My electricity at home problems with one ring circuit

Thread Starter

larrynectar

Joined Dec 29, 2020
7
I am having problems in my old Victorian home with one of the downstairs ring circuits

The ring circuit only operates at what seems one tenth power all of a sudden. The lights literally dim if I add a heater and the heater only works at half power.

I cannot think what it is causing as as prior to a sudden episode of lights flashing on and off which preceded the problem everything was fine with the electricity and I could run as many heaters / lights as I wanted.

Only a few rooms in the house are affected by this sudden fault.

Any ideas anyone?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,964
Who wired it and when?
Ring circuits do not suffer as much from this and also the ring circuit should not have any effect on lighting, so this apparently points to either a problem in the panel or someone erred in the wiring.
You need to take voltage measurements at some strategic points in the system, obviously the point to start is the origin of the feed to the problem rooms.
The lights that are flashing, are they on the ring main plugs?
Max.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,964
Only a few rooms in the house are affected by this sudden fault.
I had occasion to (re) wire a few older Victorian homes during my training and as you can imagine, it is imperative to discover the cause ASAP, as these homes generally consist of ancient timbers! . :oops:
Hopefully the circuit in question is identified in the supply source.
Max.

A Before example! :p

1609280995494.png
 

Thread Starter

larrynectar

Joined Dec 29, 2020
7
I am having problems in my old Victorian home with one of the downstairs ring circuits

The ring circuit only operates at what seems one tenth power all of a sudden. The lights literally dim if I add a heater and the heater only works at half power.

I cannot think what it is causing as as prior to a sudden episode of lights flashing on and off which preceded the problem everything was fine with the electricity and I could run as many heaters / lights as I wanted.

Only a few rooms in the house are affected by this sudden fault.

Any ideas anyone?
 

Thread Starter

larrynectar

Joined Dec 29, 2020
7
Thanks for the reply.

My original explanation was not very good

The lights powered from the ceiling are fine and remain fine

The bout of flashing lights that signaled the arrival of the problem were all powered from the wall sockets. They dont flash off and on any more. Turning off heaters solved that.

The problem is the amount of power from the wall sockets ...it seems to be the case in most of the rooms....will check all the rooms properly tomorrow. Each room only limited power not enough to even get a blow heater working on full power ..they work on about one tenth power very weakly

Alas we do not have any electrical testing kit I guess will have to get some from a DIY store.

Seems very strange
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,964
It sounds like you have a problem with one ring main circuit?
I would use as limited heating from the sockets as possible until the problem is solved.
Max.
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
10,771
If you turn absolutely everything off, or better unplug everything, then turn on just one thing does it work at all? You might try this with different single things.

My dad managed to wire some lights in a series/parallel arrangement which operated rather similar to your description.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
1,113
Do you still have a Wylex fuse-box with semi-enclosed rewirable fuses? Or rubber-covered cables? Or cables with paper-tape insulation and lead sheaths? Is there and RCD? Does your lighting circuit actually have an earth connection?
It sounds like a bad connection to me, and if it is, something somewhere will be arcing and getting hot.
Do you have a fire extinguisher?
 

LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
2,836
On the assumption that the ring is wired using twin and earth cable it will probably be 2.5 mm (That is 2.5 square mm cross sectional area. ) or if it is very old is may be 7/0.029" (That is 7 strands of 0.029 inch diameter conductors.) If that is the case there will be two brown (or red wires depending on the age.) connected to the output of the fuse. The blue (or black depending on the age.) wires from these two cables will be connected to the neutral strip. The uninsulated earth wire will be connected to the earth strip. If I was tracing the problem I would start by switching of the main switch in the fuse box and unplugging everything plugged into sockets on that ring. I would then disconnect both brown (Red.) wires from the fuse output and both blue (Black) wires from the neutral strip. I would then measure the resistance between the two brown (Red) wires using a meter that was cable of reading low resistance. I would expect a reading of less than one ohm. (Don't forget to take the resistance of the test leads into account.) Do the same with the blue (Black.) wires removed from the neutral strip. Both resistance readings should be very similar as the length of both the live and neutral wires should be the same. You will probably find the resistance readings different due to the fault. Report the readings. Another approach would to check the connections on all the sockets on the effected ring. All the sockets on the ring will will have two or possibly three wires in each connection. If there are three then the third wire will go of to another socket that is tapped off the ring. This is known as a spur and will only have one wire in each connection. There could also be junction boxes in the ring to join wires or to tap off to a spur socket. (As an alternative to tapping off from a socket on the ring.) These junction boxes (If used ) would be under floor boards or in the loft space.

Les.
 

Thread Starter

larrynectar

Joined Dec 29, 2020
7
thanks for the replies ...going to call in an electrician after Xmas .....disconnected everything and turned on one by one but could not work out the issue. Two or three rooms are fine in different parts of the house no idea why. The fuse boards are achingly old so getting some professional help here ..I dont fancy even opening them...
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,964
thanks for the replies ...going to call in an electrician after Xmas .....disconnected everything and turned on one by one but could not work out the issue. Two or three rooms are fine in different parts of the house no idea why. The fuse boards are achingly old so getting some professional help here ..I dont fancy even opening them...
Probabally wise,!
Update us with the outcome. :cool:
Max.
 
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