A looped supply?

20 Nov 2011
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United Kingdom
Hi all

Just had a question about my electricity supply I was hoping any sparkies out there would be able to give me their thoughts on. I live in a terraced house and my electricity supply has a bit of conduit running through the wall to what seems like next door coming from the service head before the main cut out. Just wondered if anyone could first confirm, is this a looped electricity supply and also, is there any visual indication that this is still in operation? I believe there are cables inside which i can see through a small gap between the conduit and service head but given it's age I wont be disturbing it. (note the old cast iron cut out too).

Furthermore, it doesn't look like the conduit is making good contact with the service head. I believe our earthing supply is TNS from what i've heard, so if this bit of conduit is not making good contact with the service head could this mean next door's supply is unearthed and is a safety issue?

I've tried to get UK Power networks to come and have a look (a few months ago before this pandemic) but they said to call an electrician and aren't keen on talking to me as i'm not an electrician though as i'm not really having any electrical work done at the moment, I don't want to waste an electricians time getting them to come out to confirm something that is UK Power network's responsibility, unless i'm mistaken?

Presumably if the looped supply is still in operation i'd have to get them to sort it out if I or next door wanted an electric shower or EV charge point?

Any advice/thoughts would be much appreciated!


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Yes, that does look like a looped supply.

As to whether its still in use - probably, although you'd have to go look next-door to confirm.

Just a note of caution here : the conductors in that conduit that goes next-door will be connected BEFORE the DNO cutout & will be protected by a 400A of maybe bigger fuse back at the SUB.

****** DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY KIND OF DISMANTLING OF THIS CONDUIT OR THE CUTOUT ***** Its not yours to play with & it WILL bite you very hard if it goes wrong!

There are millions of looped cutouts in use & I don't see the DNOs being in nay hurry to remove them. Yes, your cutout is metal but I see you have a smart meter fitted so the meter operators' guys didnt see any problem here.
Hi, Thanks for the reply.

Just to be clear,

***I have ZERO intention of touching that conduit or cutout***.

I was only concerned that if the conduit it not making good contact with the cut out, which by the look of of things, it isn't, would it affect next door's earthing?

At the moment, I don't want to worry next door about it as it is just something to bear in mind for the future if we (or even they) wanted to have an electric shower or EV charger installed. From what I understand removing the looped supply would probably involve digging up their driveway etc which I don't want to worry them about just yet.
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That is a looped supply to next door as you’ve rightly worked out, probably has a pair of PBJ or VIR tails running to a cutout next door, their earthing was most likely originally TT.
The main problem with this type of cutout is that it will have a 30A rewireable fuseholder and asbestos lining on the door as a flash guard. Too small a capacity for this day and age- we usually find them burnt out due to being old and underrated.
It can be changed for new by isolating the incoming supply and fitting a new cutout and a new concentric feed to next door in place of the conduit and tails- still looped but there are 1000’s like that, although neither supply should have more than a 60A fuse in it.
It’s possible to have a separate supply installed next door but this would involve trenching, digging a joint bay in the road and a high cost- doubt its worth it for a terraced house

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