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#165259 06/24/07 06:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
What is it with some people that makes them think that the most attrocious wiring is O.K. if it's "only" feeding a shed or garage outside? frown

Call for a main RCD tripped and wouldn't reset. I traced it to a ground fault on the main ring then started to go around unplugging everything to determine whether it was an appliance or the house wiring itself. Didn't have to go far before I found the culprit, a DIY hack installed to take power to a shed and garage.

This "quality" installation consisted of a 4 sq. mm T&E cable jammed into a regular BS1363 plug and shoved into a socket in the kiddy's bedroom. Sheath stripped right back since there was no way it would go into the cord grip, of course.

The cable ran loosely along the baseboard, across a conservatory and then through the outside wall where it dropped straight down into the ground. Somewhere a few feet away by the fence it went into plastic tubing, but the section from wall to fence was just buried directly in the soil.

At the shed was a regular round 30A junction box, splitting the circuit to a double socket and to an SWA cable which disappeared through the shed floor to go across to the garage. No cables fixed, no protective grommet on the metal backbox, sheaths stripped back so far on all cables that inners were exposed for at least a couple of inches, sometimes much more. The earth to the SWA was just a couple of strands of the armor into the terminal on the box.

The other end of the SWA emerged in a greenhouse attachment behind the garage, hung loose with a big loop for a couple of feet in there (why?) and then went through into a double socket. I didn't even bother to open the latter, but all plastic, no gland, so probably just a couple of armor strands straight into the earth terminal.

And you know what? The guy that did this couldn't see that there was anything wrong with this mess! crazy

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
Hey it woiked right? crazy

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
What? No pictures? Since I have no clue what the UK terminology implies, I can only wish for to more explanatory pictures to show how bad things can really be worldwide.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
I'm afraid I didn't have my camera with me on this one Ed. But even if you're not fully familiar with British fittings and methods, you'd have been able to see instantly that the whole thing was a complete mess and certainly not to "code."

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,253
djk Offline
At least he used a fused plug :P

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,497
Are ypu sure there was a fuse in that plug and not something else?

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,423
Likes: 3
I've seen a LOT of what you are describing in your original post.
What really gets my goat, is the fact that people do in-fact get away with building these non-compliant death-traps, thinking that they managed to save a dollar here or there.
Good job.
Ahh no, Mr DIYer.
I have seen cables buried in alkathene pipe, garden hose, even drain hose or nothing at all, under lawns, gardens, where-ever and usually, it's the most inconvenient and non-thought-out way that the cable is run.
As mentioned in your OP Paul, these people have no idea of the sealing or cable protection required to do a decent job.
But these people think they know more than the professional electrician, in fact as an inspector, I've heard that electricians are over-priced and would do the job the same way anyway, so why bother hiring them?
These people often get an education on the penalties for this sort of work.
Not to mention the penalties if their insurance company ever found out what they had installed at thier home.
But I ask the question, is it hate of the electrician's charge-out rates or sheer ignorance of the Regulations that causes work like this?.
How would "DIY Dave" feel if he electrocuted one of his kids because of his dodgy wiring?
Some of these people just don't think before cobbling all these things together.

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