10 into 3!?? Quick wiring conundrum - Pls help

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Plot64, Oct 29, 2021.

  1. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    Hi all,

    New to the community but hoping someone can help with a little wiring question I have…

    I’m trying to fit a new porch light in place of the dangling bulb there currently. Wiring is old (black & red, not blue & brown) and so far I’ve been able to just replicate whatever wiring layouts into the new light fixings etc around the place. But with this particular fixing, I only have 6 wire spots to squeeze TEN wires into from their current 8 spots.

    Please see photos below.

    First is of the current setup on the dangling light bulb. I count 10 wires into those 8 wire spots, and the second photo shows my new light fixture, which only has 6 wire spots.

    PHOTOS: https://imgur.com/a/68hBHGb

    a) How should I move those 10 wires over to the new fitting?

    b) Is it okay to lump all of the Live together, all of the Neutrals together and then the 2 earths into the L, earth and N spots as labelled, or is it more complex?

    FYI, the light is controlled from the bottom of stairs (porch & light location) as well as the top of the stairs. So two separate switches.

    If you have more questions or need better photos, just let me know!

    Many many thanks for any advice!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  2. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Pictures ???
    Plot64 likes this.
  3. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

  4. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Do you have space above the ceiling to fit a junction box ,in which you can make all the connections ,and run from the junction box, one three core cable to the light fitting ?
  5. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    Not really, the cable just pokes through and I’m no good at cutting into ceilings or filling and repairing lol. Would it be helpful to have a photo if I take the screws out and show you behind the plastic disc?

    … take it we can’t just lump all of the Live wires together then, and all of the neutrals etc, no?
  6. Ad_g

    Ad_g New Member

    You have permanent live - the three red in the middle and switched live - the two at the bottom. So no you can’t lump them together.

    Bottom switched live is the one that goes to your light. The other reds need connecting together separately, your new light does not have a terminal for that.
  7. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    @Ad_g thank you for that explanation. It makes a lot of sense. So you’re saying there’s no way I can install the new light?

    how big would a junction box have to be? …let me go remove these 2 screws and take another pic !
  8. Ad_g

    Ad_g New Member

    It is a very common issue and why @terrymac asked about a junction box. Standard ceiling roses have a terminal for the permanent lives, most modern lights don’t.

    Simplest approach is a small junction box in the void with the four sets of cables in and then run the three required to the light as suggested.

    You could also put all the lives into a separate block if there is space and connect the neutrals, earth and switched live to the light but you will struggle to fit them in looking at the picture.
  9. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    Okay, sooo there’s 3 grey wires underneath but it looks like they come through some plywood (no cavity)

    Any ideas on solutions for getting the new light fitting up, at all? Could I surface mount a junction box and hide the wires with trunking or something, idk ‍♂️ What would you do?

    New pics: https://imgur.com/a/uQXgI72
  10. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    @Ad_g …I actually think I may be able to fit the switched lives, neutrals and earths in. That would be 2 copper strands each right? 2, 2, and 2. I can give it a try. And if the permanent lives go together into a block (choc block?) that might be small enough to fit up there possibly. Wrap it in some electrical tape?

    So to clarify, these 4x permanent lives need to be together all jammed into one wire spot, or just spread across say 4 wire spots on the one block, independent and separate from the other 6 wires. Right?
  11. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Looks like only 3 red wires ( all permanent lives) that need to go together in a 4th terminal block. That can sit in the base of your new light fitting if there is space.
    The two black neutrals in the neutral terminal ,3 earth conductors into the earth terminal,and the switched live ( black with a red sleeve) into the live terminal.
  12. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    @terrymac that’s awesome, thank you Terry!! I’ll try to make space even if there is none as the block should be small :)

    With the permanent lives, this terminal block is just to.. to terminate the wires and give them a safe ‘end’ right? There’s no loop or continuation to, continue with?

    ..probably sounds stupid but just want to be sure. Wiring can be weird!
  13. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    They connect together. All in contact with each other. One is live feed ,one goes to the switch and the other is live out to the next ceiling rose.
  14. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    LOL you’ll be back posting that you have replaced this fitting and now other lights do not work, so what should you next, this could go on for weeks :rolleyes:

    All the wires have been installed for a reason, you need to replicate the connections that are already there adding an earth connection to the new light fitting.
  15. dray

    dray Active Member

    i am only a DIYer but you really need to be sure that you have numbered or identified those wires before you disconnect any from the ceiling rose. Just search through a few threads on here and you will see the nightmare people get into if they lose track of the wires once out of the rose.
    You need to have lots of pictures before disconnecting any of them , so you know which ones go together as they were when the lights worked originally.
    Hope you get it sorted.
  16. Plot64

    Plot64 New Member

    @dray thanks mate, I’ll make sure to do that!

    @terrymac will this block do the trick for what you said buddy? (It’s all I could find around the place) just to stick the 3 permanent lives into, yeah?

    photo: https://imgur.com/a/aphiilr
  17. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Yes ,that will do. But you don't use all three of that strip ,only ONE. And all 3 reds go together in it.
    Plot64 likes this.
  18. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

    You only need 1 of those 3 blocks. All the reds go into the same one.

    Before you start, get a black marker pen and mark the flat grey cable that has the black wire with the red sleeving on. That will be your switch feed and switch wire, if the sleeve comes off you will be able to identify which cable it goes back on and not be faced with just 3 blacks.
    Plot64 likes this.
  19. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

    @terrymac sorry mate, you must have posted while I was typing.
    terrymac likes this.

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