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  1. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    Old house / wiring / fusebox plus single circuit breaker.

    So I decide to change dead double socket in kitchen ( one socket failed followed by its twin months later= no power ( yesterday ) ) NB. once it stopped working the switches on the socket were found to be stuck ( in the "on" position)

    So despite being bitten by this fuse box last year ( same thing - I removed fuse which indicated it covered sockets in kitchen - but I discovered it was still live - and leaving myself a note inside to tell me ) I remove "kitchen socket" fuse and proceed as follows.

    1/ test whan I assume is inline socket in kitchen and no power. Can't "test " actual socket as.... see above.

    2/remove socket to find;- a/ two red wires aimed at but not in or touching live ( rh as seen from viewer ) terminal. I have no explanation as to how two very stiff wires came out of their terminal - the screw in the terminal was in the unscrewed position!!
    b/. two black wires firmly in neutral ( ?) lh terminal
    c. earth in far lh terminal.

    I remove wires and proceed to rewire as original - earth, then black ( N) , then red (L!?)

    well..to my surprise as I accidently touch red wires and earth!!!!! BANG - melted wires, melted screwdriver and blackened plastic and trip fuse trips.

    whew - no harm done...

    So my question is.

    Will/should removing a fuse ever protect you from electrical shock?
    Does the "live" always remain live ( as this did ) even if fuse removed?

    FYI - I will NEVER work on any exposed wires again unless power is off!
    Socket now working - rewired as old one " should" have been.
     
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  2. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Rule number 1 don't fooock with electrics if you don't know what you are doing, leave it to the professionals.
     
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  3. 123
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    123 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    East Antrim
    It will if you remove the correct fuse.

    I suggest you brush up on your safe isolation procedure!
     
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  4. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    The OP does not have /or seem to have any electrical experience, so I think my statement stands.
     
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  5. elsparko
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    elsparko Active EF Member

    Location:
    scotland
    as a rule of thumb i never trust the electrician who has been in before me at a job, always assume live until proven dead.
     
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  6. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services
    You shouldn't have been working on live circuits like that to begin with.
    Always follow your safe isolation and lock it off if needed, then check at the work location as even though you think you have turned it off you can never be 100% as shown in your case.
    I was working on a house a few weeks back and the kitchen and downstairs rings had been joined at some point, so despite isolating the kitchen, it still had power... never rely on turning a breaker off on its own. you only get one life and do not want to become a statistic on the avoidable death figures..
     
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  7. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    And NEVER assume pulling 1 fuse will isolate a circuit. Seem many houses where each "end" of a ring circuit is in a different fuse or breaker...
     
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  8. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    OP is located in Leek. some funny things happen there. not far away are the Derbyshire potholes. I used to go down when i was thinner. strange Troglodytes come out at night and sabotage anything from cars an burglar alarms to pelican crossing lights. you know it's them as they always leave a bottle of Buxton spring water.
     
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  9. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Have you bothered to check the OP's credibility as an Electrician? no quals equates to no knowledge, he shouldn't be tackling electrical work, come on guys get the real picture here, chancer comes to mind. But then again I'm retired so what does my opinion count for? diddly squat from some of the responses I have had.
     
  10. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Chancer or not, I just wanted to alert the OP to the fact that pulling a single fuse may not isolate a circuit.........

    There are many chancers on here!
     
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  11. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    never taken a fuse out, some nice wenches and a few dogs, perhaps.
     
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  12. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Took my Mrs out and look where that landed me.
     
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  13. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    howatt, pete. i just got in from 2nd fixing. had to re-jig some wiring as 2 rooms altered from centre pendants to 8 or 12 spots. 12" of itchy-poo in loft. not nice.
     
  14. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Nasty Mate, all OK now, some beer and a cuddle with the dogs, makes it all OK.
     
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  15. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    might even get a cuddle from Mrs. Tel. once i've had a bath and shed the dusty work clothes. ;)
     
  16. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Know what you mean Tel
     
  17. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    As stated above - the whole house is "protected" by a "RCCB" , it's old ( GARO G12.280.030 - GOOGLE SEARCH CAN'T FIND IT)

    Could this be faulty? - It did trip, but not before the screwdriver melted - lost half its tip - that's a lot of current!!

    yes yes - yada yada - get a professional in.

    All would have been fine IF i'd simply switched off. However the fact that I didn't has raised these questions.

    Thanks for the helpful replies so far.
     
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  18. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    I "did" remove the correct fuse?? I have done similar before and after fuse removal nothing plugged into socket would work BUT live was still live! I would have thought the fuse would isolate the live - It seems to be isolating the Neutral??
     
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  19. Strima
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    Strima Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    St Neots
    I would get an electrician in to check for reversed polarity etc in your property.
     
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  20. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Precisely why you should leave the electrics alone and get someone in who knows what they are doing, you obviously don't.
     
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  21. snowhead
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    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    Has the meter been changed, maybe for a Smart meter, in this house in the recent past?
     
  22. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    Yes indeed - new smart meter two weeks ago...
     
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  23. elsparko
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    elsparko Active EF Member

    Location:
    scotland
    you should still be testing and proving dead on cables you intend to handle, this polarity issue is still a spanner in the works
     
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  24. Matthewd29
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    Matthewd29 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Belfast
    This is why you call a qualified electrician, we have tools to tell us if it's live to stop people like you from getting injured or killed.
     
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  25. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services
    If you have the testing kit with you then check polarity between your line and neutral at the CU as its not unheard of for the wet behind the ears meter installers to put the wires back in the wrong holes!!
     
