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Nick

What's blowing my electrics?

Yesterday at about 7am, same today and around 4pm yesterday.

All times the boiler should fire up.

It also blew just now. The boiler was off, with not even the power light on, and not due to fire up. It appears dead. (Before it blew this last time).

The main circuit in the house is blowing. It's taking out the lights and sockets as its tripping the whole board. The extension is fine and not affected, which includes the kettle.

The kettle was also used at the time it blew.

I can't get any life out of the boiler and have, since the last trip, turned the mains switch to it off.

Is it possible that even with no obvious life in it, with the mains switch on, it's causing the trip, or is it an innocent casualty? The boiler had a service and repairs a few days ago. Odd drip of water inside is my thought?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.

Only other recent change to the electrics is a new router, with psu. But it's on the whole time.

Boiler man comes Monday morning, but his job is to fix the boiler, not find an external problem.

Only things I can think of that fired up at those rough times, or have been changed as far as I can think.

Thoughts welcome.
crofter

Re: What's blowing my electrics?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.



Sounds like the boiler.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Re: What's blowing my electrics?

Yesterday at about 7am, same today and around 4pm yesterday.

All times the boiler should fire up.

It also blew just now. The boiler was off, with not even the power light on, and not due to fire up. It appears dead. (Before it blew this last time).

The main circuit in the house is blowing. It's taking out the lights and sockets as its tripping the whole board. The extension is fine and not affected, which includes the kettle.

The kettle was also used at the time it blew.

I can't get any life out of the boiler and have, since the last trip, turned the mains switch to it off.

Is it possible that even with no obvious life in it, with the mains switch on, it's causing the trip, or is it an innocent casualty? The boiler had a service and repairs a few days ago. Odd drip of water inside is my thought?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.

Only other recent change to the electrics is a new router, with psu. But it's on the whole time.

Boiler man comes Monday morning, but his job is to fix the boiler, not find an external problem.

Only things I can think of that fired up at those rough times, or have been changed as far as I can think.

Thoughts welcome.


If there's a shortcircuit somewhere in the boiler, this would explain it?
NB - my expertise level is about "can change plugs"
Nick

Re: What's blowing my electrics?

Kettle is old but fully functional. And its socket works fine when everything else is blown.



Sounds like the boiler.

Could it cause a problem just by being there? It wasn't supposed to turn on, I think all the lights (including power) were out.

I'm assuming that with the mains switch to it ON there could still be power in there somewhere, and if it's shorting, that could be the issue.

Or does the lack of power light rule it out?
sean

Dodgy earth somewhere? Treacodactyl

Re: What's blowing my electrics?

Could it cause a problem just by being there? It wasn't supposed to turn on, I think all the lights (including power) were out.

I'm assuming that with the mains switch to it ON there could still be power in there somewhere, and if it's shorting, that could be the issue.

Or does the lack of power light rule it out?

You would have thought the power light would come on as soon as power gets in to the boiler but I wouldn't be surprised if it's all now controlled by the main circuit board electrics and if they've blown (melted) then no power light and the possibility of a short.

Certainly wise to keep the switch to the boiler off until your boiler bod checks it over.
Nick

Main power board was replaced under a week ago. But it did run well for days.

Boiler remains off until Monday. If it blows before then, it's something else. If not, well. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the input so far.
Marionb

Another vote for dodgy earth Nick

Another vote for dodgy earth

Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?
crofter

Another vote for dodgy earth

Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?

Look for loose wires, scorch marks, mouse shit, chewed insulation, melted plastic etc. Make sure there is no power supply to the boiler first. But there might not be any obvious signs, and it might not even be the boiler, although from the story so far it seems to be the likely culprit.
Treacodactyl

Another vote for dodgy earth

Physically, what does this mean? Where am I looking, how would I find it?

Look for loose wires, scorch marks, mouse shit, chewed insulation, melted plastic etc. Make sure there is no power supply to the boiler first. But there might not be any obvious signs, and it might not even be the boiler, although from the story so far it seems to be the likely culprit.

With the usual caveats about if in any doubt consult a qualified electritian / sacrifice a small animal...

