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Old Wysek Fuse Board

Postby Jhonnycage » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:25 pm

Hi i wanted to add a double plug socket to a room but the fuse board is an very old wysek.is simply turning off the main power switch enough to check if i can spur from the socket already in the room? Wanted to replace the faceplate on the existing socket too
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Postby Mr White » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:20 am

When working on anything electrical you are supposed to isolate the supply and prove that the circuit is dead before proceeding.

Normally operating the isolation switch is adequate, but you still should prove dead, as you do not know how it has been connected.

It is NOT common but it has been known for consumers units and fuseboards to be "by-passed" hence the need to prove dead.
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Postby Jhonnycage » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:51 am

Ok thanks for your reply.i have a voltage pen to test circuit is dead that's sufficient i take it? Have attached photo of the fuse board.Is it safe and normal to add plug sockets to this type of old system? Appreciate your reply.
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Postby ericmark » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:12 pm

Simple answer is no. But I really do need to explain.

Today any new cable buried less than 50 mm and any 13A socket must be RCD protected, you can still use the old sockets, but any new one needs protecting.

In my old house I have two RCD's both feeding two old Wylex boxes like yours with four fuses each which have been swapped for MCB's so I actually have an old Wylex board that until 18th edition still complied, however I could not do what has been done to that board today.

Today when in the control of an ordinary person you have to use type tested equipment, and the box with the RCD's and the Wylex fuse box is not type tested, so even if safe, I could no longer fit them, also not made of a material that will not burn. So it was OK when I did it, so I can continue to use it, but could not do the same now.

So options are I think, and I say think as I don't have copy of 18th edition only the 17th, but if you use a cable permitted to be used without RCD protection like Alitube, then you could fit a RCD socket. Or you can run cables surface also to RCD socket, or you can turn the original socket into a RCD FCU (fused connection unit) then supply sockets from that.

But some way you need RCD protection and now cables must be fitted so in a fire they will not drop and trap anyone trying to rescue people.

As to proving dead, official way is using a device which can't be switched off, normally Martindale tester, and using a proving unit before and after testing to show tester is OK.

Personally I normally use a lamp plugged in, and I switch off, check off, then on check back on, then off again and check off. Then I use a meter once socket removed to check dead, and use a neon screwdriver so if I have a borrowed neutral it will likely warn me.

Note the neon screwdriver is as well, not instead of a proper tester, and yes I have come to remove a socket only to find powered from next doors electric.

Note removing a fuse is not isolating, I would normally with that type of box remove fuse and keep it in my pocket, and with a TN-C-S supply it is unlikely to be a problem, but with a TT supply the neutral can also give you a nasty belt, both line and neutral are considered live, so since you don't know supply type, turn off red isolator as well as removing fuse just to be sure.

I often treat it as if working live, even though turned off, mainly so I will not trip a RCD, but does not hurt to work like that anyway.

In all my working life, it was not very often that I had a proving unit, but on one job in Rocksavage if we were caught working without a proving unit and voltage tester our pass would be withdrawn in other words we got the sack, they could not know if we had used them, but they could check if we had them.
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Postby Jhonnycage » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:21 pm

Thank you for you detailed reply.having a professional have a look and install a RCD socket if possible. Seemed like the logical step taking in both replys and should not break the bank to do so safely.
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