Ceiling wire multiple stand or single strand?


Postby maverick11 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:48 am

Hi there,

I bought some 1.5mm, flat, 240v cable to install some ceiling downlights in my australian house. It contains the red, black and green/yellow wires but I just noticed the wires have approx 7 strands; not the single strand copper. Is this a problem or is it fine to use? The actual white insulator encasing the three coloured wires is the flat version which looks like all other ceiling wire I have seen before.
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Postby ericmark » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:05 pm

In the UK there would be no problem with this cable but australian regulations may differ. Back in the days of rubber cable we used 7 strands.
ericmark

Postby 333rocky333 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:14 pm

There WOULD be a BIG PROBLEM using this colour cable in the uk !!!!!!

In U/K We are now harmonized colours and not supposed to sell it or install it

On ebay it is double price of new stuff !!!!!!!!
I found out after scrapping 20 coils!!!!!

As australia is not part of the EU I think they can still use red and black.
The cable you have may have to conform with local standards though.

In U/K good quality cable usually has BASEC stamped on it plus the maximum voltage, this would most likely be suitable to use anywhere in the uk.
Twin and earth still made in both solid and stranded with bare earth in U/K

NOW though harmonized thermoplastic pvc cable is GREY
and the new harmonized WHITE IS NOW thermosetting LSF (low smoke,fumes)
BOTH ok to use in U/K

THE OLD red and black either WHITE or GREY WAS always PVC.
NOT supposed to be NEWLY installed in u/k


Australia may have similar standard.

If your cable is flat with G/Y earth I do not think it is of U/k origin.
It may be french twin and insulated earth or some form of flex cable
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Postby maverick11 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:59 pm

i'm not sure what our regulations are, but because I bought it from the hardware store a few days ago, I'm guessing it's ok to use red+black here.

The white cable contains insulated green/yellow, red and black. I was just wondering if 7 strand is ok to use, because all the other cable in my ceiling is single strand and I thought this might be the norm and 7 strand is for other applications??

The existing wiring in my house is a mish mash (it's an old house with a newer extension). Some is just insulated twin with no earth, some are insulated twin with a separate green earth wire which has been a later addition and some is insulated triple with bare earth (weird) and then the newer portion of the house has insulated triple with insulated earth. I should also tap into the earth on the lighting circuit and extend it to the lights which don't have an earth as well.
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Postby ericmark » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:23 am

In UK we use bear earth and fit sleeves marked green/yellow but I know your regs are different to ours so you need to find some local source to check out what is allowed.
ericmark

Postby 333rocky333 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:38 am

Sorry, thought you brought it here in u/k
Are you in australia now ,see if that colour and type is for sale generally elsewhere ,if so then that colour is proberly ok.

Its not usually the number of strands that matter it is the TOTAL cross sectional area of the copper cores.
And the relevant volt drop and current rating of the type of cable you have brought.

Be carefull as sometimes the earth is smaller than the other cores as in u/k, whereas in some countries it has to be the same size
Same goes for the insulated and non insulated earths some countries specify insulated earth

Local regs may dictate the size and type to use.

Linking earths to other circuits and missing earths would NOT be acceptable here in uk so you need more local advice
From what you say if that was in uk we would advise an inspection of the electrics,
The WEIRD bare earth cable is actually normal here in u/k !
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Postby maverick11 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:56 am

thanks guys, I must admit, I can't see why the earth needs to be bare and not have insulation like the other two wires.

The triple I have is all 1.5mm which I believe is sufficient for 240v running ceiling lights.

I also understand that linking an earth to the same circuit (ie ceiling lights) should also be fine. After all, i'm assuming an earth is better than no earth.

It looks like the old man I bought the house off used to do some DIY after seeing the mish-mash of wiring. I'm going to look in the ceiling this weekend to take a better look, but I'm pretty sure if I run the existing cable to junction boxes and the new cable to the new lights, this should be fine.
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