Help on switches, radial circuits and master unit.

P

pna

Hello,

Just found this site a few days ago and have already found it useful; I would like some additional advice having recently moved into a house that needs some updating:

1. I have replaced most of the old and broken switches and sockets in the house, but the 2-way wiring light switches are confusing me. I want to replace one of these with a new switch, and the other with a dimmer switch, but the latter switch has outputs labelled L1, L2 and L3 and I don't know how to connect this up. Can you help?

2. I want to extend a radial circuit that has been added to the house to provide an additional socket outlet for a study. The radial circuit runs through the attached garage before going through the wall into the study. The current cable length is 26m. Do I need to use the thick grey cable to extend the circuit. Should I turn this circuit into a ring main, and if so, can I just use normal 2.5mm cable even though it will return through the garage?

3. My survey says I should get all the electrical installations checked, and get a quote for a more modern master unit with MCBs. Any views on what both of these should cost?

Thanks in advance
 
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dietcoke

pna said:
3. My survey says I should get all the electrical installations checked, and get a quote for a more modern master unit with MCBs. Any views on what both of these should cost?

Thanks in advance

that being the case how will making a radial into a ring solve the problem?

cost depends on where you are and how much work involved, get several quotes
 
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pna said:
1. ...the 2-way wiring light switches are confusing me. I want to replace one of these with a new switch, and the other with a dimmer switch, but the latter switch has outputs labelled L1, L2 and L3 and I don't know how to connect this up. Can you help?

Two way switches all work the same way. There is one common terminal, normally labelled 'Common' or 'Com' and generally positioned on its own at the top of a switch. This is where the circuit enters the switch. Then, depending on the switch position, the circuit continues via either L1 or L2 (sometimes labelled '1Way' and '2Way') In your case the L1 is probably the common and L2 & L3 the alternative switching routes, but unless it is obvious you should check with a continuity tester to make sure.

pna said:
2. I want to extend a radial circuit that has been added to the house to provide an additional socket outlet for a study. The radial circuit runs through the attached garage before going through the wall into the study. The current cable length is 26m. Do I need to use the thick grey cable to extend the circuit. Should I turn this circuit into a ring main, and if so, can I just use normal 2.5mm cable even though it will return through the garage?

This all depends on what is on that circuit, how it is wired and how it is protected. I'm a bit concerned by the 'thick grey cable' reference as it does imply a lack of certainty on your part. As you've been advised to get an inspection, why not go ahead with this and go with the recommendations?
 
P

pna

Thanks for your replies.

On Q2, I was really trying to understand if there are any regs on the type of cable used in a garage, and if I should try to match the 'thick grey cable' to extend the circuit (not sure if this is 4mm - havn't looked closely yet), or if normal 2.5mm cable would suffice.

If was thinking about trying to turn the radial circuit into a ring circuit as the cable length is already quite long and I thought it would be safer.

The radial circuit is straight out the master unit - havn't looked at the fuse yet.

On Q3, the surveyor was looking for an electrical safety certificate due to an extension which was built after the house was initially built - he didn't raise any issues with the existing wiring.
 
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2.5mm should be fine for truning it into a ring no real need to use 4mm except on huge rings
 

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