Changing a kitchen light over.


Postby bluenun » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:18 pm

I want to replace my old 3 spotlight kitchen light for a new 3 spotlight kitchen light in a 1985 built bungalow.

On the new light there is a terminal block with a blue wire in the Neutral terminal, a Brown wire in the live terminal and a green/yellow wire in the earth terminal.

When taking the old light off, the wires coming through the ceiling are 2 black wires to go in the neutral terminal of the terminal block, one black wire with a red sleeve to go into the live terminal of the terminal blcok but no earth wires.

It is hard to see above the plasterboard but it looks like either 2 or 3 bare copper wires without sleeves are linked together but are not connected the the spotlight.

Can I just connect the 2 black wires to the neutral terminal and the black/red wire to the live terminal?
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Postby ericmark » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:52 pm

No you must connect the earth cable I would guess these are the bare copper wires without sleeves but you need to check. For an electrician easy we just clip our meters to it and press the button as to how as a DIY person not something I can help with. If your not 100% sure they are earths then I would call an electrician not worth taking a chance or change the fitting for a double insulated fitting like the original.
Eric
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Postby bluenun » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:45 am

Thanks for the reply.

I don't think the original light fitting is double insulated.
It had no earth wires connected to it.

So does this mean my original light fitting is not earthed?

It just had 2 black wires and 1 black/red wire connected to the fitting.
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Postby ericmark » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:36 pm

There are many ways to earth items with metal conduit and wires being two common ways but of course connecting a wire which is not earthed to exposed metalwork would be very dangerous.
To direct you to connect any wires to exposed metalwork without being 100% sure those wires are earth wires would of course be very wrong, as would directing you not to connect any earths.
Which to be on the safe side only leaves us one option, that is to get someone skilled to do the work.
You are unlikely to have either the expertise or the equipment to be certain of doing the work correct so you must realise your own limitations and get someone in to do the work.
Eric
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Postby bluenun » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:48 pm

Ok, thanks for your reply. You are of course correct.

I have actually already taken the old light fitting down and installed the new one.

I have just had so many bad experiences with electricians coming to my home and doing a bad job that I hate using them.

The 2 guys that fitted my electric shower made such a mess and my consumer unit does not close because of they put the wrong size fuse/circuit breaker in there.

The electrician that fitted my lounge lights in my last property did such a bad job, he needed to borrow my tools and when he left I needed to turn the power off and refit the screws because it was so loose I ma sure it would have eventually fallen down.

I installed a solar powered PIR security light this week to avoid getting another electrician out.
None of my neighbours can recommend a good one.
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Postby ericmark » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:20 pm

In the commercial world the person employing an electrician has enough knowledge to select one you knows his job. In the Domestic world there has long been a problem selecting cowboys form skilled electricians.
The first attempt was JIB which was a failure as first thing they did was except electricians mates as electricians to get their first hold on the market and all efforts since then to rectify the problem seems to have failed.
Part P with the registration system has helped to some extent. Self employed are very carefully monitored by the system providers but the larger firms are less regulated and one can still get some sub-standard work slipping through but all the overseeing organisations are worried about losing there status and all the electrical firms are also now worried about losing their membership so although you can of course still get sub-standard work so long as you use a registered electrician now you have a very good chance of getting this put right.
The media has advertised both plumbing and electrical trades as being a source of high pay and firms offer to re-train people to both trades in 12 weeks which is of course impossible. An electrician’s mate, alarm engineer etc. who has loads of experience anyway may be able to gain the extra knowledge required but not someone who has not already been in an allied trade. The people who train on these 12 week courses can’t find jobs with good electrical firms and often can’t get registration under Part P. They therefore often become self employed and try to under cut the proper electricians on price using also sorts of means to drum up work including telling people they can do the job cheaper as they are not members of the organisations that oversee the work and there are enough people looking to save money to keep them employed.
Sorry you seem to have been taken in by a few of them. My advice even if the work is not Part P reportable always employ an electrician who is registered then you are far more likely to get good workmanship. Oh and for the record I am not registered.
Eric
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Postby bluenun » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:57 pm

Thank-you for the detailed explanation Eric, it sheds some light on my past bad experiences.
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