Electric light switch shock

Postby grm1 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:28 pm

Just moved into house and theirs a problem with one of the metal wall light switches that lights up 2 lights on the wall,when the switch is on ,the switch is ok but when its off we get a shock from it.Does anybody know what the problem might be.Thanks
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:08 am


Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:19 pm

Metal light switches are not very common as original equipment so there is a fair chance it’s a DIY fitment. As such good chance wrong connections. What one must ask though is why was this not picked up on the periodic inspection report which should be done with change of ownership?
The switch earth is checked with expensive meters and is not really a DIY job. If there is one error there may be others and although you may fiddle about and remove one problem goodness knows how many more may be lurking ready to bit you?
So is the house yours or rented i.e. who is responsible for maintenance? If rented then for you to do anything other than switch off or draw fuse at consumer unit would be silly as if you do anything it could be blamed on you and there should have been a PIR before you moved in which could show you had fiddled should you do anything yourself. If you own it then I would ask solicitor about PIR and faults of this type I know it has to be done but not sure if seller or buyer has to do it. As a stop gap maybe change to plastic switch but do ensure screws are covered as the fixing screws could be live.

Postby grm1 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:18 am

Thanks Eric for the advice , I'll see my solicitor about it , phoned the seller but they weren't interested but they did say that they had repositioned the switch so time ago.Thanks
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:08 am

Postby ericmark » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:37 pm

It will be interesting to see what the solicitor says.
As to fault itself it could be anything or anywhere and since it is a safety issue I would have to advise you get it checked by a qualified person.
Once one finds one fault one then wonders what else may be wrong? Old houses did not have earths on lighting and as a result one has often to use only double insulated switches and fitting. Of course many DIY’ers are unaware of the dangers and use metal fittings anyway. Often the only cure is a re-wire and there are many houses when they have to use all plastic fittings. If it is done by an electrician he would normally place a little sticker on. The Electrical Safety Council has instructions as to what to do where earths are missing. http://www.esc.org.uk/business-and-comm ... uides.html is the address and Best Practice Guide No.1 covers old lights with no earths it is interesting reading both for what is required and also what is not required and I advise you down load it and read it as it could save you unwanted expense.
All best Eric

Postby TOPSPARK » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:11 pm

reading your post about the electric shock you had perhaps your best coursr of action would be to call in a qualified electrician and have a full periodic inspection and test done on your house and hopefully you wont incur anymore shocks
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:44 pm

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