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Replacing old switches in the kitchen

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by HannibalSmith100, 19 Feb 2020.

  1. HannibalSmith100

    HannibalSmith100

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    I am in the process of re-tiling my kitchen and would ideally like to replace a number of switches and sockets as they look a bit dated.

    The combined cooker switch and single socket is slightly puzzling me though - it's a front plated type with a very large back box. Is it possible to swap this out for a 2-gang 45A & 13A switched socket and back box to reduce the size of the socket and then fill in the gaps left in the wall? Also, although the cooker switch is wired in, it doesn't appear to do anything. If I turn the switch off, the ignition/fan/clock etc. on my gas oven and hob still operate as normal. I'm guessing it used to control an electric oven that might have been there before I bought the house. Is it ok to just swap it out for a new switch or does it need to be disconnected?

    I have a similar problem with another old switch in my kitchen which I think used to function off the old heating system. It's still wired in (not sure if it's live though) but doesn't control anything. The trouble is I'm not sure what to replace it with - should I get it disconnected and fit a blanking plate? There doesn't seem much point in getting a new switch faceplate for it if it doesn't control anything.

    I'm tempted to leave them both as they are to save time/money/hassle, but they are pretty grim looking!

    Cooker and socket 1.jpg Cooker and socket 2.jpg Mystery switch 1.jpg Mystery switch 2.jpg Mystery switch 3.jpg
     
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  3. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    A new, smaller cooker socket will look better, as you describe.

    Is the wiring at the sink bath switch live? Possibly you can turn it into a single socket if it really doesn't serve anything.

    If it is definitely and completely dead you could tile over it.
     
  4. HannibalSmith100

    HannibalSmith100

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    Thanks for the reply sparkwright. I have to admit that my electrical capabilities are very limited, I'm happy replacing sockets/lights etc. when I know the power is totally turned off, but testing what could be a live circuit is getting beyond my comfort zone. I have a multimeter but I'm not confident in how to use it properly (I bought it when fitting a new light to test for the switch cable while the power was off).

    I've put up with those switches for nine years and hoping to sell-up within the next year (hence the re-tiling). So I might just clean them up, save the cost and hassle and leave it for the next owners to decide what to do with them. Having said that, they still bug me and it feels like I'm only doing half a job if I leave them!
     
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The sink/bath would have originally gone to immersion heater with two elements one only heating top of tank (sink) other heating whole tank (bath) as to what it does now only you know, in father-in-laws house it did the solar panels, in my house 4 sockets, all from the original 16A fuse/MCB.

    You can still get grid switches, so easy enough to change, as to cooker, it would need the back box changing, years ago the cooker was supplied direct from cooker switch, now tends to have a cooker connection unit below the switch.

    The problem is complying with current regulations, there is nothing to say you need to upgrade something, 40 years old, but if you do then it needs to comply with current regulations.

    With my father-in-laws house it caused us no end of hassle, removing gas cooker, and general sprucing up the house, including getting the boiler serviced etc. Then first thing new buyer did was to rip it all out. He did not need to follow regulations as no one would see any non compliance, but we had to pay for some one to unplug the gas cooker, as needed a certificate.

    I would be wary of doing anything to gas or electric before selling the house, caused us more hassle than worth, even the front door, seems did not need a certificate as not enough of it glazed, but still caused problems trying to get certificates which the builder we used could not supply, before we found not required.
     
  6. HannibalSmith100

    HannibalSmith100

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    Yes, this is why I'm thinking I might just leave the sink/bath switch alone. I have no idea if it's still live or if it's function has been changed since the immersion heater was removed.

    As for the cooker/socket switch, does anyone know if I can just swap it out for a new back box and faceplate? Something like this 2-Gang Cooker Switch & Socket and back box?
     
  7. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    If you are feeling lazy, you could replace the existing cooker/socket switch - as far as I know they still make them, and they can bought on ebay often.

    The part number is MK5011. Made by MK.
     
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  9. HannibalSmith100

    HannibalSmith100

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    My main issue with the existing cooker/socket switch is that it's very large and looks a bit dated, so I don't mind swapping it out for something smaller rather than just replacing it for the same part. Although it's handy to know you can still buy them if I happened to change my mind!

    I'm just not sure what I should buy to replace it? The majority of cooker/socket switches I've seen are the 45A cooker and 13A socket type like I linked to above. Would that be ok?
     
  10. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Yes, what you linked looked fine.
     
  11. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Click Polar (Scolmore) make sink bath switches, if you wanted to change the old one, though it would be better to see if it is live first.
     
  12. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    How long has the sink/bath switch been switched off for? A long tiime? just replace it with a 13A socket.

    How long has the cooker switch been switched off for? A long tiime? just replace it with a double 13A socket, its much cheaper but leave the outgoing cable in place and let the buyer know it's ready to be reused.
     
  13. securespark

    securespark

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