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Light Switch installation problems

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Kyran O'Regan, 23 Jun 2020.

  1. Kyran O'Regan

    Kyran O'Regan

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    Hi, I'm just after changing most of the light switches in my house, and I've come across two problems. Firstly, I have installed metal switches in some areas of the house, and I'm unable to earth the switches because when the house was built, whoever installed the lights seems to have cut off the ends of the earth switches so they won't reach to the terminal. Is there an urgent need to have these earthed and if so, would it be a big job for an electrician to do.
    Second problem is regarding a one gang two way light switch. I've installed a number of these throughout the house which have gone well, but I'm having trouble with the light on my upstairs landing, where one switch is at the top of the stairs and the other is at the bottom. The bottom switch worked fine after replacing it and then when I replaced the top switch there were problems. The light switch at the top of the stairs has a layout of L and N terminals in and the same out, and two earth terminals. It is completely different to the rest of the standard switches with 2 lines and a common terminal. In the original switch, there was a blue wire in one line and a brown wire in the second line, and then a second brown wire in the common terminal, so is there any way that I can wire this new switch with the L and N terminals to work as a two way switch, because I don't understand the different markings (L and N in/out) on it, and it was advertised as a 1 gang 2 way switch. Thanks in advance for any help
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Yes, metal switches must be earthed.
    Can you extend the earth wire with a connector block and another piece of wire?

    That is an "intermediate" switch as you must have three switches operating the light.
    You will have to get an intermediate switch to replace it.
     
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  4. Risteard

    Risteard

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    You should never have fitted unearthed Class I metallic switches. You have put users of the installation in danger.
     
  5. winston1

    winston1

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    Are you sure. It sounds like a double pole one way switch to me.
     
  6. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    You might be right. I might have misread it.

    Presumably should NOT be a double-pole switch.

    I took that to mean the original switch (to be replaced).

    Reading it again I am now confused as it seems there are only three wires so a normal two-way switch would be required.
    So, is it the new switch that is different? If so, why would the OP query it if he has bought something different by mistake?

    Yes, it looks like I had it the wrong way round.

    Better start again -

    No. the new switch is misnamed. Get a two way switch.



    Note: If you have already bought an intermediate that can be used as a two-way as well.
     
  7. Kyran O'Regan

    Kyran O'Regan

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    After googling it does look like an intermediate switch but do you know how I'd need to wire it for it to work?
     
  8. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Do you have three switches operating the landing light?
     
  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    And - did the light operate correctly - off and on at all switches in all positions?
     
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  11. Kyran O'Regan

    Kyran O'Regan

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    No there's 2 switches operating it. Currently it's wired so that both switches can turn it on and off, but I can't turn it on at one switch and off at the other
     
  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Ok. Well, in that case it could well be a double pole switch that someone has mistakenly used. Post a picture.

    You will need to get a two-way switch.

    With a two-way switch:
    You just connect the brown and blue from the same cable to one end of the switch, and
    the other brown to the other end.

    If you were to use an intermediate although not necessary:
    You just connect the brown and blue from the same cable to one end of the switch, and
    the other brown to one of the terminals (doesn't matter which) the other end.
     
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  13. Risteard

    Risteard

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    You need to get a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) in without delay as you have unearthed Class I switches. This is not safe.
     
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  14. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Try and send pictures.

    Are the earths connected at the light fittings?
     
  15. Kyran O'Regan

    Kyran O'Regan

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    There's 3 wires at each fitting going into a cable connector which I think is the earth wire, so I'm going to buy some earth wire tomorrow and extend them so they'll reach to the earth terminal on the switch
     
  16. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Hopefully that will make everything have an earth connection, but the only way to be sure is to do a test at each point.
     
  17. Kyran O'Regan

    Kyran O'Regan

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    I've a friend who's an electrician so I might ask him to have a look once it's done. Thanks for the help anyway
     
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