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switched live question.

Postby willie » Sat May 12, 2007 11:28 am

Hi guys. I've had a quick look at old threads and couldn't find what I was looking for, but I could be wrong so excuse me if I'm this has been covered elsewhere.

I'm replacing an old fan with a new timer one. The new fan is double insulated and does not require an earth. Can I use (what would normally be) the earth wire in the exsisting twin and earth cable as the switched (or permanent) live. The end result would be a fused spur outside bathroom to a pull switch in bathroom where bare (earth) wire would become the switched (or permanent) live.

Many thanks in advance.
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Simply Build It

Postby Arnak » Sat May 12, 2007 12:29 pm


The answer is not really as I assume that it is wired in twin and earth cable.

If so that would mean the earth wire would become live without the plastic shielding around the wire.

In that case it would be dangerous to do so as if the wire became hot it could burn through the other wires insulation and cause a short or a fire.

If however you have 3 wires and they are all covered then in theory yes but again it is not recommended.

If you decide to do so mark each end of the earth wire with a red tag, use insulation tape to let anyone else who comes across the installation know that that wire is now live.

I do stress THAT I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING IT THIS WAY as it is not correct.

Far better to pull in a new live cable.

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