Hi - I have found this site very useful and have never needed to post. The main problems I am having are the property which we are slowly decorating was extensively re-decorated in the nineties by the previous occupents. I am told they did everything themselves and even built the extension 10 years earlier themselves. We have some real horror stories which we have been dealing with - and to be honest I am shocked how they have got away with the cut corners, but the latest is the wall lighting.
The missus has redecorated and removed the old wall lighting. To be honest we never thought about checking the wiring - but it appears the old ones were not earthed and the there are only two wires long enough to use. I assume the bare/stripped wire in each core which is cut right back so impossible to use is the Earth - but I find it odd it is bare/stripped but then I know nothing. I guess from reading I cannot put these lights up as they cannot be earthed - but in my catalogue of problems were the previous ones dangerous - they were 80% Wood (Base) with metal cups ?
Looks like I will have call someone in but before I tell the missus, typically what will they do to her new wallpaper ? - Will the be able to pull any of the core through from whereever it is attached ? or even patch another section of earth to the existing stump ! ?
With all the new stuff about buying houses, is DIY wiring to be checked as part of the survey. I am certain alot of the stuff they had done was dangerous, including plug sockets fitted onto skirting boards which meant you could barely put a plug in because the wire was embedded in the carpet and ceiling spotlights which we equally support by screws and the wires.
It will depend if conduit or capping has been used to protect the cable to these lights. If the cable has been plastered into the wall then replacing it will be messy. With conduit it's usually easy to gain access from above or below and replace with new cable.
Sorry but if your fittings need an earth then the only option is to replace the cable.
You should not need to replace the cable , your earthwires on the back of the light fitting probarly go into a connecter block anyway, just carefully cut about 50 mm of plaster away to get at the cable just enough to strip back, for about 25 mm of earth sleeve and the connector to fit , and refit your light slightly higher if needed, to cover the connections and the damage.
your biggest concern is whether all the earths are cut like that, you will need each earth checked for earth continuity to confirm it is actually connected to earth at the source and continuous throughout the circuit.
The same applies to the light switches as well as the lights.
If not it needs to be sorted.whether your lights are metal wood or plastic,
As metal could be fitted in future
The bigger the base of the light the more you can cut out to get to the earths.
As for your old lights they possibly would have become live under a live to metal casing fault condition,
The earth is needed to return a fault current high enough to trip the mcb,and isolate the power, without it the fitting would just remain live until you touched it and completed the circuit.
That is why metal fittings must be earthed.
They may have been double insulated ,but if they had metal lampholders then they were proberly unsafe.
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