Problem with socket/switch changing in kitchen


Postby McCookieM » Sun May 20, 2007 5:29 pm

I've changed many switches and sockets around the house already, from the standard white plastic to the chrome ones. Now i've come to the kitchen and encountered a problem.

Consumer panel only has "main ring", "lights 1" and "lights 2" which is probably correct as I live in a single storey flat.

As you go round the kitchen moving away from the consumer panel in distance, the first double socket has 3 earths, 3 neutrals and 3 lives. All 3 earths are connected in earth connection of socket, 3 neutrals to neutral, 3 lives to live. The rest only have 2 sets of cables but wired the same. Is this a radial or ring setup?

Anyway, the sockets are easy to change (just like for like), but there are switches in this circuit also. These are to give power to sockets inside the units for things like built in fridge, freezer, washing machine, recessed lighting, etc.

The sockets i've bought (from Argos) only appear to be 1 gang, 1 way but the sockets i have just now appear to be 1 gang, 2 way. Let me try to explain.

I'll ignore mentioning the earths as they are obvious. The old ones have L1 and N1 which have 2 wires in each, both have a wire coming in from the left and going out to the right of the backbox. There is an L2 and N2 also, and this is the power to the spur and they only short between L1 and L2, and N1 and N2 when the switch is down.

The new switches have a COM and L1 and L2 (no neutrals), COM shorts with L1 with the switch up (OFF) and COM shorts with L2 with the switch down (ON).

The only way I can think of to get this going with the equipment I have is to connect all the neutrals together and put the 2 lives from L1 on the old switch onto L2 on the new one and the spur live from L2 on the old switch onto COM on the new one. Is this correct? Also is there an easier way that I have not considered?

Thanks
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Postby sparx » Mon May 21, 2007 9:43 pm

Hi; First: the sockets are on a ring with one set in & one set out but at the first one there is a spur taken off to another skt, quite normal 3 cores in each term.
Very worried about power circuit tho'
You appear to have bought light switches rated @ 5A to try to control 13A sockets/spurs.....Com. L1, L2 are two way switches not suitable for the loads!!!!
you need 20A double pole switches or 13A fused spurs both of which have L & N in & L & N out terms.
You would then have ring circuit looping in & out of one set of L/N connections & single set going down to the outlet it controls,
If you can't follow this PLEASE get someone in,
regards SPARX
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Postby McCookieM » Tue May 22, 2007 6:04 am

Thanks sparx. It kind of didn't feel right, there is no markings on them for current rating (It has 10 AX on it, wasn't sure if this was the max current rating of something entirely different, never seen this before, usually just A). I'll take the switches back to Argos and get a refund and look for the right type with a similar look elsewhere.

Typical of Argos to not stock what i need, unless i could use the fused isolator type switches used for bathroom extraction, etc. as they have an L and N feed and an L and N load (rated at 13A). Do you think they would work?
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Postby sparx » Tue May 22, 2007 1:00 pm

Yes I think I called them fused spurs , but are switched with fuse carrier in front & now correctly called ' fused connection units' whether switched or not,I think tou are right about 10AX but still not high enough..
regards SPARX
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Postby Jeffmo » Tue May 22, 2007 1:13 pm

hi Mc listen mate , just a note of caution , Argos for leckie bits naaaaaa. If you wanted to buy a brand new BMW would you go to a Nissan garage i think not . Try a reputable supplier, and remember cheap is really cheap .Experience with light switches and sockets has taught me Volex are excellent. Cheers Jeff
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Postby McCookieM » Wed May 23, 2007 6:01 am

Thanks for your advice guys.
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