Ceiling rose / light fittings / connector strips

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by HertsDIY, 11 Jan 2010.

  1. HertsDIY

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    Hi,

    I've trawled many sites and can't seem to find an answer anywhere for my situation so I'm hoping someone can clarify for me :

    I need to put up a light fitting which will not work with a ceiling rose which is what is currently installed. The light is for downstairs and I know a good way would be to put in a junction box above, however I don't want to be pulling up the carpet and cutting floorboards! Therefore I believe the only viable option is connecting up via choc block and putting the strip in the cup (not enough space for choc box in the void above as I'd have to make the hole in the ceiling bigger!). The problem with this is that the cables are quite brittle and it's hard to get 2 never mind 3 cables into the 5a connector which seems to be the standard rating for lighting circuits advised on various DIY sites.

    1. I assume I can use larger choc block, obviously higher rating, without any issues? Also, is splitting the blocks to make the connections easier a personal choice thing or is it recommended to keep the strip together where possible for a more professional touch?

    2. The additional earth cables that come attached to lamps/light fittings with metal parts - I assume this should go into the ceiling rose/choc block with the rest of the earths which seems common sense to me, however just checking after what I've read about double insulated items.

    Thanks in advance for advice/tips :)
     
  2. skenk

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    1. Yes you can use a larger choc block, no problem as long as all conductors are properly secured under the screw. If it makes it easier you can separate the blocks. What s this 'cup' you talk of? all connections should be inside the light fitting or a junction box, not stuffed into the ceiling void.

    2. Yes connect all earths together (and ideally check earth continuity between fitting and main earth terminal -multimeter required- and earth loop impedance at the fitting -specialist test equipment required)

    i'm a little concerned that you say the cables are brittle, they shouldn't be. Are they standard pcv insulated twin & earth cables with no signs of damage, overheating etc.?
     
  3. HertsDIY

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    Hi,

    Sorry, the blocks would be in the top of the light fitting (ceiling cup) that secures to the ceiling.

    The cables are stiff as I'm sure they will be 10-20 years old although not rubber :) and are 3 strand, red and black insulated and seem fine apart from being a bit brittle and pigs to get into the blocks!
     
  4. sparkwright

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    They shouldn't be brittle.
    Are they crumbly? Does the insulation feel it would break off if you bent a wire?
    Possibly the heat from a light fitting has caused this?
    Any slack on the cable? The cable may be ok further up.
    Any pictures? We love pictures...
     
  5. HertsDIY

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    There isn't much slack to play with unfortunately so hope to get them reconnected as they are!

    I'd guess the light has also been there for the same 10-20 years so has contributed heat and I have had to trim back a couple of cm where one of the red cables cracked as I manoeuvred it.

    If anyone has any top tips for connecting stiff wires that aren't as long as you'd like.............?

    (Not sure I'll get pictures)
     
  6. Chri5

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    Terminate if via the sub floor above ? Making sure it is accessable from below ?


    BTW -----------> The Wiki is useful :D

    [​IMG]
     
  7. HertsDIY

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    Thanks, I'd already seen this - my issue isn't what to connect to where, but more getting the existing cables reconnected as securely as possible and whether anyone had a secret technique to twist together before inserting into the block or any other methods!
     
  8. skenk

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    Do not twist wires together. If you can get the (proper ratchet style, cost ~£20) crimping pliers into the space then you could extend the short wires.
     
  9. ban-all-sheds

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    This is wrong wrong wrong. PVC cables do not naturally go stiff and brittle after 10-20 years. This is heat damage and you must cut the cable back to where the insulation is undamaged.


    Do you want to die in a fire?
     

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