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Posted 6th Dec 2021
Help! - no power to normal wall sockets after a extension lead flashed blue or flash white when something was connected to it!

Replaced extension lead with another working extension lead but still no power from any normal wall socket except the one wall socket with a red switch next to the cooker red switch button.

Checked consumer unit board and nothing seemed amiss - ie everything switch to on so concluded that it must be the 15amp fuse?

It seems everything on the 'A circuits' (on the right-side of the board that has the lights, water heater & cooker) works.

However it seems the problem may be on the 'B circuits' (on the left of the board - that i assume controls the wall sockets as it is not marked like how the other side is marked ie lights, water heater & cooker).

Am i correct it the 15amp fuse(s) on the 'B circuits' is blown?

Also if it not the fuse(s) thats blown - is there anything else not in the consumer unit board/box that cld have gone, as the lights, the cooker and the wall socket with a red swtich next to the cooker on/off red switch all work?

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fuses used -

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john453606/12/2021 13:42

yeah pulled out the blue tabs but how do i know if fuse is blown as …yeah pulled out the blue tabs but how do i know if fuse is blown as checked and not blacken or anything like that?dont really want to call an electrician to come change the fuses, which i can do myself


I mean this in the nicest way possible - get an electrician. You don't know what you're doing, if you can't tell what a blown fuse is like and it's dangerous. Definitely one for the experts.
31 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Turn off the electric, pull out the blue tabs and check if the fuse is blown. If blown then replace, if not then you need an electrician.
  2. Avatar
    Author
    BigBoss8506/12/2021 13:38

    Turn off the electric, pull out the blue tabs and check if the fuse is …Turn off the electric, pull out the blue tabs and check if the fuse is blown. If blown then replace, if not then you need an electrician.


    yeah pulled out the blue tabs but how do i know if fuse is blown as checked and not blacken or anything like that?

    dont really want to call an electrician to come change the fuses, which i can do myself
    Edited by: "john4536" 6th Dec
  3. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 13:42

    yeah pulled out the blue tabs but how do i know if fuse is blown as …yeah pulled out the blue tabs but how do i know if fuse is blown as checked and not blacken or anything like that?dont really want to call an electrician to come change the fuses, which i can do myself


    I mean this in the nicest way possible - get an electrician. You don't know what you're doing, if you can't tell what a blown fuse is like and it's dangerous. Definitely one for the experts.
  4. Avatar
    So by a process of elimination, you can discount there is an issue with mains fuse at the meter, and also the tails coming into the consumer unit. I'd suspect it's the main switch on the left side of your board, easy enough to change and not expensive, however I'd recommend getting an electrician in regardless. DIYing it could lead to your house insurance being voided and unless you have an isolator switch at the meter, the only safe way would be to pull the mains fuse from the meter. These have tamper seals on them, and theoretically can lead to prosecution if you remove it. Just be aware if it is that, a replacement switch will be about £10 and should only take 30 mins to an hour to replace. Don't get ripped off.
  5. Avatar
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    porthos202006/12/2021 14:15

    So by a process of elimination, you can discount there is an issue with …So by a process of elimination, you can discount there is an issue with mains fuse at the meter, and also the tails coming into the consumer unit. I'd suspect it's the main switch on the left side of your board, easy enough to change and not expensive, however I'd recommend getting an electrician in regardless. DIYing it could lead to your house insurance being voided and unless you have an isolator switch at the meter, the only safe way would be to pull the mains fuse from the meter. These have tamper seals on them, and theoretically can lead to prosecution if you remove it. Just be aware if it is that, a replacement switch will be about £10 and should only take 30 mins to an hour to replace. Don't get ripped off.


    thanks for your response

    by you saying - " I'd suspect it's the main switch on the left side of your board"
    did you mean this (see pic below)?

