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Author Topic: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please  (Read 2116 times)

bogof

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We're converting our garage to a cinema room.  This is going to mean a "room within a room", completely sealed and soundproofed.

Unfortunately this plate is in part of the area that will be covered up with new wall (see attachment).  This is clearly where the wiring from the street comes up into the house (a terrace in a courtyard).  The grey wire then goes to the NTE plate. 

The neighbours garage also has access to this area at the moment (their plate is visible from my side, and there is a fair bit of slack.  I guess at the moment if they're on talking terms we could get into it from their side.  If not and a fault were to develop here I guess we'll be into cutting bits of wall out to get to this.

Any ideas?  Is this mine to meddle with (nothing on it says it isn't)...  Really appreciate any advice.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 07:37:42 PM by bogof »
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burakkucat

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 10:48:59 PM »

Welcome to the Kitz forum.  :)

Looking closely at those three images, the incoming service feed appears to be black multi-pair cable . . . if I've counted correctly, it is five pair. The grey cable is also multi-pair (not possible to count). The there is also a white cable, which looks to be a more recent addition.

Does the incoming black multi-pair cable also carry your neighbour's circuit? Or is it solely your own?

The simplest solution may be to have a removable hatch created within the "inner room". One that can be unlatched, lifted out, the sound insulation panel removed and then the existing steel hatch/plate becomes accessible.
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 11:43:22 PM »

Welcome to the Kitz forum.  :)

Looking closely at those three images, the incoming service feed appears to be black multi-pair cable . . . if I've counted correctly, it is five pair. The grey cable is also multi-pair (not possible to count). The there is also a white cable, which looks to be a more recent addition.

Does the incoming black multi-pair cable also carry your neighbour's circuit? Or is it solely your own?

The simplest solution may be to have a removable hatch created within the "inner room". One that can be unlatched, lifted out, the sound insulation panel removed and then the existing steel hatch/plate becomes accessible.
Thanks :)

On close inspection it appears the single black cable probably serves both our houses.
The grey cable that can be seen exiting on our side of the cover is what I believe comes across the garage ceiling and into our hall to serve our NTE.

There are actually two cables connected to another pair on the plate.  One white and one grey multicore.  They both disappear in the direction of my neighbours property I believe.

I found the cover for the BT terminal block in the cavity. 

I guess my concern is twofold:
1) having seen the state of the terminal block, none of it looks in great shape (I guess having had the cover off for probably 20 years doesn't help).  So it all may really want re-terminating anyway. Which I guess I'm not "allowed" near?
2) I can't really see a good way to make the hatch which might be required.  This cover is probably somewhere around the floor level.  Which makes me think 1) really ought to get sorted if access may be difficult in future.

Is there anything that can be done to get the wiring cleaned up?



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burakkucat

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 01:35:28 AM »

On close inspection it appears the single black cable probably serves both our houses.
The grey cable that can be seen exiting on our side of the cover is what I believe comes across the garage ceiling and into our hall to serve our NTE.

There are actually two cables connected to another pair on the plate.  One white and one grey multicore.  They both disappear in the direction of my neighbours property I believe.

Hmm . . . That's what I suspected but was hoping would not be the case!

Quote
Is there anything that can be done to get the wiring cleaned up?

If I was in your situation and got on well with my neighbour I would check exactly which pair, in which cable, fed each property. Then, having identified exactly what's what, I would tidy it all up by re-making each joint (using gel-crimps). Finally I would document which pair, which cable, which property and leave that note behind the cover-plate in the cavity.
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 02:10:48 PM »

Thanks for the reply.

My understanding of old is that this wiring as it is behind the NTE isn't even mine to touch (Not that this would bother me particularly  ::) ...!). I'm an electronics engineer by day.

I guess what I'd quite like would be for the connections to be better made at least on my side (not so bothered about the neighbours...!).  In an ideal work I'd have another pair from the street also connected back to the NTE so that in the event of a fault it might be possible to switch pairs without having to delve into this plate.

I've booked an engineer appointment on Weds.  Are they likely to be able to connect through another pair in case?

Would they be prepared to bypass the connection terminal block in favour of jelly crimping it for a connection more likely to last through the ages?  The terminals look horrible and corroded.

The connections are fine at the moment (85 down / 24 up or therabouts), just would like it to stay that way (hopefully I won't find out I'd have been better off leaving it...)
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burakkucat

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 06:59:53 PM »

I've booked an engineer appointment on Weds.  Are they likely to be able to connect through another pair in case?

I'm somewhat uncertain as for the purpose of the appointment. I would not expect an ISP/CP to agree to book a speculative appointment . . . unless you have agreed to pay the charges.

A new pair provide will use a spare pair within the incoming service feed (assuming the spares are not defective) and not involve a new run from the DP . . . unless you have agreed to pay the cost of materials used.

