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Socket Tester - Open Hot (Live) Reading

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Basil_the_Brush, 12 Nov 2020.

  1. Basil_the_Brush

    Basil_the_Brush

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    OK, so I'm probably as daft as a brush (hence the username), but...

    I have a socket tester (TackLife from amazon) that has 3 lights to give various readings for sockets, i.e. 'correct', 'open ground', etc. Now for 'Open Hot (Live)' the light combination is er - no lights. Doesn't this seem to be a design flaw?

    So, I have a socket that doesn't work, but if I were to take the 'reading' of the socket tester I could think that I've got an unsafe 'Open Hot (Live)' issue rather than it not being connected.

    Are there more sensible socket testers out there? One that lights up for 'Open Hot (Live)' then I'd no for sure that the socket was OK?
     
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  3. winston1

    winston1

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    If the live is open there is no power to operate the lights.
     
  4. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    If there were such animals around (and I've personally never seen or heard of one), it would presumably have to be battery-powered to do what you would like, since if there is an "Open Hot (Live)" there would be no electricity coming from the socket to operate any lights.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  5. Basil_the_Brush

    Basil_the_Brush

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    Thank you both for your replies, much appreciated - I didn't realise that! Although I take it that 'Open Hot (Live)' doesn't simply = a dead disconnected socket? Wouldn't 'Open Hot (Live)' be dangerous?
     
  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Well, it means that no 'Hot/live' electricity can be coming out from the socket, so there's no danger to someone 'outside' of the socket - but it could be an indication of something potentially dangerous (e.g. a fire hazard) going on behind the socket.

    Do I take it that the tester works as expected on other sockets? If so, then you probably need to get someone to look at the socket you've been talking about (if it is an actual one, rather than a hypothetical question).

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  8. Basil_the_Brush

    Basil_the_Brush

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    Many thanks, John - that makes sense! I think the socket is dead, but I'll have an electrician double-check when we next have some work done.
     
  9. conny

    conny

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    I would suggest getting it checked now if it is supposed to be a working socket.
    If it should be working and isn't then clearly there is something wrong that needs investigating and correcting before it causes other problems. It may mean there is a break in one leg of a ring circuit. Depending where on the leg means there could be a lot more load on one side than the other. If it's a radial circuit then it must be the last one if there are no other dead sockets. Again, it needs looking at because it could mean you have loose live wires in the back of the socket.
     
  10. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As I said, I agree that it needs investigating since, on the basis of what we've been told, it sounds that something wrong must be going on behind the socket (unless the socket itself - maybe the switch, if it's a switched one - is faulty).

    However, in terms of your comments above, you are assuming that (whether it is a ring or radial circuit) if there are two cables then, if two conductors become disconnected from the socket, then they will also become disconnected from one another - but that is not necessarily the case. I have known of cases in which two 'twisted together' conductors (and, yes, there are plenty out there that are 'twisted together'!!) have come out of a terminal, but have remained 'twisted together'.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  11. conny

    conny

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    Yes I agree twisted together will still complete a circuit, but not as secure as being screwed down properly and so may still lead to over heating, thereby potentially causing problems.
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed and I've never suggested otherwise, which it why I was the first person to suggest that the socket should be investigated.

    In my subsequent post, I was merely pointing out that when you wrote things like "... If it's a radial circuit then it must be the last one if there are no other dead sockets.", that would not necessarily be true.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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