Random switch/socket in bedroom; what is it for?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by andyscc, 21 May 2007.

This topic originated from the How to page called Installing a power socket.

  1. andyscc

    andyscc

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    I recently move into a new house and in each bedroom there is a switch (at the usual socket height just above the skirting) which doesn't appear to do anything. They are not next to any other sockets and are located where I would expect to find a single socket in each room.

    I unscrewed the switch to see if it was wired in and there is a single cable (30A I think) connected to it. The cable has red, black and earth without any tape on the black to indicate that it is a switch cable.

    As a test, I connected a single socket to it but nothing that I plug into it works. I have checked the other sockets in the room and they are all fine; one in each room has 3 cables instead of the usual 2.

    Could anybody suggest a purpose for these switches/sockets or how I could test to what they are?
     
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  3. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Are you sure they aren't switched spurs/fused connection units from an old electric storage heater installation?
     
  4. andyscc

    andyscc

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    The house has central heating which has been installed since it was built in 1985 so I don't think that is what they are for.
     
  5. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    In that case, can we have a picture? The fact that one socket in each room has three cables suggests these switches are simply spurred off the ring main, although whatever they were intended to power is no longer connected. This doesn't answer why you get nothing when you connect a single 13A socket, though.

    Do the switches have a fuseholder? If not, are there any indications that they aren't normal light switches, such as 'ON' markings or a neon indicator?
     
  6. Spark123

    Spark123

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    Is it a switch or a double poled isolator with flex outlet?
    From what you describe it does sound like storage heaters. Do you have 2 fuse boxes?
     
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  8. Lectrician

    Lectrician

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    Storage heater in a bedroom? Unusual. Panel heater maybe.

    A photo would be good.

    Out of interest, how may CU's go you have? A photo of them would be good too.
     
  9. sparkyspike

    sparkyspike

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    If these switches are definitely dead, then you may find the other ends of the cables at or near your fusebox. Any sign of a second meter or fusebox having been present at some time?
     
  10. andyscc

    andyscc

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    Thank you all very much for your help.

    Spark123/SparkySpike, there is a second fuse box next the the main box that doesn't do anything when the switch is turned off. I have unscrewed the panel and there are 2 live fuses, one marked PEAK and the other OFF.

    I presume that this means the house used to have storage heaters; if this is the case, can I turn these switches into power sockets?
     
  11. Gaz the Sparky

    Gaz the Sparky

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    No unless you can find the cable and disconnect it from the off peak board and connect it to the normal tariff board
    G.T.S:cool:
     
  12. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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