Centralised lighting junction box...?


Postby weemantam » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:50 pm

I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction with a slightly odd lighting problem.

I am planning on replacing my upstairs landing but would like to rationalise my existing downstairs lighting circuit wiring. What is unusual is that all the wiring from the switches and lights come to a single point rather than the ring circuit type arrangement typically referred to online.

I have already replace the circuit with a plastic project box containing connector strips from the original mass wiring twisted and ceramic capped. This is “saferâ€
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Postby kuzz » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:22 pm

I have no idea what benefit there would be in wiring lights in such a crazy manor. & have never come across such a method myself. Get a pro in to check it's safe would be my advice. sounds like a re-wire might be the road to take. might be making assumptions, but the ceramic caps you refer to i think may be screwits from the rubber cable/no earth era. If thats the case defo re-wire.
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Postby sparx » Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:06 pm

Hi , I fear Kuzz is showing his youth!!!ho, ho.
The wiring method you have was the only one allowed by reputable contractors up untill the early 1970's when the now familiar loop-in method was adopted, It was considered the height of bodgery prior to then!
I still use this method whenever possible as it means only one cable at any point, I wire brn/blu to lights -twin brn to switches and use push in connectors in place of the scruit porcelin types. the large square joint box with screws at each corner (code RB4) is still available from some wholesalers. In place of them I would consider the central heating type from Honeywell, only prob is lack of enough Line & Neutral blocks
Upstairs circuit easy to place J.B., downstairs I try to fit under 'trap' in cupboard for later access. If this method was in use more it would cut about 20% of the quiries on this forum!
regards Old time SPARX
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Postby weemantam » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:50 pm

I reckon the method adopted is definately more reputable than the newer looped method simply because everything was in one place and needs next to no tracing to sort out problems so, from that aspect, your dead right. Point to note though is that I have a solid ground floor so the lighting I am replacing is actually my downstairs lighting on first floor. The upstairs lighting is, naturally, in the attic. A rewire, as is suggested by Kuzz would be a huge deal because I would need to lift and reinstate my entire first floor of my house - near enough. The floor board are even held in place using the old wrought iron peg nails! Sadly I'm not old enough to follow that up with any kind of wisful reminiscing.

The problem at the moment (bearing in mind I have already replaced this old cermic style assembly some ten years ago with a manual retrofit junction box assembly suing terminal blocks) is exactly as you stated with respect to lack of terminals. Some recent mods have seen me run out of 'ways' and I have wires going into and out of the box in all directions. A bonefide box should aleviate the messiness of it all. I reckon I need about 10ways on each block (though if the earth, positive and neutrals could be busbars then I'm really only looking at 10 ways or so on the central customisable terminal block).

Given that this was a reputable method of wiring houses (and in my opinion should remain so) then why isn't there a bonefide junction box to suit. I'll look at the Honeywell one but otherwise is there a gap in the market?.

Thanks for your help folks (and please follow up if anyone has heard of such a thing).
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Postby ericmark » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:15 am

There are many adaptable boxes available with built in din rail and the terminals even have special links to join them together but these are aimed at the commercial market not the domestic as basically houses are built on the cheap. If I go to an office block often lighting plugs and sockets are used which means I can completely replace a light fitting without having to even switch off the other lights in the room this pays for itself in reduced man hours lost with maintainance work. But in a house this would not really be economical and a lot cheaper to just turn everything off. Many builders will not even buy the Honeywell box but used a socket backing box and lid with chock block inside. We also want houses to look nice. Surface wires are far better for maintainance but not so nice to look at. And the same can be said for hatches in the floor to gain access to wires. Do you want to lift carpet for maintainance or just unscrew the cover on a ceiling rose? Not saying either way is ideal but one can see why the ceiling rose won.
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Postby sparx » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:08 pm

Hi again, many types of enclosure available but as said connectors can be a prob. I use a push in type which come with up to 9 ways in each so to connect sw-line to each circuit uses 2 way ones. live, Neutral earths use 9 way ones, if more required I fit link between 2 blocks leaving upto 15 outgoing ways - more than should be on one circuit, to connect say wall lights or fans I use say 5 way blocks,. The ones I buy are from Ideal Industries via Newey & Eyres also simiar from QVS & others.
Maybe not made clear but I meant upstairs lights in loft, downstairs lights under upstairs floor with JB in accessible location such as fitted cupboard floor trap, regards SPARX
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