Faulty Electrics in private rented property

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    Faulty Electrics in private rented property

    My family have recently rented a private property which is managed by a letting agent. Upon moving in we noticed the power socket for the fridge wasn’t working and reported this to the letting agent, the letting agent said they will contact the landlord. Three weeks later and we have experienced faults within the property, the lounge dimmer light wall switch makes a loud buzzing noise whilst on and the lights flicker constantly when the dimmer is turned down low, also the landing light flickers on and off and has recently started to make a popping noise when switched on which is scaring my young son. lastly, one landing light seems to have a blue electric wire showing outside of the fitting?
    I have been advised not to use the lounge light due to the buzzing noise and now after three more conversations with the letting agent, it feels futile. I have asked for an electrician to come and test the wiring but still nothing. Should this be classed as a serious repair issue? Where do I go from here? All help appreciated.

    many thanks

    #2
    First contact the actual landlord. Even if their official contact address is the letting agency, you can use the Land Registry (cost £3) to find details of the owner.

    If that doesn't produce an immediate response, contact the council environmental health department.

    In the meantime, make sure your fire escape plan is in good order and understood by all the family. If you don't have a smoke alarm, also contact the council, as they are legal requirements for rented property.

    However, can I check that the buzz really is coming from the dimmer and also what sort of light you are using. Some sorts of lights, particularly all [compac]t fluorescents, and many LED ones, are unsuitable for dimmers.

    The exposed blue (neutral) wire is only a minor breach. There isn't an immediate danger, but it means the cable is not adequately secured, and could be pulled out, exposing live wires.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi
      thanks for your reply.
      we have the landlords details on the contract and after no help from the letting agent we wrote to the landlord but haven’t heard back, so assumed that we must go through the letting agent. I have a video of the lounge dimmer and switch buzzing which you can hear amongst the phone movement noise.

      a friend has said it’s possible that the current isn’t flowing smoothly due to loose wiring and that’s the noise?
      Please take a look at the video and let me know what you think? If needed I can do another and keep the phone still.

      thank you

      Comment


        #4
        The two possibilities are that there is a loose connection, which will be a fire hazard, or that a transformer is vibrating because you are using a fitting not designed to cope with the sudden switching on of the supply when that happens every mains cycle, when using a dimmer. The latter may also be a fire hazard, but more likely in the fitting.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi
          I've uploaded the videos to my Dropbox account for you to see.

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/aqnsr81xs6...%20-1.MOV?dl=0

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/vm4x9q2um8...%20-2.MOV?dl=0

          Appreciate the help here. If we are at risk then I’ll be checking my family into a guesthouse until resolved.
          Last edited by YorkVocals; 02-06-2019, 20:09 PM. Reason: Added a second video of the lights.

          Comment


            #6
            Also, when the dimmer switch is fully on it doesn’t buzz or flicker, however the hallway light comes on and off and has been making a popping sound, similar to pop corn going off.

            Comment


              #7
              You appear to have compact fluorescent bulbs. Those are normally unsuitable for dimmers. Although you can get some dimmable ones, they tend to be spiral ones. The way they flicker pretty much confirms this.

              The way dimmer switches work only works directly with hot filament lights. Dimmable CFL and LED lights need to recognize what the switch is doing and convert it into something that is effective for dimming the actual light.

              Comment


                #8
                My first step with the hall light would be to replace the bulb as it could be a fluorescent light reaching the end of life.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and help me. I’m relieved. I’ll replace all the bulbs tomorrow morning, including buying dimmer bulbs and hope that will resolve this. I’ll check in tomorrow.
                  thank you once again.

                  Comment

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