I'm replacing a hob and they were wired up for Earth, Neutral and Live.

Now I don't know which one is the earth, they have a different composition of wires in the cable.

Here is the image enter image description here


  • 2
    The single core one. Somebody very naughty slipped a bit of Neutral insulation on it, instead of using the correct green/yellow. If I bought one like this, I'd send it back because I don't know what other shortcuts they took. Mar 8, 2020 at 14:24
  • That's it, it was blue cover over it. Only when I went playing with the wires I saw it. Thanks
    – JohnnyQ
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:27
  • JohnnyQ You should replace the blue sleeve with a green/yellow one, available from electrical or DIY stores.
    – Graham Nye
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:59
  • "If I bought one like this" I think the cable the OP is showing is part of the installation, not part of the new hob. Mar 25, 2020 at 23:21
  • Just out of curiosity, since I speak en-US, not en-UK, what's a "hob"?
    – FreeMan
    Mar 27, 2020 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


This isn't an electronics design question so you're on the wrong site. We'll move it to https://diy.stackexchange.com and delete this.

To answer your question:

enter image description here

The guys in the photo-forensics lab say that someone has pushed some blue insulation from a seven-strand neutral wire onto the uninsulated solid earth wire.

  • Yes the sheet over the wire was blue and shoved into the cable. All set up now.
    – JohnnyQ
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:45
  • 2
    "Sheath", Johnny. "Sheath"! We don't do good "th"s in Ireland.
    – Transistor
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:51

From your other posts and from looking at the type of cable, you appear to be in the UK.

Most domestic fixed wiring in the UK is done with what we call "twin and earth" (T&E) cable. This has two insulated current carrying conductors and an uninsulated earth conductor arranged side by side in a flat profile and covered by an outer sheath. The earth conductor is usually smaller than the current carrying conductors. In modern 4mm² and 6mm² T&E cable the earth is solid while the current carrying conductors are stranded (in smaller cables all conductors are solid, in larger ones all conductors are stranded).

In the UK normal practice is to sleeve the earth wires (unlike the Americans who leave theirs bare). It looks like whoever installed the hob did not have any Earth sleeving to hand, so they used a bit of insulation stripped off the neutral conductor instead.

You should swap it for some proper earth sleeving so as not to confuse the next guy. I would also want to inspect the rest of the circuit to see if there were any other problems with it.

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