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Peter88

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Hello,
Though qualified I have never actually worked as an electrician. I now have a problem at home.
I have a situation I can't get my head around. Its a partition wall, timber and hollow. The wiring is all inside. On one half I have power, with common working. On the other half I have live phase but no common. I can't find a loose contact. When using a multimeter I get 240 volts on the not working side but only when using earth as common.

Is it normal for earth to complete a circuit like this? Am I right in assuming that coomon is broken somewhere? With earth acting as a common does this suggest its touching somewhere?

Thanks
 
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Guest123

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Hi Peter.

Your post is a bit confusing, are we talking light switches and switch wires here? or not. Can you elaborate.

Cheers
 
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Peter88

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Hi,
Sorry down with man flu... not at my best.
It's the main power I am talking about. Its a ring main.

I can't recall the correct phrases, I am refering to neutral as being common. It suddenly stopped working in three sockets. With no apparent action to cause. Since nothing was being messed with, can't figure out why it happened. Only other odd factor was a dead mouse, caught in a trap NOT electrocuted :)
Maybe it did damage prior to commiting suicide?

<sniff>
 
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Peter88

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
I haven't checked at the board, I only have a basic multimeter. Theer are only 3 sockets affected, the others on the same ring are all working.
 
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Peter88

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
I believe it is a ring, but can't be 100%
With the wiring being in the wall I have poor access, though I do have some.
 
best way to find out is opening the board up and looking there as long as you feal competent enough there as you say your not an electrician might be ebst getting a local sparky to have a look
 
Y

YTSOxford

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Also a ring is 32amp breaker, but double check the cables in the board, don't forget to kill the main switch!
 
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Peter88

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks, I am ok going in the board, presumably I am looking for the wires to be 'doubled' up fora ring?
If not?
Is it normal for the earth to act as 'neutral'? Or does this suggest a fault? On testing a wire bridging neutral to earth rectifies the socket fault. (In the sense of them working).
 
dont just persume its a ring because wires are doubled its a ring
ul need todo a continuity test between live and live neutral and neutral and earth and earth

the earth shouldnt be used as a neutral
 
S

sivoodoo

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
earths should never be used as neutral! can you take any pics?
 
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Peter88

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Hi,
Thanks, I think there is a misunderstanding.. I'm not suggesting earth SHOULD be used as a neutral, I am asking if its normal that it works this way? I've explained that it does work (using earth as neutral) in order to try to get at what's happened.
IF its normal that it would work (safety aside) then it doesn't help me to diagnose the problem. If its not normal, it suggests a crossed wire somewhere? I have no intention of 'fixing' it by doing this.
Can I test for continuity at the box by using a multimeter?
I have opened every socket, they all appear properly wired with nothing crossed. They have worked for quite some time. My logic tells me it has to be a break in the neutral phase, I simply cannot find it.
Thanks again, I appreciate people's time.
 
K

kung

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
TNCS/PME ? sounds like you have a broken N at some point if ring split and con or IR test both legs untill bad leg found if radial discon sockets one by one untill found etc you can check using multimeter if you like or a socket check plug should work.
Regards
Kung.

P.S. If it is a dead mouse/rat the 500v IR test should shift it !
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks, I am ok going in the board, presumably I am looking for the wires to be 'doubled' up fora ring?
If not?
Is it normal for the earth to act as 'neutral'? Or does this suggest a fault? On testing a wire bridging neutral to earth rectifies the socket fault. (In the sense of them working).
i would call a local spark in imho ;)
 
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