    46320617-JUXvH.jpg
  6. Avatar
    that looks like something out of the victorian era! i would get that consumer unit upgraded.

    it doesn't even have separate trip switch on the fuses?
  7. Avatar
    If it was me I would turn everything off using the two main switches, remove the two blue ones from the right and change these with the two blue ones on the left, turn everything back on if plugs now work sorted and you know its one of the swapped fuses that is needing replaced.
  8. Avatar
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    mutley106/12/2021 15:06

    that looks like something out of the victorian era! i would get that …that looks like something out of the victorian era! i would get that consumer unit upgraded.it doesn't even have separate trip switch on the fuses?


    indeed, the flat was built in 1996 so thats for most is victoria era i guess and the consumer unit hasnt been changed since
  9. Avatar
    Author
    bigbill06/12/2021 15:13

    If it was me I would turn everything off using the two main switches, …If it was me I would turn everything off using the two main switches, remove the two blue ones from the right and change these with the two blue ones on the left, turn everything back on if plugs now work sorted and you know its one of the swapped fuses that is needing replaced.


    good suggestion and ive already tried that, and still no power to the wall sockets, so either those 2 fuses (used for the water heater) are blown too or its indeed a fault 'B circuit' (ie on the left-side) mains switch, but i will know for sure tomorrow when i get brand new 15amp consumer unit fuses.

    - and just incase you are wondering why i may think the 2 fuses used on the water heater may be blown too it's because those fuses are for the old water heater thats no longer used
    Edited by: "john4536" 23 h, 7 m ago
  10. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 15:17

    indeed, the flat was built in 1996 so thats for most is victoria era i …indeed, the flat was built in 1996 so thats for most is victoria era i guess and the consumer unit hasnt been changed since


    i think they took one from 1900 and re-used it when they built that flat.

    we had an ancient one at our previous house, which had a wire fuse, so not even a proper fuse, but even that had a trip switch for each fuse so you could tell which one had blown.
  11. Avatar
    It is almost impossible to diagnose via very non-specific, generalised conditions.

    For whatever it's worth that distribution unit looks like it may have been used for both on and peak supplies. It is conceivable that those 15A sockets circuits are converted night-storage heater points.
    If that is the case then the distribution unit may have 2 independant supplies in it, the old off-peak supply being converted to a normal on-peak supply. A very messy way of doing things.
    It maybe as simple as a submain fuse somewhere.

    Edit. And to reiterate advice already given, get an electrician.
    Edited by: "steveex" 22 h, 49 m ago
  12. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 15:26

    good suggestion and ive already tried that, and still no power to the wall …good suggestion and ive already tried that, and still no power to the wall sockets, so either those 2 fuses (used for the water heater) are blown too or its indeed a fault 'B circuit' (ie on the left-side) mains switch, but i will know for sure tomorrow when i get brand new 15amp consumer unit fuses.- and just incase you are wondering why i may think the 2 fuses used on the water heater may be blown too it's because those fuses are for the old water heater thats no longer used


    Unplug everything from the wall sockets after you have done this and then plug in only one appliance, like your mobile charger or a lamp. If you have a faulty appliance in the circuit, it can stop the whole circuit working.
  13. Avatar
    mutley106/12/2021 15:27

    i think they took one from 1900 and re-used it when they built that flat. …i think they took one from 1900 and re-used it when they built that flat. we had an ancient one at our previous house, which had a wire fuse, so not even a proper fuse, but even that had a trip switch for each fuse so you could tell which one had blown.


    Looks like it might be a din rail consumer unit to me, so really not that old, although choosing to fit fuse holders in it over MCBs seems daft to me.
  14. Avatar
    Author
    mutley106/12/2021 16:00

    Unplug everything from the wall sockets after you have done this and then …Unplug everything from the wall sockets after you have done this and then plug in only one appliance, like your mobile charger or a lamp. If you have a faulty appliance in the circuit, it can stop the whole circuit working.


    nah it not a faulty appliance, the fault and whitish-blue flash and all plug sockets going off was caused by a faulty extension lead bought from Amazon which is now in the bin and only lasted just over a mth

    so gone back to using the old extension lead it replaced, which i had used for going on 7yrs but decided regretfully to change as it now dirty looking for a new clean looking one that has caused this issue!

    ...now using the old extension lead plugged into the red switch plug socket thats next to the cooker's red on-switch and using that to power everything off that for now!!
  15. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 16:15

    nah it not a faulty appliance, the fault and whitish-blue flash and all …nah it not a faulty appliance, the fault and whitish-blue flash and all plug sockets going off was caused by a faulty extension lead bought from Amazon which is now in the bin and only lasted just over a mth so gone back to using the old extension lead it replaced, which i had used for going on 7yrs but decided regretfully to change as it now dirty looking for a new clean looking one that has caused this issue!...now using the old extension lead plugged into the red switch plug socket thats next to the cooker's red on-switch and using that to power everything off that for now!!