When you say blowing I assume you mean the RCD is tripping? Wiki is quite good at explaining an RCD: "RCDs operate by measuring the current balance between two conductors using a differential current transformer. This measures the difference between current flowing through the live conductor and that returning through the neutral conductor. If these do not sum to zero, there is a leakage of current to somewhere else (to earth/ground or to another circuit), and the device will open its contacts. Operation does not require a fault current to return through the earth wire in the installation; the trip will operate just as well if the return path is through plumbing, contact with the ground or any other current path. Automatic disconnection and a measure of shock protection is therefore still provided even if the earth wiring of the installation is damaged or incomplete."

So, some of the current is going somewhere unexpected and a likely place is it's earthing out. As has been said, with the power off, check for water, perhaps a connection to the main board hasn't been fully engaged. Depending on how it's put together check the wires haven't been bent or squashed when putting the boiler back together, a seemingly undamaged but bent wire can cause leakage and a trip.
Nick

And, in today's update, with the boiler switched off, it blew when the kettle was turned on.

New kettle today as a holding pattern until boiler man arrives.

We shall see.
Hairyloon

What else is on the circuit with the boiler?
You could switch off that circuit for a while and see if that makes a difference?
It is possible that the boiler thing is just a coincidence.
dpack

boiler fault seems likely

modern consumer unit breakers will trip if there is a fault even if the item is turned off as they detect problems in the earth and return as well as the (switched) feed

that the problem seems to happen when things other than the boiler are turned on and the kettle plug was separate from other circuits it seems plausible that the wiring is

A: not quite as logical as it should be
B;has a fault/s somewhere
C:it could be a wiring issue that caused the boiler problem.
AND
D:it could be a fault in another item and the boiler fault is a coincidence.

get the boiler checked ,especially the replaced board and see if that cures it

BUT

mark one eyeball is sensible but unless you are planning on lifting boards, removing plaster, crawling about in roof voids etc etc only bits will be visible.

it would be a good idea to get a well qualified spark to fetch their meters and test the whole system for faults and layout , a house the size of yours should not take more than half a day to test thoroughly and might cost around a couple of hundred quid. a good investment considering how much the loss of freezer contents (or potentially far worse) electrical faults can cost .

ps just cos somebody put a tested sticker on the consumer unit does not necessarily mean all is fine and dandy, when i did the kitchen i found 5 seriously dangerous electrical faults such as overheating bends and wires dangling behind units from plugs and switches, one high fire risk fault (the extractor fan pipe was twisted to the point of no air flow) and about 15 potentially dangerous electrical ones ranging from rings within rings,spurs on spurs and two supplies to the same circuit ("ring main" and cooker supply both connected to a sub ring) that had been "passed" by whoever did it a few years earlier.
Nick

What else is on the circuit with the boiler?
You could switch off that circuit for a while and see if that makes a difference?
It is possible that the boiler thing is just a coincidence.

God knows. The house is sprawling, electrically, with various add ons and extensions and lights run from socket circuits. I've even got a socket next to the bog. It's a part of my life I just ignore. Smile
Chez

Can you physically unplug or disconnect the boiler?

(I realise I'm agreeing with Hairyloon, here, but this is FACTS not ideas Smile )
Hairyloon

What else is on the circuit with the boiler?
You could switch off that circuit for a while and see if that makes a difference?
It is possible that the boiler thing is just a coincidence.

God knows. The house is sprawling, electrically, with various add ons and extensions and lights run from socket circuits. I've even got a socket next to the bog. It's a part of my life I just ignore. Smile
Then perhaps just pull the fuse for that circuit and see what happens...
Check that freezers and other essentials are still on, and plug them in elsewhere for a bit if they aren't.
Nick

Can you physically unplug or disconnect the boiler?

(I realise I'm agreeing with Hairyloon, here, but this is FACTS not ideas Smile )

Only by flicking the switch to it. Or finding and pulling the fuse. And with no lights on it, no.
Chez

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary. Nick

Three kettle boils. Three blown rcds.

