DIY Doctor

Lights in garage

Postby daviechristie » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:23 pm

I have recently moved into a house which was occupied by a young(er) couple and it would appear that there were a few jobs started and not finished. Most notably the lighting in the garage.

There should have been a single pendent light in the garage with two on/off switches, one and the side door leading into the house, the other at the garage door.

When we moved in there was an inspection lamp providing light in the garage but upon further investigation it would appear that the previous owner had attempted to replace the pendent light with a fluorescent tube variety.

The issue is that it hasn't been connected and all the wires (3 sets of wires, all live, neutral and earth) and sticking out from the ceiling not really telling what each wire does i.e. switch, mains etc.

Is there an easy fix?

David Christie
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Simply Build It

Postby kbrownie » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:32 pm

I can only assume when you say 3 sets of wires you mean.
3 Reds or browns (line/lives)
3 blacks or blues (2 neutral and switch wire)
3 Green&yellows (cpc/earth)

So this would mean you have a incoming supply a switch feed and return and an out going feed.
So something else is installed on this circuit, we need to find out what before we make it live.
So that's your first job.

Likely to be another light on circuit, could be an outside light.

After you have indentified where the out going feed is going to and it is safe to connect.
Follow this:
All 3 line conductors(reds or browns) terminated together in plastic termination bloke with nothing else.
All 3 cpc/earth conductors connected to earth terminal on fitting

Thats the easy bit done; we now have 3 conductors left all the same colour(black or blue) one should be flagged or sleeved red or brown this is your switch wire,
the other two are neutrals. but alas I fear this may not have been done.
So a little bit of swapping about will be needed,
Cable with flag to Live terminal on fitting, if we have one and two remaining cables to neutral terminal on fitting.
If we have no flagged cable we can place two of the remaining conductors in the neutral terminal of fitting and the other in live terminal of fitting.
Then try it, if it fails to work. Swap one of the conductors in the neutral terminal for the one in the live terminal and try again and do this until you get the right combination. Once you have the right combination make the switch wire up for next time.
remember never work live, isolate that circiut prior to working on it.
A picture paints a 1000 words useful link ... itting.htm


PS. if this is not the combination of conductors or core colours of cables reply with them or if you are unsure of instruction again reply don't be getting hurt or starting fires
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Postby moggy1968 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:21 pm

the best, and safest way is to test the wires with the power off to see which has continuity to your switch, that way you can identify the switch wire. I would have thought in a garage the cables are visible so you should be able to work out which is which.
you may have a compliance issue here though as tis should have been certified under part P at the time (if it was recent work). If you sell the house you may be able to get around this with a periodic inspection report.
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