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My Son is in the process of redesigning his kitchen and one of the issues is that the electric cooker needs to be moved, approximately another 2 to 3 meters or so.

The current wiring is the old red and black 6mm running from a consumer unit situated some 60 feet away in the front room. This is a small terraced house and we didn't want the problem of ripping up all the upstairs floorboards and chasing out the plaster to replace the wiring, so we thought the easiest way was to purchase a 60amp junction box and extend the wire accordingly.

Today we ran the old wiring through the ceiling joists and then joined a new length of 6mm twin & earth to the exit point where the new cooker socket will be located. Now, what we cannot understand, is that the RCB keeps tripping and disconnecting the main ring main socket circuit.

At this point I will say that there is nothing connected to the end of the new cable, and the MCB for that circuit is in the off position, but this doesn't stop the RCB from tripping.

We initially thought the problem was with the kitchen ring main circuit, but I disconnected this completely and the RCB still tripped. Just as a matter of course, I thought I disconnect the junction box, and 'bingo' all was well. Why on earth would this cause a problem when it's not actually connected to anything and the MCB for that circuit is off? I will say at this point the cooker was working perfectly up until a few weeks ago when we stripped the kitchen out completely.

Just wondered if anyone has had similar issues and maybe have an answer?
 
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Hello.

It sounds like you have a neutral to earth fault - possibly in the junction box you have put in - or at the end of the new cable you have put in. There will be some current in the neutral if it is connected into the consumer unit - and if that current leaks to earth then you have an inbalance and the RCD will trip.

Check the neutral and earth are separated. MCB being turned off will make no difference.

If the junction box has screw terminals - which it probably has for that sized cable - then it needs to be accessible and for future testing and inspection - and not buried under floor boards.

Is this a DIY job?
Testing?
Certification?
 

Pete999

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Hello.

It sounds like you have a neutral to earth fault - possibly in the junction box you have put in - or at the end of the new cable you have put in. There will be some current in the neutral if it is connected into the consumer unit - and if that current leaks to earth then you have an inbalance and the RCD will trip.

Check the neutral and earth are separated. MCB being turned off will make no difference.

If the junction box has screw terminals - which it probably has for that sized cable - then it needs to be accessible and for future testing and inspection - and not buried under floor boards.

Is this a DIY job?
Testing?
Certification?
Don't be silly Marcus, clue "cheap joint box"
 
D

Deleted member 9648

Have you insulated and separated the cut end of the new cable you have used to extend from the JB ?? even with the MCB off the N and E will still be connected and if they are shorted on the cut end out will go the trip.
Easy electrical work isn't it? who needs an electrician, I can do that.
 
Don't be silly Marcus, clue "cheap joint box"
I’ve only ever used the Click junction boxes for 60 amp. I think they are the Mutts. I can’t imagine introducing a fault in one of them - that would take real - errr - skill?

In my head I can see the cut end of the cable causing the fault.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Hi Marcus

Thank you for your response. Yes I was thinking that it could be a neutral to earth fault, but has there isn't anything connected yet, I con only assume at this point that it could be the junction box?

I have emailed the suppliers and perhaps they will replace this? It certainly wasn't cheap. It is a DIY job I'm afraid and I understand the box should be accessible. I always put the earth connection between live and neutral in boxes and chocs, but perhaps I just need to wire the earth by the live and see if that helps?
 

davesparks

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Today we ran the old wiring through the ceiling joists and then joined a new length of 6mm twin & earth to the exit point where the new cooker socket will be located. Now, what we cannot understand, is that the RCB keeps tripping and disconnecting the main ring main socket circuit.

At this point I will say that there is nothing connected to the end of the new cable, and the MCB for that circuit is in the off position, but this doesn't stop the RCB from tripping.
What testing have you carried out on the circuit in question?

Do you understand how an RCD works? Are you a qualified electrician?

Don't just rely on switching off an MCB to make an unterminated cable safe, it should be properly isolated at the supply end.
 
Hi Marcus

Thank you for your response. Yes I was thinking that it could be a neutral to earth fault, but has there isn't anything connected yet, I con only assume at this point that it could be the junction box?

I have emailed the suppliers and perhaps they will replace this? It certainly wasn't cheap. It is a DIY job I'm afraid and I understand the box should be accessible. I always put the earth connection between live and neutral in boxes and chocs, but perhaps I just need to wire the earth by the live and see if that helps?
I’d check the cut end first.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
I understand the supply must be isolated at supply, and yes, a RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault, and designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults.

All I was confused about is why the RCD should trip when nothing is connected to that circuit, except the new short length of cable and a junction box.
 

ChrisElectrical88

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Haha faulty joint box.
 

buzzlightyear

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Where do you put your earth
me I'm floating around it .;)
 
D

Deleted member 105166

@chris301up you may understand the need for isolation, but do you have the knowledge and tools to practice safe isolation?

The existing 6mm cable is already 20m long, have you referenced BS7671 to check suitability of the new extended length in 6mm, taking account of installation method, rating factors, voltage drop, and maximum earth fault loop impedance to meet required CPD disconnection times, for the design current?

Please call a sparky in before you hurt yourself, or someone else.
 
Please get a sparky in to sort this for you
 

davesparks

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I understand the supply must be isolated at supply, and yes, a RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault, and designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults.