Off to Dixons. Via the pub.
dpack



God knows. The house is sprawling, electrically, with various add ons and extensions and lights run from socket circuits. I've even got a socket next to the bog. It's a part of my life I just ignore. Smile

that is the reason to get it all done properly then you can ignore it in almost complete confidence of it's safety, it is possible some of it is ok but there is a very high probability that quite a bit isnt.

seemingly random rcd trips are a good thing as they have protected you from a shock or a fire but to rely on the rcd is short term especially as some of those circuits might not even be routed through it.

professional assessment and quotes for remedial/replacement works is the best option.

one of the "best" i have found was bare conductor in wooden trunking (circa 1895) for a lighting circuit that was feeding various plug sockets. i still dont understand how that hadnít caught fire as there was a fan heater plugged into it and no rcd as the consumer unit was a fuse wire type. the old 1920's rubber covered wires are quite interesting as well.

one piece at a time = a whole world of issues. Wink
Ty Gwyn

Three kettle boils. Three blown rcds.

Off to Dixons. Via the pub.

Did you try each kettle boil at a different socket?
Treacodactyl

Three kettle boils. Three blown rcds.

Off to Dixons. Via the pub.

Did you try each kettle boil at a different socket?

Indeed, ideally in the socket if you have a cooker switch as that should be on its own circuit.

The kettle tripping out your RCD doesn't necessarily mean its faulty but could mean the circuit its on has a small leak and the amount of power the kettle draws is enough for the leak to cause the RCD to trip.

If your new kettle causes a trip then it's probably the house wiring.
Nick

I didn't try different sockets. Why? Because I am an idiot.

Still. I have a shiny new kettle, a filter coffee machine, and I am outside a large carvery lunch and two beers.

I think the next thing to test is the sofa. See if that does anything.
Chez

Never snipe at me for being an impulse purchaser again. Nick

Never snipe at me for being an impulse purchaser again.


I've been thinking of getting all of the above for a while.

And I did think of you. They have a kettle that comes with wifi connectivity and an app.

No, I didn't.
Chez

Ooooh, really? *quickly glances at Dixon's website* Nick

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/smarter-household-appliances/small-kitchen-appliances/kettles/336_3156_30244_5363_xx/xx-criteria.html wellington womble

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?
Treacodactyl

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

If you're Nick it means you can remotely trip your electrics.
Nick

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

If you're Nick it means you can remotely trip your electrics.

Smile

Yes, that's exactly what it means. I saved more than seventy quid, however. Alas, I now have to press a button on the kettle about 2 minutes before I get boiling water. Such. A. Chore.
dpack

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

If you're Nick it means you can remotely trip your electrics.

Laughing
Nick

Boiler man, he come, he go.


Hot water pump was broken, preventing the boiler from firing up. He thinks it's probably unrelated to the electrics tripping, but not 100% sure. Either way, boiler is running, kettle replaced, and no further trips.

And I've drunk a lot of coffee from my new machine. I can probably run to the kettle, and switch it on manually, faster than an app could do it.
dpack

a broken pump is a likely candidate for tripping the electrics but mending the pump does not address the basic issues of one piece at a time wiring and/or other moody electrical equipment Wink

i know im a nag but around 20% of fatal house fires are caused by faulty electrical distribution or equipment. if one includes non fatal ones that just ruin one's home the figure is quite a bit larger.
Nick

I know. Smile Behemoth

You've got a kettle with an ap? sean

No, Nick hasn't. Chez probably has by now but is still trying to make it work with Ubuntu. Nick

No, Nick hasn't. Chez probably has by now but is still trying to make it work with Ubuntu.


Yeah, it works seamlessly with Apple, and pretty well with Android. However, despite buying a £100 boiling pot, she's 'saving money' by spending 36 hours in an online forum counselling group getting it to work via Linux. It doesn't boil yet, but she's got the printer working. In black and white, one sided. 48 point text. Comic sans.

Ironically, she'd had to boil the kettle manually 48 times during this process to produce sufficient tea.
Behemoth

Sorry I'm not really keeping up here. Chez

That's ok. Nick is avoiding addressing the fact that his house has wiring put in by Thomas Edison by hating on my perfectly valid techno-choices. I'll fiddle with Ubuntu while his house burns .... Hairyloon

Would it be impertinent to ask why not sort it all out properly? NorthernMonkeyGirl

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

Ah see what you need to do there is daisy-chain more extensions until you have enough length to go around the doorframe or round the room edges.
Safety first!
joanne

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

Ah see what you need to do there is daisy-chain more extensions until you have enough length to go around the doorframe or round the room edges.
Safety first!

