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Screwing up Wall Socket for Multiple Wires Issue

Postby alphatoner » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:19 pm

Hi all,

I have a wee problem wiring a wall socket. They are standard sockets with single entry screw down fixing. My problem is I have 3 Live 3 Neutral and 3 earth coming into this socket and try as I might I simply cannot get the screw fixing to hold 3 wires. I can can get them all in the hole tighten up then when I go to the next set of 3 the other pop out.

Many thanks
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Postby thedoctor » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:20 am

If there are too many wires for a socket there is something not right about the installation. Possibly a junction box is required to connect all cables together then the socket can be wired from the junction box. This is more difficult on a ring main so expert advice should be sought.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:51 pm

Very good answer, I have read the post and could not really suggest a method around the problem, I know once answered likely no one else will look at the post so held back.

There is a problem with home electrics in that most DIY people do not inspect and test. For a quick easy test the EZ150 Martindale seems a good compromise I would not use one as I have a full test set, but the EZ150 does test loop impedance so does a reasonable test.

MK sockets are designed to take 2 x 4mm and one 2.5mm cable so even on a 32A radial you can take a spur, but in many the holes are smaller. Non are rated at more than 3 cables as the regulations would not allow it. Deep socket boxes do help and you can get spaces so the socket sticks out slightly from the wall giving just a little more space.

Since sockets should all take 3 x 2.5mm cables to have two terminals would likely not conform with the standard as you would need to be able to fit at least two x 2.5 in the hole and likely 4mm and 2.5mm where used on a radial this would make the socket a bit chunky to take that.

I would say if the wires do not fit an MK socket then there is something wrong.
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Postby kbrownie » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:42 pm

If all the cables are stranded this would suggest (depending on age of installation?) that you have a 4.00mm2 radial. It can be troublesome terminating three conductors into one port, but not un-doable. But it would really depend on the type of socket outlet you have as some are not that spacious and the grub screws are also not fantastic.
You could create a junction but this must either be accessible or formed via a maintenance free (MF) joint/method, as the wiring regulation do not allow hidden joints/junctions that are not accessible unless MF.

You could form a joint in the backbox though, as this would be classed as accessible, you would need to use connectors that are rated equal or higher than the circuits protective device though, and obviously one that can take 3 or 4 conductors.
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