Eeek! New steel sockets, surround is LIVE!


Me again.
I replaced my old plastic white sockets with nice new stainless steel ones at the weekend. I just took the old ones off and wired up the new ones, nothing major - or so I thought...
....the stainless steel surround is now LIVE on two of the sockets, you dont get a major shock - just a slight tingling when you touch it - FORTUNATELY!
I have tried another new faceplate but that is the same.
Whats going on here? What can I do to rectify it?
Darren
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Squander a fortune by getting an electrician in NOW
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Have you double checked that you've put the right conductor in the right terminal. They may not be in the same position as on your old ones but will be marked L N and E or have the conventional symbol for earth. Make sure you have the power off before you poke around.
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Yup, double checked the the wiring. The positions were swapped around but they are wired up ok. Thx for your reply.
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try a continuity test from the plate to the live maybe ? - maybe the sockets are defective (if they are someone wants shooting)
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dazzle wrote:

Are you touching anything else at the time? There is a possibility that the sockets are fine - but something else you are touching has a fault and the ss surround is correctly earthed and is the return path. If there was anything else with power on in the area (eg cooker, deep freeze, dishwasher, etc) - that could be where the problem is.
Maplins (www.maplin.co.uk) do a socket tester WD53H for a massive GBP3.99.
I hope that you have an RCD fitted in your consumer unit - but supect that you may not.
As EricP in another post said - you really need to get an electrician in. (S)he will have the correct test equipment - which is far, far better than using a human body as a piece of test gear- it tends to not be non-destructive testing..
All it may need for your "slight tingling" to turn into a fatal shock is sweaty feet or a damp hand...
--
Sue






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also, make sure you havent cut the cable inadvertantly so the live isnt touching the backbox/patress anywhere
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one thing that no-one has mentioned is tht you may have a defective earth wired to the house... Just to check how much current this supposed earth fault can deliver use a low current bulb such as a 240V 15W bulb and wire it between neutral and your maybe faulty earth...if there is significant current the light will glow brightly....if it is a faulty earth it hopefully will not glow at all.
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Yep, just read the other posts and was going to say the very same. If this is the case the whole house may not be properly earthed. You should get it checked out. If you have an rcd in you consumer unit, this will protect you but still get it checked out.

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I am not sure about a faulty earth. I think it is more likely there is NO earth. Have a look at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/electrical/electrical.html#system
to see what sort of electrical supply you have.
Likely suspects are a TNS supply that needs a clamp around the incoming armoured cable (seen today by myself on a job) or a TT supply that has been uprated to a PME supply in the past and the earth was not connected as the equipotential bonding to the gas and water was not present and correct.
Adam
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In scribed for want of a better word:

As Eric P said, DO NOT RISK IT get an electrician
It is usually a disconnected EARTH cable, but if you are not competent and can not find this immediately get an ELECTRICIAN NOW 4K is cheaper than a funeral nowadays
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Clean round the Bend "Jimbo"

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....Electrician coming tomorrow - staying well clear - I know my limitations!
Thanks everyone!!
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Check the screws that hold the socket to the wall are not touching any of the wiring...
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Sorry if some one has already said this, and I've missed it, but ...
1 If the "steel" is live (as in 230v) , it would be far, far worse than a slight tingle;
2 Check the metal recess box (if that's what it be) is itself earthed.
--
Martin

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Please let us know his/her diagnosis.
Adam
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Well??
What happened? Or did the electrician fry himself?
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I had this problem a couple of months ago when fitting some georgian style light switches. It turned out that I had got the conductors too long. I cut them down to about 0.5" and reconnected them and is is now well. -- troubleinstore
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