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electrical ring wiring

Postby mark roch » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:41 am

my kitchen doesnt seem to be wired in a ring main each socket is running individual using spurs how can i change this back to a ring circuit
mark roch
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:28 am

There are a number of different systems two most common are radial and ring. Both of these can have spurs but to be considered as a spur it needs to be protected at origin with a fuse/MCB which is larger than the current carrying capacity of the cable/s and to rely on the fuse in the plug or fused connection unit at termination to stop overload.
So question 1 is what size fuse/MCB protects the circuit and what size and type of cable has been used.
In a kitchen it is common to have dedicated circuits with switches to each circuit but the method of feeding the switches is all important. In some cases a array of cables feed each switch independent each being protected at 20A or less and here we have a group of radials. Second is to feed either using a thicker cable or from a ring main with a 32A protection the latter means one has a load of spurs.
Each spur has a maximum length of 3m and is terminated with a single device. This can be a single or double socket or a fused connection unit.
As you can see assuming wired correct there are many options and second question has to be which option is used in your house.
Now the problem. Ring mains must be a single ring and not a figure of 8 and so one has to work out exactly how wired in order to be able to plan how the items can be rearranged into a ring.
Second problem it is a kitchen so all work is reportable so either direct to LABC or using a scheme one has to consider the reporting under Part P.
Even if there was no Part P you would still need to inspect and test and even with electricians taking the C&G2391 has a high failure rate so no mean task learning how to inspect and test.
With the charges levied by LABC to be honest DIY does not make sense. It costs more than employing someone who is a member of a scheme. However I guess you still want to know if your installation is OK.
So step 1 plug a radio into a socket and go to consumer unit and switch off the MCB's or withdraw fuses until radio goes off. Note size of MCB/fuse and report back with size.
If I find a house with broken ring it is rare to try to re-connect it. Normal is just to down grade the fuse/MCB. However until amendment 1 you will likely need with any altered circuits to also ensure RCD protected.
So we await your answer with more information.
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