Confusing Electrical Wiring Where all Sockets in Room Have Stopped Working


Postby jasperwells » Mon May 23, 2016 9:07 pm

Hello,

I'm a novice with electrics but can get my head around most of the basics. I have an entire rooms worth of sockets not working and I believe it is due to an incorrectly wired 2 socket plate in the room directly above that connects that ring.

socket.jpg


The picture shows how the socket is currently wired. I need to know how to correctly link up the above to make the downstairs room sockets work?

I've looked elsewhere online for which new colours should join to which old colours but i'm confused that the blue neutral cable isn't attached and yet the socket still works, does this mean the cable colours have become mixed up?

Please help!
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Postby ericmark » Wed May 25, 2016 10:16 am

Red to Brown connect to L which stands for line.
Black to Blue connect to N which stands for Neutral.
Green, Green/Yellow, or bare together on the E terminal stand for Earth.

However there is still likely a fault even if it starts working again. In the UK we use a ring final system in the main, this allows use to use thin cable 2.5mm sq to supply many sockets from a 30A fuse or 32A MCB, the whole idea is the sockets share the double supply. Testing every 10 years (3 in Scottish rented property where it is now law, but not law in rest of UK) what was called a PIR (periodic inspection report) now called an EICR (electrical installation condition report) or change of occupant, ensures that if the ring is broken then this is found, other wise overloading of the cable can happen and cable damage result.

With the exception of kitchen we don't tend to load a ring final to the limit so even when the ring is broken often nothing untowards happens. One quick fix is to use a 20A MCB instead of the 32A MCB so you have two radials rather than one ring final. If the sockets come from a 20A MCB or fuse you have no worries.

There is a 4mm radial circuit used some times which does use a 32A MCB/fuse but these are rare.

Fault finding can be hard, some times one is lucky, but it can take a long time removing all sockets looking for the fault and testing with a cheap meter. As an electrician we have a special meter called a loop impedance meter, it is not designed to find these faults, but often it can reduce the time taken as we just plug in rather than remove all sockets, and use some experience to guide us to the faulty one.

Sorry it is not just a case of if it works it is OK, but at least you now know it needs further work assuming the MCB/RCBO/Fuse is 30/32 amp.
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Postby jasperwells » Fri May 27, 2016 8:33 pm

I wired it all back in and it didn't work at all so you're right there's obviously a deeper problem. I think it'll be a get somebody in sort've job.
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Postby kbrownie » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:14 pm

And have you actually tested for voltage, using a two pole voltage indicator?
Did the electric work prior to meddling?
Is the circuit a radial or ring final?
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Postby ericmark » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:43 pm

I missed that good point. I took is as written socket still working not as clearly you have done, it still lights up a neon using my body as return.

Also again he said a ring, and again your correct many DIY people call all sockets a ring be it a radial, ring or spur.

Wonder if he will report back?
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Postby jasperwells » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:03 am

Hello, whoever last went into the fuse board didn't plug the radial circuit back in correctly apparently, a simple fix for a sparky. Turned out the cables in the box in the original photo were actually a red herring and just went to a bare set of cables dangling from the side of my house! Glad I didn't leave it wired up.

Turns out there was also a fault in the cable going to the room where they didn't work meaning it wouldn't flick the main rcd on the fuse board so we put in a walla box rcd just for that circuit.
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