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Fused wall heater won’t turn off at wall

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Yourmotionsays, 16 Feb 2020.

  1. Yourmotionsays

    Yourmotionsays

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    Hi

    we’ve had our electric wall heater on this evening for a couple of hours. A wire comes out of it and goes into the wall and a small white panel with a switch on it - below it is the word “fused” so it’s not one you can unplug. This fused thing is partly obscured by the heater itself (which I’m not too happy with) and so gets hot when it’s been on for a while. Anyway tonight I’ve not been able to turn it off at the wall (probably because the plastic is out of shape from the heat). I’ve turned the heater itself off and this panel doesn’t feel warm but I’m concerned about something internal causing a fire if the switch is still set to “on” even though the heater itself is off. I can’t call anyone at this hour (it’s gone midnight in the UK). Can I go to sleep safe in the knowledge it can be sorted in the morning without causing a fire?
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    try to turn it off at the switch and (if you can) pull out the fuse carrier and remove the brown fuse cartridge.

    If this is not possible, use the switch on the heater itself.

    These FCUs/Switches are, in the UK, made of a thermosetting plastic which will distort, brown and char if overheated, but is resistant to burning. A new one to replace it will not cost you much, but examine the copper cores of the wires inside. One or more may have overheated and discololoured due to heat (often when the terminal was not sufficiently tight). A professional electrician can extend it, but, if it has enough slack length, you simply need to cut off the damaged part and re-connect using bright clean copper. Turn off power at the Consumer Unit (fusebox) before starting work.

    When buying a replacement FCU, look for a good-quality British brand such as Crabtree.
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the little rectangular fuseholder can be levered out with a small screwdriver in this type. When the carrier comes out, it disconnects the fuseholder from electricity before it comes out far enough to touch.

    [​IMG]

    some have a retaining screw, and move out as you undo it

    [​IMG]

    The modern ones often have a concealed flex outlet on the bottom edge.

    The BS1362 cartridge fuse is the same as is used in a UK 3-pin plug. For 13Amp load it will be brown. It is useful to have a few spares in different ratings in your toolbox.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Yourmotionsays

    Yourmotionsays

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    Okay, I think I will contact an electrician to get it sorted. Can I safely attempt to switch it off at the wall without disconnecting power first? If it still won’t switch to “off” at the wall is it safe to leave it as it is until I can get an electrician out? It may take a couple of days for them to come out.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I can't see it, but you said it was distorted by heat, so best to turn off the power at the consumer unit. It might crack or something when you try to operate the switch or take the fuse out. Probably won't, but it's a simple precaution, and essential if the switch continues to be hot.

    Is there a problem using your CU? Post a photo of it if unsure how to do it. You can turn the CU back on afterwards.

    If you can't, then certainly leave the heater switched off until repair is done.

    You can "copy and paste" pictures into your reply, or use "upload a file" from the "more options" button below.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2020
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  7. Yourmotionsays

    Yourmotionsays

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    Here is a picture of the switch and the CU. Yeah, I’ve just never turned the electrics off myself. The electrician showed me but I should’ve written it down!
     

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  8. pads1111

    pads1111

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    Just get a screwdriver and pop out the little drawer that says fuse on it and take out the fuse... does exactly the same as switching it off
     
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  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Flick down the breaker labelled "sockets"

    The switch in your pic does not look heat-damaged. It might have age-related wear, or grit in the moving parts.
     
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  11. winston1

    winston1

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    Normally yes. They do not need switching off every time you use the heater. But I suppose in this case it needs switching off at the CU. When you get your sparks get him to move it away from the heater, or move the heater.
     
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  12. JoyLai

    JoyLai

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    I have similar issues in my studio flat. I turned it on for the first time yesterday and used it intermittently throughout the day with no issues. This morning I woke up and the room smelt like a burnt hairdryer. The heater was hot even though I had switched it off the night before. switched everything off that was connected to the heather. I popped the fuse out from the socket (the picture is from before I did). The heater is still hot and heating. I there something I can do as I am shielding and prefer that an electrician not need to come and fix it
     

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  13. boringoldcodger

    boringoldcodger

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    Unfortunately it sounds as though the fuse you've pulled out is nothing to do with the heater.
    I can only suggest that you find the cable going into the heater and follow it back and hope to find a different fuse / switch which you can remove / switch off. Otherwise look in your CU (aka fuse box) and see if there's anything labelled in a manner which suggests its connected to the heater and (again) remove fuse or switch off (in the CU the off position will be with the lever down).
     
  14. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Are you sure the switches in your pics are connected to the heater ?
    Show us some pics of your fuseboard or consumer unit if you have one .
     
  15. DetlefSchmitz

    DetlefSchmitz

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    Is this perhaps a storage heater? They behave differently from normal room heaters. A heater not used for months will collect room dust and smell awful the first time they're turned on.
     
  16. JoyLai

    JoyLai

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    I thought the sockets were connected because the wire ran to the bottom of the heater. Attached is my cu
     

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  17. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    The circuit breaker marked " storage heaters" is in the OFF position . Did you turn it to that position ?
     
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