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Replacing old wall lights, earthing requirements

Postby ssmiff » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:44 pm


Am looking to replace old wall lights installed years ago by a previous occupier. The electric cable in the wall is old two core (red/black) so looks like no earth cable, and the existing lights have only two cables too.

The existing wall lights aren't currently used, but I want to replace them and bring into use. I assume modern wall lights will require earthing.

Is there any way to do that safely and legally without stripping out the old cable in the wall and renewing the wiring to the wall lights completely ?

Any advice welcome, Steve
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:59 am

I would read ... PG1_08.pdf which points out in no uncertain terms the dangers involved where there are no earths on Anti-1966 lighting installations. It does not out right ban the continued use but it requires a whole load of precautions to be taken.
I would look at extra low voltage remember that as voltage drops current goes up and I would think LED lamps would be best option to keep current low enough for the old cables.
What one must consider is how many more lighting cables are the same and are there any non Class II lamps or switches already fitted.
Personally I would not use the cable in my house. And I would refuse to connect them up in most cases only if that was only lighting in the room would I consider using them.

Postby TOPSPARK » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:57 pm

Most wall lights these days are made of metal anyway so they would need earthing. If the cable as you say has no earth then my advice would be to have a full periodic inspection and test to see if any other cables in the house are the same without earth in them. You haven't said what type of consumer unit you have or wether it is an old wylex with rewireable fuses or a more modern one with mcb's.When you start pulling things about you never know what you'll find.
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