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  • FIRST POST
    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 6:43 PM
    • 56Posts
    • 18Thanks
    Tef
    Wiring of ceiling light-help please!
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 17, 6:43 PM
    Wiring of ceiling light-help please! 4th Sep 17 at 6:43 PM
    I bought a new ceiling light for the lounge and am having difficulty with the wiring. The new light required me to remove the old ceiling rose so removed the pendant unscrewed the cover and took a pic of the wires in situ. https://imgur.com/hGCjVX2

    Having done that I then removed the rose but was then faced with 3 T/E's, one more than I expected. Reading an earlier post on this forum I discovered that's the norm. All I had to do was identify the switch live and bingo bango :-) Or not... as it turned out... S/L wasn't marked so after further reading here on how to identify the S/L I bought a continuity tester and checked each cable but am getting nothing on any cable. I replaced the wall light switch with a basic switch (It was on a dimmer) and still nothing.

    Continuity tester works fine but perhaps it's the wrong sort? This is the one I bought anyway.. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-675110-Continuity-Tester

    At this point I'm stumped, light worked fine beforehand so no issues there. Short of calling in the professionals is there anything else I can do ?

    Any advice would be really appreciated.
Page 1
    • phill99
    • By phill99 4th Sep 17, 6:51 PM
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    phill99
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 6:51 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 6:51 PM
    get someone in. No body on here will be able to advise what the switched live is. I can tell you which one it was, but now the whole thing is down, you will have to test them all.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 4th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
    • 17,006 Posts
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    molerat
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
    To do this yourself you need to
    1) turn off at the mains
    2) turn the light switch to on
    3) separate all the reds and blacks in the ceiling and connect your tester across each red and black pair until it lights - that will be your switched live black, mark it with a piece of red electrical tape - switch the switch off your tester will go out.
    http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/diy/electrics/light_fitting/light_ceiling_rose.jpg
    Last edited by molerat; 04-09-2017 at 7:49 PM.
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    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 4th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • 2,700 Posts
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    Ectophile
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    The black wire in your photo that's connected to the brown wire on the light should be the switched live. The red wire associated with it will be the live to the switch.

    Other reds will be the permanent live in and out.

    If you stick a continuity tester across those two wires and flick the light switch on and off, you should see continuity come and go.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    To do this yourself you need to
    1) turn off at the mains
    2) turn the light switch to on
    3) separate all the reds and blacks in the ceiling and connect your tester across each red and black pair until it lights - that will be your switched live black, mark it with a piece of red electrical tape - switch the switch off your tester will go out.
    http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/diy/electrics/light_fitting/light_ceiling_rose.jpg
    Originally posted by molerat
    Hi Molerat and thanks for the reply...
    This is exactly what I've been doing and the tester does not illuminate on any of the the three cables.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 4th Sep 17, 7:53 PM
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    molerat
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:53 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:53 PM
    Hi Molerat and thanks for the reply...
    This is exactly what I've been doing and the tester does not illuminate on any of the the three cables.
    Originally posted by Tef
    Does the tester light when you connect it to itself ? Are you sure you have the switch turned on ? It is a normal switch and not a dimmer ?
    Last edited by molerat; 04-09-2017 at 7:56 PM.
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    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    The black wire in your photo that's connected to the brown wire on the light should be the switched live. The red wire associated with it will be the live to the switch.

    Other reds will be the permanent live in and out.

    If you stick a continuity tester across those two wires and flick the light switch on and off, you should see continuity come and go.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    Yes, unfortunately the rose has now been removed so only have three bare cables projecting from the ceiling... And as I say the continuity tester is not lighting up across any of them. At this point I'm not sure whether I have the wrong type of continuity tester or if I'm doing something else wrong.
    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    Does the tester light when you connect it to itself ? Are you sure you have the switch turned on ? It is a normal switch and not a dimmer ?
    Originally posted by molerat
    Yes it does... And yes its a normal basic light switch. Switch in ON position no continuity at any cable. Switch in OFF position no continuity at any cable
    • molerat
    • By molerat 4th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
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    molerat
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    Your tester is simply a bulb, battery and wire and is suitable for this simple job. When the 2 ends are joined the bulb lights, as simple as that. When the light switch is on and you connect the tester across that red and black it will light. If it does not light across any of them you need to check the connections in the switch.

    Are you sure you have connected to the correct terminals in the switch, if it has 3 you could have got the wrong 2. If the switch has a terminal marked COM you need to connect to that and to L1 or L2, if marked L1, L2 and L3 you need to connect across L1 and L2 or L3. Connecting across L1 and L2 in the first case or L2 and L3 in the second will not work.
    Last edited by molerat; 04-09-2017 at 8:19 PM.
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    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 8:17 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    [QUOTE=molerat;73079438]Your tester is simply a bulb, battery and wire and is suitable for this simple job. When the 2 ends are joined the bulb lights, as simple as that. When the light switch is on and you connect the tester across that red and black it will light. If it does not light across any of them you need to check the connections in the switch. Are you sure you have connected to the correct terminals in the switch, if it has 3 you could have got the wrong 2.[/QUOTE

    Switch has 3 terminals L1, L2 & Comm. Blue is currently on L1 and brown is currently on Comm. This is the only switch for this light. Does that help?
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 4th Sep 17, 8:24 PM
    • 2,103 Posts
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    EachPenny
    Switch has 3 terminals L1, L2 & Comm. Blue is currently on L1 and brown is currently on Comm. This is the only switch for this light. Does that help?
    Originally posted by Tef
    The three T&E's in the rose are the old black and red colours... if you've got blue and brown in the switch then something fishy is going on. It could just be the old switch wire has been partially replaced, but given the different colours and apparent lack of continuity, I'd want to do some more investigation.