Well when you can dictate how many plug sockets you have in a house such as in a new build or if you are having a house rewired it's fine however when the house comes from the dark ages and in our case still has a bakelite fuse board and about one socket per room, sometimes you don't have any choice about it.
Nick

Would it be impertinent to ask why not sort it all out properly?

No, not at all. It's a job that needs doing.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

Ah see what you need to do there is daisy-chain more extensions until you have enough length to go around the doorframe or round the room edges.
Safety first!

Well when you can dictate how many plug sockets you have in a house such as in a new build or if you are having a house rewired it's fine however when the house comes from the dark ages and in our case still has a bakelite fuse board and about one socket per room, sometimes you don't have any choice about it.

No snark intended, I have a stash of extensions for precisely this purpose.
Also I have now unplugged said extensions due to massive thunder storm rolling in. I even remembered to shut the window above the hi-fi Laughing
dpack

daisy chain extensions are a very bad idea ,as are cheap ones .if you must have a running lead tis best to buy or make good ones with decent parts and "fat" top quality wire.

for any high current stuff (kettles for instance ) just donít unless it is rated heavy duty just

the other thing is a long one tightly coiled up to only use part of the length will get hot ( and can wipe the magnetic strip on bank cards) which is also bad so if it has a coil reel pull out the full length.

i will plead guilty to extension lead abuse and managed to melt two using the kettle and one separately with a single hotplate ring when i was doing the kitchen. they should have either blown the lead plug fuse or tripped the main breaker but they melted instead while staying under the 13a of the fuse and not registering as a moody circuit .not on fire but definitely smelly,charred and a bit salvadore dali in shape.

imho if it is ce rated at 13a swap the fuse to a 5a and only use em for light load stuff.
Hairyloon

daisy chain extensions are a very bad idea ,as are cheap ones .
Aside from risk of overloading, why so?
dpack

even within the 13a fuse rating the cheap ones are often badly designed inside and use thin metal bits in the plug sockets which are very prone to overheating the equally low grade plastic bits.

they are often brittle which can result in cracked insulation and the cheap flex has a habit of partially breaking if bent or kinked which creates hot spots where there is a hight resistance due to low conductor diameter which can melt or burn the cheap plastic insulation on the cable.

ps some cheap ones might even have fake ce marks and wont even meet minimum specs.
GrahamH

Long extension leads can compromise your disconnection times especially with RCD protection.. wellington womble

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

Ah see what you need to do there is daisy-chain more extensions until you have enough length to go around the doorframe or round the room edges.
Safety first!

I have, but they have to cross the gangway sometime, or I can't plug the oven or the washing machine in. I've no sockets in my kitchen or bedroom. They tripped, and will not untrip. You just get big fat sparks. I have unrolled the long extension leads to prevent over heating and I am being quite careful with useage. I turn everything off before I boil the kettle - if you don't it trips the other circuit anyway. My father in law (who probably did the stupid wiring in the first place) is now visiting and has helpfully Done Something to stop it tripping. Knowing him, he's probably wedged a fork in fuse gap. He did say he would have to undo it before the real electrician came. Thankfully this is on Monday, and they are going away on Friday. Personally, I'd rather the electrics tripped, but he won't listen and I don't know what he's done.

Hopefully the electrician will condem the lot and I can have it rewired properly. I will have to find some sort of excuse for FIL not to do it himself. Any ideas, anyone?!
Nick

your insurance company require a valid safety certificate to insure your house. GrahamH

The wiring here in my house is not as the UK. In the UK it would be classed as TN-C
Two wires, a live and a combined earth/neutral. Stand on a wet floor in the laundry room and touch the washing machine for a nice tingle.
Parts of the Philippines are 220v and some are 110v, both come in 2 and 3 wire systems.
Good to hear that you are aware of the dangers WW and are meaning to have these dealt with.
Hairyloon

Hopefully the electrician will condem the lot and I can have it rewired properly. I will have to find some sort of excuse for FIL not to do it himself. Any ideas, anyone?!
You can tell him that the law requires that it be done by a qualified electrician, although if he is just replacing it, then I don't think that is actually true...

