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Sockets not working, need help!

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Adam1991, 18 Jun 2020.

  1. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    Hi all,

    Today i’ve been filling in a old arial socket thats not used anymore.

    I’ve come to use the hoover and all of a sudden some of the plug sockets aren’t working but some are, I’ve check the CU and no breakers have tripped which has confused me.

    I’ve plug in a socket tester and its telling me i’ve got a neutral fault.

    any ideas what the problem is?
     
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  3. DetlefSchmitz

    DetlefSchmitz

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    These things may not be connected. Have you been taking fronts of any mains sockets recently as part of your decoration?
     
  4. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    Broken or loose neutral somewhere, without test gear hard to trace, you might get lucky having a look behind sockets, power off
     
  5. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    No nothing really, today all I’ve done is tape up an old arial wire, filled the hole with expanding foam.

    We then plugged the hoover in and noticed then that the socket wasn’t working
     
  6. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    I’ve narrowed it down to circuit of sockets on a single breaker, so you reckon take of the face plates and have a look?
     
  7. DetlefSchmitz

    DetlefSchmitz

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    Presumably not a 32A breaker? Looking would be good, with power off as said.
     
  8. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    no its a 20A. I’ll check out the sockets and see what i can find. Could it be that a neutral is touch the earth?
     
  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Only in that the Neutral wouldn't then be connected to the socket.
     
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  11. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    I’ve checked and all the neutrals are in the sockets, what about a faulty socket? or could it be that an earth has touched the socket box?
     
  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Could be the Line(live) wires too, not just the Neutrals apart from the tester result.



    Ok.

    Well, it could be the one you used for the the vacuum but not several.

    No, the earths are connected to the boxes - either directly or by the socket screws.


    Start nearest the consumer unit and see if the socket works, then the next and so on, to find where the circuit fails.
     
  13. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    that makes sense...i’ve just found out 1 socket thats in that circuit works, so surely it would mean that the next socket along is the fault?
     
  14. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Sort of.
    If that socket tests ok, but the next one (and the ones after that) record a Neutral fault, then it could be that the Neutral isn't connected properly, or -

    it could be the cable between them that is broken, although they rarely just break on their own without something causing it.
     
  15. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Sometimes the actual copper core snaps inside the insulation.

    This will leave the wire feeling really floppy where it exits the socket terminal.
     
  16. Adam1991

    Adam1991

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    ah right! I get you with that.

    i’ve just gone round all sockets this morning, taken them all off and fitted them back on again. Checked for loose wiring and sad to say i cant find anything obvious.

    i’ve worked out 4 out of the 17 sockets on that circuit are working and 13 aren’t
     
  17. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    I don't know what else to say.

    You really need some equipment to test with the power OFF, but I suppose that will only tell you what you already know.


    Do you have any cable?

    You could connect a wire to the Neutral of the last working socket to the first non-working socket and see if that cures it.
    Then, if it does, you will have to replace the whole cable between the two.
     
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