1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Help with slightly odd wiring for lights

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by jjbhargreaves, 9 Jun 2011.

  1. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi all

    First time poster here... i've got a bit of an issue trying to wire up a new light in my living room.

    I've had a browse around the wiring diagrams that were provided in the sticky on this area and used one as a basis to start, but haven't quite got it right I think. Here's the scenario...

    I'm replacing the light in our living room with a decorative metal B&Q Eva chandelier that we were given which has half a dozen bulbs and Neutral, Live & Earth wires terminated at a 4 way chock block (terminal strip), obviously one slot on that is free. The metal frame is earthed into the chock block.

    The old light was a single standard bulb and only had live and neutral and was wired to a standard plastic ceiling rose terminal. I've removed this as it doesn't fit (physically) with the new light mounting. The wires coming from the ceiling are Live (red), Neutral (Black), Earth (bare copper) and a further wire which is red with black tape on it - so I assume it is being used as the switched line.

    We have three lights in the room - a pair of two on the wall and then the main one in the ceiling which i'm changing. They are controlled separately by on a double switch on the wall - one for the pair, one for the ceiling light.

    So far in wiring the main light, I've matched up neutral & neutral, earth & earth, and the switched line to the live, and have put the live (red) to one of the slots on the remaining spare slot on the chock block.

    This results in a curious situation. I worked out that the main lights didn't work as the bulbs had blown that came with it. I found a single working bulb which fitted it, and with that single bulb in, the main light seems to work...but is controlled by the switch that previously controlled the wall lights, and now the wall lights don't work. If, however, I screw the additional broken bulbs into place, the main light doesn't work but the wall lights do.

    I suspect i've wired the ceiling and wall lights so they're trying to work from the same switch, but obviously got it slightly askew.

    Any bright ideas as to how to separate them so they work off the separate switches? The wiring at the switches hasn't been altered and worked fine previously - it's just the wiring at the ceiling itself I need to work out.

    Safety wise, i've flicked the trip switch for the lights in the house before touching anything.

    Would be grateful for any help!
     
  2. holmslaw

    holmslaw

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2006
    Messages:
    5,841
    Thanks Received:
    400
    Country:
    United Kingdom
  3. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi mate

    Thanks for replying - one of the wires coming from the ceiling is an earth wire. The new metal chandelier has two earth wires coming off it also - one which I can see is clearly attached to the metal frame, and terminates at the chock block - the other runs down with the main bundle of wires into the heart of the chandelier and is terminated at the same place on the chock block.

    I've connected the chock block to the earth wire coming from the ceiling as per the wiring diagrams i've looked at on the sticky.

    Would this then fulfil the requirements for earthing?
     
  4. holmslaw

    holmslaw

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2006
    Messages:
    5,841
    Thanks Received:
    400
    Country:
    United Kingdom
  5. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Right, so i'll have a rummage around in the cavity and see if there's one hiding back there.

    The switch on the wall itself is plastic and so doesn't need an earth - am I correct there? Looking round the back of the switch, it just has the lives running to it.
     
  6. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Anyone else with any other thoughts? Earthing aside, does it look like I have a correct complement of wires up there, and does the wiring i've done look correct?

    I'm thinking there should be another live somewhere which will connect to the live i've got in the spare slot on the chock block.
     
  7. sparkwright

    sparkwright

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2009
    Messages:
    6,731
    Thanks Received:
    806
    Location:
    Dorset
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Older wiring sometimes doesn't have earth wires, or sometimes the feed cables have earths but the switch wires don't - this was when sometimes metal lights were fitted but it was standard for the switches to be plastic.

    Can you clarify EXACTLY what wires emerge from which cables at the centre light please.
     
  8. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Sure - i'll have a peek and get back to you in a bit.

    Thanks all!
     
  9. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2003
    Messages:
    69,787
    Thanks Received:
    2,857
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    And exactly where they were connected in the old ceiling rose.
     
  10. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Now that I can answer as I wrote down before I removed it...

    In order from left to right across the 8 sockets...

    1. Blue (light neutral)
    2. Red with black tape (assume switched line)
    3. Black (neutral)

    4. Nothing
    5. Nothing
    6. Nothing

    7. Red (live)
    8. Brown (light live)

    In addition, there was a bare copper earth wire coming from the ceiling which was connected to the earth point on the plastic ceiling rose.

    My old light was a standard non-metal pendant type.

    Just to clarify, the switch is a 1-way plastic type, and I don't think it has an earth wire coming from it - taking a peek behind the switch panel I can't see one. The wires running to the L1 slots are both red (live), although my guess is that the other end of one of those red wires has the black tape around it and is the switched line.
     
  11. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2010
    Messages:
    28,468
    Thanks Received:
    3,057
    Location:
    Retired to:
    Country:
    Portugal
    This doesn't match your description of the original wiring.
    I am hesitant to offer you any further advice at this time.

    Could we have a picture of the wiring of the switch?
     
  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2010
    Messages:
    28,468
    Thanks Received:
    3,057
    Location:
    Retired to:
    Country:
    Portugal
    Just to add -

    If we assume (although we should never assume) that the red wire with black sleeve is, in fact, a neutral it would appear you have wired the new light to two neutrals.
     
  13. Electrifying

    Electrifying

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    398
    Thanks Received:
    33
    Location:
    Merseyside
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Seriously, you need an electrician.

    One of the first things you should have done it's checked the 'earth' (as you call it), that is 'sticking' out of the ceiling, for continuity.

    You are installing a metal light fitting with no idea if you actually have a path to earth.

    How do you propose testing the safety of any of this - even if you do manage to work the wiring out?
     
  14. jjbhargreaves

    jjbhargreaves

    Joined:
    9 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi guys

    I appreciate the suggestion to get a proper spark in, but i'd like to try and learn some stuff and that's why i'm asking here as i'm seeking advice on what I can do first! I've no objection to picking up a multimeter or similar if that's what is needed.

    Next question is, with the original plastic ceiling rose wiring, both lights worked fine previously, so i'm just trying to work out how to replicate that without the ceiling rose. How would I do this?
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2003
    Messages:
    69,787
    Thanks Received:
    2,857
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Good man.

    But you need to go back and lay down some foundations, as right now you don't really understand some pretty basic stuff, e.g.:

    So you've assumed it would be OK to connect a switched line conductor to neutral ones....

     
Loading...

Share This Page