Londinium Espresso
  • Electrical Safety: Your house and your appliances

    In the relatively short time I have been a member here I have seen a number of posts that concern me with regards electrical safety.

    Let me start by saying I am an electrician but I don't work on houses generally but more typically on workshops and something more akin to hotels etc.

    One of the things that has come to light here is that there seems to be a large number of people living in houses where the wiring and fuse board installation is quite old. These older designs worked fine in that they protect the circuits from overloads but that is where the protection stops.

    Somewhere along the course of history the wiring regulations changed and later installations started using MCB's instead of fuses in homes. There was also the introduction of RCD's which added another level of protection in that these were designed to protect the occupants from electric shock in the event of a faulty appliance. Mostly these were fitted in the "fuse box" also known as a consumer unit and offered protection on all the sockets in a house at once.

    These days one can get systems using RCBO's fitted to each circuit individually to achieve the same level of safety on all circuits.

    In my experience appliances such as Irons, Kettles, Toasters, all of which have heating elements fitted are the usual culprits when I attend a failure. Coffee machines are most likely to fall in this group.

    Here are a couple of links to help clarify:




    So, what am I saying here? For your own safety and that of your loved ones you should at least consider some sort of RCD protection, preferably for the whole house but if not then RCD sockets which you can plug in those items I listed above. Having the Consumer Unit replaced is not cheap but in doing so you will get an inspection done which will confirm the condition of the house wiring is good.

    Other members that are electricians might have better links and explanations but the bottom line is....

    I want all of us and our families to still be here tomorrow.

    EDIT: for the more technically minded among you: http://www.westernautomation.com/DemystifyingRCDs.pdf
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Electrical Safety: Your house and your appliances started by grumpydaddy View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Rob666's Avatar
      Rob666 -
      Grumpydaddy is qualified to comment and correct in everything he says. Darwinism in action if you don't follow the advice.
    1. Brewer in training's Avatar
      At your own peril ignore this advice...........
      Metal conducts electricity, coffee machines are made of metal and electricity can kill..........
      You can't smell it or hear it....

      But the choice is yours........
    1. froggystyle's Avatar
      froggystyle -
      You're a fool if you don't listen to the good advice above!
    1. Rhys's Avatar
      Rhys -
      It's been my experience that some RCD's are too sensitive, whether this is designed into them from some EU directive I don't know. I'm a plasterer and know from experience that some electrical items will trip the RCD's (110v transformer boxes usually lol). I've had a few shocks over they years when wires have been left live on jobs, and it does tingle a bit..
    1. Beanosaurus's Avatar
      Beanosaurus -
      Can anyone recommend a double wall socket RCD?
    1. grumpydaddy's Avatar
      grumpydaddy -
      Functionally, all should be equal but I would still stick with a "name". Top makes like MK probably cost an arm and a leg if available (I only know of their outdoor versions) at the other end of the scale something like Powerbreaker has been around a while now, as have Timeguard.

      different versions satisfy the aesthetic too
    1. inkydog's Avatar
      inkydog -
      thank you for this useful info, I will check out my fusebox now.
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