This can't be safe

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Jordy B, Nov 9, 2021.

  1. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member


    I have a single socket with 4 live, 4 Neutral and 4 Earth wires plugged in to it. Doesn't seem safe to me.

    I recently had a new consumer put in, added some new electrical points fitted and faceplates changed to existing sockets. I was told the whole house electrics would be certified (which it hasn't).

    One of the sockets was making a light buzzing noise, so switched the mains off and opened the faceplate and it seems overloaded.


  2. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    There are a lot of loose cables there ,did they come loose when you undid the faceplate ?
  3. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    Yeah they did, have removed the faceplate now and taped everything up.
  4. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    So, has someone replaced a switched fused connection unit with a single socket?
  5. Alster

    Alster Member

    If you’ve just taped it up you have probably broken the ring ……
  6. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    I wrapped tape around each of the individual wire ends (lots of it).

    Not sure what a ring is in this context, but don't think anything is broken
  7. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    Not sure it was always a single plug from when I moved in. A qualified ( I think) electrician changed the faceplate and the socket seemed to be working fine. I only opened it because I could hear light buzzing.

    What is a switched fused connection unit?

    Add: just read what this is, too my knowledge there are no hardwired appliances attached to this socket
  8. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    A ring circuit is one type of circuit for wiring sockets ( power outlets ), whereby each socket is connected with two cables ( 2 live,2 neutral,2 earth conductors), a switched fused connection unit can also be wired into the ring similarly. So the cable starts at consumer unit ( or fusebox)goes to first socket in and out to second ,out to third ,and so on until the last socket where the outgoing cable returns back to the consumer unit.
    Your pictured socket has 4 cables ,two of them are likely to be the ring in and out ,the other two are unknown.
    As you have disconnected all of them you may have broken the ring in two.
    We are guessing it is a ring ,it may not be. We would need more info , particularly the rating ( amperage) of the MCB or fuse that supplies this circuit.
  9. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    Thanks - ok so the plot thickens. My new boiler has no power, which has coinsided with me breaking the likely circuit.

    Whilst I don't fully understand what you said I think it makes sense as the single plug is on the floor below the fuse spur for the boiler.

    I'm going to wire it back up as I guess it's ok to do so? Could I maybe cut size and wire up to a double plug so there is mor space for the wires?

    Thanks so much
  10. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Doing that will not give you any larger termination points for 4 conductors. There are ways of doing this, but you really should get an electrician to sort this. Otherwise will always be a point of failure.
    Jordy B likes this.
  11. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    If you are asking can you change a single socket for a double , then yes you can . But you would have to remove the galvanised single mounting box ,and chase out the wall to fit a double gang mounting box.
    What breaker or fuse size protects this circuit ?
    What else besides boiler is dead ??
    The 4th wire must feed something else. Extractor fan ,cabinet lights ,washing machine ,some other appliance ??
    Jordy B likes this.
  12. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    Would it be worth him buying some 4 way wago boxes and connecting the wires together that way as a temporary measure until an electrician can come and sort out properly? I’m not a sparky but probably a struggle to get 4 wires in to each terminal?
    Jordy B likes this.
  13. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Or even som edecent choc-block - two in each side.

    Four wires in a terminal is certainly over capacity. As mentioned above, I too wonder if an FCU wit a ring and two outputs wired has been changed out.
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  14. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    Wired it back up to a single socket and everything is working, so you were correct I broke the circuit.

    Directly above where I broke the circuit is the boiler fuse spur and then a few ft away from that is another fuse spur outside the bathroom I think for the shaver plug both stopped working when I broke the circuit.

    Re double plug I'm good to cut out a new back box, but how would I wire up? This is what supports the circuits. 20211109_214058.jpg I don't really need a new plug, just more space for the wires. I can barely get 12 wires in and the faceplate flush with the wall.

    The wire ends are all screwed in but some of the wire is showing where some of the sleeves are shorter than others, is this ok?

    Trying to get hold of the person that did the work but not heard back. Will get a pro out asap of I don't hear from them soon.

  15. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    I will repeat my earlier advice:

    Doing that will not give you any larger termination points for 4 conductors.

    the terminals on a double socket are designed for three conductors maximum.
    The terminals on a single socket are designed for three conductors maximum

    All you will do is make work for yourself and not improve the connections at the back of the socket.

    There are ways to improve this. Changing to a double socket is not one of them.
    pppmacca43 and Jordy B like this.
  16. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

  17. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    You would be wise to bring in an electrician to ammended the wiring for you.
    Jordy B likes this.
  18. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Did the supposed electrician leave any papers/ certificates when the new CU was Installed? I wonder what the test results were on the sockets…
    Jordy B likes this.
  19. cleggie

    cleggie Active Member

    I would get an electrician in to deal with it and make sure it is all safe and connected up proper.He may put in a connector box which can take the wires etc
    Jordy B likes this.
  20. Jordy B

    Jordy B New Member

    I got a lot of work done refurbing, not just electrics, but was told installing a new CU will include certificates, and I was here when the spark tested the sockets. The builder done a bad job ( the people he subbed the work out to did), but rather that own the ****** work I think he has walked away. I've asked for the certificate but haven't heard back yet.

    When fitting the kitchen they also put the backbox/plug for the extractor fan in the wrong place. Now inside the hood there is a live plug hanging off the wall that is probably unsafe also.


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