    When the circuit blew because of the faulty extension, it may have damaged other appliances connected at the time. I would definitely disconnect everything to eliminate this possible cause.

    If you find that when you get a new fuse tomorrow and it still doesn't work, then you may have caused damaged to the wiring, which will be expensive to fix.
  16. Avatar
    mutley106/12/2021 16:00

    If you have a faulty appliance in the circuit, it can stop the whole …If you have a faulty appliance in the circuit, it can stop the whole circuit working.


    Really.

    Have you got a link for that?
  17. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 15:26

    good suggestion and ive already tried that, and still no power to the wall …good suggestion and ive already tried that, and still no power to the wall sockets, so either those 2 fuses (used for the water heater) are blown too or its indeed a fault 'B circuit' (ie on the left-side) mains switch, but i will know for sure tomorrow when i get brand new 15amp consumer unit fuses.- and just incase you are wondering why i may think the 2 fuses used on the water heater may be blown too it's because those fuses are for the old water heater thats no longer used


    I would expect the 30 amp fuse to be for the ring main and it wouldn't necessarily be scorched if blown.

    I use a very much older Wylex consumer unit (it is made of wood) fitted in the workshop fitted with a mixture of MCBs and cartridge fuses in it. The 20amp fuse for the table saw (a Wadkin, not a toy thing) has blown a few times over the years because of the huge start-up current of its induction motor, without scorching the fuse, the only way to tell the fuse has gone apart from the saw not running would be to test it with a meter, or to unscrew the bottom off a torch and reconnect the battery with it and a bit of wire.
    Edited by: "melted" 22 h, 6 m ago
  18. Avatar
    melted06/12/2021 16:28

    Ithe only way to tell the fuse has gone


    Or, just replace the fuse with one that you know works from another circuit or a new one.

    That would be the safest way.

    To check the fuse then just use a multimeter.
    Edited by: "Willy_Wonka" 22 h, 3 m ago
  19. Avatar
    Willy_Wonka06/12/2021 16:23

    Really.Have you got a link for that?


    My dad had the same problem and when the electrician came round, he identified it was the kettle, which wasn't even used but when it did, it tripped the circuit, and until it was unplugged from the socket, the circuit breaker would not turn back on.

    He took the kettle out and all was fine again.
  20. Avatar
    mutley106/12/2021 16:33

    My dad had the same problem and when the electrician came round, he …My dad had the same problem and when the electrician came round, he identified it was the kettle, which wasn't even used but when it did, it tripped the circuit, and until it was unplugged from the socket, the circuit breaker would not turn back on.He took the kettle out and all was fine again.


    Are you sure it didn't trip the RCD? The OP does not seem to have one.
  21. Avatar
    melted06/12/2021 16:42

    Are you sure it didn't trip the RCD? The OP does not seem to have one.


    Mutley is on about tripping the circuit which is impossible on the OPs set up.

    You are right.
  22. Avatar
    melted06/12/2021 16:42

    Are you sure it didn't trip the RCD? The OP does not seem to have one.


    yeah, that is what i meant. you couldn't put the RCD back to turn the circuit back on. so the kettle being plugged in but not even used causes issues for the circuit. when it was unplugged, the RCD was able to be turned on and the sockets worked again.

    i may be wrong, but i am using the same analogy. the OP may not have the RCD but having a faulty appliance plugged into the circuit would affect it adversely like my dad's kettle as the RCD would trip and stay tripped if there is a fault in the circuit.
  23. Avatar
    No use to the OP, but.....

    I lived in a victorian mid terrace with two separate fuse boxes and a rats nest of wiring. Main fusebox was ceramic fuse holders with fuse wire!

    Had a short in the kitchen walls once when I was away (didn't know it happened) and it blew the fuse in the feed to the house which I never knew existed! Wife got national power out, to took pity on her alone with a baby and investigated the issue for her, managed to isolate the kitchen and got her power back.

    Direct Line emergency cover managed to trace the issue to a socket in the wall behind a kitchen cupboard, so we just isolated that and left some of the electrics in the kitchen disconnected!

