DIY Doctor

Main navigation


Loft light install but no neutral wire! Help please...

Postby Stevecb1300 » Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:27 pm

Long story short(ish!)...
Put up a batten light in centre of attic, wired it with 1mm sq twin and earth to a one way switch near the loft hatch.
A wire from the switch to near my landing light cables where I was going to wire in a junction box for the supply. The switch was wired as follows live wire from the light to L1. Live wire from the supply to common. both earths sleeved and wired to earth point in the plastic back box. Neutrals joined together with a connection block.
The problem started when doing the JB. The landing light that I'm using to supply has 3 cables, 2 grey and a red.
The loft floor is partially boarded but I can see 3 red cables going down the stud wall to the landing light switch.
I thought, the grey cables are the live in and out of the landing light fitting and the red is the switch.
I cut a grey cable to get a supply but there's only a black wire and a earth wire, no live.
I ended up cutting all 3 cables (the other grey was black/earth and the red was red/earth) I put all the wires in a JB along with my new cable for the loft light, no mean feat, so many wires!
The loft light works! Happy days, but not for long. If I turn off the landing light the loft light goes off to. So now I'm thinking the 2 grey cables are switches for the landing light, 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs.
I've rejoined the grey cables and was just going to use the red cable to power the loft.
Now the problem is that there's no neutral wire for the JB if you can follow my long winded explanation as its only red and earth....
Soooo now I stuck! The house was probably built in the early 70s.
Help please......
Stevecb1300
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
50%
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2021 7:48 pm


Sponsor

Simply Build It

Postby Mr White » Wed Dec 22, 2021 10:41 pm

How do you expect anyone to be able to help you from the vague information you have given? You are going to need to employ the services of an electrician who can physically visit site, check all the cables and do the job for you.
Mr White
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1051
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:54 pm


Postby Stevecb1300 » Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:06 pm

I'm replying to you Mr White as you asked a question...
Yes it is explained poorly, Its the best I could do.
I joined and posted in this forum in the hope that someone more knowledgeable than me could hopefully help me out...
While I have no problem in paying professionals to do the work that I cant. I enjoy sorting things myself (yes I know this is asking for the input from others) and am far from stumped.
I believe its something to do with the landing light having 2 switches..
If I cant use this as a supply I will use a bedroom light cable.
Far from needing an electrician in, but would like to understand why I have this problem.
Stevecb1300
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
50%
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2021 7:48 pm


Postby Mr White » Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:32 am

It is common for folk to take off a light switch, and then to ask on a forum how to connect the new switch. The assumption is that any electrician will "instantly know" which colour wire goes where, and that there are 9 coloured wires and 3 bare wires protruding from the back box. (Very common with a triple gang 2 way switch found adjacent a front door, one switch for the outside light, one switch for the hall light and one switch for the landing light)

The truth is, sockets are wired in "parallel" so yes, in general, all the same colour go with all the same colour into their respective terminals.

Lighting on the other hand often does not work like that, it is the choice of who ever installed it what colours they chose to do what, cables are supposed to be marked to make identification easier, but it does not often happen, then there is the possibility that later someone has added something else (D.I.Y.) so it gets even more complicated.

The reason you have "The problem" is nothing is marked as to what it does, and you seem to be making wrong assumptions as to what the cables you have actually do.

You really need an electrician, who will not only do the job for you, but will test the circuit to make sure it is safe, just because something works, does not mean it is safe.

I would also suggest that having more than one lamp in a loft will be much better. (Less shadows, better illumination)

Sorry it is not the answer you wanted.
Mr White
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1051
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:54 pm


Postby Stevecb1300 » Thu Dec 23, 2021 12:58 pm

Not at all, Thanks for the time and effort to reply.
That's why I joined, I know I had it working but it wasn't right.
I believe I had joined into a switched live which is why the new loft light went out along with the landing light.
I'm a plasterer by trade and been involved in the building trade all my life..
Never seen a cable containing 1 coloured wire and a bare earth before and am curious and wondering if I can connect to them.
Stevecb1300
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
50%
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2021 7:48 pm



Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by



  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!


 
  • Related Topics