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earth wire

This topic originated from the How to page called Replacing a one way light switch with a two way light switch
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catewithers

from United Kingdom

Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:33 pm Reply with quote

we live in an ex-authority house which is almost 40 years old. I want to replace all the lightswitches - which are the original plastic curved fronted ones - with brushed steel switches. Having taken off the cover of the switch in the hallway, there is no earth wire in the box behind. Clearly there needs to be an earth with the metal fixing. What can I do about it? Is there a way I can sort it out without calling out an electrician?
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:51 pm Reply with quote

Well - you, or someone, needs to run an earth cable to each light switch & fitting, and they should all be connected together and connected back to the earth terminal in your CU or fusebox. I don't know whether this is something that you would feel comfortable with doing yourself, or if you need an electrician, but I think that you should get one of those anyway to inspect your entire installation.

It is nearly 40 years since it became compulsory to have an earth conductor in lighting circuits, which would fit with the age of your house, so there's a good chance that all of the wiring is 40 years old. Even if not rubber insulated, it may well have multi-stranded wires (which might not be able to cope with modern appliances), no main or supplementary earth bonding, no RCD for sockets which might be used to supply outdoors, and so on.
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Big_Spark

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:14 pm Reply with quote

I must concur with Ban on this, get a Contractor (Compnay or Self-Employed) to come in and do a full Inspection and Test of the entire Installation.

That way you will certainly have a clear picture of the situation you are faced with.
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 9:11 am Reply with quote

Also, I fear that I might, in the words of our glorious leader, have misunderestimated what you need to do. I'm pretty sure that you couldn't just add a separate earth cable to the lighting circuit, at least, not without putting it in conduit, and that what you'd actually have to do would be to rewire it with twin & earth cable. I might be wrong - I know you need mechanical protection for single cables used for live & neutral, but I don't know about earths.
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Big_Spark

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:25 am Reply with quote

Ban, you are correct, you could not simply add an Earth to the circuit..didn't say anything as you suggested a rewire.

By the time you spend money updating the circuits and the rest of the installation to comply, a rewire will be cheaper in the long run.
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securespark

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:35 pm Reply with quote

Who's the gloriuos leader then??? icon_lol.gif
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:14 am Reply with quote

George W Bush, of course....
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securespark

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:33 am Reply with quote

(Read this with a US accent)

Sorry, folks, guess I was being a dumb-ass not picking up on that one.

See y'all!!
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galv

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Joined: 08 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:40 pm Reply with quote

just wondering whats the situation with all the people that have installed metal light fittings that don't have earths?i am sure every leccy that has been asked to fit one dos'nt rewire the house.
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breezer

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:15 pm Reply with quote

galv wrote:
i am sure every leccy that has been asked to fit one dos'nt rewire the house.


(i cant quite think of the right word, but the gist is)

an electrcian is saying everything is ok, safe and up to standard, if it is not you must make it so it is

you also know where the door is that you came in.
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Big_Spark

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:53 pm Reply with quote

galv wrote:
just wondering whats the situation with all the people that have installed metal light fittings that don't have earths?i am sure every leccy that has been asked to fit one dos'nt rewire the house.


If any Electrician fits a metal anything to any installation that does not have an Earth, he should be prosecuted for gross negligence.

He should state to the Home Owner.

" I am sorry to inform you but your current installation does not meet currently enforced regulations to BS7671:2001, as such I am unable to undertake the work you requested unless you give me the go ahead to bring the installation up to date. I appreciate this is an unforseen cost and because of this I will supply you with a quote for the works necessary so you may consult other contractors with regards to this. I will be in touch forth with regarding the quote, have a nice day"

(Words to that effect anyway)
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breezer

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:59 pm Reply with quote

see, i said i couldn't think of the right words icon_rolleyes.gif
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galv

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:05 pm Reply with quote

the reason i asked is i have just moved into a property and was going to change a metal light fitting left by the previous owner but there were no earths (i know it will need a rewire in the near future)the previous owner assures me they were fitted by an electrician,and so it made me think there must be hundreds of thousands of houses like this with lights fittings fitted by electricians.
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breezer

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:32 pm Reply with quote

galv wrote:
the previous owner assures me they were fitted by an electrician,.


he would say that wouldn't he
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c.k.

from Ireland

Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Posts: 54
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:18 pm Reply with quote

In the event of an installation not being up to standard, can an electrician do the work requested, but state on the completion cert. that the problems exist and get the customer to sign it? Does this pass the responsibility on to the customer?
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