Please ensure your electrics are up to date!!!!!!!!!

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  • edited 15 August 2012 at 9:26AM
    Mary_HartnellMary_Hartnell Forumite
    874 Posts
    edited 15 August 2012 at 9:26AM
    Ah so it compares the green a yellow wire with the blue one - both of which are connected to earth (or "ground" as our American cousin would describe it?) ?

    I still don't really understand how it does it though?
    Perhaps the connection of the blue wire is not all it might be?

    Perhaps it saves up some electricity in a capacitor and then sees what happens when it tries to dump it to earth down the green and yellow wire?

    Sorry I have not got any brand name for the "gizmo".

    [Actually my mains are PVC but the old green/black/red system but let us not confuse other readers:D]
  • edited 20 August 2012 at 8:15AM
    Grizzly01Grizzly01 Forumite
    4 Posts
    edited 20 August 2012 at 8:15AM
    This website explains in detail how an earth loop impedance test is done: www(dot)tlc-direct.co.uk/Book/8.6.2.htm

    (For 'phase', read 'live' - the brown wire. The blue wire is the neutral, green & yellow is earth).

    You might also find this guide on socket testers from the Electrical Safety Council useful:
    www(dot)esc.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/industry/best_practice/BPG8_10.pdf
  • I have been quoted £1500 to replace my old fuse box, at 72years old I will have to take my chances as I cannot afford that,
  • £1500 is a bit steep Polegate.. I would look to pay around £300 for a standard installation, or up to double that if the tales of the wiring needs extended. Get some more 'free' quotes. Just google (or equivalent) local electricians. Or check out http://www.niceic.com/ for England, or http://www.select.org.uk/ for Scotland.
  • jonesjwjonesjw Forumite
    201 Posts
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    polegate wrote: »
    I have been quoted £1500 to replace my old fuse box, at 72years old I will have to take my chances as I cannot afford that,
    They are probably just trying to take advantage. Materials should be less than £80, swapping the box can be less than 2 hours plus some testing.
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    Just had two quotes to replace old fuse box with a consumer unit.
    The lowest was £150 fitted and another electrician said the board itself was minimum £250.
    Materials costed ex the internet about £60
  • edited 3 March 2013 at 4:30PM
    harryhoundharryhound Forumite
    2.7K Posts
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    edited 3 March 2013 at 4:30PM
    This is posted for discussion on behalf of my son daughter in law and two grandchildren:

    The young family have fully extended themselves and bought an inter war semi.
    It was a sought after house and there was some competition, they had the edge as they were renting. With the benefit of hindsight an official survey of the electrics might have been money well spent, had it been used to haggle the agreed price down a bit. It was an executor's sale for someone who had lived in the property for 30 years before dying.

    A change to the plumbing was needed, so I have had the upstairs floorboards up for the first floor and on the ground floor it is possible to crawl underneath the suspended floor.

    The electricity supply to this 4 bed home, used to come underground in a galvanised wire braided cable, larger in diameter than the circle made by my thumb and forefinger - this still lies (connected?) under the ground floor, but has been replaced by a shiny black plastic cable the size of a thick garden hose.

    On the consumer's side of the newish meter, it appears the wiring is on its 4th set of wires:

    The inter-war stuff appears to have been individual wires braided in cloth and "greased" with some sort of red wax stuff.

    There followed, in perhaps 1939 or 1946, some sort of wire in a hard "plastic" brittle coating with both wires encased in black rubber, the earth was (is?) a naked wire fixed along the joists next to the routing of the black cable.

    Circa 1960 there followed a wiring of several strands in the standard red & black PVC, but encased in something black that could be PVC but is really greasy to the touch.

    The final rewiring was say 25 years ago using a standard grey PVC cable but in black red and naked single conductor format.
    The wiring for the lights is a number of earthed cables meandering under the floor boards and above the lath and plaster ceiling.
    About 20 years go an extra lighting circuit was taken out to the garage and shed to be followed by a ring main to service both as the laundry arrangements had been moved out the the garage.
    This was done at the same time as a kitchen makeover involving the installation of an electrical wall oven.

    The surprising thing is that everything (with the exception of the garage power) is on a radial system of wiring fanning out from two major fuse wire arrays plus additional boxes for garage and kitchen.
    There are 14 fuses in all. They are housed in second hand (?) industrial style boxes, where the pencilled identification did not match the reality of the layout.

