In my garage I have a single, surface mounted double socket. I would like
to take a spur of this so I can run more stuff at once (usually a radio, and
a couple of power tools) without have to constantly plug and unplug stuff.
I know that one shouldn't take a spur of off a spur unless a 13amp fused
thingy (I can't remember the actual name for this but I believe it will
basically be a surface mounted box with a fuse) is used but is there an
idiot's way of checking whether the existing socket is on the ring or is a
If I do fit a spur I presume that the cable from the existing socket should
be fitted into conduit to the second socket/fuse thingy. Will bog standard
plastic conduit be okay or should I go for something a bit more industrial?
I am quite happy at wiring things up as I've replaced sockets and lights
before but I haven't tried spurs yet and I would prefer no to kill myself or
burn the house down in the attempt.
Take the faceplate off and look behind, if there are two wires going to
each terminal then it is part of the ring. If there is only one wire going
to each terminal then it is a spur (or a radial circuit). If there are
three wires then it is part of the ring and already has a spur from that
point on the ring.
There is no requirement to use conduit but it may be a good idea in a
garage where the cable may need extra physical protection. If you are
particurly fond of throwing heavy objects around in your garage then you
may judge that steel conduit rather than plastic is required, however it
needs to be properly earthed which is tricky if plastic fittings are used.
You will also probably require a pipe threader and possibly a pipe bender
for installing steel conduit.
The hardest bit of wiring a spur is getting all three wires into the
terminals at the point where a spur is taken off. A pair of pointed pliers
will help with this. After tightening the terminal screws give each wire a
good tug to ensure it is not loose.
Alistair Riddell - BOFH
Microsoft - because god hates us
Two wires could also indicate that the socket is already a spur and
that another socket has been spured from that one. The only way to be
more certain is to disconnect the two lives, part them and test each to
make sure both are still live.... Not for the faint of heart ;-)
"Harry Bloomfield" wrote
| On 17/01/2004 Alistair Riddell a wrote :
| > Take the faceplate off and look behind, if there are two wires
| > going to each terminal then it is part of the ring.
| Two wires could also indicate that the socket is already a spur and
| that another socket has been spured from that one. The only way to be
| more certain is to disconnect the two lives, part them and test each to
| make sure both are still live.... Not for the faint of heart ;-)
Alternatively (and observing usual safety precautions) disconnect the two
wires, part them, and *with the power off* do a continuity test between
the two parts eg Live1-Live2. Continuity suggests both cables go back to the
MCB, discontinuity suggests one goes back to the MCB and the other only
feeds downstream sockets.
 because a continuity tester is probably more fragile than you are
Or a safer was would be to part the cables and use a meter set to resitance.
Even if it does look like a ring at the socket via whatever means you choose
to test it doesnt tell you for definate that it is actually a ring.
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The simple solution is to replace the existing socket with a fused
connection unit (FCU) with 13A fuse. You can then wire as many
sockets as you like downstream of it using 2.5mm twin & earth cable.
There is no need to use conduit unless you are going to run cable
where it might be mechanically damaged.
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