If he is keen and reasonably competent, you could talk him into doing a course to get qualified, but I think most places want to give you the full two (?) year course to teach it fro scratch.
There ought to be places where you can simply be tested for competence, but I couldn't find one last I looked (though I confess I did not look hard).
GrahamH

HL...my last ticket was for the 16th Edition, it is now the 17th I think.
It was not an exam but was a City and Guilds one day course, ticket given upon completion.
Probably the same now....worth doing.
dpack

I like problem solving electrics, it's binary.

Come and solve mine, then. I keep tripping over the bloody extension leads!

Does that kettle mean one can remotely put the kettle on!?

Ah see what you need to do there is daisy-chain more extensions until you have enough length to go around the doorframe or round the room edges.
Safety first!

I have, but they have to cross the gangway sometime, or I can't plug the oven or the washing machine in. I've no sockets in my kitchen or bedroom. They tripped, and will not untrip. You just get big fat sparks. I have unrolled the long extension leads to prevent over heating and I am being quite careful with useage. I turn everything off before I boil the kettle - if you don't it trips the other circuit anyway. My father in law (who probably did the stupid wiring in the first place) is now visiting and has helpfully Done Something to stop it tripping. Knowing him, he's probably wedged a fork in fuse gap. He did say he would have to undo it before the real electrician came. Thankfully this is on Monday, and they are going away on Friday. Personally, I'd rather the electrics tripped, but he won't listen and I don't know what he's done.

Hopefully the electrician will condem the lot and I can have it rewired properly. I will have to find some sort of excuse for FIL not to do it himself. Any ideas, anyone?!

GULP Rolling Eyes

nick's suggestion of blame the insurance company wanting "red tape" seems polite. the other "red tape" polite excuse should come from the spark who will not want to be charged with manslaughter (should anything go badly wrong ) if he sees it as it is and fails to make it safe.

personally i would suggest fil took his "electrical skills" and forked off.

ps without even seeing it i have just pulled the 80a supply fuse from the company side of the meter and put a danger do not use sticker over the resealed ,empty, fuse holder.

i expect the spark on monday will start his inspection with a sharp intake of breath followed by a recommendation to fit a new consumer unit and use a couple of slots on that as a temporary supply to give you lights,cooking and a place to charge power tool batteries while the rewire is done.
dpack

iirc

the relevant regs are still 17th ed (they came in ages ago [about 1980 iirc] and still are in force as the attempt at updating them was really silly ) although there might have been a few additions to cover low voltage lighting,spike smoothing for pooters etc etc .

the competence thing is a series of exams for each section of installation and each type of testing (there are several of those). tis a few years ago but i think it took my chum a few months p t and several hundred quid to collect the full set once he had finished his c and g (which included the basic ones).ps a full set of pro quality meters is a bit under a grand. the full set includes such things as 3 phase, pv rigs,pyro cable etc etc etc. most of which are not relevant to domestic stuff.

however if one has a tame spark who is willing to trust you to have done the bits they cant easily visually inspect as well as the ones they can, any competent person can do the hands on stuff and the spark with the testing and inspection qualifications can sign off the certificates ( if they are willing to risk a ten stretch if they miss your bad mistake).

a proper inspection includes routing and support of cable,connections,loads and cable choice etc etc etc etc etc etc , most sparks will only sign off work they have done or have been involved with from the start as a mistaken pass gets a manslaughter charge in a worst case scenario.
dpack

The wiring here in my house is not as the UK. In the UK it would be classed as TN-C
Two wires, a live and a combined earth/neutral. Stand on a wet floor in the laundry room and touch the washing machine for a nice tingle.
Parts of the Philippines are 220v and some are 110v, both come in 2 and 3 wire systems.
Good to hear that you are aware of the dangers WW and are meaning to have these dealt with.

i remember the photo of the supply from the pole Rolling Eyes
dpack

while we are on the subject of services and safety gas is a whole world of perils and similar principles apply.

if the electrics are moody chances are the gas is as well.
onemanband

.......... the cheap ones are often badly designed inside and use thin metal bits in the plug sockets which are very prone to overheating the equally low grade plastic bits.

