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Smoking consumer unit and nighttime smoke alarm - joy

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by greenhout, 13 Mar 2021.

  1. greenhout

    greenhout

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    Location:
    Llandeilo, Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    We were woken at 0230 last night with the smoke alarm going off. Nasty smell of burning rubber and the consumer unit smoking. We have not been in this house for long and are going to do some building work in the summer which will include complete re-wiring, but I need a stop gap. I am going to try to link two photos one with a red and a blue arrow and another with a yellow one. My question if anyone can help, is why the wire labelled in red Is over heating? The trip switch labelled with the blue arrow did trip when I switched it off, in that it wouldn't switch back on again until I had reduced its load. The yellow arrow on the second photo is where the over heated wire originates. It looks like a splitter box from the meter. Incidentally, the on/off switch seems to work in reverse of the little label. So, electrics look like a bad DIY job. Obviously, I need to scrap the whole thing but what can I do short term to 1) stop the overheating and 2) not die during the night! Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
    Photo 1: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G6Rg5u7IG9uQO_vIt6OmgXo-P8c8rjna/view?usp=drivesdk
    Photo 2: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GEsP32W70zDAjJvjuWg2bHGS9xdbE-w-/view?usp=drivesdk
     
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  3. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    Its overheated because its been loose in the terminal, whats the load on this board?, I see a lot of high rated radial circuits (32A/40A) and no rings, so assume you have another board close by.

    You might get away with having that tail replaced and the temrinal cleaned up if this is just a short term repair, but that board as you probably know is overdue for replacement, it also shouldnt have 40A breakers in it. Its a job for an electrician, we cant judge how bad it is, but basically the options will be either clean it up and a new tail to get the power back on, or fit a new board bigh enough to cover for future use and connect the old cirucits to it providing they test out alright.

    The marking on the main switch is correct, although confusing with the lid off. With the lid on place with the switch down and on, the switch is at the bottom of the slot and "on" is visible above it, switch it off and off, and the switch is at the top of the slot, then "off" is visible below it. Unfortunatly when you can see everything it is slightly mis-leading
     
  4. greenhout

    greenhout

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    Took the cover off because it was very hot, so what you say makes sense. I am pleased to say that your suggestions mirror my thoughts. We were just thinking that we should add a brand new consumer unit that is future capable. Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
  5. Risteard

    Risteard

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    You shouldn't remove the cover. It's there for fundamental safety reasons.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    The two terminals by the red arrow, and the thick wires going into them, are live at all times, including when the switch is "off" so it is dangerous to remove the cover, and very dangerous to leave the cover off.
     
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  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    There are some old Wilex boards that can take a single 40 amp fuse, it is always in the first fuse holder Wylex heavy duty.jpg which is different to rest, but the board is rated 60 amp total Wylex 60 amp.jpg so 4 MCB's of 32/40 amp is clearly not correct, as said likely the terminals were loose, but heating up and cooling down can cause terminals to become loose as the copper is compressed by the heating, the old Wylex board is very good, but seems yours has been overloaded, would seem likely supplying electric shower or similar. Which raises the question why was it loaded at night?
     
  9. greenhout

    greenhout

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    Noted. Thanks. I have had an electrician look at it. He's minimised the load on the board to 30 amps. It turns out that there is a direct connection from another consumer unit MCB to an MCB on this board. He made it safe and we're going to get a full board replacement on Tuesday. Hopefully, that will solve our immediate issues, just got to do the rest of the house. There are metal wall boxes screwed to the roof joists in the attic space with no covers so you can just stand on them! Live wires everywhere; And the insulation is cardboard boxes nailed to the rafters........... Hopefully we'll make it to the summer. Thanks for everyone's help, comments and suggestions, they were much appreciated and made me look less of an idiot in front of the electrician!
     
  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The joys of a new house. It was same when I moved, two years latter still not done all the work.
     
  11. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    My bungalow was the same 2 years ago. We had a chat with the electrician who carried out an EICR, fitted a new consumer unit that would accommodate our future needs. He came back on a couple of occasions to add sockets, kitchen circuits etc as work progressed and gave us advice on the timing of his work to avoid any major hold ups or inconvenience.
     
  12. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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