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I have an oven that was installed prior to moving into the property. It was connected to a regular UK plug socket via a regular plug. Recently power to the oven has been cutting out and it sounded like a dodgy connection within the socket (sounds of sparks while flipping the switch on and off). Today I have changed the socket but it took a great deal of effort to remove the oven plug, as I can see the N prong looks corroded, and the socket shows signs of melting in the corresponding position.

Is this likely to be a dodgy socket or is it possible that it's unsafe wiring? Is it safe to plug the oven into a regular wall socket? The power cable happens to be 4 wired even though only 3 are used, making me suspect a bodge job.

From the manual, the oven needs 220-240V 50Hz, power consumption 2.3 kW, fuse min 13 A. (Plug has 13 A and no fuses tripped anywhere at any time).

Thanks!

Discoloured pin and melted plastic on back of socket, there is a hole Melted plastic on front of socket and inside plug around N connection

  • Can you post photos of the damaged plug and socket? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 27 '17 at 23:26
  • I've added two images. Hard to see on the first image, but there is a hole in the back plate of the socket. – Steve Aug 27 '17 at 23:53
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Replace your socket if my memory serves me right European wiring - Brown is your hot and blue is your neutral. Your socket looks heavily damaged and will cause you problems even with a new plug - it is a safety hazard. The resistance at that point is higher than it should be (think HEAT - melting eventual falling apart - loose hanging moving unshielded wires..).

I am not familiar enough with European codes to state whether you can plug it into a wall socket - the current carrying capacity of the wall socket wiring might be lower than your dedicated oven socket. If that is the case you will burn your house wiring and possibly burn your house down.

Replace your socket - it is not that difficult - but by all means TURN OFF ANY CIRCUIT BREAKERS or REMOVE FUSES that supply power to that Circuit. Test with a volt meter first to verify no power. Even when power is removed: use the one hand rule and work on the circuit as if it is LIVE!

  • That's a UK BS1363 mains plug and socket. It is unusual for a UK oven to be connected in this way, they are usually hard-wired to a dedicated 32A circuit for oven and hob. A typical oven might have a maximum loading of 5.5 kW which means 24A at 230V. It seems likely that this 13A plug has been overloaded at times and either the neutral screw was not as tight as the live or the contacts for the neutral pin were not as good. – RedGrittyBrick Aug 28 '17 at 10:08
  • @RedGrittyBrick If the oven had been drawing more than 13A, why did the fuse not break in the plug or in the fusebox? – Steve Aug 28 '17 at 17:49
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    @Steve: Fuses are generally "slow-blow" devices that are designed to allow relatively short-lasting high currents such as normal inrush currents. It can take minutes or hours before the fuse melts if the overcurrent is small. A bad connection in a plug or outlet could overheat or arc before the fuse overheats and melts. Also fuses are not precision devices. A UK 13A outlet is on a 32A circuit with a 32A breaker - the breaker wouldn't blow for a 24A load. – RedGrittyBrick Aug 28 '17 at 18:10
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    @Steve RedGrittyBrick mentioned Typical Oven Load 5.5KW 24A, you state your oven to be 1/2 of that 2.3KW which means approximately 12A. Your plug has been overloaded is correct the neutral side has a bad connection creating resistance and possibly arcing and the resistance creates heat to melt. You may not be drawing the current required to blow the fuse but you have an effective resistor on the neutral connection which is heating and melting that connection. – Ken Aug 29 '17 at 9:44
  • Thanks @Ken - can I just confirm a point you've made: do you think the bad connection is a fault and it'd be fixed by new socket & plug; or is the bad connection a result of using a traditional plug socket and I'll need a different type of fitting? – Steve Aug 29 '17 at 17:47

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