    When my consumer trips out, I generally bring each circuit online with nothing switched on or plugged in and can usually isolate that way
    Edited by: "mad.dog" 21 h, 33 m ago
  24. Avatar
    mutley106/12/2021 16:51

    yeah, that is what i meant. you couldn't put the RCD back to turn the …yeah, that is what i meant. you couldn't put the RCD back to turn the circuit back on. so the kettle being plugged in but not even used causes issues for the circuit. when it was unplugged, the RCD was able to be turned on and the sockets worked again.i may be wrong, but i am using the same analogy. the OP may not have the RCD but having a faulty appliance plugged into the circuit would affect it adversely like my dad's kettle as the RCD would trip and stay tripped if there is a fault in the circuit.


    An RCD detects an imbalance between the current flowing through the live (phase) wire to the current flowing through the neutral
    and a standard one will trip if it exceeds 30ma as I recall. A partial short just between neutral and earth will will trip the RCD, so unless you have fitted double pole switched sockets, even if the wall socket is turned off, a faulty appliance can still trip the RCD.

    If the RCD keeps cutting out, I turn off all the MCBs, switch on the RCD and if it stays on, switch on one MCB at a time till it trips to identify the circuit, to save unplugging everything.
    Edited by: "melted" 21 h, 26 m ago
  25. Avatar
    john453606/12/2021 16:15

    nah it not a faulty appliance, the fault and whitish-blue flash and all …nah it not a faulty appliance, the fault and whitish-blue flash and all plug sockets going off was caused by a faulty extension lead bought from Amazon which is now in the bin and only lasted just over a mth so gone back to using the old extension lead it replaced, which i had used for going on 7yrs but decided regretfully to change as it now dirty looking for a new clean looking one that has caused this issue!...now using the old extension lead plugged into the red switch plug socket thats next to the cooker's red on-switch and using that to power everything off that for now!!


    Be careful not to overload that socket!
  26. Avatar
    melted06/12/2021 16:15

    Looks like it might be a din rail consumer unit to me, so really not that …Looks like it might be a din rail consumer unit to me, so really not that old, although choosing to fit fuse holders in it over MCBs seems daft to me.



    I'd guess it was all fuses until a new cooker was installed and they've put in an MCB on that circuit alone...
  27. Avatar
    Author
    .MUFC.06/12/2021 17:13

    Be careful not to overload that socket!


    indeed lol,
    nope not overloading, only have 2 laptops, one 2nd screen and small heater on it, just what is normal on the extension lead as always - nothing new is added to it, not even a TV, skipping watching TV today
  28. Avatar
    andynicol06/12/2021 19:20

    I'd guess it was all fuses until a new cooker was installed and they've …I'd guess it was all fuses until a new cooker was installed and they've put in an MCB on that circuit alone...


    I would think you are right. I guess when that consumer unit was installed, the cost of MCBs would have been a fair bit more expensive than cartridge fuse holders and a set of fuses.

    Last time I bought a pack of 20 amp cartridge fuses, it was almost as expensive as buying a MCB for it, and as I have an old fashioned wylex unit and not a modern DIN rail, they just plug in. I bought fuses because I could get them immediately and a MCB might trip too quickly for the saw.
    Edited by: "melted" 17 h, 34 m ago
  29. Avatar
    Tbh if you have the money, you should be getting a modern consumer unit that meets the current regs anyway. A full RCBO setup is so much more end user friendly. Once the next standards of the reg comeout and mandate AFDDs, it's going to be very costly.
  30. Avatar
    Author
    ok everyone, issue resolved

    received the fuses i bought from Screwfix via dpd and the culprit was not any of the 15amp fuse(s) and not the 'B circuit' ie the left-side of the consumer unit but the only 30amp fuse on the 'A circuit' ie the right-hand side of the consumer unit and thankfully not any of the two 'main switch(es), which will have been more costly and time consuming and invasive to fix.

    So thanks to everyone for all their helpful tips & comments...appreciated!
  31. Avatar
    john453607/12/2021 13:29

    ok everyone, issue resolved received the fuses i bought from …ok everyone, issue resolved received the fuses i bought from Screwfix via dpd and the culprit was not any of the 15amp fuse(s) and not the 'B circuit' ie the left-side of the consumer unit but the only 30amp fuse on the 'A circuit' ie the right-hand side of the consumer unit and thankfully not any of the two 'main switch(es), which will have been more costly and time consuming and invasive to fix.So thanks to everyone for all their helpful tips & comments...appreciated!


    It was only going to be a 30amp fuse because it was a ring main.

    Hopefully it was just a bad fuse.
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