HELP! Electric shower wiring worries


Postby sullyfd3s » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:48 am

Hi all,

I've just come across a problem in my bathroom. I have an electric shower with a pull cord switch to operate power to it. When I went to shower this evening, the poker unit came away from the ceiling, minor inconvenience i thought until closer inspection. I notice that two wires in and out of the unit are totally exposed on the 3 phase going in and out or it.

[img]http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/1746/21866865.jpg[/img]

Now the exposed wires are also touching the insulation when this unit is in the ceiling.

[img]http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/4413/39881847.jpg[/img]

It is a new house and only built about 2 years.

In the last day I also noticed the opposite side of the wall where there is an apparent leak somewhere in the attic where I can see the water stains.

[img]http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/8628/73992031.jpg[/img]

I have 3 questions,
1. How dangerous is it that the wires are exposed?
2. How bad is it that the exposed wires are touching the insualtion in the attic?
3. The effects of the leak next to this unit and what could happen.

I'm not going to use the shower while it is like it is, I need to talk to the developer and want an idea of an answer to my questions. It also begs wonder how the rest of the house is wired etc...

Thanks in advance for any advice / help!

Shane
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Postby ericmark » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:45 pm

Although bad workmanship not really dangerous the bare wires are earths.

The leak who knows my house went like that then whole ceiling started to fall away.

May be me but that cable looks thin for shower cable? With modern house I would have expected 10mm but that looks like 6mm which is likely just 32A and that's under 7.5Kw which seems small for modern shower?
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Postby moggy1968 » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:39 pm

I'm slightly confused by some of the terminology in your question. Are you sure the exposed cables aren't the earths? in twin and earth these don't have inner insulation. this is easy to fix, just buy some earth sleeving and put it over the exposed cables, then trim to size. Sloppy people sometimes don't do this as they think the earth doesn't carry any current. Under fault conditions however it can, thats why it there and if it wasn't insulated it could cause a fire.
2. as above
3. you need to sort the leak out as if water gets in the switch it will short and trip

probably the shower was a DIY job, thas when you usually see earthsleeving missing. it may be worth taking of faceplates on sockets and switches and dropping light fittings to check they are sleeved.

Don't forget to isolate the circuit you intend to work on as even though these are earths they may be carrying current under fault conditions (as I know to my cost!!) or you may accidently contact a live conductor.
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Postby steve the plumber » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:29 pm

As your home is only 2 years old all the errors will be covered under the NHBC warranty.

You'll need to contact the builder in the first instance.
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Postby moggy1968 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:49 pm

[quote="steve the plumber"]As your home is only 2 years old all the errors will be covered under the NHBC warranty.

You'll need to contact the builder in the first instance.[/quote]

good observation Steve.

Also the electrics should be covered by the electricians warranty. if he hasn't used sleeving on his earths then that doesn't meet the required standard and he needs to come back and bring it up to standard. you should have certificates for the electrical installation with his details on. if not, as above contact the builder. he may also have his details on the distribution board
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