Any Sparky's present who could offer some advice?

virtual22

Member
Hi chaps, I have a problem with the electrics in my kitchen. I have my dishwasher and washing machine, or should I say I have the wife's dish washer and washing machine :rotfl: plugged into a multi point (two sockets) that then go into one plug socket on the wall. It's been like this for five years without an issue.

About a six weeks ago the multi point fuse blew. I got a new multi point and plugged it in and left it. About two weeks later the fuse in the Dishwasher plug went. I therefore replaced the fuse and switched to a new plug socket on the wall. The first one looks like it was put in after the house was built and spurs off the one I am now using (one from the original build).

Things worked fine for another two weeks and then the washing machine and dishwasher stopped working mid cycle but no blown fuse. I therefore unplugged everything, gave it a few hours, plugged it all back in again and it worked again.

Today the dishwasher and washing machine have stopped working again. I don't know if another fuse has blown yet as I'm at work but obviously something is tripping them out.

The dishwasher is about 7 years old (maybe older) the WM about 2 years old (and it's a Bosch which I believe are meant to be fairly reliable).

Now, my thoughts are that it's most likely not the old plug socket as I have tried two now with similar results. Also, would the main trip not go if this was the problem?

It's most likely not the multi points as again I have tried two and still have the same problem. I think therefore one of the appliances is shorting out and blowing fuses or tripping internally. It seems to be worse when both are switched on together but this may just be a coincidence and as we have used the WM a lot more than the DW recently without problem I am thinking it's mostly likely the DW.

Anyone got any ideas please before I run out and spend £300 on a new DW? Thanks.
 

Kieron

Distinguished Member
Probably the element in the dishwasher has a burn point on it which is causing the short.
 

virtual22

Member
Thanks for that Kieron, here comes the comes the dumb arse question, am I likely to see this if I open the DW door? Will it be obvious is what I mean or is it going to be hidden in the depths of the DW some where?
 

Kieron

Distinguished Member
Well, I had the exact same situation as yourself. Basically you will probably need to remove a cover to get to the element. In our old Zanussi you could clearly see it but in our new one (replaced as it was doing exactly what yours is doing) it's hidden.

Imagine a grill element - it will look like that. Most of it will be bright silver but if there is a dark grisly spot on it then that will be the cause of the problem.

Of course, it may not be that causing it at all - but it is a pretty identical situation to the one we had.

Resulted in a new dishwasher for us I'm afraid......
 

virtual22

Member
Well, I had the exact same situation as yourself. Basically you will probably need to remove a cover to get to the element. In our old Zanussi you could clearly see it but in our new one (replaced as it was doing exactly what yours is doing) it's hidden.

Imagine a grill element - it will look like that. Most of it will be bright silver but if there is a dark grisly spot on it then that will be the cause of the problem.

Of course, it may not be that causing it at all - but it is a pretty identical situation to the one we had.

Resulted in a new dishwasher for us I'm afraid......

Thanks for that, the Mrs has been after a new one for ages so maybe we should just bite the bullet. I'll have a rummage round inside tonght though. :thumbsup:
 

Sonic67

Banned
It's not a good idea to have both on together if you ever do. You'd need to put up the wattage of each but the two together would probably be over the sockets on the wall rating or too much for the plug as I think you said you were using a multiplug.

Divide wattage by voltage to get the amps. Do it for both and add together to see what load you are putting on.
 

njp

Well-known Member
It's not a good idea to have both on together if you ever do. You'd need to put up the wattage of each but the two together would probably be over the sockets on the wall rating or too much for the plug as I think you said you were using a multiplug.
What he said. The point about dishwashers and washing machines is that their power consumption is highly variable throughout their washing cycles, so you might get away with running them together via a 13A fuse for quite some time. When the heating cycles for both machines coincide, you will certainly be drawing a lot more than 13A. Even then, the fuse may not blow straight away, but it will overheat and weaken. It's bound to go eventually.

