Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 

Blanking off a plug socket


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16-02-2008, 20:53
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39

Hi - Sorry if this has been covered before, but I couldn't find it if it has!

I need to blank off a double plug socket, as I'm having a radiator moved to the wall it's on, and I think it's something I could do myself, rather than get an electrician in specially for.

I just want to confirm that I know I'm doing it right though...

Would I just take the existing socket cover off, detach the wires, then use a 30 amp connector strip to connect the blue to blue, brown to brown and earth to earth, then fit a blanking plate over it all?

If anyone has any pics or useful websites about this, that'd be great!

Also, does anyone know a good electrician around London SE10 or so, who could do some other works later on that I wouldn't attempt myself? (moving some light fittings, installing new sockets, installing halogen ceiling lights etc)?

Blanking off the socket is urgent though so I need to do this very soon, so any advice on that would be helpful.

Thanks
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 16-02-2008, 20:56
markg1
 
Posts: n/a
Hi - Sorry if this has been covered before, but I couldn't find it if it has!

I need to blank off a double plug socket, as I'm having a radiator moved to the wall it's on, and I think it's something I could do myself, rather than get an electrician in specially for.

I just want to confirm that I know I'm doing it right though...

Would I just take the existing socket cover off, detach the wires, then use a 30 amp connector strip to connect the blue to blue, brown to brown and earth to earth, then fit a blanking plate over it all?

If anyone has any pics or useful websites about this, that'd be great!

Also, does anyone know a good electrician around London SE10 or so, who could do some other works later on that I wouldn't attempt myself? (moving some light fittings, installing new sockets, installing halogen ceiling lights etc)?

Blanking off the socket is urgent though so I need to do this very soon, so any advice on that would be helpful.

Thanks

Should be fine make sure you tape the block.

Electrical tape that is
  Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 20:56
peteroddan
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Greenhithe,Kent
Posts: 987
Would I just take the existing socket cover off, detach the wires, then use a 30 amp connector strip to connect the blue to blue, brown to brown and earth to earth, then fit a blanking plate over it all?
I'll leave it to someone more qualified than me to say the above is correct, but I do feel able to add that turning off the mains power to the socket at your trip switch board would be a good plan first!
peteroddan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 20:59
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
I'll leave it to someone more qualified than me to say the above is correct, but I do feel able to add that turning off the mains power to the socket at your trip switch board would be a good plan first!
Do you think so...

Ah ok then....
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:00
fat controller
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Slightly round the bend
Posts: 12,685
You've got the right idea - obviously make sure the electricity is off before you begin, and when putting the cables into the connector strip, make sure that they are well inserted (no bare showing) and nice and secure.

It might be an idea to mark the blank plate (label maker maybe?) to show that there are live wires contained within.

You could just leave the double socket as is, just switched off, and fit the radiator regardless - you could even get a couple of the wee dummy plugs from the likes of Mothercare.
fat controller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:00
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Should be fine make sure you tape the block.

Electrical tape that is
Thanks for that.

I'm a bit puzzled though, as someone on another forum said"

"screwed joints can come loose (rare but it does happen) dont do the usual diy trick of putting your cable into the connector from opposite sides, both cores in from the bottom, tighten the bottom screw tight and the top screw tight then re-tighten the bottom one

and make sure your screwing down onto the conductor not the sleeve"

I don't know what he means about the connector, though, as I thought you put one wire in one end, and the other wore in t'other!!
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:11
fat controller
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Slightly round the bend
Posts: 12,685
Thanks for that.

I'm a bit puzzled though, as someone on another forum said"

"screwed joints can come loose (rare but it does happen) dont do the usual diy trick of putting your cable into the connector from opposite sides, both cores in from the bottom, tighten the bottom screw tight and the top screw tight then re-tighten the bottom one

and make sure your screwing down onto the conductor not the sleeve"

I don't know what he means about the connector, though, as I thought you put one wire in one end, and the other wore in t'other!!
That is actually fairly sensible advice - its a belt and braces approach. Using chocolate block connector like THIS make the bare ends of each core just long enough to go nearly all the way through from one side of the connector to the other - this will allow you to secure each pair of cores with two screws - the chances of two screws working loose is really slim.

