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Wiring a light switch with a neon light

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by VK, 28 May 2012.

  1. VK

    VK

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    hi Guys,

    Can someone please help me with wiring a light switch with a neon light. The existing light switch has one cable coming out of the back box - it is 2 core + earth, I have a live, neutral and earth.

    I tried to wire the new light switch with the neon but switching the light on / off works but neon is always off. I want the neon to come on when the light is switched on. See photos of the switch as it may help.



    Thanks for your help. VK
     
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  3. yorkspark

    yorkspark

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    images have been made private, sorry cannot help
     
  4. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You don't have a neutral at the switch position.


    You will not be able to make the neon work.
     
  5. VK

    VK

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    sorry my mistake, when I said it has one wire coming out of back box I meant one cable 2 core + earth. So I have a live, neutral and earth there.
     
  6. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    No you don't.

    You have a permanent live, a switched live and an earth. No neutral.

    The switched live should have a red or brown sleeve over it to indicate it's live, but older installations don't.
     
  7. phatboy

    phatboy

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    If you thought the wires were Live, Neutral and Earth, and you wired it as such, did the switch actually do anything when you wired it?

    Seems there might be more to this than first appears.....
     
  8. conny

    conny

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    If you 'think' you have live, neutral and earth what terminals did you connect each wire to, as you say the light worked but not the neon.
     
  9. pjcomp

    pjcomp

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    Strictly speaking it's not a light switch, it's a 20A switch intended for things like night storage heaters and imersion heaters. Used as such you would have live and neutral coming in and going out, and the neon would show when the switch was on or off, particularly useful in, say, dark airing cupboards where immersion heaters live. They also get used for loft lights, where the switch is on the landing below; in that case the neon reminds you when the loft light has been left on, but it relies on a live and neutral feed going through the switch.

    PJ
     
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  11. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    What does a switch do?

    And what do you think would happen if you made it do it to a live and a neutral?


    So where did you put the "live and neutral" conductors in that switch?
     
  12. VK

    VK

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    Thanks all. Sparkwright is right, the neutral I see is actually switched live.

    I put the red in LIVE Supply terminal and the black in the LIVE Load terminal and the light can be switched on and off.

    I haven't checked in the ceiling rose but the neutrals will be in there, if I had the neurals in the switch I guess this switch would have worked with neon for me. I wanted to replace the existing switch with this neon indicator switch to check if the loft light was left on.
     
  13. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    No.

    The BLACK you see is the switched live.


    So you thought you had live and neutral, you had a switch which told you where to put live and neutral, and you didn't put them there.

    Not only do you not know what a switch does you don't even connect things up according to the markings.

    Before you do any more fiddling about please learn how the things you want to fiddle with actually work. This time your ignorance only resulted in your neon not working. Next time it could be a lot more serious, up to and including death.


     
  14. VK

    VK

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    ban-all-sheds - I think your exaggerating the situation here. Forums like these are here to help and guide people but its people like you that spoil it.

    If you don't want to help then just shut-up and don't reply to my post or any other post where you can't add any value.

    I just can't understand why people like you get carried away on posts like these, when we post a question we are looking for help / advice but in return we get a lecture ........ replies and attitude like your will just discourage people from reaching out to the community and bouncing thoughts off people.

    Anyway, like I said please DO NOT REPLY to any posts where you can't add any value.
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    I regularly attend lectures - I don't see what is wrong with them.

    Maybe you could explain why you don't like them.

    Not one part of my reply was unhelpful¹.

    The observations I made were all completely accurate:
    • You don't know what a switch does.
    • You don't know how lighting circuits are wired.
    • You did make an assumption about what a conductor was because of it's colour and you were wrong.
    • You didn't connect the conductors to the terminals on the switch which you should have done based on what you thought they were.

    Exaggerating? This time all that went wrong because you were ignorant of how what you'd decided to fiddle with worked was that you didn't get the neon on the switch to light up.

    But if you truly think that doing electrical work when you get the functions of conductors mixed up, when you don't know which ones are live and which ones are neutral, when you don't know what a switch does, when you connect neutral wires to terminals clearly labelled as being live, couldn't possibly result in something a lot more serious happening, such as creating an electric shock or fire risk then you have a very poor imagination.


    Not adding value?

    You've looked through all of the links above, have you, and found that none of them are of any use to you?




    ¹ Unless, of course, you are one of those people who not only doesn't think that there is any need for them to actually understand how something works before they start to mess with it but also resents being told that there is. In which case please go away.
     
  16. VK

    VK

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    Never argue with an idiot. He’ll drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience.

    Get a life douchebag .......
     
  17. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    My apologies - I hadn't realised that I was.

    Perhaps if you could clarify the following, I might be able to understand to what extent I was:
    • Did you or did you not understand how light switches are commonly wired?
    • Did you understand what switches do?
    • Given your assumptions about what each conductor was did you connect them to the appropriate switch terminals or not?
    • Do you think that guessing about wiring is better or worse from a safety viewpoint than actually learning about it?
    • Do you think that a list of links to resources which can help you learn more about the working of things you want to fiddle with is unhelpful, and if so why?

    I have one, thanks, and if you'd like to hang onto yours I suggest you revisit your decision that it's perfectly OK to do electrical work when you don't have a clue what you are doing.

    I also suggest the following:

    1) That you take note of the fact that at no time have I abused or insulted you, and that I have at all times been factual in my observations and well meaning in my advice.

    2) That you think about the proposition that if you become abusive when factual and well intended posts from someone who knows more than you advise you to acquire important knowledge then maybe you should just go away and stop asking questions if you're only going to get bent out of shape if the answers don't fit your preconceived and ignorance-based ideas about the answers you should get.
     
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