Help Required. electrical circuit problem

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Not only breathing, but have totally fixed the circuit problem.
Thanks to everyone who helped
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Excellent news, Kev; well done.
Any idea what the cause of the problem was?
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Not really. I traced one end of duff wire further back...ripped up the floorboards... until it was just about to go back down the wall to the other end. I cut it, blocked it, and connected it back to the end of the radial..and it worked. Tried the other end that was literally just going down the wall to the other socket/radial and it failed. I didn't have enough cable to try chopping an inch or so off as it wouldn't move in the conduit that was buried in the wall, so I needed a different solution.
After mapping out the paths of the sockets/cables etc I realised that the only way to fix the duff cable was to tear the wall apart...and that just wasn't gonna happen - kitchen only decorated last year (and no I didn't touch the electrics then!). So I looked at the other options and realised that I had an option of routing the good end through a couple of beams that cables went through anyway and down behind the fridge/freezer to the socket that was just before the end of the second radial. A few tiles removed and plaster walls chased and job done. Still got a bit of tidying up to do but did all this and still got to watch the football on Saturday afternoon.
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good result. Well done!
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The RCD tripping indicates an earth leakage fault - that is a fault between L-E or N-E. (These days the correct terminology is to call both L and N "live" conductors - they're known as Phase and Neutral. Doesn't help you any, but it's a reminder that you can still get a shock from the N under certain circumstances.) Now a continuity test between L and E, and also between N and E, would show up a dead short, but a negative result (i.e. a high or "infinite" resistance) does not prove there is no current leakage path. You need an insulation tester that puts 500V across the conductors. It's then that you'd see the problem: the damp or the faulty insulation then shows up, but a simple resistance/continuity test unfortunately will not show up such a fault.
You dried out the end of the cable with a hair drier? Any sign of tracking/burned insulation on the end of the cable that got wet?
To sum up: if on that strip of cable now isolated, you get continuity between L and E or between N and E you have a dead short (continuity between N and L woulld have blown the fuse not the RCD). If your continuity test shows an "infinite" resistance between N-E or L-E then you have a breakdown of insulation (possibly caused by damp), and the 500V insulation resistance test would soon confirm that.
Before you rip up floorboards be absolutely sure there's nothing else on that isolated bit of cable - I'd call an electrician in to confirm things before I'd take up the floorboards.
By the way, now you've split the ring into 2 radials - the ring cable size (2.5 mm sq) could be inadequate for any heavy loads. By my reckoning, if you have anything 'heavy' on the circuit e.g. kettle, washing machine... you should be alright running ONLY ONE such item at a time. To play safe, run the kettle off the cooker outlet socket if you can and try and avoid using the washer till it's fixed. It's by no means ideal, and to be honest, what you are doing puts you on the wrong side of the law so if you c all an electrician in you might want to be a bit circumspect in how much you tell him you've done.
Keep us informed.
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You have an earth leakage fault. Here's the clue "the circuit breaker which protects the power to the house trips". You're talking about the RCD - residual current device. It detects leakages of current to earth and protects you from potentially fatal faults.
Go around and disconnect/isolate every appliance on the faulty circuit - fridge, freezer, kettle, cooker, burglar alarm, central heating..... whatever is on that circuit, unplug/isolate. Don't miss anything! Now try putting the fuse back. Hopefully, your RCD won't trip. If that's the case, go round and reconnect, one by one, the appliances till you find the faulty one and take suitable action. If, with every appliance disconnected you still have an earth fault, call an electrician.
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Just a quick question folks, if I have missed it in this thread I apologise
But having found water in the socket, is it not worth pondering where this has come from. has it splashed from a sink for example or roof leak, damp, condensation ? If this problem is not resolved, chances are you will never rectify the overall problem
David
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Good point, David. Here's the relevant bit in Ocean Tragic's post:
"I took this circuit apart and there was a little water in the socket (its near the sink - it wasn't me that put this in, or splashed the socket!)."
The assumption is that it's water from the sink, but you're right: it needs to be followed through. And if it is water from the sink, the socket should not be in a position where it could conceivably get wet. He says the electrics are around 15 years old. That might be a rewiring on an old house - on the other hand, it could be a relatively new house, in which case you would think sockets would not have been placed so near to a sink.... or maybe not.
But in any case, the source of the water must be investigated.
Thanks for that.

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Ahhhh thanks, it's hard to be humble when one is as perfect as I ( LOL)
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A friend of mine went to a similar problem when he looked into it further he found that the lady in question had put a pot plant on a table in front of a socket and then watered the plant. Just goes to show you that you cant legislate for stupidity.
Regards
Gavin

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I'd forgotten that four days earlier the top of the mixer tap came off when filling the kettle. Luckily I'd only asked the wife if she had any ideas how this happened, and didn't accuse her. Phew!
I guess this is how the water got there, but am suprised that the problem took four days to happen?
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