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Electrical query


spunko

Question

My old shower, before it was replaced, had one of those weird switches (similar to a light switch but with a little red light on it) that I think you used to have to turn ON before you used the old electric shower. I never used it, because I had the shower/bathroom refitted as soon as I moved in (fucking filthy and 'orrible it was...). What are they used for? It has a sticker saying 'Shower' on it. 

My current shower definitely doesn't it because it's been off for years.

I want to get rid of the horrible old socket/switch (cap it off), because it's ugly, but I don't know if it's worth leaving it up. The fusebox has a dedicated switch for "SHOWER" which as far as I can tell only powers this disused switch.

Does it make sense to cap it off and is there a way to tell if it's being used by something else other than the previous shower still? (Besides manual testing)

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

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30 minutes ago, Green Devil said:

 

Yep, you cant put sockets in bathrooms. Radial circuits are use for a single item (like a shower) on a dedicated breaker. So yes, you could turn of the breaker at the fuseboard, confirm the circuit is dead (using a tester), then move the cable to the landing for use as a socket. Cant see why you'd want to do this as its probably got more value as existing wiring to the bathroom,  if you or someone else wants to fit an elect shower later. If its unsightly, cap it with a plastic cover. If you arent using it, or its covered, it should be turned off at the breaker.

Thanks, this is what I needed to know.

 

@The XYY Man doesn't matter if the red light is on or off, my shower still works. Current shower isn't electric.

Socket isn't in the bathroom it's just outside the bathroom door.

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Bobthebuilder
2 hours ago, onlyme said:

Problem is this is the sort of job that jobbing electricians don't like - time consuming without the substantial fitment that justifies a higher day rate - both to themselves and the client,  no win for both.  

This.

I repair boilers for a living. I often get asked to gas up cookers or change radiators but its just not worth my time, i don't carry the tools for it. A trade for a trade I always say, small jobs are often just not worth the hassle. Go and use someone cheap, don't come crying back to me later.

I often get calls from customers asking to recommend different trades, I give them a contact then they ask "are they cheap" I reply I don't know anyone who is cheap but you will get a good job. I use them myself and pay full rate.

PS I know a lot of good Eastern European trades who are charging £250 a day now.(London).

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Chewing Grass
4 minutes ago, spunko said:

My next question - can I use any type of terminal connector blocks for this? Or must they be over 30A or whatever?

I'm assuming something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/30a-terminal-strips-pack-of-10/30134

You can use whatever you want as long as it rated for the current drawn, the 30A will cover all bases but for a single socket 15A would be OK. Make sure you change the fuse on the board down from 30A to 15A.

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12 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

You can use whatever you want as long as it rated for the current drawn, the 30A will cover all bases but for a single socket 15A would be OK. Make sure you change the fuse on the board down from 30A to 15A.

Ah, getting a bit technical now. Is there a way to know if the fuse is definitely 30A?

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Chewing Grass
Just now, spunko said:

Ah, getting a bit technical now. Is there a way to know if the fuse is definitely 30A?

Fuse carrier should say what it is or have a coloured spot on it if it is wired.

White = 5A

Blue = 15A

Red = 30A

WYLEX REWIREABLE FUSE ASSEMBLY 5 15 20 30 AMP WITH ...

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1 minute ago, Green Devil said:

Personally id use a junction box. Old connector strips are usually what cause fires...

Is it safe to get the rebated ones and then fill it in with filler? I don't want anything showing.

I think I'll just get an electrician in as I have a few other small jobs I was going to attempt like fitting some downlights but not sure I can be bothered with it all. Not very DOSBODS I know :S

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4 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Fuse carrier should say what it is or have a coloured spot on it if it is wired.

White = 5A

Blue = 15A

Red = 30A

WYLEX REWIREABLE FUSE ASSEMBLY 5 15 20 30 AMP WITH ...

If you are running a fuse box, id have replacement high on the list. Get a spark in to install a mains isolator, then a new consumer unit. Its not worth messing about with old ceramic shite.

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8 minutes ago, spunko said:

Is it safe to get the rebated ones and then fill it in with filler? I don't want anything showing.

I think I'll just get an electrician in as I have a few other small jobs I was going to attempt like fitting some downlights but not sure I can be bothered with it all. Not very DOSBODS I know :S

Is it brick/plaster? 

If you want to plaster over it, just remove the cable in the fuse box and mark it as being disconnected and the location of the end of the cable, then you could use your connector blocks and plaster over it. Id wrap both ends in insulating tape as well. Cables are perfectly safe as long as they are disconnected from the supply and labelled.

