What is this BOX (Electricians Please)

@hairbag @ryan8five0 @jaybird @dustylee @vapingkrakenVK

So, after talking to my supplier and talking with the guys at UkPowerNetworks I still dont have a definitive answer to this problem… Im in the UK and this is NOT an Air Con…

The Box:

The Connection:

As you can see, the cable coming in from outside connects to the board, I was told by my supplier that it is bypassing the meter but what is its function?

Is the power going out and am I paying for it?

There is a thick cable just out of shot (at the bottom of the cupboard) which I assume is the main power IN cable…

All help massively appreciated.

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my guess its an old step down transformer

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Any reason why it would be wired to my board?

I would have to study your pic a little closer and get back to you Grubby

So, according to a friend it could be an old Rediffusion box?

one of the components I see looks like it a 60 amp circuit breaker 415 volt
capacity I can’t that being used for cable TV / redifussion box if … that is a circuit breaker git me curious

The cable on the left of the box going up towards the roof, goes across all 4 homes on the row…
No-one can tell me the function of this box or the reason why my home is sending power to it. :confused:

My brother had some weird stuff going on when he bought a new house…the previous home owners had “some” free unmetered power they would use.
I’m not saying that’s your case…it could be the opposite IDK

So your sending power to it after it’s metered? if that’s the case, that doesn’t sound good



Was there ever solar panels or a wind generator on the building? Or a steam boiler system? If so maybe the previous owners sold power back to the power company. There was a house we looked at when I bought my old home that was built by the technology department at IU. It was completely self efficient and relied on no external power from the power company. They did however sell power back and there were weird fuse boxes and transformers still hooked up even though the equipment was gone.

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I’m thinking step down transformer as well, and venting on the box lid tends to work with that theory…

It’s difficult to tell exactly what’s going on there, so here’s my guess.
Power enters at the bottom right to a standard junction. Cables leave junction above and go to standard 60A fuse; thence to your meter and consumer unit. 1 cable is spurred off from that 60A fuse to another (unusual) lead tag sealed 15A fuse which is unmetered at that point. I can only see a red cable then going to a brass(?) gland. I assume there is a black wire somewhere and that they feed (or fed) the box outside which some service provider* pays for on an unmetered basis. Very interesting that fuse being sealed like that! I very much doubt you’re paying for anything other than your own electricity.

*Rediffusion sounds a distinct possibility. If so, I’m guessing the wire from the eaves is an aerial cable and the wire on the wall to the right of the box is TV distribution. There will be an rf amp in the box if it wasn’t decommissioned last century.

Just my guess, could be totally wrong. I’m intrigued to know the real answer though - more pics showing wiring to the left would help.

There is a placard on the box in the lower corner. Anyway to get a snapshot of that. Might even give more of a clue as to what yah got there.

There is a device with a red led on the inside of the box. Can you get an up close picture of that, and any markings on it?

Wow, thanks for all your replys.

Nothing on the label and no way to open it.

@MixedUp2 Sounds plausible, no-one seems to want to take responsibility for it and if it wasn’t for the live wire I would definitely be forcing my way into the box and possibly removing it

Have a go at the red wire with a Draper Non Contact Voltage Tester. It’s possible there’s no fuse wire in the small 15A fuse and they just left all the wiring in place to save time. As electricians tend to do. And plumbers. And … :slight_smile:

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I asked the Man from my supplier to test it, he looked at it and said “Its live”… :confounded:

I think I might just tap into it and use it, save some money… :smirk:

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Unless he actually tested it he wouldn’t know!

Don’t tell me, you’ve just been given some nice herbs and a hydroponics kit … :smile:

I’ve had a good google and can’t find any references to Rediffusion boxes that look like yours. They did put boxes on the end of terraces and then feed cable out to subscriber boxes from it - no pictures though.
In any case, it’s so old (guess late 40s, 50s) it can’t still be in use. (Those vents look as if it housed valve equipment.) I’d eyeball the cables as far as possible to other houses and, if nothing obvious occurs, I’d rip the thing out. I’d probably check with the local council to see if there were any reference to the box first though.
I don’t know where you are in the UK, but some places like Hull got up to several cable distribution wheezes that subsequently disappeared.
Good luck. Let us know what you find out!

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Thanks appreciate all replys :wink: