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  1. Sam Ball
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    Sam Ball New EF Member

    Location:
    Dunvegan
    Hi everyone, I am not an electrician and have joined this forum for some help. Here is some background information to my incident:-

    Background

    House Built 1985
    Took ownership December 1999
    Electricity meter replaced by electricity supplier 12 January 2004
    Consumer unit upgraded 16 January 2008
    Current Incident March/April 2017

    Incident

    During March 2017 I noticed a thud in the lounge on right hand wall and investigated and could not find the cause

    The thud or popping sound continued four or five times daily until 2 April 2017 when I investigated further. The electricity meter box was open and I looked inside and noticed the meter tails had a sooty deposit and was arcing.

    I contacted my electrician who told me to switch off the power at the consumer unit and he came out immediately and made everything safe.

    He noticed that the meter tails were of the wrong size being16.0mm² twin and earth cable old colour conductors of red and black (current rating 70Amps). Possibly original installation as the only work I had done is detailed above.

    I agreed that the meter tails be changed to correct specification of 25.0mm² double insulated tails (current rating 110Amps) with 16.0mm² earth (current rating 74Amps).
    This work was completed on 4 April 2017

    Conclusion

    There was an electrical storm early March 2017 and I noticed shortly afterwards that my AV amplifier stopped working due to a short burn fuse blowing. I can only assume that the electrical storm caused a power surge sufficient to not blow the main fuse on the incoming supply at the consumer unit but sufficient to cause heating and arcing of the twin and earth cable which had a current rating of 74Amps.
    Is this feasible?
     
  2. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Was the sooty residue at the connections to the meter, which wire was it in your case black or red, if so how far up the wire did the scorching extend? Any idea what size the DNO's fuse is?
     
  3. Rob
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    Rob Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    North west
    Both incidents I'm 99.99% sure have no relevance to each other.
     
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  4. Sam Ball
    Offline

    Sam Ball New EF Member

    Location:
    Dunvegan
    The sooty residue was not at the meter connections but some 10 inches down from the meter where the red and black wires were arcing/shorting, burning the insulations and sheath. I do not know the DNO fuse but have assumed it to be 100Amp.
     
  5. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    As above it sound to me during the meter change or consumer unit upgrade the connections were left loose , which coarse the burning, not the power surge ,The fuse in your amp could of blown for many reasons , the electrical storm being one of them

    Edit
    OK Sam with that additional information it may not of been a loose connection but a damaged cable
     
  6. Midwest
    Online

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Might have looked like this, if you left them long enough;

    IMG_1715.JPG
     
  7. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    Can you post a photo of the problem cables?
     
  8. Sam Ball
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    Sam Ball New EF Member

    Location:
    Dunvegan
    No they have been ditched.
     
  9. Upton Sparks
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    Upton Sparks Active EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Kilowatt Electricals Ltd
    Its a loose connection 100%... if it was a lighting strike which filtered into the Electrical system it would do more damage than just blow a fuse in an amplifier and this. also if it was a demand issue i.e you were taking more current than the cable could take, then I would expect to see this thermal damage in more place, along the cable either end of the cable connection at the meter and main switch would be equal susceptible to this damage Live and neutral as well, but if its in one place like this then its a loose connection.
     
  10. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    That what I thought but Sam is saying that the damage was 10 inches from the connections , if it was a loose connection the damage would be at the connection ..
     
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  11. Wilko
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    Wilko Midwest is King Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Where the 16mm cables were damaged, were they touching each other or anything else? Either they were damaged by heat alone, or had their insulation damaged (by something...) which allowed arcing and further burning damage. Does that fit what you saw? Moral of story - always take a pic :)
     
  12. Sam Ball
    Offline

    Sam Ball New EF Member

    Location:
    Dunvegan
    Where the 16mm cables were damaged they were touching each other and glowing red. There was nothing rough enough nearby that could have caused damage to the cables through abrasion.
    I was too s**t scared when I saw what was happening that a photo was the last thing on my mind.
     
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  13. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Whilst 16mm may be rated at 74Amps it will not overheat and fail at 75Amps, the actual current required to cause this kind of failure would be quite a lot more.
    The most likely cause of this is physical damage to the cable, you say the meter cupboard was already open when you got to it, this suggests something has happened to open it.
     
  14. benji
    Offline

    benji Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    north east
    Could it have been when the cable was originally stripped the cut was too deep and nicked the inner core insulation
     
  15. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    have you noticed the presence of these anywhere round?

    gemlins.jpg
     
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