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Any electricians around

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Hope someone can help, we had a new gas boiler fitted this week, a few hours after the installers left, we lost power to all the sockets in the house along with the upstairs lights. I thought that it must be related to the installation so spoke to the engineer who came back to take a look. There was nothing he could see from his installation that would cause the issue although he was shocked to see that the lights and sockets were on the same section (as pictured)

He wouldn't go into great detail although there was a lot of head shaking etc. The consumer box is also new and was fitted 6 weeks ago, if there is a problem I would like this addressed, can someone please enlighten me??

ImageUploadedByAVForums1445596460.671656.jpg
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
Well whoever fitted the boiler had to connect it to the CU.
If it's tripping then they haven't done it right.
Is the new boiler a higher spec than the old one?
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Should of added.. It tripped the first time on Monday night although hasn't happened since so whether or not it was just one of those things or an issue.. Time will tell I guess.
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
Well turn everything on and run the boiler. If it trips then the load is too much.

Unfortunately some people cut corners and don't connect things up as they should or give things enough headroom.

Common one is hooking an extension or shower unit up to the kitchen cooker ;)
 

snaithg

Well-known Member
It's VERY clear to me that the Consumer Unit is INCORRECTLY wired. I would get a qualified electrician in to review current installation. Not sure that I would trust original "Electrician" who installed the new CU, but may need to get him back to correct wiring faults.


Graham.
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Tried that, I cannot get the system to trip anymore, no matter what I have running. Was more interested in opinions as to whether or not the sockets and lights should be together as the gas fitter suggests?
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
It's VERY clear to me that the Consumer Unit is INCORRECTLY wired. I would get a qualified electrician in to review current installation. Not sure that I would trust original "Electrician" who installed the new CU, but may need to get him back to correct wiring faults.


Graham.

Can you explain how this is clear to you?. I am not electrically minded so need to understand the problem when talking to the sparky.

Thanks
 

snaithg

Well-known Member
Can you explain how this is clear to you?. I am not electrically minded so need to understand the problem when talking to the sparky.

Thanks

Sockets should be on their own "Ring Main", normally fused at 42A or thereabouts. Multiple Fused Ring Mains are added as required. Cabling used would normally be 2.5mm to cope with the high loads on Ring Mains.

Lighting circuits would normally be fused at 5A with 1.0mm cabling.

As far as I am aware Socket Ring Mains should always be separate from Lighting circuits in domestic installations

I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN.


Graham.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
42A would be a shower or possibly a big cooking range. Ring mains will be 32A and that is the probably the 32A breaker you can see. Lighting will be on one of or both of those 6A ones. If you only have one RCD then it is not at all unusual for it to control all the circuits. Sometimes the lights aren't RCD protected in such a set up to stop you being plunged into darkness if a socket trips. Ideally you'd have 2 RCDs with the ring main and the lights protected separately, but it's not a requirement as far as I know. In short, I see nothing wrong with that fuse box "as we see it" from that one photo.

NB, I'm not an electrician either :) I'd wait for one to come along ;)
 

Sonic67

Banned
Looking at it you have two lighting circuits and one socket circuit. The breakers protect each circuit. On the left is the RCD. That protects you. You can happily have a shock and die and the circuit breakers won't trip.

The RCD is for small leakages of live to earth. I.E. Sticking wet fingers in a light socket, power goes through you to earth. RCD trips out saving you.

Because they are sensitive, you may get nuisance tripping. Damp wet environments may cause them to trip. Using an old steam iron, washing machines, etc.

You may need a new RCD. Or live with the occasional tripping, try to not have damp atmospheres, or move some circuits so they are not covered by the RCD. For instance you might want one protecting sockets but not lighting.
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Not sure now either, I will have a go at most jobs around the house although never touch gas or electrics of that nature so was really going by what he said, at least I know that nothing is wrong with the system [emoji4]
 

wilbanat

Distinguished Member
Not sure now either, I will have a go at most jobs around the house although never touch gas or electrics of that nature so was really going by what he said, at least I know that nothing is wrong with the system [emoji4]
Just keep an eye and always note the time it trips, sometimes there can be a pattern that links it to something.
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
Well turn everything on and run the boiler. If it trips then the load is too much.

