Shockingly Dangerous Installations

No cover on a junction box and cable sheath stripped back too far

Someone thought if they wanted to add a socket they could run the cable over the carpet gripper under the carpet and up again.  The cable was actually snagged on the gribber when we removed it.  Should have been in mini trucking around the wall.

I couldn't understand what had happened here.  The live has been joined together, the neutral has bare copper showing and the earth has disappeared

Having removed the connection block and cut the bad bit out of the neutral, it all became clear.  Someone screwed through the cable in the wall and it went bang.  Should have re-done live, neutral and earth but I guess he was in a hurry.

When electricity is used the electrical terminals warm up and subsequently cool down.  Over time this heat cycle can lossen the screws.  If you look carefully you can see the black neutral chilling out in the back of the box.  Get an Inspection and Test (EICR), done every 10 years to stop this happening.  If you are a Landlord every 5 years or change of tennancy.

This burnt out extension lead blew up a  new £60 set of christmas lights.  PAT testing may have prevented this

Bonding clamp onto incoming supply.                !!!!DON'T TOUCH THIS!!!!

Potential fault current into the 1,000's of amps.  Get it professionally checked

Over stripped cables going into and out of the metres.

Cables on secured or supported

Earth wire in the cable going to the meter has been stripped out and shoved into the consumer unit on the left

Over stipped cables revealing basic insulation outside the enclosure

Cracked consumer unit.  It should be replaced.

Cables over stripped so that basic insulation is visible outside of the enclosure.  Earth not sheathed and very poorly made off.

Holes in the side of a consumer unit big enough to get your finger in.  Immediately dangerous.

The melted result of having your sofa pushed up against a switched spur holding it half open.  Let the arc's fly.


I don't know why someone had broken most of the the bottom of this socket pattress off.  But it was just the right size  for a childs figure to get in.


When electricity is used the electrical terminals warm up and subsequently cool down.  Over time this heat cycle can lossen the screws.  In this case one of the lives has arced and blown its self out of the terminal, the other two fell out as I removed the faceplate.  Get an Inspection and Test (EICR), done every 10 years to stop this happening.  If you are a Landlord every 5 years or change of tennancy.


Unsheathed earths can cause faults by touching the live or neutral terminals when faceplates are pushed back, or in the event of a fault can arc, which if a fire hazard.


If you loose a screw out of an electrical fitting, get another screw, don't jam in a picture hook.

Old corded flex streched taught to provide power to a flourescent tube.  The insulation on these cables if fabric based and can crumble away.  It should have been properly replaced rather than this botch of a job.

When I did replace it the insulation crumbled away revealing green oxidised copper.

A "Have a Go Hero" decided to attach some christmas lights to his lighting circuit using cable suitable for a door bell.  The resulting explosion must have added some lighting.


Look what happened to the cable laid loosely above the polystyrene ceiling tiles.  It got that hot it nearly melted its way right through them.


A PAT test might have saved this extension lead, but it should still be in use!!


Over time the basic insulation covering the cooper degrades.  I found the split on the live cable inside a consumer unit.

Found in use in student accomodation, in what was there smoking shed.  The fitting is broken leaving live parts accessible to touch.

These old fabric covered cables were in use bot fell apart when I touched them.


Everyone likes a recessed downlight, but they must be installed correctly.  These cables came from a loft where the builder had covered the downlights in insulation.  The heat from the downlight had no where to go and built up unitl all the insulation on the cables melted and there was a big bang and flash.  Turned the connection block a nice colour.

Twisting cables together is not an accepteable way of terminating them.  Use a proper connectoin block or junction box.


If you are changing the configuration of a room don't put plasterboard over the old socket and then use an old piece of flex to connect up a new one.  The flex is the incorrect size and all accessories should be visible for inspection.

Cable drilled through when trying to mount something on the wall.  All buried cables should be run in safe zones 90 degrees vertically or horizontally from a visible fitting, or within 150mm from a vertical corner, or within 150mm from the ceiling. Not alot of people know that.


This lid to a junction box was too close to a downlinght in the ceiling void. 

Someone decided taking the earths out and shoving one of the neutrals into the earth terminal would solve what ever problem they had.  Not the greatest of ideas.

This service head should be secured to the wall not supported by the incoming cables.

Joints should be in a junction box, not twisted together and wrapped up in tape.

Joints should be in a junction box, not twisted together

Nickel covered copper cables in rubber insulation.  In use when we found them but the rubber just fell off when we touched it.  Possibly 60 years old


Loose connection inside an electric shower.  See how the red cable turns black and the connection block is discoloured.  It's been arcing for some time.

Consumer units shouldn't have holes in them that you can put your finger in, its immediately dangerous.

If you remove your light switch you should replace it with something similar and not wrap the live cables in a rubber glove.

Removing the sheathing and the basic insulation can be lethal, particularly when its live.  If you want to save a few pounds and steal the electric is it really worth the risk?

If you still have an old style fuse board and the 30 amp fuse blows get a new fuse.  Don't wrap two lengths of 15 amp fuse wire round it and hope for the best.

A PAT test may have prevented this near fire

Holes above luminars should be sized to prevent the spread of fire.  When we told this landlord he couldn't be bothered to make the repair.

All accessories should be sited so they are easy to maintain if required.  This person couldn't possible reach another two inches to the other wall to turn their light switch on

The basic insulation on cables degrades over time.  When we took this faceplate off the basic insulation fell off and landed in the bottom of the back box

Builders, not paying attention, screwed the floorboard down straight through this cable.

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