First Timer.... be gentle - switched wiring problem ;-)

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Hi,
First off, a great forum a great source of info. I have searched and read various threads but nothing helps in my situation, so I have posted this problem. I would really be grateful if someone can help me through this.

First, everything is on old wiring, black and red, we also have an old bakerlight box which is going to be replaced by a sparky in Jan. At the moment I have some wiring problems which are stopping lights in kitchen and upstairs, seem on same loop.

I think someone has the switch wire connected up wrong on one of the lights or switches, so I am running through each element with images inline of the current wiring. I have a multimeter and can source the correct switch wire in each case.

Downstairs Switch
This double lightswitch currently switches two downstairs lights on together from the right hand toggle (totally separate to the problem). Pictured is the current wiring and at the moment the left hand switch I assume is meant to switch the LANDING on and off from downstairs. (currently it does not).

DOWNSTAIRS-SWITCH.jpg


Landing Light
This is showing exactly what the wiring is, I have annotated for ease. I will switch off power and do a continuity test to confirm which is switch wire, currently there is no extra sleeve on any of these cables.

LANDING-LIGHT.jpg


Landing Switch
This switch is supposed to turn the LANDING light on and it does not. Before the lights went in the loop (Half Kitchen, Landing, Bathroom) the only way to switch Landing Light on was to use right hand toggle on DOWNSTAIRS SWITCH. That toggled the two DOWNSTAIRS light on simultaneously and turned off LANDING light.

LANDING-SWITCH.jpg


Bathroom Light
The Bathroom light is on a pull cord switch, I think it may be on the end of the loop. This shows the current wiring for this unit, I don't know if this is all correct.

BATHROOM-LIGHT.jpg


My thoughts are that there is a wrong placement of the switch wire in either the DOWNSTAIRS switch or the UPSTAIRS switch or even the LANDING light. The Bathroom light has gone off I think because it is last in the loop.

I would really appreciate some help on this, I can see that this is a forum of people with great knowledge who hopefully can see a bit of 'direction' will get me to sort this.

Thanks

skywalker
 
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Check that the red in the left hand switch is part of the 3core+e that appears at the single switch. Assuming that it is, then the blue wire should be in the spare terminal of the left hand switch - that will sort the landing light. The bathroom light is probably a separate problem - maybe wrong wiring at the landing light rose.
 
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Check that the red in the left hand switch is part of the 3core+e that appears at the single switch. Assuming that it is, then the blue wire should be in the spare terminal of the left hand switch - that will sort the landing light. The bathroom light is probably a separate problem - maybe wrong wiring at the landing light rose.

Thanks Simon, how would I check that the red is the same one? if correct are you saying that the blue wire moves from next to the black, to next to the yellow at the top of the switch?

On the ceiling rose in the Bathroom, is one of those a switch wire, perhaps in the wrong connection, I could sort that with a continuity test>

Thanks again
 
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Downstairs Switch
That is a metal switch and requires an earth connection.
As your wiring has no earth, that switch cannot be used.
It's also non-compliant because the box is recessed into that wooden panel, and the exposed wooden edge is forming part of the enclosure when the switch is fitted.

If you have any other metal switches or metal light fittings, they must also be replaced with plastic ones.
 
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upload_2018-12-6_12-58-59.png


Swap the yellow and black, and
make sure the right hand red is the red from the cable of the yellow and Blue. If it is NOT swap the Reds.
 
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Thanks Simon, how would I check that the red is the same one?
You look and see if it's in the same sheath. The red and black in the right hand switch should be in one sheath, and the red, yellow, blue in another (matching the landing switch). At the landing, the red & black in the same sheath go to the ceiling rose.
if correct are you saying that the blue wire moves from next to the black, to next to the yellow at the top of the switch?
Yes
On the ceiling rose in the Bathroom, is one of those a switch wire, perhaps in the wrong connection
Yes, but it appears to be wired correctly as the last light on the circuit. One red & black bring the supply in, the other red & black go down to the switch. If wired correctly, the black wire in the right hand terminal is the switched live coming back from the switch and it should have some red (or these days, brown) sleeving on it.

Given that the landing and bathroom lights don't work, there's a good chance that someone's got the wiring wrong in the landing light rose. The whole lot was clearly done by a complete idiot since no-one in their right mind hacks off the earth wires like that - it's both very bad practice, and is not compliant with regulations as it prevents an earth being available anywhere in the circuit. While it may have been done before the regs changed (it used to be allowed to have no earth in lighting circuits), it's still arguably against the general reg of "good workmanship" - why remove something that's already there when leaving it in allows future flexibility (such as fitting metal switch plates) :evil:
 
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That is a metal switch and requires an earth connection.
As your wiring has no earth, that switch cannot be used.
It's also non-compliant because the box is recessed into that wooden panel, and the exposed wooden edge is forming part of the enclosure when the switch is fitted.

If you have any other metal switches or metal light fittings, they must also be replaced with plastic ones.

Thanks Flameport, so how do I source new switches which are all plastic which match the metal toggle ones already in that room?
 
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so how do I source new switches which are all plastic which match the metal toggle ones already in that room?
You probably can't, unless you can find someone who makes switches that don't need an earth - they need to be "double insulated". I doubt that anyone does since the regs require an earth to be present behind the switch, as there would have been had they not been hacked off by the idiot who did the original install.
 
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You look and see if it's in the same sheath. The red and black in the right hand switch should be in one sheath, and the red, yellow, blue in another (matching the landing switch). At the landing, the red & black in the same sheath go to the ceiling rose.

Yes

Yes, but it appears to be wired correctly as the last light on the circuit. One red & black bring the supply in, the other red & black go down to the switch. If wired correctly, the black wire in the right hand terminal is the switched live coming back from the switch and it should have some red (or these days, brown) sleeving on it.

Given that the landing and bathroom lights don't work, there's a good chance that someone's got the wiring wrong in the landing light rose. The whole lot was clearly done by a complete idiot since no-one in their right mind hacks off the earth wires like that - it's both very bad practice, and is not compliant with regulations as it prevents an earth being available anywhere in the circuit. While it may have been done before the regs changed (it used to be allowed to have no earth in lighting circuits), it's still arguably against the general reg of "good workmanship" - why remove something that's already there when leaving it in allows future flexibility (such as fitting metal switch plates) :evil:

Thanks Simon, I will check the sheathes. As for the comments about old work. Yes this is all wiring that has been up for probably the last 40 years. I do not see Earth wires connected anywhere. I am just in a position of trying to hopefully get this all sorted so we can get the lights back on safely.

I have a sparky who is going to fit a new Fuse Box in January, we are trying to get funds up together for this. Thanks again.
 
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Guys, I have just noticed that right inside the sheath for the red,blue,yellow cable is a copper cable, assuming this is the earth?. On both the Landing Switch and the Downstairs Switch it is barely visible, certainly not connected? So that cable has an earth, I can pull back the sheath after turning everything off and recut to allow this to connect to the earth connection on both Landing and Downstairs switches. If done correctly will this make the switches safe, just going back to comment from Flameport. Thanks again all.
 
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You would have to test whether this was connected all the way back to the main earthing terminal. I suspect that it probably isn't.
 
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It would be beneficial to know some history. For instance ,have these lights that don't work just suddenly stopped after working perfectly well ? Or have they never worked? Or did they stop working as a result of work being done on the electrics ,new light fittings ,switches etc?
 
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Also lighting circuits are not loops or rings. They are radial circuits.
 
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