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Almost cat-astrophic electrical faults?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by magic surf bus, May 20, 2011.

  1. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    We decided to have a new electrical consumer unit fitted the other day. On inspecting the house's ageing electrical circuits Mr Sparky discovered that some idiot of a previous house owner had installed the outside front door light so badly that the metal light fittings in the lounge had been live whenever the outdoor light was switched on.

    The outdoor light is activated by an infra red sensor, and most of the time it responds to the nocturnal comings and goings of our cat.

    The upshot of this is that our fate has rested unknowingly in the paws of our cat for some years now - had any of us touched a lounge light fitting while she was on her way in or out of the premises it could have been game over. Spooky.

    So not only do I have to repair the outdoor light circuit, but our oven has been tripping the new consumer unit every time it starts to warm up. Mr Sparky's verdict? It's old, knackered and unsafe - buy a new oven.

    Any similar tales of electrical tomfoolery to tell?
  2. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I once bought a house where the vendor had screwed fittings to the ceilings but neglected to wire any of them up. When we looked round she claimed a bulb had just failed and tripped the fuses.
    I did laugh when I failed to find the electrics.
  3. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I'm not sure if this qualifies as extreme idiocy or just a mild form, but the people who owned this house prior to us had run a normal piece of electrical cable out of a hole they had drilled in the window casing, out into the garden for about 5 metres and into a 'shed'. It wasn't really a shed, more of an outhouse cobbled together with corrugated iron sheeting and it leaked excessively. Inside were lathes, drills, saws and all manner of electrical machining tools. All of them run from this little electrical cable that 'plugged' into a socket in the livingroom (no off/on switch, so it had constant current). No circuit breaker. No heavy duty cabling used. [​IMG]
  4. Not sure if this qualifies, as I do not know what "Starkstrom" in English is.
    But when I moved into this flat, my previous occupants had the sink where the connection for the oven was (electric and water, ho hum) and the oven where the sink should be (electric and water) and the bloke who fitted my kitchen 6 weeks later asked how I had survived without it all going up in the air (I presume I survived as
  5. I did not use the kitchen until mine was fitted.

  6. Oh, and in the room my children have, the previous owner had bare wires going from a light socket, to the bathroom, thus through the living room and hallway, to run his washing machine. Which was not necessary, as there are the fittings in the bathroom to plumb a washing machine and stick the cable into the socket which is there for the purpose.
    The wires were blank, not insulated.
    I am amazed they ever survived.

  7. As a kid, I got a shock from an electrified draining board. Sommat to do with the wiring for the immersion heater, but not enough to kill me obv.!
    As a poverty stricken probationer, I bought a second-hand washing machine. It worked fine, but when it finally gave up the ghost, I checked the plug, finding that it was wired up incorrectly! In theory it should never have worked at all.
  8. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Mum found something similar when she bought her last house. The previous owner was a DIY nutter (emphasis on the 'nutter'!) and had run the dish washer in the kitchen from the dining room light fittings.

    Not exactly dangerous, but rather amusing (to my twisted lkittle brain) was when my sister first went to Uni. The halls of residence had stickers over the sockets in the bedrooms saying 'please, no kettles or hairdryers to be plugged in here.' .....Well, of course she had to try her 'travel' hairdryer ....and fused every light in every room on the landing....she was not the most popular student during that first week!
  9. This is plain stuipidity rather than dodgy wiring... in fact it shows excellent wiring!
    When I was in my first year at uni and lived in halls my flatmates and I developed the habit of buying chips on the drunken walk home from the union and saving enough to make a cheesy chip toastie each when we got back. One night one of my flatmates made said cheesy chip toasty, but was so drunk that she didn't notice that she'd shut the cable of the toastie machine INSIDE it. Cue a very loud bang when she turned it on and the electrics on the floor going out!
  10. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    When we first moved in we found such delights as electric sockets secured to the top of a windowsill, and 4mm cable running across the front of the gas fire.
  11. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

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