All I was confused about is why the RCD should trip when nothing is connected to that circuit, except the new short length of cable and a junction box.
In other words no, you don't understand how an RCD works, just a rough idea of the protection it provides.
An RCD trips when there is an imbalance between the current flowing through the circuit conductors, generally this is as a result of current flowing to earth, this can be directly from L to E or by neutral current being diverted via a N to E fault.

So an RCD will trip with nothing connected to the circuit if there is a low resistance from N to E.
Can you confirm exactly what you have done to isolate this circuit? If you have not isolated both L and N then it is easy for the open end of the cable to present a N to E fault an dtrip the RCD.
 

Andy78

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Short version.
It worked before. You touched it. It now doesn't work and you don't know why. Electricity can kill you. Get an electrician in.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21
........It worked before. You touched it. It now doesn't work and you don't know why.....
My point exactly. All I have done is added a 60amp junction box with a short 6mm cable extension, which isn't connected to anything.
 
B

Bobster

My point exactly. All I have done is added a 60amp junction box with a short 6mm cable extension, which isn't connected to anything.
The fact that when you disconnect this, the fault is gone, points to you either installing a damaged cable, or incorrectly.

I presume as you are DIY you have nothing available to test with?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
Yes I am DIY. I am just going to have another look at this shortly. Have a multi-meter if that helps?

Could the junction box be faulty is also a question at the back of my mind?
 
B

Bobster

Highly unlikely.
 
D

Deleted member 9648

Yes I am DIY. I am just going to have another look at this shortly. Have a multi-meter if that helps?

Could the junction box be faulty is also a question at the back of my mind?
Can you confirm the cut end of the cable is properly insulated/safe and the cores separated?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #26
Okay everyone. Have had another look at the problem this morning and can confirm that it looks like the junction box is the cause. When connecting just the junction box to the existing wiring the RCD trips. No extension cable attached at this stage.

Just a bit of trial and error! I connected a standard 30amp junction box, together with the new extension cable, and all is well. RCD not tripping. Nothing else connected to the cable. I'll order another junction box and go from there. Thanks everyone for your kind advice
 

Andy78

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Well if you have no idea what you are doing and have no way to test if it will be safe then I suppose trial and error is your only way to diagnose a fault. Not that you have done that for sure.
Don't forget to cross your fingers when energising to replace basic test procedure.
 
D

Deleted member 105166

Yes I am DIY. I am just going to have another look at this shortly. Have a multi-meter if that helps?
Unlikely... in fact probably unhelpful in that if you don't know what you are doing, you could end up hurting yourself. Read this thread. If you value yours and your family's lives and your home, you will call an electrician.
 
D

Deleted member 9648

In 40 years working I have never had a faulty joint box.
 

happyhippydad

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Okay everyone. Have had another look at the problem this morning and can confirm that it looks like the junction box is the cause. When connecting just the junction box to the existing wiring the RCD trips. No extension cable attached at this stage.

Just a bit of trial and error! I connected a standard 30amp junction box, together with the new extension cable, and all is well. RCD not tripping. Nothing else connected to the cable. I'll order another junction box and go from there. Thanks everyone for your kind advice
It is possible that the Junction box is faulty but EXTREMELY unlikely. It would be simple to test if it was the junction box Chris as you would just test for continuity between the neutral and earth terminals. If there is no continuity then the junction box is not faulty.

It is worrying that you have decided by 'trial and error' that a circuit is now safe to use. I realise you are trying to help your son save some money and probably also enjoy feeling useful to him, but you cant possible liven up that circuit until you have had an electrician look at it. Your son's safety is more important than your need to feel/be helpful.
 
Sounds like a neutral /earth connection .
either in the j box or cable end.
have you considered a crimped joint with HD shrink tube instead of a j box
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #34
Right everyone. Had a new J/B and fitted it and all is now well. Sorry I don't have one of these so called 'smart phones' so was unable to take any pictures. When this issue raised 'it's ugly head' I did consider crimp and heat shrink tubing as an alternative, but has I'd already contacted the supplier thought I'd wait until I'd tried the replacement.

I have an old friend of mine who works for the council and is a qualified electrician, but is currently off work at the minute following a knee operation, and he said he will be more than happy to call round when he can to check this out for me.

I will say at this point that I tried several other electricians before contacting my friend but none would entertain calling round and checking this out for me.

Thank you all for you kind help and advice
 

happyhippydad

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Right everyone. Had a new J/B and fitted it and all is now well. Sorry I don't have one of these so called 'smart phones' so was unable to take any pictures. When this issue raised 'it's ugly head' I did consider crimp and heat shrink tubing as an alternative, but has I'd already contacted the supplier thought I'd wait until I'd tried the replacement.

I have an old friend of mine who works for the council and is a qualified electrician, but is currently off work at the minute following a knee operation, and he said he will be more than happy to call round when he can to check this out for me.

I will say at this point that I tried several other electricians before contacting my friend but none would entertain calling round and checking this out for me.

Thank you all for you kind help and advice
Thanks for the update Chris and really glad you decided to get an electrician to have a look. It's good to hear how it ends. Still can't quite believe (without seeing it with my own eyes) that it's the junction box though. ;)
 

telectrix

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Thanks for the update Chris and really glad you decided to get an electrician to have a look. It's good to hear how it ends. Still can't quite believe (without seeing it with my own eyes) that it's the junction box though. ;)
it might well be the junction box if the cat has pi$$ed on it.
 

freddo

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Sounds unlikely but I guess anything is possible. Here is a brand new socket with a N-E short, the fault was found during dead testing of a new installation. The fault was an assembly screw trapped inside the socket.
skt.jpg
 
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