Installing fireplace - plug socket/light fitting removal?

16 Oct 2012
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United Kingdom
Hi guys,

Would appreciate some advice.

Previous house owner blocked up chimney and (for some unknown reason) installed a plug socket and light fitting into the fireplace which now has a charming yellow bulb in it.

I want to reopen the chimney (just blocked up with a bit of wood) and install a fireplace. However, I'm thinking I need to remove the light fitting and plug socket. I've attached some photos so you can see.

Light fitting very crude - it plugs into socket and the wire runs behind the white plaster.

Would I be able to get away with pulling out the light fitting, replacing socket with blanking plate and putting fireplace in front?

Or is it best to get an electrician in to totally remove all the wiring, etc. and make sure it's safe?

Any advice appreciated!
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A masterpiece of interior design :p
Personally I'd like to see whats behind that socket maybe a spur or a continuation of the house ring main.
Personally I'd want rid of it but I wouldn't like to wreck the hearth at the same time.....
John :)
Ha ha, now you see why I'm itching to do something with this charming piece of design...

I have no idea what's behind the socket - would it be best to get an electrician in do you think?

What I'm mainly wondering is if its going to be safe to blank off the socket and leave wiring behind the fireplace or if that's just going to be extremely dangerous? My gut says it will be (fire + wiring...)
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If you unscrew the socket from its box, you'll either see 3 wires if its a spur or 6 wires if its the continuing ring main.
My guess is that its a spur which has been put in by some clown - as no sparky in their right mind would put a socket there.....
I have seen cables joined with block connectors behind blanking plates before, but I don't know if this is within regulations or not.
Personally I'd like to trace the cable back from the socket, and terminate it correctly, but this is likely to involve lifting the odd floorboard.
John :)
Hi again,

An update - the socket is a spur (there are three wires) and I'd like to remove it completely if I can but realise this might be a bit tricky. Would rather not lift up floorboards as we have just had new carpet laid.

I've had the chimney opened up an inspected and all is good to go.

What would you guys recomment - would it be better to remove all the existing plaster and pull out the wiring and then either just leave bare brick or replaster and paint?

Or best just to blank off the socket, paint existing plasterwork and be done with it?

I'm not installing a full fireplace - just plan to put a fire basket in and lower slips/install hood if necessary.

It sounds like you intend to recomission the chimney, and install a live fire - is this correct?
If so, that socket has got to go! Don't worry about disturbing a fitted carpet, that will go back.
John :)
Yeah, that's the plan. I agree, I think the socket will have to go. Is it best to get an electrician in to take it out for me? If it's simple enough happy to give it a go but I'm not that experienced in electrics.
Piece of cake mate - the difficult bit is digging that old cable out.
The chances are it will head back to the closest ring main socket, in which you will find 3 lives, 3 neutrals and maybe 4 earth wires, all compressed in!
Post back when you've got that far, and best of luck with hearths, carpets, floorboards and the like.
John :)
Okay - will do a bit of digging at the weekend and see if I can trace it back. Will let you know once I have. Seems silly to pay an electrician to lift up a floorboard!

Thanks for the help so far.

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