I think my property has a chronic electrical issue

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Tazy, Feb 22, 2021 at 1:19 AM.

  1. Tazy

    Tazy New Member


    i hope you can help me answer some of my questions.

    Firefighters, from the national grid I believe ??, visited my flat because they said there was smoking coming from my ‘main fuse’ located outside my flat. The fuse had melted and the Council needed to change it. The council used a fuse the firefighters had spare in their truck. I don’t even know who called the firefighter but thank GOD they came or else I might not even be asking these question.

    The thing is, I live in a council block and I can see from the distribution board my fuse is different from all the other residents. When I wanted to put in a smart meter back in Nov 2019 the electrician said he couldn’t put it in because we had the wrong fuse. He said to call the council and for them to change it. I called the council and because I’m a layman couldn’t explain what needed doing other than that we had the wrong fuse for the smart meter. The council did nothing and I decided to give up . Now I’m worried that the council was negligent and left the wrong fuse in my distribution board, despite being altered to it and could have potentially caused a fire.

    Before the fireman had visited the lights in my house in all rooms were flickering.Previously only the lights in the kitchen and hallways would flicker. Again the council knew and just changed the bulb which didn’t help obv. I thought maybe a treadmill I brought recently which uses a 200 v 60z with an extension cable could be the cause. Although I’ve used the treadmill 6 times before with no problems. The lights in the whole house started flickering shortly after I started using the machine and never resolved until the electrician put in a new fuse.

    to summaries my question are; Is there a standard distribution board fuse volt for the U.K? Is it safe to use a 200 v 60Hz in the U.K with a extension cable? What causes chronic flickering lights? How could the main fuse in my house be fried but the lights in my house and all appliances still on? Why was there no power outage( the fireman had to turn it off manually). Why was there no sign within my property other than the flickering lights that something sinister was about to happen?.

    I would greatly appreciate any information that you might think could help me.
  2. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    No, from the fire brigade.

    Firefighters don't carry fuses. They carry hoses, ladders, axes, water, that sort of thing. They put out fires, not do electrical work.

    In what way?

    Did he say what was wrong with it?

    No smart meter. Result!

    Not a "wrong fuse", a loose connection which badly overheated.

    Post a photo of the repaired items?



    Don't know what you mean.

    The supply voltage is a nominal 230V +10% -6%.

    The extension lead is irrelevant.

    What type of motor does it have? It might be OK or it might run slower and draw more current because of the frequency mismatch, a situation which will be made worse by the significant over-voltage. As it specifies a voltage and frequency I'd lean to the latter.

    Loose connection.

    The overheating didn't reach the stage where it burnt out completely.

    The overheating was not taking place within your property.

    Get an electrician you can trust to look at the damage and the repairs.
  3. quasar9

    quasar9 Active Member

    Apologies fir assumptions here

    is your house in the council block still owned by the council or do you have a private landlord.

    Have you informed the council or the landlord of this incident in writing ?

    Electrical issues aside , if you feel that council is ignoring you for what might be a potentially dangerous defect, you should contact your local Citizens Advice. However, as a first measure write to the council/landlord about your concerns, keep a copy of the letter and give them time to respond.
  4. spirits are real 2016

    spirits are real 2016 Screwfix Select

    Can you take some photos of your fuse box and the other ones next to it..
    BiancoTheGiraffe and Muzungu like this.
  5. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Active Member

    Agreed, we need some photos to make sense of this
  6. Tazy

    Tazy New Member

    Hi, thanks all for the advise.

    My flat is owed by the Council.

    Thanks for establishing that it was an overheating that could have caused the fuse to go out. But what causes the overheating in the first place?

    there are some worker man insulting a fibre optic broadband in my estate- do you think that could be related?

    really sorry the voltage in the treadmill is actually 220 v 60Hz so do you think it will still draw more currents??

    unfortunately I can’t get inside the box with the fuse that the electrician changed so I don’t know what fuse is in there now.But I have the pictures from Nov 2019 that clearly show the fuse for my flat is different from all the other residents( white one). Do any of you know what it is? .

    haven’t yet spoken to the council about yesterday’s incident. There not answering calls but before I write my complaint I need to have all the facts.

