Extending ring - multiple issues

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Hi all,

Am decorating the baby's room. All being replastered so wanted to increase the number of sockets.

There is currenty only 1 double socket, attached to the original house ring main. It is located at skirting height (i.e sitting directly above the skirting board). It is also surface mounted. I wanted to recess and locate at the normal 12" sort of height in the room.

There are 3 cables going into this socket, 1x ring in, 1x ring out and 1x spur which runs downstairs and powers a double socket in the living room. None of the cables are long enough to reach 12" higher.

Additionally, within the room there was a fused spur connection for a storage heater. The economy 7 has now gone and I had the economy 7 CU connected to the meter so I have 2 standard CU's.

The majority of the circuits of the old E7 CU are radials, except for the circuit that powered the bedroom heaters, which appears to be a ring. There is a 16A MCB in the CU powering this ring.

I could potentially extend the old storage heater ring, rather than extending the normal house ring. This would give me a second ring that I could add plugs to upstairs as I decorate each bedroom.

However, the cables from this ring are also not long enough to reach another 12" up the wall (the fused spurs for heaters were also at skirting level and surface mounted).

I was originally thinking to extend with crimps, but there seems to be quite a difference of opinion on the forum recently regarding crimping.

If using the heater ring to extend, I would need to join the existing ring cables which were in the original socket. Bear in mind that this includes a spur off to a downstairs plug. Is this ok? (I think probably not).

A new ring would be ok at each socket until I had to join back to the original cables. Potentially I could have a recessed box with connector blocks inside and a blanking plate over? This would enable access.

If using the new ring I would replace the 16A MCB with a 32A, yes?

As you can see I have options and want to make the right decision.


A couple of pictures so you can see what I need to do:

1. Picture of existing socket (with spur off to downstairs)

DSC00148.jpg


2. Picture of heater fused spur (on 16A ring off E7 CU which is now a normal CU)

DSC00147.jpg


Many thanks
 
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both legs of the incoming ring appear to come into the room under the doorway

If the existing cables are long enough (when removed from the existing socket) to reach a convenient new socket position on each side of the door, you can then position new sockets around the perimeter of the room. in a new ring inside the room, which is effectively enlarging the ring. This does not require making any joints in the cable, or having junction boxes, which are undesirable and must not be concealed, e.g, under the floor.

You should, and easily can, test continuity at each ring conductor at each socket position.

Insulate that water pipe if it is a hot one.

Space cables 50mm below the floor, and 50mm above the ceiling, by clipping them into place, to reduce risk of a nail hitting them.

p.s. if you are putting sockets around the perimeter of the room, put at least one per 2 metres, all at the same height, and chase the cable into the wall horizontally between them. this saves you going up and down into the floor at every socket. Concealed cables must be run directly horizontally between visible accessories, not run diagonally or in curves.
 
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Thanks JohnD.

What are your thoughts on my cable that is a fused spur running off downstairs?

Cheers
 
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it sounded like an unfused spur

it is generally preferable not to run downstairs sockets from an upstairs circuit - though there are some houses where all the downstairs sockets are done that way, often where the ground floor is solid and difficult to run cables.

the reason I say it is preferable not to, is that one day someone will isolate the ground floor circuit, then (e.g.) start work on sockets expecting them to be dead, and get a nasty surprise.

have a look at the other downstairs sockets and see how they are fed.

If you have a downstairs ring you may be able to remove the old spur and put in more downstairs sockets by enlarging the ring as you redecorate each room.
 
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Hi JohnD.

Sorry I mistyped. It is just a direct spur off an upstairs socket. All my downstairs sockets are fed from upstairs as the floors are solid. I only have one ring main, hence why I was considering creating a second one with the old storage heater circuit.

Some downstairs plugs have 2 cables others only have one. I.e the ones that must be spurred off upstairs.

Cheers
Dan
 
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the storage heater circuits will be radials, one per room, fused at 15A or 16A each. i wouldn't try to make them into a ring if i were you.

You may occasionally find one is useful, e.g. for an immersion heater circuit, boiler circuit, or freezer circuit, or one for your TV and hifi outlet, or one for your computer, or one for a heavy load like a tumble drier, washing machine or oven (not cooker)
 
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