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wherebee

Circuit fizzles

Question

So - 

We're in an old house now, for the long term.  It has lots of stuff that was done bodged in the past, and I am sorting them out one at time.

There is an intermittent electrical problem - every now and then, at random intervals, normally 4-7 weeks apart, one circuit trips.  A fuse reset normally works UNLESS it has been raining very very hard, in which case it won't reset until the air dries out.

It's a circuit that handles all the plugs and sockets except about 3; it also runs the garage and freezer and fridge.

My worry is that either i) it's a frayed wire that creates a fire risk or ii) it will trip when we are away and goodbye freezer and fridge food or iii) it will go and not reset.

How would you task someone to sort it out?  Is it a horrible long job to find this sort of thing?  I have a friendly sparks, but would like to be able to know if it's going to be a complete rewire or not.

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21 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

My parents had similar in their new house with eth electricity tripping a coupel of times a week.

The solution for them was to have an electrician test every circuit and every socket because it literally could be any of them causing it.

IIRC there was a double plug socket that had not been properly wired and that was tripping the system.

The wiring was corrected - problem solved.

Perfect example this morning have been sorting out portable teeny that kept on cutting out, most likely carb issue, carb off twice, better but still warm start problems and cutting off after a few seconds, spark pug looked like new if a little oily but replacement arrived this morning,sorted immediately. Sometimes it is quicker just to assume the worst, check / service everything and least you start from a known half decent point.

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31 minutes ago, wherebee said:

So - 

We're in an old house now, for the long term.  It has lots of stuff that was done bodged in the past, and I am sorting them out one at time.

There is an intermittent electrical problem - every now and then, at random intervals, normally 4-7 weeks apart, one circuit trips.  A fuse reset normally works UNLESS it has been raining very very hard, in which case it won't reset until the air dries out.

It's a circuit that handles all the plugs and sockets except about 3; it also runs the garage and freezer and fridge.

My worry is that either i) it's a frayed wire that creates a fire risk or ii) it will trip when we are away and goodbye freezer and fridge food or iii) it will go and not reset.

How would you task someone to sort it out?  Is it a horrible long job to find this sort of thing?  I have a friendly sparks, but would like to be able to know if it's going to be a complete rewire or not.

They recommend rewiring every 25 years (yeah, right) but insulation should be good for 50-70 years.

Book an electrician to test your system, it requires lots of devices to do it properly as there are a lot of possible tests so not really a DIY option.

 

 

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We have an outside light that trips the circuit after very heavy wind driven rain. Otherwise everything is stable. Have you got something similar or an outside socket maybe?

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17 hours ago, Sasquatch said:

We have an outside light that trips the circuit after very heavy wind driven rain. Otherwise everything is stable. Have you got something similar or an outside socket maybe?

great point - we do have outside lights and plugs - and this has been one of the wettest starts to the year in decades.  Thanks!  I can task the sparks to check those out first.

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You've probably got the worst case scenario pretty much there - with a combination of potentially wet  damp parts both inside and outside the house - external lights, garage etc, appliances and not forgetting old walls can be damp enough to cause problems. You might have one problem or you might have a combination.

What I would do is make a list of every socket outlet and directly connected appliance / light connected to the circuit and go round every one, make sure connections good, add earth bond to pattress as required and check each for corrosion / problems, fix every thing that you can find methodically in one go and you are less likely to be in a merrygoround going backwards and forwards with what you think might be the problem and missing the non-obvious one that was sat there all the time. Least then you will  know the circuit is good for another decade or two. Houses get re-wired a lot not necessarily because the wiring is gash as such, outlets just not in the right place and too many little issues - I've yet to see PVC badly damaged the way old rubber can - though you do get rodent damage and wiring badly corroded. So on the basis of sorting one problem at a time checking and fixing this whole circuit would be my suggestion.

Worst case scenario is there is a bridged cable somewhere with a rawlplug and screw through it - that then requires each leg to be isolated and tested to find the offending section.

 

 

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My parents had similar in their new house with eth electricity tripping a coupel of times a week.

The solution for them was to have an electrician test every circuit and every socket because it literally could be any of them causing it.

IIRC there was a double plug socket that had not been properly wired and that was tripping the system.

The wiring was corrected - problem solved.

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10 hours ago, onlyme said:

Perfect example this morning have been sorting out portable teeny that kept on cutting out, most likely carb issue, carb off twice, better but still warm start problems and cutting off after a few seconds, spark pug looked like new if a little oily but replacement arrived this morning,sorted immediately. Sometimes it is quicker just to assume the worst, check / service everything and least you start from a known half decent point.

If it's a 2 stroke, warm start problems are usually down to the crankcase oil seals needing to be replaced.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Might be something as simple as a poorly connected wire on the circuit breaker or in one of the sockets. 

Turn off the electricity and check the sockets. Test with a voltmeter for live wires before touching anything first. Wiggle the wires to see if they pull out. If so reconnect and tighten. 

Once I had a similar intermittent tripping issue and it was a poor connection of a wire into the circuit breaker. It was causing the odd arc and it had blackened and partially melted it. 

If you want to check the circuit breaker then pull the main fuse / incoming circuit breaker first. Don't touch anything without testing with a voltmeter every thing you could potentially touch/brush against. You only get one life. 

Edited by the gardener

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