live socket fronts

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by barry hobbs, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. barry hobbs

    barry hobbs New Member

    can some please advise .i have a ring of sockets in the kitchen and one of them is a spur which is for the washing machine , when the spur is on the 3 crome socket fronts are showing live when an electrical screw driver put to the front on them, but when you turn the spur off they are ok , any ideas please
  2. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    Something dangerously wrong there, sounds like the socket fronts (you mean the faceplates?) are connected to the switched live rather than earth. If you don't know how to sort this out, please switch off the power at the CU and call a competent electrician.

    Are the circuits RCD protected (at the CU most likely)?
  3. leesparkykent

    leesparkykent Well-Known Member

    Use a proper tester not a neon screwdriver to confirm.
  4. barry hobbs

    barry hobbs New Member

    Yes they are .
  5. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Well-Known Member

    As Lee says, use a multimeter to measure the voltage. I had a similar problem in that I got a shock when I touched the metal kitchen sink with one hand and the inside of the dishwasher door with the other. Voltage was about 120V - most odd I thought. Turns out the neutral going to or from the FCU was loose and I had some earth continuity issues too. I gave the spark who installed it a good telling off :oops:

    At that time I had the original 6 way fuse CU (no RCD) so it I quickly arranged for a competent Spark to fit a new CU before I killed myself.
  6. barry hobbs

    barry hobbs New Member

    Thank you for that that , i will check to make sure that they all have earth cables to the socket faces to the back box , and aslo check all the infeed cables are tight and in place on all the sockets in that area. Was scratching my head to think of what it might be only becasue of when the fused spur was off they was ok and was too late to do anything last night as was darl so just kept the spur socket off for safety .
    Jay Van Kooperen likes this.
  7. sparky Si-Fi

    sparky Si-Fi Well-Known Member

    incorrect polarity on the load side of the FCU

    Main switch off (Sorry bud I assume your A diyer) I am not gonna take you through a step by step tutorial on rodgering around in your Fuseboard finding what breaker does what. .

    Open the fused spur faceplate and check where the earths are in relation to the lives (Guessing no RCD as that would have opened that on this kind of fault)

    If all still looks correct, get a spark in

  8. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Active Member

    At the best you have non continuity of the CPC from the spur to the outlets, at the worst you have phase connected to the earth terminal. I suspect fault one.
  9. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Active Member

    No sparky, but is it the same without the washing machine plugged in and the spur switched on?
  10. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Well-Known Member

    Without using proper tester he just guessing, f@#king neon screwdrivers aaaaggghhhh!!!
    KIAB likes this.
  11. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    I use a neon screwdriver sometimes - in the right hands it can be a very useful device, in the wrong hands they are a worthless piece of junk.
  12. MGW

    MGW Active Member

    I have proper test equipment, however if I didn't I would look at the EZ150 it does have a loop test so does a reasonable job, the neon screwdriver is a good tool for detecting borrowed neutrals which should not exist, but it is only a second safety device to detect when you have forgotten to do proper tests. It is not a test device in it's self.

    When it lights it is showing either you are live or the socket it live, the problem is it does not tell you which.
  13. sparky Si-Fi

    sparky Si-Fi Well-Known Member

    Photo of the internals will sort this, my money is on either incorrect polarity or floaty earth to the load side
  14. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    Whats a floaty earth Si?
  15. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

  16. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    Ah right, all is clear now Mr K - thanks m8
    KIAB likes this.
  17. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Best thing to do with a neon tested screwdriver is snap it in bloody half.. Showing live with one of those, could just mean there's an induced voltage in the earth (cpc) going to the sockets,,, or could mean there's potentially 230v at the socket face. Have you tried touching the chrome fronts when the spur is switched on?
    KIAB likes this.
  18. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

  19. Philde

    Philde Member

    Digressing a bit but I remember when I was about 12/13 ( a long, long time ago :) ) we had one of those remote light switches in the bedroom than ran from the pendant so could be installed to switch either live or neutral, depending upon which way it was fitted in the bayonet, luck of the draw. At one time (can't remember why) we had a neon bulb in the fitting and I was amazed that I could make the light glow by just touching the glass, which I worked out was because the fitting was switching the neutral not the live. Something I've never forgotten.
  20. tore81

    tore81 Well-Known Member

    He could get a socket polarity tester! To confirm

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