Removing unused electrical socket & making safe

10 Apr 2016
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

First post but I've seen some very helpful threads on here so thought I would sense check my plan to remove an unused plug socket.

The socket is on a ring main with twin core & earth cables entering the metal back box from both above and below (loft and downstairs). It will be too big a job and too messy to trace the cables back, remove them at source and reconnect the two points with an uninterrupted cable so I am opting to replace the socket with a simple connector block and a blanking fascia.

I'm going to connect the wires live to live, n to n, earth to earth etc. (with the power off, of course...) in the block, wrap neatly with tape and then cover with the blanking plate. My question is, despite removing the socket, would it be good practice to have a flying lead from the earth terminal on the connector block to the earth terminal on the metal back box? There was no earth connection between the plug socket terminals and the back box originally but as I have the opportunity to, I'd like to make it as safe as possible.

Any other advice/good practice for doing this type of thing would also be appreciated. Many thanks!
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Yes you must put the earth connection to the back box. With a socket it was not so necessary as the box was earthed by the socket fixing screws.

But I'm puzzled why you want to do this. An unused socket does no harm being left and a blanking plate is not much less unobtrusive.
Thanks for that. So a short additional piece of earth wire from the terminal on the block to the back box will suffice?

I agree, usually I'd just leave it unused. However I'm installing a shower in our bathroom which currently only has a bath. The socket will be located in Zone 2 (I believe, from my research on the regs) buy there is still a small splash risk as it is on the opposite wall the the shower head. As it's not used I want to eliminate this risk but leave the wiring in tact for any future owner to do as they please.

Thanks for your help!
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It could be. Haven't spent time figuring it out as I don't intend to remove any of the wiring.
Well, you are going to have to turn the power off to that circuit. It might be kind of useful to know which circuit you need to switch off!
Good idea, and still do that when actually fiddling with the wires, but in this case it would be good to first find out what circuit it's on.

wrap neatly with tape
No need - it'll be inside the back box.

And any future owner who wants to use he wiring won't thank you for the sticky mess.
Fair point. I'll leave out the tape.

Just checked and it is in fact on the upstairs lighting circuit. Does this change anything? Still don't fancy pulling wires out in case future owner wants to reinstate the socket (I'm so thoughtful). A bit of white plastic on a white wall doesn't bother me.

Cheers again for the advice.
Wouldn't it be just that little bit safer with insulation tape wrapped nicely round the connector block?

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