    Attached Files:

  7. spirits are real 2016

    spirits are real 2016 Screwfix Select

    Dont worry the men insulting the fibre broadband will not of caused the burnt fuse, the reason will be a loose connection when it was first installed and over time it has got looser this ment the cable will have warmed up and caused the problems that you have experienced.. ending in a fire which you found out..
    Where did you buy the treadmill from..
  8. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member


  9. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    You should not have access to that fuse board and should never have had access to it, it should be sealed.

    How do you heat your home and hot water?
  10. Tazy

    Tazy New Member

    Would the loose connection not have been apparent to the many electricians that inspected our home? .I really can’t believe my family were sitting in a death trap. I’m scared to ask- how close were we to a fire within the property.
    I brought the treadmill online from a UK store. I have asked the company about the motor- I don’t know how to find that information.
    Does anybody recognise that picture?
  11. Tazy

    Tazy New Member

    The electrician that had come out to install a smart meter took those pictures for me in Nov 2019.

    interesting that you ask about my hot water and heating. Another problem I have with the council is that roughly ever 2 weeks the hearting and hot water goes off because the pressure in the boiler is too low. Another problem the council can’t be asked to fix. We have Valliant boiler and 2 water tanks the kitchen. Why do you ask?
  12. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Active Member

    The fuse issue has got nothing to do with your treadmill or any other appliance.

    The fuse should never in reality cause an issue, or blow, as the distribution board inside the house should protect all the circuits.

    It sounds to me like the fuse holder was not making good contact, which would lead to it getting hot. Because it has got hot, it could have damaged the nearby board which needs careful inspection.

    I think the reason you couldn't have a Smart meter was just down to the type of distribution board not having room to fit one, it's nothing to do with the 'wrong' fuse.
  13. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Forget the treadmill as that’s a red herring. Nothing to do with your issue. You flat is not a death trap (based on what you’ve said). The fault was outside of your flat. What I don’t know is who is responsible for that fuse board- the freeholder of the flat (council) or the electricity people (DNO) perhaps someone familiar with the set up with flats will advise

    Your boiler has a minor fault: almost certainly the pressure relief valve is leaking ( at a guess) report it to your landlord. It’s not dangerous but annoying.
  14. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    I’m assuming this fuse is not near your flat, so your flat combusting would never have happened. Electricity DNOs deal with these events daily. It isn’t unusual.

    It was caused by a high resistance joint due to a loose connection. I’m assuming that’s been fixed, you have a new fuse, and no flickering lights. All good.

    The white fuse carrier isn’t the same as the others, but likely had the same or similar footprint. Wether it was a poor fit, causing the loose connection, we can’t tell.

    Nothing in your flat has caused this.
  15. quasar9

    quasar9 Active Member

    I think the conclusion from some very experienced electricians is that it was a badly fitting or corroded fuse carrier that caused overheating. Your flat has another fuse box (consumer unit) that protects things inside. The CH issue is unrelated.

    You should simply write to the council of this incident rather than trying to phone them. It’s not for you to find the cause or recommend remedies, but simply inform them of the incident. date, time, what happened, who attended and how it ended.
  16. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Active Member

    Why can't you ask them? If it is their responsibility then just ask.
  17. Tazy

    Tazy New Member

    Well great thanks all. You’ve answered my questions, kind of relieved my issue isn’t uncommon and that I don’t have to return my treadmill :)
  18. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    Check on the plumbing forum, but to me that sounds like you've got a small leak somewhere, or a faulty PRD.

    How do you fix it? Top up the system using the filling loop?
  19. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Active Member

    Given we've had the conversation on here about meter tail length recently, what's the deal when all the DNO fuses are in one place like that?

    Feeds to CUs in individual flats in earthed conduit or SWA?
  20. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    Might have been pyro in the goodoldays.

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