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Advice on light switch wires and terminal blocks...

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Sharpey, 7 Oct 2013.

  1. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    Hello all.

    I have a plasterer coming in tomorrow and want the skim to be done behind the sockets and switches for neatness. I am planning to remove the socket fronts and put the wires in a terminal block covered heavily in insulating tape to protect the screw heads (too late to get choc boxes now).

    The sockets seems simple enough, but I'm not sure how to do the light switches as there are two way and three way ones, so there will be a collection of wires that I don't know where to put.

    Appreciate any help on this, last thing I want to do is pull away the switches and cover with carrier bags!

    Thanks.
     
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  3. riveralt

    riveralt

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    Tell him to be careful - remember you're the customer.

    To be honest for complicated lighting circuits that might be the simplest.
    The alternate is to photograph and mark every single cable, before, you remove them, so you know exactly where to put them when he has finished.
    Put them into connector blocks and cover as you have already intimated.
    Make sure the power to those circuits is off when he is working.
     
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  4. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    Thanks for the quick reply riveralt.

    Are you saying power needs to be off even if connector blocks are applied?

    Also, if I were to connect up the blocks, would it be as simple as putting each wire in to a separate terminal or would some have to be combined?
     
  5. riveralt

    riveralt

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    If you keep the power on then for some of the switches you may need to be careful how you wire them - otherwise you could cause the circuit(s) to trip - this especially true of two way circuits.
    The other thing is that your plasterer may not want to work close to live cables.
    Personally I would leave the power off when he is working and think long and hard about removing the switches without considering following the instructions above.
    We get a lot of posts about problems with lighting circuits when people have removed/replaced switches.
     
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  6. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    OK.

    Well, in terms of the sockets, he will need power to mix the plaster etc. But I think if they have the blocks on with tape they will be adequately insulated and he can use an extension cable from another socket.

    I spoke to him today and it was his idea to have the connector blocks. So what I might do is just turn off the light switch power at the consumer unit and maybe just pull the switch away slightly and cover with plastic/a bag thoroughly.

    If I do go down the route of terminal blocks on the light switches, is the following a good plan?

    1) Label wires and take photos of current wiring.
    2) Put each separate conductor in to a separate terminal, and if there is more than one wire in a switch, give each wire it's own terminal block.
    3) Wrap thoroughly with insulating tape.

    TBH, I might just turn the lights off as day light might be adequate this week, and then turn them back on when he leaves each day.
     
  7. riveralt

    riveralt

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    That would be a good plan.
    The problem with the lighting circuit is minimal if there is only a live and switch live at the switch - put them in separate blocks for the light to stay off and together if you want the light permanently on.
    For 2 way lights or where the power comes to the switch (where you have live, neutral and earth) is slightly more problematic.
    Then you need to keep the loops (live, neutral and earth) together in the blocks and follow the same plan for the live and switch live as outlined above.

    If that means leaving the switches connected then okay, but if not then you might want to think about using plug in lamps for the duration of the work.
     
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  8. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    Thanks for your help riveralt, much appreciated, think I understand things a bit better now.
     
  9. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    If I was paying for a plasterer I would take the time to chase new back boxes into the wall rather than be stuck with surface boxes for the next decade or two.
     
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  11. Iggifer

    Iggifer

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    Am I missing the bit where it says surface socket?
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I'm not at all sure that you are missing anything. I took:
    To mean that he was talking about flush accessories, and:
    ... to mean that he wanted the plasterer to skim up to the edges of sunken backboxes - but maybe I'm wrong.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  13. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    No surface sockets Taylor, sorted that at the weekend. :)
     
  14. RF Lighting

    RF Lighting

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    Well you crack on then.

    What's the point of coming here and then just ignoring the advice you're given because it isn't what you wanted to hear? :rolleyes:


    Don't. You're just making work for yourself, and you WILL regret it.
     
  15. Sharpey

    Sharpey

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    Could you point out where anyone has said terminating and insulating the sockets is a bad idea and shouldn't be done?
     
  16. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    Sorry, I took the OP saying
    To mean they were surface boxes. :oops:
     
  17. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Decide which light(s) you would want on when it gets dark, and put them on.

    Read this: http://www.diynot.com/wiki/electrics:lighting so that you understand what your switches are doing.

    With the power off, use choc blocks with the wires arranged to replicate the connections made in the switches.

    When the plasterer has done, but before you can put the switches back, turn on the power and you will have lights.
     
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