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Help! Electricity sockets not working

(37 Posts)
phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 13:00:29

Just suddenly. I haven't plugged anything in. My flat is all electric and the lights etc seem to be working fine. Everything apart from the sockets and cooker. I checked the fuse box and the switches seem to be in the same place. What do I do?!

SasBel Sat 03-Jun-17 13:04:12

Turn off the mains, switch it back on again. If that doesn't help, then call an electrician, probably a broken wire somewhere....

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 13:06:19

So try the main switch rather than just the one for the sockets?

Kursk Sat 03-Jun-17 13:07:58

Try the one for the sockets, when it trips the switch only moves very slightly

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 13:21:46

Ok tried both and nothing happened

PigletJohn Sat 03-Jun-17 13:26:23

show us a picture of the consumer unit, close enough for me to see all the "switches" and read what is printed on them. I am especially interested on one that is wider than the others, and has a "T" or "Test" button.

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 13:28:44

Just called an electrician and he helped me solve it! The RCD switch was down. Phew! That could have been a costly call out for nothing. Hope it doesn't happen again. Thanks for all your help guys!

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 13:59:48

bah! just happened again. seems to be when i put the cooker on. mmm. does that mean i need a new cooker? this one i inherited with my house purchase and i was thinking about replacing it anyway...

Bourbonbiccies Sat 03-Jun-17 14:06:34

I think maybe your oven heating element might have broken? The rcd does this when my element goes.

wowfudge Sat 03-Jun-17 14:08:30

It probably means the heating element in the cooker is faulty and needs replacing. You can do it yourself with YouTube video instruction or get an appliance engineer out to it. Much cheaper than buying a new oven.

Cakescakescakes Sat 03-Jun-17 14:10:16

This happened me once and it was my washing machine that was faulty and tripping everything.

Fairylea Sat 03-Jun-17 14:17:29

This happened to us when our cooker heating element went.

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 14:23:51

wowfudge - but wouldn't calling out an engineer to fix it pretty much cost as much as a cheap cooker? i was quoted £120 to get an electrician to come over!

phoria Sat 03-Jun-17 14:24:13

Fairylea - how did you fix it?

PigletJohn Sat 03-Jun-17 15:08:42

most often it is the heating element in the oven or the grill. They have a heat-resistant soft metal casing packed with insulating powder. with age, the casing cracks allowing damp air to get in. when the insulation has absorbed enough water, it conducts sufficiently to make an earth leakage big enough to trip the rcd.

the heating element is intended to be replaceable, but you must an exact replacement fit for your make and model. you usually unscrew and take out the oven lining for access. An appliance repairer should be able to do it within an hour. If you DIY it may take you longer due to lack of practice.

the parts suppliers have how-to-do it videos.

PigletJohn Sat 03-Jun-17 15:11:43

could be any of theser

NannyR Sat 03-Jun-17 15:16:39

Replacing the heating element is an easy job, there are lots of YouTube videos to show you how. You need the model number of your oven to get the correct element (this is inside the oven when the door is opened on mine). I got the replacement element from an independent appliance repair shop and they had the option of buying a branded one or a generic (much cheaper) one.

Fairylea Sat 03-Jun-17 15:44:08

We didn't feel confident to do it ourselves so just got an appliance repair man to do it. Cost us £60 including the part and labour.

wowfudge Sat 03-Jun-17 15:57:18

phoria I don't know the going rate for a cheap cooker. Generally a simple repair should be nowhere near as expensive as a new applicable. Fairylea had the job done for £60. You might decide repair is uneconomical and that's your call.

Whileweareonthesubject Sat 03-Jun-17 16:17:40

If you know exactly what part you need, you might be able to do it yourself. Our cooker element went the day before Xmas Eve the other year. I ordered to new element from here. They offer a next day delivery and there are video tutorials on the site. Our order was delivered on Christmas Eve, dh followed the tutorial to fit it and I was able to cook Christmas dinner as planned. If we hadn't have been able to get it in the we'd have had to order a takeaway on Christmas Eve to reheat I'm theivrowave on Christmas Day.

Whileweareonthesubject Sat 03-Jun-17 16:18:44

Oh, and even dh will admit he's not exactly DIY minded, so the instructions beefed to be clear and straightforward.

PigletJohn Sat 03-Jun-17 19:33:13

You haven't yet verified where the fault is. You said the RCD tripped when you "put the cooker on."

Do you mean it trips even if you are just using the hob? Or the grill? Or as soon as you turn on the wall switch when all the elements are still off? Or do you mean it only happens when you set a cooking temperature on the oven, start the oven, and shut the oven door?

phoria Sun 04-Jun-17 10:56:17

Hi PJ, it trips as soon as I put a hob on. Does this still mean it's the heating element or something else?

If it is I will investigate and call around for an appliance engineer.

PigletJohn Sun 04-Jun-17 11:18:52

It's not the oven element then.

Try all the different elements, one at a time. First, unplug your washer, dishwasher, kettle and all other appliances, and turn off the boiler and immersion heater at the wall switch.

There's a chance it could be damp-related, for example if you have recently given it a good clean. It might be a wiring or switch fault, but this is unlikely unless it is very old or mice have climbed in.

It could also be that you have a high background level of earth leakage and the cooker is not the main cause. For example if the sockets are in damp walls or the circuit feeds outdoor lighting, a shed or fishpond, or the wiring in the house is unusually old or shoddy.

Do that photo I mentioned earlier please.

phoria Sun 04-Jun-17 11:26:42

But it trips when I put the cooker hob on - does that not mean it's to do with the cooker?

Does this mean I'm still OK to use the oven for the time being? Or is it not safe to use the cooker?

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