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What's blowing my electrics?
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 16 7:30 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

What? No idea. I'll ask the chap to check everything on Monday. I always explain how it came to be the way it is (and that it wasn't me!) and then stand back and let them huff and get it out of their systems. Then they give me a whacking great bill to fix it in two months time (I don't actually care about the bill, I just want it fixed. So it works. Properly. Nearly all the time.).

The age and condition of the wiring does not concern me in the slightest. It's the way it has been installed (and if it was the right kind wire in the first place) that does.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 16 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

secondary bonding is clips (a bit like jubilee clips for a hose, with a tag that says something about earthing /do not remove ) they fasten to all the pipes that could be touched in suitable/sensible places and are connected back to a good earth (either at the cu or to a circuit earth or if needs must to an earth spike in the ground ,im not certain the latter meet regs but they are better than nowt in times of need) with a yellow and green wire. a quick look under the sink,next to the gas meter,in the bathroom etc etc should let you know if they were fitted but a test meter is needed to see if they work and a spark to see if you have enough in the right places.

they are there to protect you from a shock if there is a fault that would make the pipe live and not trip the rcd because not all pipes have a good electrical connection back to earth (compression joints/isolation valves etc can be high resistance and a section of plastic pipe (such as a modern water supply pipe ) can isolate a copper one from earth as well, so a section of pipe might be live if there is a fault and no lost current to trip the breaker).

they are not expensive but they are a necessary part of a safe system that meets regs.

the spark should check to see if they exist.

"(and if it was the right kind wire in the first place)"
i had forgotten about that aspect but yes, it is a serious matter to get the right size cables, again the spark should be able to see enough by looking in sockets etc and maybe lifting a few boards.

once you have a full report it will be clear how much needs replacing/redoing properly and after that it should all be both safe and not need fixing again for a long time (and it will work without a fork or whatever).

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 16 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, the electrician has been and I am still a bit hazy. He is firmly blaming the solar company, and says that they haven't fitted the right consumer unit or fitted it properly. Apparently, they ought to have tested the whole house or something. I got the impression that there are underlying faults, which he said could be anywhere. He is going to email me a report, which I suppose I will batter the solar company with.

When I asked about rewiring, his verdict was 'probably'. Which is not really much help. I suspect it might be easier to just book it. This would all be fine if I had the faintest clue what the problem actually was.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 16 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it seems like you have one definite problem , the cu

and that various other ones might be the "original" wiring

once you have the report it might make things clearer

ps "probably" could be dependant on fixing what they saw to be definitely a problem and fixing that first then seeing how the rest behaves.

one step closer to having it all working and safe though.

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1449
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 16 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
............Apparently, they ought to have tested the whole house or something. I got the impression that there are underlying faults, which he said could be anywhere.......



When I was more involved in domestic extensions, a regular unexpected cost for clients was a new cu and/or re-wire. Because the electrician doing the extension couldn't/wouldn't connect to an existing cu that was not up to spec. - a new cu had to be fitted. Then once a new cu was fitted, the electrician couldn't/wouldn't re-connect existing wiring until that was checked and up to spec.
Sounds similar circumstances to what the solar bods should have done to yours WW.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 16 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

yep

having had a think about it the solar folk might have bent the rules a bit to avoid insisting on a rewire and just put the solar stuff to a basic cu that was better than the one in the sandwich box and reconnected the existing wiring ,perhaps well meaning at the time but not ideal if it needs doing properly to A work and B meet regs and be safe.

the written report should be something for you and the spark to work forward from.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 16 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, the electrician has spoken. And declared a rewire necessary. No surprises there, then. He will come and quote and in a couple of weeks, and fit us in after Christmas. I just knew this would drag on till spring. I was was hoping to decorate this winter. Stepfather has been informed on a need to know basis.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 16 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it will help him and you if you make a list of what you need in terms of plugs etc in each room before he comes to quote.

working out exactly where to put them can make quite a difference to the price so be prepared to be flexible but make sure you have enough and a few spare.

