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  1. Rayan Jawad
    Offline

    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    Hi All,

    I'm living in a pretty dangerous situation - Please can you help?

    A few months ago, the electricity in my first/second floor flat blew out, as did my neighbours. It turns out that there was a fault in a mains component under the stairs.

    I had to get an electrician out late at night just to make it safe, albeit a temporary fix. I've linked a photo of it here (Click here).

    I have no idea what this component is called but:

    1. No Electrician is willing to touch it
    2. The insurance company says it's the responsibility of the energy supplier
    3. My energy supplier says it's the responsibility of the network (UK Power Networks)
    4. UK Power networks say it's not their responsibility and I need to get an electrician.

    I'm stuck in an infinite loop!

    So my question - Please could someone advise me on

    1. What this component is called
    2. Is it before or after the meter
    3. Any advice on who is responsible for fixing it
     
  2. littlespark
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    littlespark Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    From the photo, it looks to be BEFORE the meter, meaning its your suppliers responsibility.... likely needs the power network involved.
    No domestic electrician will touch it as it cannot be isolated.
    The taped up objects are just joint boxes, much like the black box screwed to the wall under your meter.
    The installation there is a mess, and I cant believe it wasn't sorted out when the new meter was installed. 2008?
    Someone's left a screwdriver on the floor
     
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  3. Rayan Jawad
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    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    The supplier (UK Power Networks) are saying that because this is a secondary cut out, they are not responsible for fixing it.

    The installation looks like a mess to me too, but I'm no professional here - this is how the property was when I purchased it, except the two joint boxes were on the wall in the box (and the box didn't have a cover, in case thats relevant?)

    According to UK Power Networks it's the job of a qualified domestic electrician, but none of them are willing to help.

    I'm so lost / tired of living in a dangerous situation.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  4. Rayan Jawad
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    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    Forgot to add - Thanks for your prompt reply, by the way
     
  5. Wes1000
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    Wes1000 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Worcestershire
    That will be the last person who left the mess of cables we are looking at. They probably left in a hurry.
    If it’s a secondary cutout and you can isolate it then a competent electrician should be able to sort that out and either tidy up what’s there or fit a new cutout.
     
  6. Rayan Jawad
    Offline

    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    Thanks for this - I'm not sure who's screw driver this is, I've never really touched under the stairs ever since I bought the place.

    The DNO are saying that the power can be isolated from the main cut out in the shop downstairs, so this isn't their responsibility because this is the secondary cut out.

    Is this correct?
     
  7. Richard Burns
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    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    The situation there is somewhat confused but it looks like your service cable to the property, before the service head (the main fuse), has a looped supply i.e. it feeds your place and somewhere else downstairs.
    This is very unsafely arranged in taped over Henley blocks partially within a joint box.
    This is before your service head and before your meter and is part of the service cable to installation.

    This is without doubt the responsibility of the Distribution network operator, although they will almost certainly state that someone else has worked on it it is not safe and is not sealed.

    The attached diagram shows the areas of responsibility for parts of the installation.
    The joint box and cable that you have there are positioned at the point labelled 1 in the diagram.
    responsibility diagram.jpg
     
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  8. Rayan Jawad
    Offline

    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    Thanks for this Richard - the problem is they are saying that because this is a secondary cut out - it's not their equipment. Is this the case?
     
  9. SWD
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    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    You mention shop, are you in a flat above a shop as the supply "could" be fed from the shop somehow.
     
  10. Richard Burns
    Offline

    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    Ahh, just seen your post, you are supplied from the shop downstairs and if that is a secondary cutout then the meter beyond it must be a check meter rather than a electricity supplier meter and you would pay the shop for electricity rather than having a bill from the electricity supplier.

    If this is the case then the service head above the open black box is just a remnant of a previous supply and the cable from the shop is the responsibility of an electrician, however the electrician would need to know and be shown the connections in the shop to be able to work on this without danger of electric shock or prosecution.
    Just looking at the mess you have in the photo any electrician would say they cannot work on that part of the supply.
    If they know it is a sub main from the shop then they may well be able to work on it.
     
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  11. Rayan Jawad
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    Rayan Jawad EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Growth studio
    No, I definitely pay the electricity provider directly (first utilities, to be precise). I don't pay the shop.

    I believe the electrician can disconnect both my flat and the flat next door from the shop downstairs pretty easily. So I presume that makes the box in my flat a sub-main?
     
  12. Wes1000
    Offline

    Wes1000 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Worcestershire
    It would appear so. Just make sure you explain this to the electrician and they can check it out and hopefully sort the mess out for you.
     
  13. Richard Burns
    Offline

    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    I think it would be best to get an electrician out who can see the arrangement themselves on site.
    It should not be very easy to disconnect you from the shop as any fuse there should be sealed, as should the supply at the Henley blocks, the fuse in your picture and the meter.
    If the meter in your picture is the meter by which you pay then anything before that should not be down to an electrician, although there could be a local company acting as a building network operator who has responsibility for the power distribution within the building.
     
  14. snowhead
    Offline

    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    It would need a photo of the cutout /meter arrangement in the shop to confirm that the supply into the flat's box / cutout is after the main cutout fuses and can be isolated.

    If so, as the issue is with the unmetered supply to the O.P flat and at least one other, it's the joint responsibility of all the flats connected or if there is one, the managing agent / B.N.O (as R Burns above).

    Ultimately it will be the Flat owners that pay.

    If the supply from the shop is before UKPN fuse then I suspect they'll move to the fused side, they won't adopt the cables to the flats given their state.
     
  15. UNG
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    UNG Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Nr Wigan, Lancs
    Trying to understand the comment "the electricity in my first/second floor flat blew out" and how this was temporarily repaired if nobody wants to take responsibility for repairs / rectification work as the electrician who did the temporary repair must be able to shed some light on where responsibility for the supply lies

    Or is this a historic landlord bodge and and subsequent bodges have occurred over time and now nobody wants to take responsibility for the installation now
     
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