Troubleshooting

Dangers of Electrical Faults

Dangers of Electrical Faults

Electrical faults can take many forms, from the minor irritant to the serious and life threatening. They can appear gradually over time as a result of wear and tear and deterioration or suddenly as a result of changes made accidentally or deliberately through lack of knowledge or competence.

Most minor faults won't be dangerous but could prevent circuits from working as they should - so you know there is a fault - like a light, socket or appliance. Of more concern are those that could be dangerous if they are left to get worse.

Simple visual checks that could save your life

Simple visual checks on the electrics in yiur home that could save your life

Take a look at these simple visual checks that could save you and your families’ lives.

Millions of people in the UK expose themselves and their families to potentially fatal electrical accidents in the home by making simple blunders, down to a lack of knowledge about the dangers of electricity.

It is important to make sure that the electrical installation in your property is well maintained, and we recommend that you use a registered electrician to check that it is safe.

However, there are a number of simple, visual checks that you can carry out yourself:

Electrical Fails - Melting plugs

Melting plugs and sheaths on wires happen more often than you might realise.

Poorly terminated wires explain some of them but more often it is due to DIY  installations combined with excessive loads being used on the socket.

The first melted plug was connected via a long extension to an outbuiding where the small Consumer unit pitcured was wired directly to it. Multiple freezers were running from it. This really was a fire waiting to happen.

The outdoor socket in the third image shows the sheath melting from the temperatures being reached in the copper cable. The sockets were being used to power extension leads running various outdoor heaters. Again luck was all that had prevented a fire.

Look at the socket calculator here to check whether you're over stressing your cabling and sockets.

Melted plug found to be feeding a circuit board with multiple freezers
The consumer unit fed from a plug
An outside socket with melted sheathing from excess load

Consumer Unit Replacement

The consumer unit in an annexe needed to be replaced.

It lacked RCD protection  and the SWA connection to a garden room had failed after 30 years.

After testing the circuits to confirm that the circuits were still OK to continue to be used the old board was removed and replaced with a small split RCD protected board. One side for the garden room feeding a swimming pool filter and air source pump, the other for lighting and socket circuits.

The old consumer unit with circuit tails showing ready to be removed
Old consumer unit removed and circuit tails ready for the new install
New SWA cable being fed in for supply to garden room
SWA cable feed in in and ready to go
New consumer unit ready to install
New consumer unit on the wall with all circuit tails ready to connect
New consumer unit on the wall with all circuits tails ready to connect
New consumer unit with MCBs connected to each circuit ready for testing
The SWA cable termination connectors and cober

Electrical Fails - Outdoor Power

We were told that the lighting for the garden hadn't worked for a long time and the pump for a similar time. Can we take a look.

This is what we found shortly after arriving - granted it was under a car port which was watertight but still...

An indoor fused control unit (FCU) with SWA - the thick black cable - which had been terminated but was hanging from the terminations in the FCU. Various other electrical connections had been attempted unsuccessfully.

Everything was taken out and made safe to be re-installed properly at a later date. 

Electrical fail - Outdoor FCU to lighting and pond pump

Garden Outbuilding Upgrades

Upgrade to a make do and mend installation including many extensions and hardwired extension leads, and an extension to an adjacent toilet block.

The consumer unit required new connections to the MCBs as wire had been used in place of it.

The toilet block having fused control units to lights and the installed water heater.