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Moving sockets, adding spur.

Postby MT » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:27 pm

I have two, 2 gang sockets next to each other. I wanted to move one up approx a metre (for kids bunkbed) and add a spur to the lower one to give me another 2 gang socket about 300mm to the left. I figured I'd be capable entirely based on the fact that I passed my Physics O level, 20 years ago! After reading site I'm more worried. I know to you lot these are really basic questions but give us a break.. I am normally very practical but not experienced in electrics!
How do you know if you have a ring main or radial circuit? Does it make any difference to this job?
Is it ok to move a socket by a metre?
The socket to the left will be on the other side of a stud. If I can't wire horizontally do I have to go up and over in some way?
Can I do this job just following instructions on this website or is there more I need to know?
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:21 pm

In most cases if there are two cables going to a socket it is two way. But to be sure is more complicated. You can go horizontal but there are some rules to follow which vary according to how deep in the wall. Need to be 50mm unless other bits apply and this is where it gets hard as we use a book called the Guide to 16th Edition which has all pictures to help. You may find something on projects section or internet.
But real question is if you got it wrong and your son got injured would you ever forgive yourself? For the few quid saved is it worth it.
When electricians or in fact anyone else fits a socket they are to make out a minor works certificate for jobs like you are doing. They use expensive meters not simple multi-meters to test the work when completed and enter all the results. It does not matter if covered by Part P or not. You may do an A1 job but you would not know if it was done correct before you. These tests find out where mistakes have been made. Electricians have been taken to court and it was stated by the court that if they fit a plug in a house they should check the socket it plugs into I think that's going OTT and the Part P says on one hand you don't need to do checks on very minor work but that you must also follow the BS7671:2001 which in turn says you must test ALL work.
If you do move socket don't plaster over but fit blanking plate so in the future you can see where wires are likely to run.
I do not remember ever being shown at school how to even fit a plug. And I did both CSE and "O" Level Physics. And when my son went to school they did try to teach him and he had to explain to teacher how to select the correct fuse. I would not think Physics "O" level would be accepted as being qualified enough to sign the test certificates.
I would think you could do the job OK but would not be able to identify any faults which exist and avoid making them worse.
All houses should be inspected and tested every 10 years or change of occupier the only time this seems to happen is when they are rented and Land Lord needs valid insurance.

Postby MT » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:11 pm

Thanks Ericmark,
When I read all the answers to queries I was hoping you'd answer mine because you're so clear and thorough. I've read a few more books and think I'm quite clear about how to do the job so reckon I'm going to give it a go but am going to get a friendly electrician to check it. My boys are annoying but I'm not quite ready to fry them yet..!
The house is new, built 6 years ago, it was a self build so we didn't do electrics, but all works were thoroughly tested and by lucky chance the guy who did the work is back working on the next scheme so I'm going to nab him!
Thanks again MT
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