DIY Doctor

Electricity is not Consistently Working

Postby Eric406909 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:30 am

Hello: Looking for advice

We have house nearly 2 years, but electricity is not consistently working.
We fitted extractor fan in bathroom while we moved in. A few weeks ago, bathroom light is not working and then extractor fan didn't work either in a few days later. After a few days, all light and extractor fan come back to work again. Sometime socket cannot charge to laptop, but it is working well in office. Now, our top oven is not consistently working, but bottom oven is working well. I don't have electrics knowledge, but I guess if I need to change old consumer unit (black box) to modern one. Can anyone help for that?
1. Dimmable light is also flicking, but electrician mentioned that it is ok as we changed to LED lights which don't fit the same frequency as dimmable switch.
2. While we fitted extractor fan, electrician fitted it, but refused to connect it as he mentioned that there was no earth so ask us to fit all earth on first floor including light and switch (not socket), but doesn't issues certificate to us.
Are there anything we need to do?

Many thanks,
Eric
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Postby Mr White » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 pm

I would suggest you get another electrician to carry out an EICR

This is a check of your house wiring and its current condition, it will not be free but will tell you how good or bad things are and any works required.
You may even find that you should have a complete re-wire (since you mentioned no earth)

Changing the consumers unit is NOT a diy project and will not solve anything, but if you have a rewire, it would be good practice to change the consumers unit.
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Postby ericmark » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:18 am

Pre-war houses had radial circuits, post war we went to the ring final to save copper and the 13A socket was introduced.

In 1966 the rules changed, before that date it was permitted to have no earth to lights.

1992 the regulations became a British standard, and from that point they were followed more carefully.

2001 the requirement for RCD's became greater.

2008 again more requirements for RCD protection.

2018 and we had to fit metal consumer units.

There were a lot of other changes through the years, in the main there is no need to upgrade to latest edition, but clearly anyone testing the house is unlikely to have a copy of the 14th edition of 1966 so can only compare with the requirements of the current edition. So any electrical installation condition report (EICR) previously called the periodic inspection report (PIR) will show a list of items which no longer comply with regulations, it needs to record these, as any additions may need to installation to be upgraded first.

So you clearly need an electrician to test, but a simple EICR will likely list loads of things which you don't need to correct, so you want an electrician who will tell you not only what is wrong, but what needs fixing now, and what can go on the to do list.

I would suggest an older guy, one who remembers the old regulations and can advise a sequence of what needs correcting, some things like no earth on lights, can be go around by using double insulated switches and lights.

Likely a new consumer unit will cause nothing but trouble, and trip out on a regular basis unless other faults cured first. So you want some one to suggest an order of events.
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