Quote
Would they be prepared to bypass the connection terminal block in favour of jelly crimping it for a connection more likely to last through the ages?  The terminals look horrible and corroded.

Any competent technician, whilst working on those circuits, would most likely be mindful of removing that BT in favour of using gel-crimps.
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Weaver

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 09:25:39 PM »

Did you book a 'change point of entry' type service appointment from BT?
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 11:20:28 PM »

Did you book a 'change point of entry' type service appointment from BT?

I'm somewhat uncertain as for the purpose of the appointment. I would not expect an ISP/CP to agree to book a speculative appointment . . . unless you have agreed to pay the charges.

A new pair provide will use a spare pair within the incoming service feed (assuming the spares are not defective) and not involve a new run from the DP . . . unless you have agreed to pay the cost of materials used.

Any competent technician, whilst working on those circuits, would most likely be mindful of removing that BT in favour of using gel-crimps.

I can still cancel the appointment.
I contacted BT via their online chat and told them that we were doing building works and that the wires looked to be problematic and I wanted them to look at them before carrying on.
They said they could send someone out to look at improving it but that it may be chargeable in line with http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12439/~/engineer-charges , that they would tell me if it would be chargeable to do the work once they'd looked at it.

Is there another route I should go down with BT (change point of entry?) perhaps?

My logic with the other pairs idea is that if there are spare undamaged pairs in the service cable that it would be worth connecting a pair of these to the existing wire which comes across to the NTE.  This would give me a "backup pair" should the pair that is in use currently develop a fault, without having to access the panel. 

All the ways I can think of of maintaining access via hatches, shorter walls, etc have large implications for the works.

In the scheme of things, 130 to significantly reduce the likelihood of having these connections fail would be worth it.  The whole job is going to be one massive wallet haemorrhage as it is...
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andyfitter

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 11:32:46 PM »

Surely what you are suggesting by connecting a spare pair inside the hatch into your live connection will create a massive bridge tap?
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 11:36:08 PM »

Surely what you are suggesting by connecting a spare pair inside the hatch into your live connection will create a massive bridge tap?
The grey cable which runs from the hatch to the NTE has a load of unconnected pairs in it itself.
SO my thought would be to connect one of the currently unused pairs from the service cable onto the unused pairs between the hatch and the back of the NTE.  I'm not au fait with the terminology, but I don't think this would be a bridge tap - essentially it is just extending the unconnected pair to be unconnected behind my NTE (in the house) as opposed to behind a soon to be difficult to access hatch.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 11:40:55 PM by bogof »
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Weaver

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 11:41:29 PM »

I would definitely suggest that you contact bt and ask for change point of entry, then they will just do what you want them to do - it will be worth it. I was delighted with the results.
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 11:45:54 PM »

I would definitely suggest that you contact bt and ask for change point of entry, then they will just do what you want them to do - it will be worth it. I was delighted with the results.

I'll discuss this with them, thanks for the pointer.  Though getting cable to the property if not via this hatch (which I guess disappears to the nearest BT hole in the pavement) may be tricky.  All the cables appear to be underground under block weave paving across a communal courtyard.

I guess this work was chargeable at a fairly hefty cost?
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j0hn

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 01:30:38 AM »

I would definitely suggest that you contact bt and ask for change point of entry, then they will just do what you want them to do - it will be worth it. I was delighted with the results.
This ^^^
A suitably trained engineer will be sent.
Explain what you plan to do.
Explain what you would like the engineer to do, perhaps asking their opinion.
Have tea and biscuits at the ready.
They are usually very accommodating to your requirements.

I think you're more likely to get a good job done with an engineer booked specifically for the task, rather than asking for that when an engineer shows up.

as for
Quote
Is this mine to meddle with (nothing on it says it isn't)...  Really appreciate any advice.

It's usually anything up to and including the master socket is part of the OpenReach network and their responsibility. Not to be touched by us mere mortals.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 01:37:21 AM by j0hn »
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 06:55:22 AM »

This ^^^
A suitably trained engineer will be sent.
Explain what you plan to do.
Explain what you would like the engineer to do, perhaps asking their opinion.

I'll cancel the appointment for the engineer visit and request a change of entry point appointment.  Thank you for the advice.
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bogof

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Re: Wiring cover plate in garage - about to convert garage - advice please
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 01:34:35 PM »

Did you book a 'change point of entry' type service appointment from BT?

This ^^^
A suitably trained engineer will be sent.

A "Change point of entry" isn't the same as a "socket move" appointment, correct?

edit: The person I spoke to this morning in online chat first offered me a move of my socket at 130; when I repeated my query she gave me a BT Openreach infrastructure phone number to call instead: 0800 783 2023.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 01:39:42 PM by bogof »
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