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Hillskill: Is there something wrong with his wiring?

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Morning and merry xmas to you and yours. Last month or so lights have been intermittently flickering in the house. The past two weeks some audible fizzing and popping has been heard but I haven't been able to pinpoint the source. This morning some smoke has been emanating from under the stairs where the fuse box is. It's very light but it's there. The oven has been on most of the morning as we are expecting the whole family this afternoon so perhaps the added usage has caused this. Either way something is definitely not right. I have already spoke to an electrician some weeks ago and had agreed to get something booked after xmas. Obviously I am not going to easily get someone out today so I wanted to get a few opinions of what might be going in. I have two kids in the house under 6 so don't want anyone to be at risk. Any electricians have any advice/assessments?
 

Elrond

Well-known Member
The cooker will (well, should be) on a different circuit to the lights. So assuming you don't have the lights on as it is day time, what ever is wrong may not be limited to one circuit. Therefore you could have a problem with maybe the CU or the wiring behind it. That's assuming the two issues you've mentioned are linked though.

Smoke would tend to lead to the assumption that something is getting hot and starting to burn!

Therefore, if you are worried about your kids as there is smoke coming from where the CU is, I would be getting someone to look at ASAP it rather than asking for advice on an Internet forum!
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Check your home insurance for emergency cover. If you don't have it I'd suggest calling UK Power for advice.

Contact UK Power Networks

Sounds like a poor connection that could easily result in a fire!

Do you have an old style fuse box with physical fuse wire? If so you could remove the fuses one by one & check the connections on the fuse wire & also check the blades of the connectors for any blackening.
 

franko3

Active Member
Seriously, I echo as has been suggested by others to get this checked by an experienced electrician ASAP.
A few weeks ago my wife phoned me at work to say that she could smell some sort of burning plastic on our landing and in one of the bedrooms but that all electrical sockets and lights seemed to be working ok.
I told her that I would have a look when I got home. Once home I had a good sniff about but then neither of us could smell anything. A week or so later a few sockets in the kitchen suddenly stopped working but others were ok so I called up a local sparks and explained the situation. He came out a few days later and we took a few floorboards up and had a mooch about at the very untidy wiring in the floorspace. The pictures below are what we found!
Turned out the smoke alarm had packed up too so replaced that the same day and promised each other that we'll check it religiously every week.
tmp_20438-20151205_133636-964373702.jpg
tmp_20438-20151205_133521-2108492326.jpg
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Thanks for the replies. Obviously goes without saying that I need an electrician but I had zero chance of getting anyone out today. I will get my guy round ASAP.
 

Aerojon

Active Member
the favourite for the cu to smoke,is a loose cable on the neutral bar..
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Have you checked for poltergeists?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Blimey, smoke, fizzing , popping, lights flickering...

Get that sparkey there asap and turn everything off until they get there.

Sorry to sound over dramatic, but having had to evacuate a 5000 seater venue due to an electrical fire caused by a loose connection and also watched a nearby industrial unit burn down due to a similar fault, you really don't want to take any risks.

You say you have seen smoke in the cupboard under stairs. How would you get out of the house from the bedrooms if the stairs were on fire?
 

razer1

Active Member
As others have said - get a sparky out!

That being said, my dad is a sparky and a while back he went out to someone who had probs with their CU. Turns out when taking the cover off, there was major burning across IIRC the live and earth! Needed a new CU and about 2ft of wiring cutting back and replacing!

My dad was very surprised it hadn't burnt the property down with how bad the burnt cabling was! He said he had never seen one that badly in 30 years of being a sparky!!

Lights do flicker btw with wind etc on the main power lines! So that may or may not be related. Plus demand with people running christmas lights and more things like that can cause them to.
 

John

Moderator
you gave the serious answer in post 2. this is GC, its open season by post 3, post 5 latest

:D
 
D

Deleted member 174041

Guest
Considering what could be a stake, I would have thought there would only be serious answers!

Yes because if we dont have series answers, the earth will be sucked into a black hole.

