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Lighting circuit help

Postby stevejeff34 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:26 pm

Hi, can someone help me with my lighting circuit. I live in a flat with 3 lighting circuits, one is for the living room and 2 bedrooms, one is for the bathroom and fan and the other one that doesn't work is the kitchen and hall way. This stopped after I disconnected the shaver light above the sink in the bathroom, insulated the wire and tucked it in its hole in the wall. Now comes the school boy error, I then stuck on a big massive mirror with no more nails to the complete wall, without checking all the lights were working after turning the power back on. Didn't realise this mistake until I tried turning the lights on that evening. Had my mate come round who is a electrician and he told me that it was a strange that the bathroom shaver light was connected to it but you need to get to the end and connect a small plastic junction to it so it will work. No way was I going to try and take th emirror off so I went up through the fan hole found the cable cut it so I could connect th epalstic junction to it..........guess what lights still don't work and all the others are still ok.....any suggestions????????
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Postby kbrownie » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:42 pm

It is strange that the bathroom is on it's own circuit yet the shaver light is connected to another, but this may be the doing of a previous occupent.
If this is the reason for your hall/kitchen lights not working, the shaver light must have been offering a live, neutral and earth to the rest of the circuit. which you may have disconnected.
So what cables did you tuck back in to wall?
Because you now need to recreate that circuit. So you need to connect the lives together,the same with neutrals and earths, and it is not good practice to hide cables in walls especially in bathrooms! Unless correctly terminated and mechanically protected!
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Postby ericmark » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:45 pm

I am sure we don't really need to tell you.
As to one circuit affecting another may be borrowed neutrals in other words something wrong before you started, but there are rules which are designed to make things safe for us. One is that wires must go horizontal or vertical to an appliance when buried in a wall. So removing the appliance socket etc. Means you must also remove the cables to it as no longer it there any indication that the cables are there. Also before doing electrical work in a special location building control must be notified. Bathrooms are special locations.
Since you need to remove the cables anyway you may as well knock a hole in the permitted zone 0 - 150 mm from ceiling fish out cables there and correct the work. But it seems you don't know what you did wrong so that may not work. If you follow project links to part p which you can down load for free. On page 38 it shows you where the permitted cables are in a wall. It will also show you what you need to do to make the job legal.
If in your flat one may be able to work out routes and what you have disconnected but I am sure you realize if an electrician on site could not correct the problem there is very little chance of getting any real help from a DIY forum. Although I am not surprised he left as he would know what trouble he could get himself into. I would not expect it can be rectified without meters etc. I think you will need to bit the bullet and call in a Part P registered electrician.
Are you sure its not something really simple like a trip in the consumer unit?
Sorry Eric

Postby stevejeff34 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:11 pm

Thanks guys for your advice but I think I have explained it a little wrong because i have done some more fault finding. Firstly there are only 2 circuits as the bathroom and bathroom shaver light is also connected. Now what i intend to do was pull the wire up through the ceiling fan light. I tried to do this but it wouldn't budge and now the mirror is stuck. What I did do was cut the wire as close to the wall as possible and fit a safe terminal to the end thinking the hall and kitchen might now work in its linear circuit. Still never worked so I went to my friends house same which is a same build, took the shaver light off to double check the wiring and as I thought there are 2 cables. Now I know I cut the right cable as I connected the shaver light to the wire from the ceiling to see if it worked and it did so the question I have is where is that other cable going to. I know something drastic is going to have to happen here but as you can appreciate a newly finished bathroom you don't want to take too many measures until there is a possible correct solution. My options are now I cut a bigger part of the ceiling out for a electrician to work with the small half a foot space as my hand can't reach and feel another wire apart from the earth bonding and then plaster or the mirror has to be wedged off. To cut a long story short where is that other wire going, is it going back to the consumer box, or further down to hall to the kitchen. As you can see I am quite keen for a safe but easy solution but obviously in accordance with Part P without to much damage.
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Postby ericmark » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:19 pm

The other wire will go to one of the items not working. But can't see how this will help you. They are most likely stapled to the beams so you are unlikely to be able to do much. Connecting wires in walls etc. needs a proper connector 526.3 Every connection shall be accessible for inspection, testing and maintenance, except for the following:
(i) A joint designed to be buried in the ground
(ii) A compound-filled or encapsulated joint
(iii) A connection between a cold tail and the heating element as in ceiling heating, floor heating or a trace heating system
(iv) A joint made by welding, soldering, brazing or appropriate compression tool
(v) A joint forming part of the equipment complying with the appropriate product standard.
This does not include chock block connectors. They would need crimps and shrink sleeve the latter with epoxy resin to stop any pulling on the cables later from breaking the connection.

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