    Was the switch (not the original dimmer) known to be working before you wired it in? It's a long shot, but you may have a faulty switch?
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Tef
    • By Tef 4th Sep 17, 8:52 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    The three T&E's in the rose are the old black and red colours... if you've got blue and brown in the switch then something fishy is going on. It could just be the old switch wire has been partially replaced, but given the different colours and apparent lack of continuity, I'd want to do some more investigation.

    Was the switch (not the original dimmer) known to be working before you wired it in? It's a long shot, but you may have a faulty switch?
    Originally posted by EachPenny

    Thanks for the reply... I wondered about the wiring situation as well.. But anyway yes new switch, which when I still couldn't get any continuity I tested it in an other room and works ok...
    • molerat
    • By molerat 5th Sep 17, 11:35 AM
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    molerat
    I know what I would do now but that involves working with live wires so not recommended if you are unsure and without the correct test equipment. It looks like you need to get someone in.
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    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 5th Sep 17, 1:04 PM
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    EachPenny
    I know what I would do now but that involves working with live wires so not recommended if you are unsure and without the correct test equipment. It looks like you need to get someone in.
    Originally posted by molerat
    Agreed. There are ways of solving the puzzle, but you need the equipment and experience to do it safely.

    The only other question that occurs to me is whether the light is controlled by a single switch or if it is part of a 2-way (or more) setup. 2-way lighting might be one reason why the switch wire appears to be different colours at either end, but it doesn't sound like this is the case from the OP's comments.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Tef
    • By Tef 5th Sep 17, 4:58 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    Afternoon folks, so today I took the day of work and decided to get to the bottom of this. After Eachpenny's comment about the wiring I decided that the only safe way of doing this was to trace the wires from the floor above.. Up at dawn to lift the upstairs carpet and floorboards and finally found the wire leading to the switch. It seems that at some point in the past a partial rewire has been done as approx 3ft from the ceiling rose the wires entered a circular junction box & from there the wires exited as the new brown/blue/green-yellow. And here is where the problem lay, after removing the cover I noticed the on the ceiling rose side the red wire was not inserted into the terminal and was just hanging loose. I can only imagine that the terminal screw had not been fully tightened and when I removed the ceiling rose and pulled the wires free that that extra two or three inches pull was enough to unseat it from the block. Re-connected that and went downstairs to check for continuity and yep continuity was there. Hurrah.. So have marked the cable and tidied up. 6 hours work but so satisfying.

    So thanks for the help folks it was great being able to have the input. I really appreciate all the advice offered.
    Last edited by Tef; 05-09-2017 at 5:17 PM. Reason: Grammar
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 5th Sep 17, 7:05 PM
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    EachPenny
    So thanks for the help folks it was great being able to have the input. I really appreciate all the advice offered.
    Originally posted by Tef
    You're welcome, really glad to hear you managed to get it sorted out. The change in colour from one end of the switch wire to the other was a clue that something funny was going on... and the 'funny' thing is what you managed to find

    It seems a bit odd not to have taken the new wire back to the rose and use a junction box instead... possibly a sign of a lazy workman. Although I wouldn't panic about it, you might want to think about lifting floorboards in other rooms as and when you decorate/spring clean and just check there are no more similar surprises lurking there. Checking connections are properly tightened is one of the most important things to do to avoid future problems. Obviously making sure the supply is isolated before you do any checking!
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Tef
    • By Tef 5th Sep 17, 8:14 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Tef
    You're welcome, really glad to hear you managed to get it sorted out. The change in colour from one end of the switch wire to the other was a clue that something funny was going on... and the 'funny' thing is what you managed to find

    It seems a bit odd not to have taken the new wire back to the rose and use a junction box instead... possibly a sign of a lazy workman. Although I wouldn't panic about it, you might want to think about lifting floorboards in other rooms as and when you decorate/spring clean and just check there are no more similar surprises lurking there. Checking connections are properly tightened is one of the most important things to do to avoid future problems. Obviously making sure the supply is isolated before you do any checking!
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Yeh I admit I wondered why he hadn't just taken it to the ceiling rose and think your'e right, just laziness or he was working on a fixed price and cut corners where he could... A to do job for me now is to take the ceiling rose cover plate of in each room as well as the wall switches and check the colours match... Cynical me says they won't :-)

    Anyway cheers again.
    • lotusman
    • By lotusman 15th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    lotusman
    Wiring of ceiling light-help please!
    i have the same problem
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 15th Sep 17, 8:41 PM
    • 2,700 Posts
    • 1,647 Thanks
    Ectophile
    Wiring of ceiling light-help please!
    i have the same problem
    Originally posted by lotusman
    You'll need to give more information than that to get a useful answer.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 15th Sep 17, 10:41 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    Risteard
    Wiring of ceiling light-help please!
    i have the same problem
    Originally posted by lotusman
    And the solution is the same as well: Call an Electrician.
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