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

Loft light switch wired to plug

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Gorners, 28 Oct 2016.

  1. Gorners

    Gorners

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Went in the loft the other day and just thought I'd check how the light switch was wired by the previous owners. There are two surface mounted boxes butted up next to each other, one is a single plug socket (never used it), and the other the single switch in question.

    I was intrigued to find no visible wires going into the switch from any side nor underneath, only one going to the light itself. I managed to shine a torch down the tiny gap between both boxes and I can see two red wires going from the plug into the switch.

    Now I know this is obviously not right, but how dangerous is this? I haven't opened the light switch to see if there is any fuse protection in there, I suspect not. The plug socket has 3 cables going into it, I am assuming it is connected to the upstairs socket ring but I've not yet checked this either.
     
  2. stem

    stem

    Joined:
    20 Jul 2005
    Messages:
    5,187
    Thanks Received:
    994
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    If it is connected to a power circuit, the easiest way to rectify it is to swap the unfused switch for an FCU


    On the other hand it could be that both are connected to a circuit designed for lighting, so the socket would then be wrong.

    So you need to investigate further
     
  3. securespark

    securespark

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2004
    Messages:
    32,874
    Thanks Received:
    962
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There lies the confusion of the word "plug". I read it as the socket and light fitting wired off it were fed via (a lead and) plug that would be plugged in on the landing when needed.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. winston1

    winston1

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    4,779
    Thanks Received:
    326
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Indeed using correct terms is important, no plugtops, no digital aerials, no MR16 when one means GU5.3, no transformers when one means power supply.
     
  5. stillp

    stillp

    Joined:
    21 Sep 2009
    Messages:
    4,496
    Thanks Received:
    338
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It's just as likely that the socket-outlet is wired to the lighting circuit, and is intended for low-current load such as an aerial amplifier.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. securespark

    securespark

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2004
    Messages:
    32,874
    Thanks Received:
    962
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There's that odd noise again.

    As long as it is not a digital aerial...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    57,924
    Thanks Received:
    2,961
    Location:
    21st Century
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    :confused:
     
  8. endecotp

    endecotp

    Joined:
    2 Dec 2013
    Messages:
    3,134
    Thanks Received:
    386
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Any earth wire?
     
  9. Gorners

    Gorners

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the replies all. Apologies for mixing up terminlogy. It is indeed a socket that is feeding a switch. No plug involved unless I plugged one into the socket :)

    Appreciate there's some investigation still required here so will do that and report back. No sign of an earth wire but view is restricted so taking off the cover will confirm. I'll try and get a picture for you.
     
  10. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

    Joined:
    28 Jul 2006
    Messages:
    18,403
    Thanks Received:
    1,823
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I wondered what it was. But it didn't disturb me as much as it used to.
    I wonder why…:sleep:
     
  11. Gorners

    Gorners

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Ok finally got some pictures of this, see attached. The wire to the left coming out of the socket goes to the light. I've also checked and it is connected to the upstairs lighting circuit, not ring main.

    So my questions are:

    1) is the light switch safe?
    2) is the socket safe to use? Not planning on using it but as it's on the lighting circuit what are he restrictions.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 8 Nov 2016
  12. winston1

    winston1

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    4,779
    Thanks Received:
    326
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Once again you are using wrong terminology. It is a socket.

    Don't plug a kettle into it. Or a fan heater.

    The light switch is OK but the socket is best rewired on to a power circuit
     
  13. endecotp

    endecotp

    Joined:
    2 Dec 2013
    Messages:
    3,134
    Thanks Received:
    386
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The socket is safe except that if you plug in something that takes too much current it will trip the MCB and you'll be stuck in the loft in the dark.
    The wiring seems OK to me; it looks as if the earths are connected. No doubt someone will spot something that could be done better!
     
Loading...

Share This Page