Yes he needs an electrician, we dont need to be over dramatic.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Rest assured I am clear on the seriousness. Smoke alarms are all full operational. Knowing I couldn't get someone out today or tomorrow it made sense to at least turn the AVforums hive mind and see what the issue might be. Power outs are common in the area so lights flickering aren't uncommon here. The fizzing has only been apparent very recently and at least two electricians haven't come back to me in the last week. I have a guy lined up and will get him out ASAP.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
It's only been audible twice in the past few weeks. The most recent being today.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Still worrying, Don't run any high loads anywhere until you can get it looked at :smashin:
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
For sure. With all the entertaining the oven got hammered the last 48 hours! No doubt that was contributory factor.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Seriously, I echo as has been suggested by others to get this checked by an experienced electrician ASAP.
A few weeks ago my wife phoned me at work to say that she could smell some sort of burning plastic on our landing and in one of the bedrooms but that all electrical sockets and lights seemed to be working ok.
I told her that I would have a look when I got home. Once home I had a good sniff about but then neither of us could smell anything. A week or so later a few sockets in the kitchen suddenly stopped working but others were ok so I called up a local sparks and explained the situation. He came out a few days later and we took a few floorboards up and had a mooch about at the very untidy wiring in the floorspace. The pictures below are what we found!
Turned out the smoke alarm had packed up too so replaced that the same day and promised each other that we'll check it religiously every week. View attachment 660401 View attachment 660405
I don't know what may have been done to effect a repair here - but I recommend that the whole circuit configuration of this particular ring circuit is examined.

Firstly, that is an underrated junction box for such a circuit... but looking at that spur arrangement on that box, coupled with your testimony, suggests that a whole 'few' sockets is loaded onto a single spur ( not permitted within the regulations) and most especially undesirable in a kitchen where the highest loading of circuits can be reasonably anticipated.
(Conceivably, you may have had a kettle and a drier and a toaster all going at the same time.)

In other words- that whole additional installation has been done by someone who did not know what they were doing.

So that does not just need a repair - It needs circuit changes.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Rest assured I am clear on the seriousness. Smoke alarms are all full operational. Knowing I couldn't get someone out today or tomorrow it made sense to at least turn the AVforums hive mind and see what the issue might be. Power outs are common in the area so lights flickering aren't uncommon here. The fizzing has only been apparent very recently and at least two electricians haven't come back to me in the last week. I have a guy lined up and will get him out ASAP.
Would it be possible to move a smoke alarm into CU cupboard itself until you can get the system looked at?
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
As an electrician if it is emanating from the consumer unit id suggest it's a loose main tail from the meter perhaps a neutral wire.

I'm not telling you to suck eggs but these can be extremely dangerous I have been to countless fires caused by loose cables.

They generally arc, cause a cracklings sound and can flash lights etc as the cable connection degrades and makes a poor contact. It'll also be warm, depending on the load of course.

What make is your consumer unit? If it's a Wylex then there has been a recall on them because they've caused fires. I know because a job my company did caught fire and destroyed a brand new flat. Nice little bill for Wylex!

What county are you in? If your local I don't mind popping over and having a look at some point (for free of course)

Edit: sorry misread, so it's not the consumer unit. If you have floorboards it could be a dodgy joint under the stairs.

If ask does it do it constantly? If so flick through your mcbs until it stops and leave that circuit isolated.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
As an electrician if it is emanating from the consumer unit id suggest it's a loose main tail from the meter perhaps a neutral wire.

I'm not telling you to suck eggs but these can be extremely dangerous I have been to countless fires caused by loose cables.

They generally arc, cause a cracklings sound and can flash lights etc as the cable connection degrades and makes a poor contact. It'll also be warm, depending on the load of course.

What make is your consumer unit? If it's a Wylex then there has been a recall on them because they've caused fires. I know because a job my company did caught fire and destroyed a brand new flat. Nice little bill for Wylex!

What county are you in? If your local I don't mind popping over and having a look at some point (for free of course)

Edit: sorry misread, so it's not the consumer unit. If you have floorboards it could be a dodgy joint under the stairs.

If ask does it do it constantly? If so flick through your mcbs until it stops and leave that circuit isolated.

@sparkie1984 the pics in this thread aren't mine. They are from another member highlighting the dangers.
I haven't yet seen the source of the fizzing at all. I have discovered smoke underneath the stairs yesterday when I originally posted this thread. Nothing since. I'm about 10mins drive from Bluewater shopping centre
 

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