So essentially, you are sticking both cables of the same colour into the one hole, from the same side, then using both screws to fully secure the cables.
fat controller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:15
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
That is actually fairly sensible advice - its a belt and braces approach. Using chocolate block connector like THIS make the bare ends of each core just long enough to go nearly all the way through from one side of the connector to the other - this will allow you to secure each pair of cores with two screws - the chances of two screws working loose is really slim.

So essentially, you are sticking both cables of the same colour into the one hole, from the same side, then using both screws to fully secure the cables.
Ah ok, thanks. I thought that was what he meant...

So both the top and bottom screws clamp down onto bare wires?

ie - I strip quite a bit of the plastic off the wire so that both top and bottom screws are connecting with bare wire?
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:21
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Also, would I twist the 2 wires together before feeding them into the same hole of the connector, is this a no-no?
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:21
markg1
 
Posts: n/a
Ah ok, thanks. I thought that was what he meant...

So both the top and bottom screws clamp down onto bare wires?

ie - I strip quite a bit of the plastic off the wire so that both top and bottom screws are connecting with bare wire?
Youve got it
  Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:23
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Thooooper. Thanks guys.

Just wondering about twisting the wires together or is this unnecessary/not advised?
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:28
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Also....... (Sorry)...

As it's a double socket, do I use a separate connector for each set of wires to each socket, or can i put all the blues in one connector, and so on with the browns/earth?
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 21:40
paulyoung666
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,151
Also....... (Sorry)...

As it's a double socket, do I use a separate connector for each set of wires to each socket, or can i put all the blues in one connector, and so on with the browns/earth?
at the back there will either be one set of wires going in and one set coming out or possibly only one set of wires going to it , if it is the first case then join them up , if the second then just terminate them in a chocolate block without connecting any wires together


edit --- and if i was you i would turn the whole house off not rely on labeling on the fuse board , when i got my house some downstairs sockets were connected to the upstairs ring main !!!!!!
paulyoung666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 22:04
jagger2k
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Leicester
Posts: 3,027
just leave the sockets there in the off position, with some child safety plugs in them,
jagger2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 22:20
paulyoung666
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,151
just leave the sockets there in the off position, with some child safety plugs in them,
probably just as easy in the long run , i cant see the heat affecting it
paulyoung666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2008, 23:35
MattBur
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
just leave the sockets there in the off position, with some child safety plugs in them,
Well, that would certainly be the easier option!

I was just a bit worried about the heat but I don't these rads get that hot actually....
MattBur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 00:15
seacam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 12,199
Hello Matt,

Kill the electricity, remove socket plate.

If you are going to use a strip connector, make sure it's rated at 30amps and that it's smolder proof, don't use a standard plastic connector strip.

As the cable conductors will be solid, strip but do not twist, insert one end only of strip , it will be a tight fit, tighten screws firmly but not so where you overly chew in to the copper.

Make sure metal back box is earthed using the lug and all earth cables are sheathed.

There is no need to tape, do so if you wish, replace existing socket plate with a double metal blanking plate.

Job Done.
seacam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 00:51
OLIVEBUS
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: BANGOR NI
Posts: 622
unless you need the socket (2gang) to use elsewhere just turn off even kiddies blanking safety plugs are not needed . The heat will not effect anything
OLIVEBUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 01:18
seacam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 12,199
unless you need the socket (2gang) to use elsewhere just turn off even kiddies blanking safety plugs are not needed . The heat will not effect anything
Hello Olive,

Behind a Rad', a plastic socket will deteriorate eventually, then you have to isolate rad', remove it, fix the the problem, reinstate rad', better to blank the socket now before the rad is installed.

A socket in use should be 1mt away from a rad'.
seacam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 11:20
hometown38
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Down South
Posts: 359
Also....... (Sorry)...

As it's a double socket, do I use a separate connector for each set of wires to each socket, or can i put all the blues in one connector, and so on with the browns/earth?
If it's part of the ring main it will have 2 cables , if it's a spur then it will have one cable.
If there are two cables then put the blues together and the same with the earth and browns , you have to keep continuity on the circuit.
hometown38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 15:00
OLIVEBUS
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: BANGOR NI
Posts: 622
Hello Olive,

Behind a Rad', a plastic socket will deteriorate eventually, then you have to isolate rad', remove it, fix the the problem, reinstate rad', better to blank the socket now before the rad is installed.

