Getting rid of an unwanted light switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by addey, 10 Jan 2010.

  1. addey

    addey

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    The previous owner of my house had fitted cupboards in the dining room which had internal lights. The units have now all gone but we are left with a redundant light switch (and i assume circuit). We'd like to get rid of it as we are about to replaster and decorate.

    Do i need to get an electrician in to do this? Or can i strip it out myself? Anything i need to look out for?

    thanks
     
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  3. bongos

    bongos

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    Find out what circuit it is on and isolate that circuit, disconnecting the cable to the fitting if possible. If you have to leave the circuit energised then you cannot plaster over the light switch and will have to fit a blanking plate.

    [​IMG]

    This is so that anyone drilling into the wall in the future can be aware of the 'safe zones' made by the cable running at this switch - if you buried it live in the wall then no-one would know it was there.

    You may find that the lights are spurred from a nearby socket with a FCU on the circuit. If so then you will obviously be able to disconnect the cable and therefore plaster over it.

    Safe Zones.
     
  4. addey

    addey

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    bongos, a belated thanks for your reply! I haven't done anything about this switch yet but have investigated further...

    If i unscrew the switch plate there is an earth (screwed into the eletrical box) then the 2 cables from the switch. The cable leads up into ceiling so i've had a look under the floorboards and it leads into a junction box. Another cable leads out and appears to go nowhere (there is no cable coming back into the dining room where the lights were)

    So my question is whether this circuit is 'live' - where would the power be coming from? Or have i missed out part of the circuit? Also, as the switch isn't linked to anything, how do i find out which circuit it is on in order to isolate it?!

    Hope i'm not being too stupid with these Q's! It seems like such a small job to get an electrician in to do, so would prefer to do myself.

    thanks
     
  5. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You should have a means of testing - please buy a multimeter.
     
  6. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Once you have identified the circuit and safely isolated it;-


    Remove from the junction box the switch cable and the old cable that went to the light/any cable that 'doesn't go anywhere'.
     
  7. addey

    addey

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    Thanks for the replies, but i'm still confused :LOL:

    There doesn't appear to be any live connection to the circuit. I assume the junction box under the floorboards would also accomodate the live feed normally? Otherwise where would it be connected into the mains?
     
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  9. bongos

    bongos

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    This sounds like the permanent live for the switch and the switched live returning to the junction box. If this cable is dead then you will be able to remove the switch and cable and cover over without using a blanking plate.

    As to whether it is live, as already suggested you need a multimeter to confirm. DO NOT USE A NEON SCREWDRIVER. You could pick up a cheap multimeter from Maplins or one of the DIY sheds for a few quid. Something like this will do the job for light work.

    Absolutely. It is a job you can do yourself. But you must have the proper equipment. A multimeter is bound to come in handy on other occasions anyway. ;)
     
  10. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    You need to check if any of this wiring is live. It may be old redundant wiring that needs removing.

    Send photos of everything you can if possible if in doubt.

    Have you a test meter?
     
  11. bongos

    bongos

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    Depends what you mean by appear. :LOL:

    Yes it would, normally. But a multimeter will come in handy. Go on treat yourself. ;)
     
  12. addey

    addey

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    OK, i'll get myself a multimeter to test all the wires! I can take photos but my ability to post them here is probably equal to my ability to work out lighting circuits :LOL: :rolleyes:

    The old guy who had the house before was a bit of a 'tinkerer' so there is a good chance i've got live wires laying around loose under my floorboards!

    If its any help the junction box is open and the connections are as follows (it has 4 'junctions'):

    Red from switch is connected to black towards where the end light would have been
    Black from switch isn't connected to anything (well it's into a connector)
    Bare wire (!) from switch is connected to yellow/green
    and Red coming in from where end light would be is connected to nothing (connector)

    hope that makes sense!
     
  13. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    If you are certain you have correctly identified the cable comming up from the switch, then isolate the circuit (probably best the whole house if you are unsure), prove its dead, remove the cable to teh switch from the JB, leaving the JB on the other cable (sounds like the JB was just to extend the switch drop), then try and pull the old switch drop out of the capping, if it wont come then chop it off both ends, then remove the backbox for the switch/make good the wall as appropiate :)
     
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