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Older Wiring Query When Changing Front Door Light

Postby TopNotch » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:39 pm

Hello forum. Hoping someone might be able to answer a query.

I'm replacing an old external front door light in our 'new' house (89-91 build). When I managed to get the old one off I found red and black wires behind, which is as expected.

However, there was no earth needed on the old light, but the new one does.

Both the live and neutral wires are further protected separate larger grey sheath, but the live cable shared it with another unprotected/bare wire. I assumed this to be the earth that was trimmed right back as it was not needed.

I can't say I've seen this before and can't find much on Google to confirm that this live/earth pairing was once done.

Am I right in assuming it's an earth?

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Simply Build It

Postby Mr White » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:21 pm

Never assume anything.
It may have never been connected at the other end, you will need a competent person to test it for you.
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Postby ericmark » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:31 pm

Since 1966 it has been a requirement to run earth wires to lights even if not used, but that does not mean everyone follows the rules, you need to test.
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Postby TopNotch » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:40 am

Thanks guys. I did err on the side of caution and put the old one back for now. I'm getting some more work done soon, so I'll check then. I'm very much limited to replacing existing fittings....

It was more curiosity (or mild concern) in that I've never seen a live and earth only housed in a single sheath (with a separate neutral cable).

I can only find reference to all three in a single cable.
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