Another bane of my life. I appreciate I abuse my leads - splattered with concrete, used in the rain and chucked around - but they don't make 'em like they used to. I've had 'heavy duty' extension leads go wobbly-socket within 2 weeks. Price does not seem to guarantee durability - I have found the cheapish Wickes enclosed extension leads to be the most hard wearing.
dpack

.......... the cheap ones are often badly designed inside and use thin metal bits in the plug sockets which are very prone to overheating the equally low grade plastic bits.

Another bane of my life. I appreciate I abuse my leads - splattered with concrete, used in the rain and chucked around - but they don't make 'em like they used to. I've had 'heavy duty' extension leads go wobbly-socket within 2 weeks. Price does not seem to guarantee durability - I have found the cheapish Wickes enclosed extension leads to be the most hard wearing.

best ones i have ever had were 110v big kango leads with the commando plug and socket each end replaced with good quality rubber 240v parts Wink not a standard solution but very long lasting and safe.
GrahamH

Yes DP, time served spark needs to upgrade when new editions come out by the one day C and G course. Each edition is updated by several versions named by the colour of the cover of the regs. So for example, 16th edition, brown. So after a few years there will be red, yellow green versions of an edition.
New editions only when major changes take place....15th to 16th was mainly differences in earthing.
I had my gas certificate also, commercial not domestic. That changed to an exam every two years.....I know of several older guys who retired rather than take an exam....any exam.
onemanband

.......... the cheap ones are often badly designed inside and use thin metal bits in the plug sockets which are very prone to overheating the equally low grade plastic bits.

Another bane of my life. I appreciate I abuse my leads - splattered with concrete, used in the rain and chucked around - but they don't make 'em like they used to. I've had 'heavy duty' extension leads go wobbly-socket within 2 weeks. Price does not seem to guarantee durability - I have found the cheapish Wickes enclosed extension leads to be the most hard wearing.

best ones i have ever had were 110v big kango leads with the commando plug and socket each end replaced with good quality rubber 240v parts Wink not a standard solution but very long lasting and safe.

Best one I had was a non-brand open reel that someone gave me - already well used. I got about 5 years out of it. Spool was a rubbery plastic so didn't break. Eventually the sockets gave out, it was also a bit short Laughing and a bit mishapen.
Funnily enough (or not) my Faithfull (that's the brand, not my pet name for it) extension reel has began playing up today. When it really annoys me it will meet the same fate as the others - pick axe through the middle - and it will annoy me no more.
wellington womble

your insurance company require a valid safety certificate to insure your house.

Sadly it's my mothers' house. If it were mine, I wouldn't let him anywhere near it. Fortunately, he lives in France and doesn't like coming back to the UK, so I'm hopeful that he won't want to do it. I know he got sparked at when he messed about with it. I only got away with a qualified boiler engineer because he'd just had an operation (so I know the gas is ok, fortunately) He doesn't give a damn about any sort of regulations. The consumer unit was replaced January when I had the solar pv put in. The previous was mounted in a plastic sandwich box to keep it dry in a damp cellar!
dpack

ummmm Rolling Eyes Nick

ummmm Rolling Eyes

Careful. He's about to shout at you for living in a death trap simply so you don't offend your fil.
frewen

I'd lie through my teeth and say that my child nearly exploded themselves with the electrics and in a mother fit I paid someone to do a whole house rewire.

But that's about as sneaky as I get.
dpack

ummmm Rolling Eyes

Careful. He's about to shout at you for living in a death trap simply so you don't offend your fil.

i won't shout.

shhh

oh so quiet

and then

appliances are a major culprit as most folk have a reasonably decent supply system. if the house wiring is appalling the stats favour the wires and plugs.

etc etc

ps and you can get zapped directly as well as choked and roasted.
Chez

I'd lie through my teeth and say that my child nearly exploded themselves with the electrics and in a mother fit I paid someone to do a whole house rewire.

But that's about as sneaky as I get.