    I am surprised that 4 generations of electricians have used the original inter war layout and extended circuits by running extra cable along the skirting boards to surface mounted sockets..

    Ideally a new modern system should be chased into the walls, protected & re plastered, however it cannot be deadly because the house has not burnt down in the last 3 months. A complete rewiring in a household with baby and toddler is not physically sensible, let alone affordable.

    Could it be allowed and make sense for an electrician to fit each fuse box with an incoming Residual Current Device and perhaps retro fit the power Wylex fuse array with Miniature Circuit Beakers ?
    [The lights are some other manufacturer's ceramic fuse array, the garage power has a RCD and the oven some sort of cartridge.]
  • loulou41loulou41 Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    The earth bonding to my gas meter and water pipes is green, I have noticed in other places it is green/yellow? Should I be concerned as BG from homecare did say it is the wrong side and colour on the gas meter? Thanks
  • penrhynpenrhyn Forumite
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    Earth wire colour coding changed from green to green/yellow a long time ago, the colour of the insulation is irrelavent to the job the cable does.
    Your internal mains wiring may well be red - live and black - neutral, whereas the current colour code is brown - live and blue - neutral. I suspect you won't want all that ripping out.
    That gum you like is coming back in style.
  • sparkysisparkysi Forumite
    67 Posts
    harryhound wrote: »
    This is posted for discussion on behalf of my son daughter in law and two grandchildren:

    The young family have fully extended themselves and bought an inter war semi.
    It was a sought after house and there was some competition, they had the edge as they were renting. With the benefit of hindsight an official survey of the electrics might have been money well spent, had it been used to haggle the agreed price down a bit. It was an executor's sale for someone who had lived in the property for 30 years before dying.

    A change to the plumbing was needed, so I have had the upstairs floorboards up for the first floor and on the ground floor it is possible to crawl underneath the suspended floor.

    The electricity supply to this 4 bed home, used to come underground in a galvanised wire braided cable, larger in diameter than the circle made by my thumb and forefinger - this still lies (connected?) under the ground floor, but has been replaced by a shiny black plastic cable the size of a thick garden hose.

    On the consumer's side of the newish meter, it appears the wiring is on its 4th set of wires:

    The inter-war stuff appears to have been individual wires braided in cloth and "greased" with some sort of red wax stuff.

    There followed, in perhaps 1939 or 1946, some sort of wire in a hard "plastic" brittle coating with both wires encased in black rubber, the earth was (is?) a naked wire fixed along the joists next to the routing of the black cable.

    Circa 1960 there followed a wiring of several strands in the standard red & black PVC, but encased in something black that could be PVC but is really greasy to the touch.

    The final rewiring was say 25 years ago using a standard grey PVC cable but in black red and naked single conductor format.
    The wiring for the lights is a number of earthed cables meandering under the floor boards and above the lath and plaster ceiling.
    About 20 years go an extra lighting circuit was taken out to the garage and shed to be followed by a ring main to service both as the laundry arrangements had been moved out the the garage.
    This was done at the same time as a kitchen makeover involving the installation of an electrical wall oven.

    The surprising thing is that everything (with the exception of the garage power) is on a radial system of wiring fanning out from two major fuse wire arrays plus additional boxes for garage and kitchen.
    There are 14 fuses in all. They are housed in second hand (?) industrial style boxes, where the pencilled identification did not match the reality of the layout.

    I am surprised that 4 generations of electricians have used the original inter war layout and extended circuits by running extra cable along the skirting boards to surface mounted sockets..

    Ideally a new modern system should be chased into the walls, protected & re plastered, however it cannot be deadly because the house has not burnt down in the last 3 months. A complete rewiring in a household with baby and toddler is not physically sensible, let alone affordable.

    Could it be allowed and make sense for an electrician to fit each fuse box with an incoming Residual Current Device and perhaps retro fit the power Wylex fuse array with Miniature Circuit Beakers ?
    [The lights are some other manufacturer's ceramic fuse array, the garage power has a RCD and the oven some sort of cartridge.]

    Fitting an RCD does not make the system safe by default. I would recommend a full test and inspect of the electrical system which should highlight any hidden faults and determine if the existing protective devices are up to the job.

    Note that it is entirely possible to have a fault which would trip an RCD/RCBO without it actually presenting as an issue at the moment.

    It is very important ot have the installation inspected before simply adding in further protective devices, something a decent sparks will do if altering the protective measures of a circuit anyway as they have to be tested to ensure compliance as a minimum.
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