i rather like "hoovering plugs" in the open even if there is a spare hole with the general ones that feed the usual items .

if you want to get fancy you can have a lamp circuit as well as a ring main and feed/ control any low level lighting with that, high level lighting is on a normal lighting circuit but again consider dimmers as some leds will work with those.
a full rewire is the proper time to think about lighting , most houses are appallingly lit but they can be appealingly lit with a bit of planning .

if you need power outside/sheds etc decide what you need and get it included, retro fitting afterwards will either cost more or cock up the new system .

a couple of minor but important things ,get the smoke alarms mains powered which is far better than replacing batteries and try to get the spark to fit all switches in convenient for use, rather than convenient to install (or historic), places . too often light switches etc are in a daft place.

depending on your structure it can range from a bit messy and inconvenient to noisy, messy and full redecoration after the plaster dries , discuss options regarding positioning etc and be prepared to be flexible if perfect when done is going to be nightmare and expensive to do try to find the ok when done option.

ps think of a number of kitchen sockets you definitely need and double it, you wont use them all at the same time but the flexibility of having lots is really nice .
neons are good in the kitchen and remind you that something is still on

pps MK materials are not the cheapest but they are good and last far longer than cheaper stuff which long term works out expensive when replacing things in a few years. im very impressed with their antibacterial kitchen plugs which wipe well and dont get scratched in a few months like some do.

have fun planning and end up with a really good practical set of electrics.

ppps , need to know can be very minimal, he will know he messed up (as it is now being done properly ) but not rubbing it in can be more fun than pointing to every error as he will know that you know and have no way to make excuses.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4205
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 16 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
Well, the electrician has spoken. And declared a rewire necessary. No surprises there, then. He will come and quote and in a couple of weeks, and fit us in after Christmas. I just knew this would drag on till spring. I was was hoping to decorate this winter. Stepfather has been informed on a need to know basis.


But the ball is rolling, at least. Phew!

john of wessex



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 2091

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 16 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

When we had the sparky in, I had three outside power points fitted, two at the back & one at the front in case we ever wanted an electric car

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 16 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's an idea. I had thought about where I might want plug sockets, but not for cars. I'd love an electric car, especially with the solar power. There is already an outside socket, but I would like a socket in the garage (there is armoured cable already, and the solar people were supposed to put a socket in, but they didn't) I hadn't thought of mains snoke alarms, that would be nice.

There are currently no sockets in the hall, stairs or landing at all, so anything would be an improvement. The kitchen sockets are mostly ok and the light switches are mostly logical, with one exception. I'd quite like kill switches to turn all the power off to a room.

Stepfather is totally, genuinely baffled about why the whole thing is necessary. He just doesn't get why they can't simply fix the fault. Mum is a bit more with it, but still doesn't see why it might be necessary to do any disruptive work. She has just asked me why they can't thread string on to the existing wires and pull new ones through, and then it won't matter about inconvenient ceilings and so on. She doesn't really see why it would need new wiring anyway, either.

I don't know why, but I really want it done properly and if that's what the sparky says needs doing, that's what's happening. Before I decorate anything!

We are even going to get the rising damp done at the same time. My goodness, I know how to live!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 16 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

for a proper job you do need to sort out the damp, it could even be that causing some of the trips by allowing current leakage. damp plugs etc are a right pain as well as being a bit dangeroos.

doing all the messy stuff in one coordinated effort is always the best policy.

if you wonder why you want it doing properly it might be because once it is done it will be safe and it will work, the walls will be dry ,the house will be warmer (damp eats heat ) and you wont be wasting effort and money decorating a house that would shed paint and paper even if it wasn't on fire.most of all you will know that it is no longer a worry or inconvenience. those would be my reasons anyway.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 16 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know that. You know that. The sparky knows that. Mum has lived with stepfather too long!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32591
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 16 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33569
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 16 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/12/english-man-spends-11-hours-trying-to-make-cup-of-tea-with-wi-fi-kettle

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