Do the Kids Cut the Earth Wire

Shall I suspect the kids thinking about inheritance, perhaps not, maybe the grand children. I doubt it. Maybe some other relative, or is it a government official with a view to inheritance tax? It’s a mystery in any case. It’s all to do with cables, and in this instance, the earth wire. You know, the yellow and green one that cost a little more than blue or brown in Portugal because its a pretty colour combinations.

What Needed Connecting

So here is the thing. I’m back doing some electrical rewiring because I don’t want to die just yet, and need time to fix it before I do. On doing the works and removing old cables, I discover that most earth wires are either missing, not connected or cut. There is one pretty coloured green and yellow bit that comes from the consumer unit, that’s a joke, and goes to another joke of a junction box only to be not connected. Or more precisely, terminated by way of a brake from another piece. A close inspection reveals that its not been chewed through, but precisely cut with a pliers. Strange to say the least when it could be a life saver.

Why Not Use the Earth

Being a sucker for punishment without S&M whips, I’m back with the borehole water supply. The enclosed area has been tidied, and the plumbing bits done. All worked well on completion. The electrics were next as a huge improvement was required. I was a little concerned as to whether I’d get this part right. It should in actual fact be a doddle of a job, but having wires for the whole, terminating in various locations, and consisting of nonsense colours, created confusion for my grey matter.

I decided that while undertaking the work, I’d add both a double electrical socket and lighting to the enclosed area, all with waterproof fittings. The power point will save me running an extension from inside the house should I need temporary power outside. In the case of the light, I shall use the area for gas bottle storage later, and maybe, even to supply the property with gas, from this exterior space. So a light will be very beneficial at night.

Due to my concerns over electrical connections, I drew a little simple schematic of the initial layout and checked it a millions times so I was sure it was correct. If I got it wrong, I’d be screwed, and not in a delightful way either. I was fortunate in some respects as a newish, underground cable had been installed into what I’ll call the outhouse. The earth was not connected needless to say. I was able to use this as the power supply for the borehole pump, electrical socket and new light. Whipeee, I was a happy bunny with this cable.

Simple Schematic

I had a thermal magnetic circuit breaker for the pump motor, and for some reason, this was for three phase so added to the electrical connection confusion. I’m on single, but the breaker was fine so I used this. All the previous electrics were either just dangling or in bits of crappy tube, and at one point, a piece of old garden hose. I like things to be tidy so all the new cables are incorporated into PVC trunking and checked for levelness with a spirit level. I tend to be a little over the top in my methodology. The work took some time and now incorporates a proper earth cable in pretty green and yellow wire. The power point, I’ve already found useful and the LED light, equipped with a wire shorter than my ding dong, is far brighter than I thought would have been possible.

The Finished Job

On completing the job, I removed all the old cables and rubbish in the second old house. After such, I thought I’d screwed up as the power into the main house had now failed. I checked all my work in the context of wire removal only to find it was yet another loose connection in an old, so called junction box.

I’m really pleased that all the electrics for the borehole now reside in a single place and that there is an external power supply and proper lighting. It’s an area that is clean and tidy where gas cylinders can be stored. I’ll research to see how long a gas tube/pipe can run without pressure loss problems. If it seams feasible, I shall run a pipe between this area and the main house so as not to have the bottles within the dwelling. That would be brilliant if possible. 

It’s been a backbreaking job due the the lowness of the space and I was delighted on its completion. At the same time, miss the fact that I’ll not have this job to look forward to. Funny how one thinks. Or me anyway. Next, perhaps, I’ll investigate further to determine if I can prevent the small leaks from  entering via the exterior stair landing above. Another fun job.

2 thoughts on “Do the Kids Cut the Earth Wire

  1. Ashley,
    It seems step by step you’re getting things fixed, and that’s is great!

    looking at your “simple schematic” and the labels you use on it like positive / negative poles
    Maybe you shoud say Neutral and Phase (instead of negative /positive poles) since the power supply is I suppose (400 / 230 V AC) and not DC.
    Also the PE (protective earth condutor is very important to protect against schock hazards.
    With a multimeter (continuity check) you should check the continuity of the PE condutor in all extents /sections.
    (by your descrition and the poor condition of the electrical installation it seems your “friend” the Jack of all trades was the master electrician of the house ) I wish you luck and keep the good work !

    • I’ll have to remember those comments about AC and DC. The PE is still not perfect but I’m getting there slowly. The whole place needs an upgrade as there are very few power point and even less now due to the idiot cutting the cable that was below the concrete floor. Now I need to figure out the best way to put new cables in. Bottom to upwards or top to bottom. Which ever way, it’s very involved with a concrete structure.

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