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Plug socket only able to take low amps - vacuum causes fuse switch to flip (for boiler!) is it on the wrong fuse?

My dad recently tried to fix a plug socket in a bedroom which was hanging off the wall of my new flat.
I had tried to use it by plugging a vacuum cleaner in to it and it flipped the fuse switch that the boiler is on (they're right next to eachother in the flat).
He re-wired it but it didnt fix the issue.
The plug socket works for very low amp usage things like travel hairdryer and chargers, but not things like the hoover.
There may be a break in the circuit somewhere or it is possible the socket is on a lighting/low voltage fuse in which case I think it would either need to have a higher voltage fuse fitted or switched to a different fuse that can handle more?

I am also not sure why trying to use it flips the fuse switch for the boiler. This makes me think they are on the same fuse.

I know it isn't totally broken as it works for low amp electrical things, so it needs to somehow have this increased.
Do you have any ideas why this might be and what the sollution would be?

Ps - yes mr wires, the boiler is right next to the socket! The boiler is in a cupboard, and the socket is on the side of the cupboard. I've traced it's wire inside the cupboard

3 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

If this socket is tripping your boiler MCB it would appear the socket's connected to your boiler circuit. Your boiler MCB is probably a 6 amp and so a 13 amp socket shouldn't be connected to it. A 1600W+ vacuum cleaner could trip the breaker. In any case a socket shouldn't be connected to a boiler circuit.
Is the boiler close by the socket? I'd assume a DIYer has took a feed for the socket off the boiler spur or cable.

My advice is don't use it and get an electrician in to assess and rectify the problem.


Answered 12th Oct 2011

you say it trips the fuse switch that the heating is on do you mean the fuse in the spur unit by the Boiler or the breaker in the fuse board if it is a 3 amp fuse in the spur it may be possible to feed the socket from the primary/input side of the spur.
If it is tripping a breaker in the fuse board check if it is white 6Amp if so the socket cannot be fed from it.
If you can work out which breaker actually feeds it in the fuse board and it is either a 16amp or higher rating then there is a good chance you may be able to run it from the input side of the spur controlling the heating but you must not upgrade any fusees or breakers as this will cause serious problems you should put the job up on my builder if you are unsure.
be safe electricity can cause fires and electrocution so call in a professional
hope this helps if it does hit the like button


Answered 13th Oct 2011

it sounds like the socket is connected to a 5amp circuit that supplies the boiler,yes you are right,you can use a low current appliance like a small hair dryer.
However this is a 13 amp socket ! so you need it connected to the 13 amp sockets circuit,this can be done by an Electricain such as me ?!

Hope this helps you.


Answered 12th Oct 2011

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