However, if the DW fuse has blown independently, that does suggest a fault there...
 

virtual22

Member
Thanks for all the replies guys, it really helps. I have tonight separated them now, one directly into the newer wall socket (spur) and one into the older wall socket. Is this still likely to cause problems though as they are still effectively coming off the same ring?

I have done a really rough Sketch up below to highlight how it is now wired. If I leave it like this for a few weeks and don't get any problems I've have to look into a long term fix as the original socket is above the work top. :( I'm paranoid though about wiring causing a fire, although I would hope the main trip switch would go before we get to this stage :rolleyes:

Spur 2 is dodgy by the way, the switch has gone so I could of course replace this socket with a new one.
 

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dazza1011

Novice Member
you are only allowed one spur ( single or double socket ) off of one socket ( Single or double ) in a ring main so i would check the dishwasher as mentioned ( you can buy an element rather than replacing the dishwasher ) if it has only just started happening i would look to either of the appliance.

when you say multipoint do you mean a 4 gang extension type thing ? if so i would replace with a two gang socket and connect it to the ring man socket with some 2.5mm Twin and earth
 

virtual22

Member
when you say multipoint do you mean a 4 gang extension type thing ? if so i would replace with a two gang socket and connect it to the ring man socket with some 2.5mm Twin and earth

Cheers for that mate - yeah it was a 3 socket gang extension but obviously only using 2 of the sockets.
 

Sonic67

Banned
The ring isn't the problem as if you are drawing 20 amps on the ring 10 amps can go one way and 10 the other. The problem is that 13A plugs and 13A sockets don't expect to feed 20 amps (or whatever the figures involved are).

As above it's true that whatever the rating of the appliances is that's not necessarily the constant load. I seem to remember CRT TVs have a high starting current which is why they might need a 5amp fuse in the plug though once on they might run on less.

The whole thing comes down to diversity and that in your house different appliances will have different electrical demands and at different times.

The ring is decided by area. Years ago they used to be split as one ring main upstairs and one down though that got changed as your downstairs ring would be a lot busier than the upstairs one. So you might find the ring split as front of house (upstairs and down) - back of house (upstairs and down). Sockets on the ring are unlimited. Spurs are a problem though.
 

Sonic67

Banned
As above you can only have one spur from a socket on the ring main. Sockets are only designed to take three 2.5mm cables in their terminals. No idea how they have all got in there as you must have four unless someone has used connector blocks or something else equally dodgy.

Assuming your top socket is on the ring then just have one socket single or double coming off it.

Or extend the ring with a joint box above the top socket come down to the spur and then you will have a cable going back up from that to the top socket and then from there it will go onto the rest of the ring. So you then have both sockets on the ring and no problems at all. Of course this should be done by a sparky.
 

John

Moderator
I'm going to jump in here and state that if you don't know what you are doing , then get a qualified electrician out to sort your electric
 

virtual22

Member
I'm going to jump in here and state that if you don't know what you are doing , then get a qualified electrician out to sort your electric

Thanks for the above guys, don't worry I have absolutely no intention of mucking about with wires and cabling etc. As soon as it gets to the point where socket covers come off I'll be calling in the experts. At the moment I just really want to know whether the issue is the DW or the wiring. From the kind replies above it would appear that it is more likely to be a case of putting too much on one multi point which should now be resolved. We'll see how it goes now for a while.

Re the two spurs, that was all done before I moved here and based on some of the other things I have found in this house it would not surprise me if it's all wrong. I don't tend to use them though if they don't look right.
 

dazza1011

Novice Member
I'm going to jump in here and state that if you don't know what you are doing , then get a qualified electrician out to sort your electric

i would agree but if you put a bit of time and reading into it then its pretty straight forward with regars to power sockets ( the pain in the arse is when it comes to light fittings :confused: im a qualified electrician but even i take a step back when i look at someone else house electrics )

if you need a decent electrician the best thing as with all building areas is word of mouth the cheapest is not necessarilly the best :lesson:
 

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