That's not a bad plan, actually. At least I know what plug sockets we have are all wired properly and the fuse board is up to scratch, because it was certified for rental. Unlike Cuckoo's place, which turned out to have a bloody great nail jammed in the bakelite fuses because the outside wiring to the greenhouses kept tripping and the easiest way to stop it was to reverse live and neutral. I'm not sure if it was my Dad, or The Boy Who Does The Heavy Work ... Pa learned his wiring in the signals between 1939 and 1945 and whilst that sort of thing is suitable for getting the tanks across the Rhine ...
wellington womble

Unfortunately, he's actually here at the moment, so I can't. The decision does not rest with me, as its Mum's house. I'm hopeful of having support from the Actual Electrcian on Monday. There going off somewhere tomorrow, so things should be (comparatively) safe now. Mum will be happy to do whatever the electrician suggests, although she can't see why it might need rewiring. NorthernMonkeyGirl

Perhaps ask the electrician to snap a few horrifying photos you can send to your mum? wellington womble

It'll be fine once I've had the guy in. He will tell me what needs doing, and mum and I will pay for it between us. I just need someone to tell me what needs doing. Properly. Stepfather will despair of us, of course, but there isn't really much he can do if someone's already on it. Mum is quite happy to get stuff done once it's been deemed necessary, but beleives stepfather when he says he can do it. So until I have some actual advice, I can't really force it. (She doesn't think it will will need rewiring, as the wiring was done 5 years ago 'so the wires are all new, darling'. Guess who did it!?) john of wessex

Have you got PME Protected Multiple Earth?

If you have an 'overhead' supply the poles should indicate if it can be fitted.

When I lived in the back & beyond we could not have it fitted and we got more troubles with the RCD tripping than you would get in the big evil city
dpack

the spark should be very firm about it considering how you have described it.

if there is anything to be done ( Laughing Laughing Laughing sorry ) they will almost certainly insist on doing things properly if they are to do anything, including (probable especially including ) the stuff done 5 yrs ago by family as iirc doing some bits but leaving anything dubious makes them liable for that as well as their own works.at least the solar stuff and cu should be ok and a new cu is a good start for keeping stuff going while anything dodgy gets replaced.

if you get a chance tell the spark what you have told us regarding the history of the wires and ask them to give a price for a full and proper job .

once you have a price run that past us and i will have a try to work out if it is reasonable for the work required
Hairyloon

(She doesn't think it will will need rewiring, as the wiring was done 5 years ago 'so the wires are all new, darling'.)
It should not need rewiring then: 5 years in no age at all for wires. I think modern wiring should last pretty much forever.

Quote:
Guess who did it!?

I haven't a clue, but whoever it was, don't let them near it again.
dpack

(She doesn't think it will will need rewiring, as the wiring was done 5 years ago 'so the wires are all new, darling'.)
It should not need rewiring then: 5 years in no age at all for wires. I think modern wiring should last pretty much forever.

Quote:
Guess who did it!?

I haven't a clue, but whoever it was, don't let them near it again.

modern cable/sockets etc should last at least 20 yrs, the problem is there is a good chance the way the wire has been routed, protected from damage, circuited, earthed, deinsulated and terminated is likely to be a bit off, all of which trump the age of the cable.

thinking of earthing is there any secondary bonding for the plumbing etc ?
wellington womble

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

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)" Rolling Eyes
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

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

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

............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

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

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

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 Wink

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. Twisted Evil
NorthernMonkeyGirl

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Nick

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 Chez

I wondered if you'd seen that. It's made my morning. Turmoil and chaos all around us and English chap spends eleven hours trying to make a cup of tea. It's restored my faith in the world. A bit. dpack

im not a fan of tea but those who are will go to extreme lengths to " ave a cuppa"

a few examples include:

brewing up while using a support weapon with one hand

carrying a pressure cooker to 8000m to have a brew on the top

and a few non english folk make tea in
strange places Laughing
Pilsbury

I read today that all british tanks since 1945 have had tea making facilities inside them...
not sure how true it is but I can beleive it.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I read today that all british tanks since 1945 have had tea making facilities inside them...
not sure how true it is but I can beleive it.

Laughing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWmDHO_0P5Q
Mistress Rose

And I thought we had problems last night when husbands new laptop didn't have the right connector to go to the projector for the talk I was about to give. Took us right back to the early years of computers in the workplace when most of them wouldn't talk to the printer or other bits.

Sons FIL took the tea making in tanks thing one stage further. He was in the Royal Engineers and at their repair facility during an exercise once, they set up a chip fryer. As everyone was relying upon ration packs, this soon got known, and rather a lot of vehicles had to 'go in for repair' so their crews could get some chips. Laughing
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