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@onlyme

Ok cheers. I am a bit confused now, just wanted to clarify. I want to put a face plate on, like this:https://www.electrical2go.co.uk/define-1-gang-brushed-steel-blank-plate-fpbs.html

So:

1. Turn off at fusebox and update label to make sure it's blank/unused

2. Install plastic backbox

3. Put all wires inside into terminal blocks, at 30A each.

4. Wrap insulation tape round them each

5. Attach face plate...

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Could be useful in the future so would be tempted to keep the wiring in place but either disconnect and mark up accordingly at the consumer unit or pull fuse - install running fuses then would also recommend upgrading to MCB / RCBO consumer unit change. 

Most compliant way of removing visible switch but keep the feed in place formatter use is to replace with a back box - most likely plastic surface mount. terminate and single blank faceplate over the top.  You shouldn't really bury in the ceiling / upstairs floor / whatever and hide by plastering over as all connection points should be serviceable, however if the circuit is not being used then if disconnected at the CU then not a problem, still terminate it properly though- one of the old style round junction boxes would suffice.

@Green DevilRadial / Single circuits do not just feed single appliances, they are just not a ring circuit. In many circumstances  you can have more flexibility with running sockets off a single circuit than a ring -running multiple unfused  spurs off a single cable as long as the cable rating  is high enough.  Also you can use down, run smaller cable and run whole lighting circuits off the single feed you want.  Lighting circuits themselves are singles and not ring circuits. See link.

https://the-regs.co.uk/blog/?p=255

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On 29/11/2020 at 22:14, spunko said:

My old shower, before it was replaced, had one of those weird switches (similar to a light switch but with a little red light on it) that I think you used to have to turn ON before you used the old electric shower. I never used it, because I had the shower/bathroom refitted as soon as I moved in (fucking filthy and 'orrible it was...). What are they used for? It has a sticker saying 'Shower' on it. 

My current shower definitely doesn't it because it's been off for years.

I want to get rid of the horrible old socket/switch (cap it off), because it's ugly, but I don't know if it's worth leaving it up. The fusebox has a dedicated switch for "SHOWER" which as far as I can tell only powers this disused switch.

Does it make sense to cap it off and is there a way to tell if it's being used by something else other than the previous shower still? (Besides manual testing)

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

Id use a plastic faceplate, non conductive, if you use the steel make sure the earth is good. The problem leaving the wire connected in the fusebox is that somebody will have a problem with the electrics and push all the breakers back up and without realising activate your circuit.

I doubt a spark would charge more than £50 to do the job (unless prices have moved on a lot) and you'd get it disconnected in the CU.

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2 hours ago, spunko said:

I've got a few boxy light switches that need to be dug out the wall and replaced with a recessed back box and flush face, need to find an electrician who will do that and not just ask me to gauge the wall out myself then he'll 'come back and finish it' we both know won't happen :D

What's a good price for half a day electrician in SE?

Electricians generally don't make good decorators. The time and effort really is all in the prep / finishing and not the electrics themselves. Speed and number of connections made is where they make their money and clever routing of cables which can be a royal PITA, replacing switch gear and sockets is easy.

What is the wall construction - stone / brick, render then plaster? There's a lot of ways to prep this with fairly basic tools - make a small pattern with 4 rows of holes drilled in a square, fix to wall where you want to place the buried mattress and re-drill with a masonry drill, finish off with small bolster chisel and good to go. Setting the mattress with plugs/screws can be fiddly - glueing them in place (ct1 works a treat) is simple.  grommets in the right knockouts, re-wire and good to go with minimal edge decoration to redo. 

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Bobthebuilder
32 minutes ago, onlyme said:

Could be useful in the future so would be tempted to keep the wiring in place but either disconnect and mark up accordingly at the consumer unit or pull fuse - install running fuses then would also recommend upgrading to MCB / RCBO consumer unit change. 

Most compliant way of removing visible switch but keep the feed in place formatter use is to replace with a back box - most likely plastic surface mount. terminate and single blank faceplate over the top.  You shouldn't really bury in the ceiling / upstairs floor / whatever and hide by plastering over as all connection points should be serviceable, however if the circuit is not being used then if disconnected at the CU then not a problem, still terminate it properly though- one of the old style round junction boxes would suffice.

@Green DevilRadial / Single circuits do not just feed single appliances, they are just not a ring circuit. In many circumstances  you can have more flexibility with running sockets off a single circuit than a ring -running multiple unfused  spurs off a single cable as long as the cable rating  is high enough.  Also you can use down, run smaller cable and run whole lighting circuits off the single feed you want.  Lighting circuits themselves are singles and not ring circuits. See link.

https://the-regs.co.uk/blog/?p=255

A bit off topic, but can you still run a ring main off a 6mm 30amp radial? You used to be able to do that in kitchen upgrades. These days you have to upgrade the consumer unit to rcd with a new kitchen so not a lot of point anymore.

