safe adventure before I'm too old. 

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ProDave

If the sawmill was in a building on the site when you bought it, then there is every probsability it had planning permission or has been there long enough to get a certificate or lawful development.

 

But that is not a dwelling.

 

You seem to have erected a separate building that you are using as a dwelling without planning permissions and without an address.

 

What you want to achieve is a situation where they cannot force you to remove it.  Your best bet without the proof of post being delivered is to buy some newspapers and photograph them clearly outside your "house" with the date clearly visible, and repeat this from time to time.  Then hope  you can get away with it for the required number of years .  Receipts for anything you have incorporated into the building will help to prove how long it has been there as well.

 

Your role model should be Ben Law https://ben-law.co.uk/  His build was on Grand Designs.  He had a long battle to get planning permission and it was only granted as he demonstrated a need to be on site during prolonged charcoal burning, and planning was only granted tied to him and that activity and when he dies the building has to go.  It sounds like you have a similar modest ambition.

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