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sockets & lights working intermittantly

Postby guss » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:31 am

i was attempting to charge my m/phone,in the kitchen but when i switched the socket on there wasn't any power.Once i had switched washing machine socket to off then the first socket started to work,two days later i charged my phone up again in same socket(while washing machine was on) no problem.Next day an up lighter in the living wouldn't work,until half way through the next day we came home to find it on.The bathroom light has now done the same thing with an extra trick of blowing two bulbs in two days.Our house is twenty years old and we haven't had any electrical work done at all.HAS ANYONE GOT ANY IDEAS PLEASE OR SHOULD I BITE THE BULLET AND CALL IN THE PROS
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Simply Build It

Postby TOPSPARK » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:02 pm

Hi Guss
Topspark here and what i would recommend as you have lived at your house for 20 years.and had no electrical work done,I would call in an electrical contractor and have them do a full periodic inspection and test.By having this done they will be able to tell you if any electrical circuits need work done on them. As a qualified inspector and tester with a c&g2391 I would recommend you take this course of action as this sounds as if several things are not quite cotia.
all the best
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Postby ericmark » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:32 pm

The mobile phone charger may switch itself off so I will disregard that fault. But the rest of the faults point to lose connections this is unusual in houses but in industry vibration can cause these faults. It is because of these problems all junction boxes must be accessible where screw connections are used. When hidden in a wall etc. only crimped, soldered or special spring retainers may be used.
Cure is with power off remove every fitting and check tightness of screws remembering over tightening will also cause problems with necking through wires.
As to if you can do it well I have no idea of your skills. One thing to remember is especially on sockets you may have other faults. Every socket will normally be part of a ring main so is feed from two separate ways to lose power would suggest there is a problem with the integrity of the ring.
A periodic inspection report is required every 10 years of change of ownership so your house is most likely overdue anyway.
Any lose connections can cause over heating and as a result fire with that in mind I would want the job doing well and I would be loathed to suggest any unskilled person attempting the work as a DIY job considering the dire results if not done correctly.
I would do an earth / live and neutral / live impedance check on every socket which should with such high currents show up any faults the problem is the tester is not cheap and not likely to be found in any DIY tool box.
You must make the decision on how to proceed. There would be nothing wrong with in short term checking sockets, roses, etc for loose connections and then also arranging a periodic inspection to find any faults you have missed. Remember if there is a lose connection when removing socket to check the wires may pop out of holes so never do this type of work with power on. Always switch off on main switch before starting.
Remember when asking for a periodic inspection report say why and it is common to batch test and if no faults are found on first few sockets then it may be assumed they rest will be OK but in your case where lose connections are suspected then it would be normal to test all sockets.

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