Thursday, 25 March 2021

Electrical issue

Hi All. The last several times I've put my actinic Robinson trap out, it's seemed to work well (in terms of staying on -- it's not as though it's caught very much) until I've turned in; but I've got up in the morning to find it's tripped the circuit it's plugged in to (and since the outside plug circuit is also the one our fridge-freezer is on, that's a little inconvenient). Has anybody else had similar problems? I suspect what it means is I need a new fusebox for the actinic bulb... but if anyone has any less expensive suggestions, I'd be more than grateful!

Steve Goddard


  1. Hi Steve. A few things you can check. Firstly, I presume that you're sure that the circuit breaker only trips on nights when you have your trap operating! Secondly, carefully check the cable between the mains plug and the electrics, looking for any nicks or other damage that could let damp in - replace if necessary. Thirdly, run just the electrics (no extension cable - if any - no lamp, no trap) during the day on an indoor circuit - preferably one that you won't be inconvenienced by if it trips, such as an upstairs circuit. This will make it pretty clear whether or not the actinic electrics are at fault. By the way, also check that the box itself is still watertight.

    Even though your electrical circuit is protected by the circuit-breaker at your distribution board, it's quite a good idea to use a plug-in RCD with your moth trap, so that if there is a fault during the night, at least your fridge-freezer will keep on working. The one difficulty is that plug-in RCDs are quite often too big to use with outside sockets without having the socket lid/door left open to the elements while in use.

  2. Hi Tim -- many thanks for this! Yes: as it happens, our microwave is also on the same circuit, and it's immediately obvious when that's not on as the clock goes blank; which hasn't happened any night the trap hasn't been running. I have a suspicion that the (very long) extension lead I have to use with the trap may be far from undamaged, so I'll check that; and may also run the electrics indoors, as you suggest. I did contrive to use an RCD one of the three nights, and the same thing happened! -- it may be, however, that I rigged it up incorrectly. Anyway, I'll try a few things and see what happens.


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