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14 hours ago, spunko said:

@onlyme

Ok cheers. I am a bit confused now, just wanted to clarify. I want to put a face plate on, like this:https://www.electrical2go.co.uk/define-1-gang-brushed-steel-blank-plate-fpbs.html

So:

1. Turn off at fusebox and update label to make sure it's blank/unused

2. Install plastic backbox

3. Put all wires inside into terminal blocks, at 30A each.

4. Wrap insulation tape round them each

5. Attach face plate...

Only thing I would add is buy a tester to check cable is dead - useful to have one on hand infuture.  Cheapest is LED / neon screwdriver do work though low latent voyages can be a little confusing and cause the LED the to glow less brightly - dial in how a particular indicator / screwdriver works by seeing how responds to a true live signal / otherwise, check working each time before checking if a circuit dead.

All doable, next time electrician is round get them to disconnect at consumer unit. Wouldn't recommend rooting round a CU as native as some have a live busbar that is less than well protected but the above, yes.  If you decide to have a go and want some tips just ask.

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On 29/11/2020 at 22:14, spunko said:

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

Tight bastard. #ElectriciansArePeopleToo

On 29/11/2020 at 22:14, spunko said:

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

Tight bastard. #ElectriciansArePeopleToo

On 29/11/2020 at 22:14, spunko said:

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

Tight bastard. #ElectriciansArePeopleToo

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On 29/11/2020 at 22:14, spunko said:

My old shower, before it was replaced, had one of those weird switches (similar to a light switch but with a little red light on it) that I think you used to have to turn ON before you used the old electric shower. I never used it, because I had the shower/bathroom refitted as soon as I moved in (fucking filthy and 'orrible it was...). What are they used for? It has a sticker saying 'Shower' on it. 

My current shower definitely doesn't it because it's been off for years.

I want to get rid of the horrible old socket/switch (cap it off), because it's ugly, but I don't know if it's worth leaving it up. The fusebox has a dedicated switch for "SHOWER" which as far as I can tell only powers this disused switch.

Does it make sense to cap it off and is there a way to tell if it's being used by something else other than the previous shower still? (Besides manual testing)

Cant be bothered to get an electrician in who'll charge me half a day.

You have a 45 amp double pole  pull switch that are used 99% of the time for showers, they are mainly used rather than sticking a similar isolator into a wall, the one you have can easily be installed into the ceiling.

Showers must have an isolater after to 32-45 amp Mcb in your consumer unit, and is a dedicated circuit with only the shower on it(biggest circuit in the house).

They are simple to change over to a new one, but make totally sure power is off

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14 minutes ago, Bobthebuilder said:

It's a dedicated 6 mm 30amp shower radial circuit for fucks sake man, get a grip.

So can I cap it off or is there any reason not to? 

2 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

If you operate the switch a few times, does the red light turn off and on with it, or is it constantly on...?

 

XYY

Red light comes on if I turn the switch on, only.

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53 minutes ago, Bobthebuilder said:

A bit off topic, but can you still run a ring main off a 6mm 30amp radial? You used to be able to do that in kitchen upgrades. These days you have to upgrade the consumer unit to rcd with a new kitchen so not a lot of point anymore.

It would be compliant electrically in terms of loading, unfused, if 2.5mm run were used (which is what you would want to do for easier cable install. Don't recall ever seeing this in aninstall or mentioned in regs.  End of the day you need sign off by inspection level qualified electrician (ignoring Part P ones), pretty sure they would fail it on the basis that non-obvious install and likely to cause inspection / test issues further down the line even if electrically/thermally safe thing to do and all cable adequately protected.  

If anything I think there is a trend away from ring circuits. The argument for having them was balancing load optimally along the two legs and being able to deliver high current on more easily installed cable. Problem is as testing has become more complex they are more effort to test, more effort to install in some cases and one bog downside if the ring is ever broken  -  the protection for each arm is deficient.  Best practice nowadays seems to be any high load - Cooker - separate feed, same as with showers and then use radials for the rest of the sockets, enabled by having CU's nowadays with lots more ways than the old fuse boxes.

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23 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Tight bastard. #ElectriciansArePeopleToo

 

Problem is this is the sort of job that jobbing electricians don't like - time consuming without the substantial fitment that justifies a higher day rate - both to themselves and the client,  no win for both.  

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