A socket in use should be 1mt away from a rad'.
Hi Seacam
You are of course correct with the 1 metre rule ,although modern plastic fittings are extremely robust to heat. But it seems a better idea than someone with no idea of electrics messing about with it (i have been called to a friends house more than once after they have blown themselves across the room)
OLIVEBUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 16:43
StorminNorman
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Leicester
Posts: 110
All electrical connections have to be accessable at all times for maintenance and testing, putting these behind a radiator is asking for trouble and is contary to the electrical wiring regulations BS7671.
The proper way is to remove the wiring and provide a joint at an accessable location, failing that the cables should be through connected with unremovable crimp type connectors and a blank plate fitted, ensuring the metal flush box if fitted is still earthed (again a crimped or soldered joint) and also be protected against the effects of the heat from the radiator (normal ambient temperatures for cable is calculated at around 20deg c for proper operation of the circuit and its protective devices).
It is very difficult to do this and still be within the BS7671 regs, if a metal box is fitted it would be better to fit a plastic one in its place. No unfixed screwed connection is allowed in a place which cannot be readily inspected or accessed for repair. (note all screwed connections have to be fixed and not allowed to float around in a box or similer).
It is not acceptable to leave the socket as it is even with safety blanks fitted.
Get a sparks with the right kit and be safe (preferably one who is part P certificated e.g. NICEIC or ECA etc). ( Too many diyers are degrading their systems by not understanding the regulations applying to such work and putting themselves and their families at risk with such work).
StorminNorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 18:59
fainéant
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,523
at the back there will either be one set of wires going in and one set coming out or possibly only one set of wires going to it , if it is the first case then join them up , if the second then just terminate them in a chocolate block without connecting any wires together


edit --- and if i was you i would turn the whole house off not rely on labeling on the fuse board , when i got my house some downstairs sockets were connected to the upstairs ring main !!!!!!
If it's part of the ring main it will have 2 cables , if it's a spur then it will have one cable.
If there are two cables then put the blues together and the same with the earth and browns , you have to keep continuity on the circuit.
There could be three cables if it is a socket on the ring main serving a spur but the same principle of connecting the coloured wires applies.
fainéant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 19:03
paulyoung666
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,151
There could be three cables if it is a socket on the ring main serving a spur but the same principle of connecting the coloured wires applies.
good point
paulyoung666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 11:29
seacam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 12,199
All electrical connections have to be accessable at all times for maintenance and testing, putting these behind a radiator is asking for trouble and is contary to the electrical wiring regulations BS7671.
This is existing wiring Norman so not contrary to anything in this instance.

It is perfectly acceptable to leave the wiring in place and for it not to be accessible.

While you quote BS7671, ( wiring regulations ), the actual regulation is 526-0401 which allows for this type of scenario.

I accept, to keep within the regs, crimped joints and a plastic plate should be used but I took the view that might not happen here.

My suggestion of a metal blanking plate is fine, where we have used this method however we have always earthed the plate with a permanent connection something I forgot to suggest in Matt's case, as Olive and others suggested, a plastic one will suffice and resolve any possible problem with conductivity and satisfy the regs but I have seen so many plastic blank plates crack because of rad' heat output in exactly this situation, which is why I prefer to use metal ones.

Because I'm aware the existing will be behind a rad, the heat does bother me.

The way we have got around this is to use heat proof shrink wrap or if the box is deep enough, to put a bit of plaster board in there before fixing the plate, to help prevent heat transference.

For those who are interested as to why you use soldered/crimped instead of a strip connector in this instance is because AC current pulses, there is a slight chance the screws of a strip connector might work loose because of it, thus you may have a problem in the future slight as that may be with screwed connections.

While I accept regs are there for a reason, hitting DIYers with them along with part P is not always practical.

The use of a strip connector is safe but not up to regs.

Get a sparks with the right kit and be safe (preferably one who is part P certificated e.g. NICEIC or ECA etc). ( Too many diyers are degrading their systems by not understanding the regulations applying to such work and putting themselves and their families at risk with such work).
While I agree there are existing some alwfull DIY electrical work in existance that needs condemming, let's get real Norman, the above strip connector method is not going to degrade Matt's wiring system, neither would it put his family at risk.

More of a concern to me is Matt really is a beginner at this type of work, he won't have crimping tools or connectors, knowing he doesn't wish to employ the services of a trained sparky, for what is a simple job, a strip connector, while not within regs, is safe.
seacam is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 21:22.