External room - lights work, but sockets don’t.

Hello, as per the title, we have an external storage room at our property. The light switches work, but the sockets do not.  There’s no gas in there, only electricity which means I have no way of heating the room during winter. What options do we have in terms of getting some power to the sockets?

A bit of background for context - we live in an old property that was once a big house. At some point it was converted into 2 flats. Having spoken to the lady who previously owned our flat, she suspects that at the time, an electrician only did half the job, i.e., power to the sockets remained on the fuse board of the other flat. Having spoken to my neighbour they did have a wire from their utility coming into our external room. It’s since been cut off and made secure from their side.

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  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 7 January at 1:18PM
    How far is the 'external room' from the house? Is there any fuse board or Consumer Unit there? Normally it's one cable running from a house to, say, a garage, and a CU there with separate MCBs (fuses) for sockets and lights. In this case it's unclear why lights work and sockets don't.

    A possible option is to add a junction box to the existing (cut) cable and then run a new cable from the junction box to your flat CU, but  you need an electrician for this, especially, to make sure that it's the correct cable and that it can be re-connected to the mains.
  • sand_hun
    sand_hun Posts: 148
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    grumbler said:
    How far is the 'external room' from the house? Is there any fuse board or Consumer Unit there? Normally it's one cable running from a house to, say, a garage, and a CU there with separate MCBs (fuses) for sockets and lights. In this case it's unclear why lights work and sockets don't.

    A possible option is to add a junction box to the existing (cut) cable and then run a new cable from the junction box to your flat CU, but  you need an electrician for this, especially, to make sure that it's the correct wire and that it can be re-connected to the mains.

    The room is less than 10 metres away from my house. There is no fuse board or consumer unit in the external room. I have an old consumer unit within my flat and it has switches for different things e.g., boiler, lights etc. One of the switches is for the lights in the external room. There's even a switch for a shower in the external room (which works BTW). However, there is no fuse/switch for the sockets to the external room. This is because the sockets were wired to the consumer unit belonging to the other flat.

    We have an outside cupboard which houses the electric meters for both flats as well as our individual MCB-type things. 



  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 7 January at 1:09PM
    You have a working electric shower in this external room?! Blimey.
    Can you ID the fuse that supplies this shower in your flat's CU?
    Can you see where the cable(s) come in to this room - are they visible?
    Do you wish to keep that leccy shower? If not, good chance you'll be able to use that supply for your sockets and heating instead. This could be a great option if the shower cable is still coming from your neighb's flat...
    Anyway, you need a sparky to assess what's going on.
  • sand_hun
    sand_hun Posts: 148
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    edited 7 January at 3:37PM
    Hi @ThisIsWeird yeah I have a functioning electric shower in the external room. I've just been to test it and it works. I can ID the fuse within my flat's CU because it has been labelled as 'shower out back'.

    I think as it's there I would like to keep the shower, but ultimately if there's a chance of using that power to supply my sockets I'd rather do that. Then I would be able to heat the room and use the washer-dryer that is plumbed in down there!

    As to where the cables come into the room from I am not entirely sure. But will ask an electrician.
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 7 January at 5:19PM
    Electric showers are very powerful and, typically, their supply cable is just enough thick to manage this power. So, using  the shower and a heater simultaneously will, most likely overload both the cable and the MCB protecting it.
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,194
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    Are the sockets within 3 metres of the shower? Is it possible they predated the shower and were disconnected as to close under the regs?
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,521
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    sand_hun said:
    Hi @ThisIsWeird yeah I have a functioning electric shower in the external room. I've just been to test it and it works. I can ID the fuse within my flat's CU because it has been labelled as 'shower out back'.

    I think as it's there I would like to keep the shower, but ultimately if there's a chance of using that power to supply my sockets I'd rather do that. Then I would be able to heat the room and use the washer-dryer that is plumbed in down there!

    As to where the cables come into the room from I am not entirely sure. But will ask an electrician.
    It sounds like the electrics have been bodged.  You ought to get an electrician in to advise before using/adapting anything in this room.

    If the electrics have been bodged there's also a good chance the drainage from the shower/WM hasn't been done properly - for example they may be connected to a soakaway or surface water drain.  It would be wise to get the drainage checked out as well.
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