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Earthwire for a bathroom light

Postby Lucyloo » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:53 pm

Hi, I purchased a new light for my bathroom. When I went to fit it I had a live and neutral wire but no earth. The light fitting says it must be earthed. There is a junction box in the ceilng, which all of the wires from the main circuit go into including 3 earth wires but only a neutral and live come out of the other end of the junction box. Could anyone please exlpain how I would need to get the earth to the light? Thanks
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Postby ericmark » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:58 pm

I think it was around 1963 when the rules on earthing changed. There was a leaflet by Electrical Safety Council on how and what to do in a case where earth wires are missing on lighting circuits.

The best way is to re-wire with earth wires but although you can see earth wires there is no way that the DIY man can really test that these wires are connected the other end.

So for the DIY man only option is to use Class II light fittings only. i.e. Those which do not need earths.

The electrician will have an earth loop impedance tester (Costs around £300) and can test the cables so can replace just those cables that need changing without just replacing the lot.

However since 1963 there have also been many other changes to what is required so one could be looking at a snowball effect where once he tests things he will find all sorts of other faults. But of course you really should be looking at that as good as the house will be safer once complete.

Many complain at the expense but every 10 years or change of occupier the electrical system should be checked so at least 4 periodic inspection reports should have recommended the wiring was changed. So when the occupier or owner should have been aware for last 35 years that this work was required if they had followed advice of electrical engineers then really I think it is about time it was corrected properly I am sure over last 35 years someone should have been able to pay for the work.

As far as new owners go then they should be having a go at their solicitor for not insisting on a PIR before the sale. Or at least pointing out the lack of paperwork and letting the new owner buy in the knowledge that a PIR is required and there may be work required.

On personal note if my house and I did not have meters I would not fit a class I lamp and I would connect up as many earths as I could and try to find someone with meters required.

Up to a few months ago that was also what the electrical safety council said but the old document seems to have gone.

I would also want to fit RCD protection. In my house all circuits were RCD protected back in 1992 since 2008 all houses have to be wired that way although no need to alter existing wiring.

I am sure that's not what you wanted to hear but in my house I took attitude should any of my children be injured because I had not fitted RCD protection then I would never forgive myself. And my son did manage to trip it on a few occasions. He was not really hurt and is now also an electrician. Without the RCD who knows? The fact he became a Radio Ham at 14 years old did not help but even my daughter managed to trip them once. (Over filled bath) So now up to you!
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Postby moggy1968 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:00 pm

if you have a n earth oin the JB, which it appears you have, you could either run an earth from there to your new light, or replace the bit of cable feeding your light with a new bit of twin and earth.
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