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Socket circuits joined togther... somewhere

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Ali81, 8 Jun 2021.

  1. Ali81

    Ali81

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    I recently bought a house, and an electrician has been round and found that both wall socket circuits are joined somewhere, meaning that when one is off at the consumer unit, all sockets are still getting power. They have said that all sockets in the house will need to be removed and tested to find where the connection is (which they don't want to do), and they have said a full re-wire might be best! It looks like there has been additional wall sockets added at one point, and they all seem to be using white wire.

    Any advice to help me understand these photos I have taken and the wiring to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated. The electrician has left it up to me to try to figure it out to avoid a full re-wire.

    First two photos are from a socket in the kitchen. There is a normal grey electrical wire just out of view at the top right, but also white wires. The electrician thought this would be the link, but supposedly not! This single socket is next to another single socket.

    kitchen socket 1.jpg kitchen socket 2.jpg
    Next photo is something in the loft that looks like it splits some wires, but I don't know what it is..?

    loft item.jpg
    Next photo is in the loft and looks to provide power to the extractor fan in the kitchen, and comes from the "cooker" circuit. I thought that the white wires in the kitchen socket (above) might be coming from this plug in the loft. Though the wall sockets are still live when this plug is off or the "cooker" circuit is off at the fuse box.

    loft plug above kitchen socket.jpg

    Last two photos are from the power shower isolator switch. It is not powered by the "shower" circuit, as that does some separate wall sockets next to the fuse box. The shower is connected through the wall sockets circuit. There's grey electrical cables running to it. When I look at wiring up a isolator switch I don't see examples of ones with so many wires. Apart from the light in the bathroom (lights circuit), the isolator switch doesn't seem to be connected to anything but the power shower (older style).

    shower isulator switch 1.jpg shower isulator switch 2.jpg

    Any ideas if any of these might be the problem?
     
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  3. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    it’s possible it’s joined at the fusebox.
    Could put a photo of that up
     
  4. pcaouolte

    pcaouolte

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    Your electrician is correct, this can only be solved by removing sockets and testing. The installation is currently dangerous and needs fixing as soon as possible. You will not be able to resolve the problem by looking at sockets or other wiring accessories, it will need someone with appropriate knowledge and test equipment. If your current electrician does not want the job then you need to find another electrician who is willing to do it.
     
  5. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    Looking at things is unlikely to find the problem.

    you will need to get into the fuse box and disconnect red wires, safety put them in a choc block and test which sockets still work. I guess you don’t feel competent to do this
     
  6. pcaouolte

    pcaouolte

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    In my opinion someone who describes a junction box as "something in the loft that looks like it splits some wires, but I don't know what it is" should not be removing the cover of a consumer unit.
     
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  7. Ali81

    Ali81

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    Thanks for the replies. The consumer unit was checked over by the electrician and he thought it was okay. I don't know much about wiring so I can't really do more than what I've done. I'll try a different electrician for another go.
     
  8. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Did the electrician look in the consumer unit?

    It could be the wrong pair of wires connected to the circuit breaker.
     
  9. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    I have seen this several times, and every time it was because some muppet mixed up the legs of two ring final circuits in the consumer unit.

    stop removing sockets and looking at junction boxes. 5 minutes and a bit of continuity testing will confirm my usual findings.
    I have been known to be wrong though …

    At least do this basic test before looking at the unlikely.
     
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  11. Ali81

    Ali81

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    Here's photos of the consumer unit

    cu4.jpg cu5.jpg cu3.jpg cu2.jpg cu1.jpg
     
  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    It all looks as it should be but we can't tell by looking at it.

    Two of the socket circuits red wires could be the wrong way round but no way to tell which two.
    As you have just moved in, it could have been installed incorrectly when fitted.

    Did the electrician do any testing in the consumer unit?

    If not, you need a different electrician.
     
  13. Ali81

    Ali81

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    The electrician did have the front off the consumer unit and did some testing between different wall sockets and the consumer unit. I spoke with the company today, and they have said next step would be for electrician and apprentice to spend 3 or 4 hours going through all the wiring and testing sockets, and even then, that might not reveal where the circuits are joined if they have been joined behind somewhere they can't easily find. They also said a new consumer unit would be recommended.
     
  14. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    Though you would like to think the Electrician would have done that for the Op whilst he was there
     
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  15. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Exactly.

    I too think the fault is most likely within the consumer unit.
     
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  16. Ali81

    Ali81

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    The electrician didn't disconnect any wires in the consumer unit from what I remember, but used a meter to measure voltage or current between various sockets and the consumer unit. The only things he told me he found that I remember was that the shower circuit didn't power the shower, the garage circuit is only 6 amp, and when turning off either socket circuit breaker, all sockets were still live - though turning off both turns off all sockets (and the shower).

    Is it worth just getting a different electrician and ask them to check the consumer unit first?
     
  17. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    Yes
     
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