  26. elsparko
    Offline

    elsparko Active EF Member

    Location:
    scotland
    it wouldnt be much in labour costs to rectify, you could spend the next week scratching your head or call in a spark, id rather be alive than have an extra £85 or whatever the going rate is for out of hours in your area
     
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  27. KEV 1 N
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    KEV 1 N Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Durham
    Sounds like the meter fitter has balls up if the fuse is isolating the neutral, get an electrician to check it out an verify the cause. Then go all guns blazing to your energy supplier if they are at fault. This sort of incompetence gets people killed.....yes you should have proved it was dead first, but without proper test equipment this is difficult.
    There was an incident where a child was killed by an electric fire that was plugged in but switched off, the socket switch only switched the live, live and neutral reversed at meter. So the element was live but because it had no neutral, it didn't work.
     
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  28. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    The OP stated he touched the red wires and earth, I doubt this is a polarity issue as it wouldn't have gone bang. I suspect it's a case of incorrectly labelled fuses or circuit supplied by multiple fuses (likely if there are multiple rings and some plum has disconnected more than one) or it's not on the kitchen circuit at all.

    But, the best advice is get in a qualified spark with the right gear and knowledge to safely assess the situation and advise on the best method of correcting it.
     
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  29. DJ Ovengloves
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    DJ Ovengloves Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Purley
    He had a similar problem last year :)

    Anyhoo, safe isolation procedure would have spotted this problem (whatever is causing it).

     
  30. DJ Ovengloves
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    DJ Ovengloves Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Purley
    Yes, yes yadda yadda?

    You sir are an idiot of the higest order and lucky you didn’t seriously hurt or kill yourself.

    Anyone (qualified or not) who messes with electricity and doesn’t safely isolate with proper equipment is an idiot btw...I’m not picking on you specifically.

    Call a professional before you kill your self or others.

     
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  31. Bob Geldoff1234
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    Bob Geldoff1234 Regular EF Member

    Why didn't you just switch off the main switch?
     
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  32. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Shouldn't be playing about with it anyway Bob asking for trouble in my opinion
     
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  33. snowhead
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    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    Would still have needed safe isolation confirmation, which the O.P does appear to be aware of or have the equipment to test.
     
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  34. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services
    Just remembered a previous job having reread the OP...2 of the lives on 2 different rings had been put back in the wrong MCBs so in reality lives on the 2 rings now formed a figure of 8. might be worth considering? as if you turned off one breaker then the other would still feed both rings.
     
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  35. Bob Geldoff1234
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    Bob Geldoff1234 Regular EF Member

    I'm not saying its the right way but if he had of turned off the main switch then all of your other guesses as to why it went bang would have been irrelevant.
    If your at all unsure as to which breaker/fuse feeds what then at least turning off the main switch would have made it a darn site safer than what he did.
    Agree with everyone else that he shouldn't be touching it in the first place.
     
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  36. DJ Ovengloves
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    DJ Ovengloves Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Purley
    sorry, you still need to safely isolate and test..always the possibility of a faulty switch, fake switch or some moron has wired wrong actually bypassing it.

     
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  37. Dave Rudderham
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    Dave Rudderham Active EF Member

    Location:
    Grimsby
    Business Name:
    DTR Technical
    Identify Circuit, Isolate, check tester, test tester, test circuit at work point, test tester again. I'm a Level 3 student and this is being drummed into our heads. If in doubt (and it's doable), switch the whole sodding lot off. I found out my kitchen radial circuit feeds the down stairs toilet lights, which was nice. Had I just switched off the lights and not tested I'd have been in a fair amount of pain.
     
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  38. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Both legs of one ring
     
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  39. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    Indeed. A reckless decision. However the result is I have discovered that the wiring is possibly dangerous per se. The wiring / smart meter was done AFAIK by " experts" so I'd rather try and understand myself what is going on and also get a expert in and at least understand what he tells me and the action he recommends to remedy.
     
  40. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    You are indeed correct. I have no idea what " safe isolation" means nor do I think I have the equipment. I have one of those screwdrivers with a lightbulb in the handle - tells you if wire is live?? I didn't use it - I made the stupid mistake of thinking that taking the fuse out meant the wires on the kitchen socket circuit were isolated from the mains.
    So lesson learnt - I can not ever rely on labels on fuse boxes ( circuit breakers ) to isolate wiring and make it safe to work on.

    If I throw mains switch - I can safely assume wiring is safe to work on!!? Not even then I guess - not ever in fact unless you have real time data on cables you are working on you never know for certain - could be mixed up with next door's wiring!!?
     
  41. Dave Rudderham
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    Dave Rudderham Active EF Member

    Location:
    Grimsby
    Business Name:
    DTR Technical
    I doubt you'd find many electricians who'd recommend a light bulb screwdriver. The minute you touch the end you make yourself part of the circuit.
     
  42. mikeup
    Offline

    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.

    RCCB is an essential protective device in your electrical circuit that helps to preventelectrical hazards in cases of earth faults. A properly set RCCB will ensure that there is no fatal injury caused to human being in case of an accidental touch to live wires.7 May 2014


    Agree? Am I wrong to " rely" on this as a back up?
     
  43. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    What exactly were you touching with the screwdriver with a light bulb in the handle, to cause it to melt?
     
  44. mikeup
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    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    Hmmm.. yes indeed but through a resistance so high it is safe.
     
  45. mikeup
    Offline

    mikeup EF Member

    Location:
    leek
    Business Name:
    Mr.
    As stated above.
    1/. Didn't use " lightbulb screwdriver "
    2/. Accidently completed circuit between red ( L ) wires and earth strap on socket I was installing ( earth having been connected )
     
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