Unfortunately some people cut corners and don't connect things up as they should or give things enough headroom.

Common one is hooking an extension or shower unit up to the kitchen cooker ;)

Tut Tut the RCD has tripped so running everything will not make a JOT

It's VERY clear to me that the Consumer Unit is INCORRECTLY wired. I would get a qualified electrician in to review current installation. Not sure that I would trust original "Electrician" who installed the new CU, but may need to get him back to correct wiring faults.


Graham.


Sockets should be on their own "Ring Main", normally fused at 42A or thereabouts. Multiple Fused Ring Mains are added as required. Cabling used would normally be 2.5mm to cope with the high loads on Ring Mains.

Lighting circuits would normally be fused at 5A with 1.0mm cabling.

As far as I am aware Socket Ring Mains should always be separate from Lighting circuits in domestic installations

I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN.


Graham.

@snaithg its clear you don't have a clue!!! "42A or thereabouts"

pre MCBs, a 6" nail is what your describing there!
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Thanks for the better picture. I can honestly say I can see nothing wrong there. You might prefer it if the upstairs lights didn't go out if the sockets trip but it's not a big deal, the lights should stay on downstairs.
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the better picture. I can honestly say I can see nothing wrong there. You might prefer it if the upstairs lights didn't go out if the sockets trip but it's not a big deal, the lights should stay on downstairs.

I agree 100%. The fact the downstairs lights stayed on meant I didn't have to go torch hunting, simply went to the cupboard and reset.
 

Sonic67

Banned
I once had an odd live to earth fault. It was on a cooker. Sometimes the cooker when being used would trip the RCD out. First time I looked I couldn't see a problem.

The fault was intermittent. I figured it the second time. There was a trapped wire. When a lot of full pots and pans were put on the ring the weight meant the cooker top sank slightly and bit into the wire. It only happened with a lot of weight. That meant the earthed metalwork bit into the wire through the insulation and caused the fault.

When I looked it had all been cleared away, the top of the cooker lifted up and the insulation reasserted itself. I tested and found nothing. Second time I pulled the cooker to pieces.
 

Aerojon

Active Member
the boiler shouldn't be connected direct to the cu,it should be connected to a FSU with a 3/5 amp fuse..
Who fitted the CU..
 
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IronGiant

Moderator
If you look at the second picture you can see there is no breaker labelled boiler, so we can safely assume it is not directly connected to the CU, that was a supposition by jago.
 

Steroc

Well-known Member
There looks to me like there's nothing wrong with the consumer unit installation. The wiring regs for 17th edition to my knowledge now require all new domestic circuits to now be RCD protected. It's common practice to split the lights between both sides of the board (upstairs to one and downstairs to the other) so you don't have total loss of lights if one side trips. Same for sockets, upstairs sockets on same as downstairs lights and vice versa (so lamps can still be used on the floor with no lights). So people saying the circuits shouldn't be on the same side of the board don't know what they're talking about.
An RCD works by monitoring the current on both the live and neutral wire. The current should always be the same on both wires (works on a what goes in must come out basis). If there is more than 30mA difference it will trip. Nothing to do with overcurrent or being overloaded and it doesn't have to be a live to earth fault, a neutral to earth fault will also cause a tripped circuit as some of the current returning through the neutral will be diverted causing an unbalance. Pin pointing what can cause the trip can be a nightmare especially if it's intermittent. If it's frequent then you can use a process of elimination to detect the problem item. Cause could be damp, faulty wiring, faulty electronic components etc. too many to pinpoint accurately.
So basically. The layout of your consumer board is not the problem and the fact it's tripped out suggests the RCD is working.
 
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