Help needed with wall light wiring please

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by db1259, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    Hi guys, hoping someone can help please. Replacing two wall lights that worked simultaneously off one wall switch (the wall switch has a little lamp that is orange when the lights are off and blue when they're on)

    The old lights were earthed. The new lights are Class 2 and do not require earthing.

    Wiring coming out of the wall for light 1:
    - first terminal: three neutral wires (connected to single neutral wire when old light was connected)
    - second terminal: two live wires (there was nothing connected to this when old light connected)
    - third terminal: two live wires (single live wire connected here previously)
    - a separate earth terminal (single earth wire connected previously)

    Wiring coming out of the wall for light 2:
    - first terminal: single live wire
    - second terminal: single neutral wire
    - third terminal: single earth wire
    The old wall light was connected to this by single live/neutral/earth wires as you'd expect

    SO....
    Fitting the new lights, I assumed it was as simple as connecting neutral to neutral and live to live when I wired up each of the new lights, basically connecting as with the previous lights but minus the earth. This is where the problem arises....
    Having done that, when I switch the power back on at the fuse box, the lights come on - however the wall switch is permanently on. There's no light (orange or blue) and I am unable to switch the lights off now.

    In short, I am stuck as to how to resolve this and would really appreciate any advice from an expert please?
    Many thanks
     
  2. PandA3

    PandA3 Member

    Purely by your description so no guarantees….!
    2nd wall light looks like its loop fed from first wall light so should be fine.
    1st wall light :-
    1st terminal is all the neutrals so leave all connected together.
    2nd term is the live in and the live to the switch.
    3rd terminal is the switched live coming back from the switch. (normally black/blue...is it sleeved or marked?) put these 2 in the live terminal of the new light.

    So your new connections should leave the 2 wires that were on terminal 2 separate from the new fittings (connect them together and put safe in back box)
     
  3. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    Hi, thanks for replying. The wires in the third terminal are definitely both brown, no sleeve or other markings.

    Please note a change, I got the description of second terminal wrong - there are three wires (not two) - of these three one is a darker brown but definitely still brown as far as I can see. Does that change your advice at all?

    Also, if I understood your first message correctly, were you suggesting leaving the wires in 2nd terminal out of the term and connect them together outside the term? Sorry if I misunderstood. (On the original light they weren't connected to anything the other side of the term and still aren't, so I don't know if that makes any difference)
     
  4. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    It appears that you have NOT connected the wiring the same as it was in your original light fitting. The second Terminal ( 3 wires) that did not have any onward wires into the fitting,would very likely be the permanent lives. If you have mixed them up and connected to your new fittings live terminal ,that would make the lights come on permanently ,and the switch would do nothing.
     
  5. PandA3

    PandA3 Member

    Photos would help.
    It’s the 2nd terminal I was asking colours.
    Term 2 or term 3.. one is the live loop, the other is the switched live.
    My guess is term 2 is the live loop as it’s got less wires, and nothing going out, so yes connect them together but not in the light terminals.
     
  6. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    Guys thanks for your messages. I'll take some pictures in the daylight and post them tomorrow. That will hopefully help you both understand what I've done and how I might remedy it. Cheers
     
    terrymac likes this.
  7. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    Hi guys, here are the pics, taken front and back of the terminal to light 1.
    So you see top terminal with 3 in 1 out (neutral)
    Middle term 3 in zero out (appear to be live, though you can see one is darker as I said - it's a very dark brown even though it looks black in the photo)
    Bottom term 2 in 1 out (live)

    Help gratefully received! :)

    IMG_1389.jpg IMG_1390.jpg
     
  8. sparky steve

    sparky steve Active Member

    A0A012AD-2B42-4166-A6F2-7B2B1DB9092B.png Photos not clear, well can’t make out on my phone:( this may help?
     
  9. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    Have you altered the positions of any of the wires going INTO the terminal blocks ,not counting the ones going to the light fitting ?
    At any time whilst working on the wall lights ,have you tripped a circuit breaker or blown a fuse ?
    Can you post pics of the switch and wires going into it ?
     
  10. PandA3

    PandA3 Member

    Recap
    Have you removed any of these wires to the put new wires from the new fittings in??
    Can you identify which of these wires go to the light(s)?
    Sparky Steve's diagram is exactly where I was thinking... so the terminal with only 2 wires should be the permanent live and live to the switch. (top terminal in the diagram)
    The 3 neutrals are fine. The Earths stay as they are. So in reality, you are only trying to identify 5 'Browns' and they all look as if they have been there a while? so what has changed?

    you also mention that the wall switch has an orange/blue neon.? Are the new lights some sort of fancy electronic/LED thingumyjig?
    Maybe the switch neon is passing a current, so try disconnecting the switch (remove both wires) and see if the light go out.
     
  11. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    To answer the various questions so far (thanks guys)
    - I have not altered any wires on wall light/terminal 1 that come from behind the wall
    - The RCD Protected switch on the fuse box flipped once whilst I was working on them
    - Pics of wall switch and wires going into them attached (the switch on the left is no longer lit as you can see, the one on the right shows what it looks like off [orange] and on [blue])
    - I haven't removed any wires on terminal 1 other than the old wall light (1 x neutral/live/earth)
    - I can't identify which of these wires go to the light
    - They have all been there for about 5 or 6 years since the house was built. Looking at the middle terminal more closely in the daylight, and comparing it to the photo of the wall switch, it looks like the dark brown wire is actually a cover for a blue cable. I don't want to take it out of the middle terminal to check (in case that causes further problems) but it certainly seems like the middle terminal has 2 live and 1 neutral in it
    - The new lights are nothing fancy - straightforward John Lewis lamps (Boundary Wall Light if you want to look it up)

    Any thoughts/ideas based on this update guys?
    Thanks again IMG_1392.jpg IMG_1393.jpg IMG_1394.jpg
     
  12. PandA3

    PandA3 Member

    The sheathed blue confirms it is the switched live return. So all your lights should be connected to that.
    Have you disconnected the switch yet? to confirm the orange/blue neons arnt playing tricks with the new light?
    And is that switch a dimmer??
    Do you have a method of testing for voltage? a multimeter or even a mains neon screwdriver? (god forbid!)
     
  13. PandA3

    PandA3 Member

    what bulbs have you put in?
     
  14. Mike58

    Mike58 Well-Known Member

    Can I ask what all the white stuff is on the choc blocks?
     
  15. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    If all you have done is put the light fittings live and neutral into the existing wiring of the walls terminal block ,and something tripped on the main consumer unit ,are you sure it was the RCD , not an MCB or RCBO ?
    I suspect you may have blown the switch.
     
  16. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    Hi again
    - I haven't disconnected the switch. In fact until today when I took that picture I hadn't touched it at all
    - No it's not a dimmer
    - I don't have a means of checking voltage, no, sorry
    - I've tried a couple of different ones; including a standard 40W bayonet cap - makes no difference
    - the white stuff is plaster from when it was tucked into the wall behind the old lights
    - Yep all I did was wire up exactly the same as the previous lights, minus the earth, and the switch on the fuse box that tripped is underneath a sticker with "RCD protected Total load not to exceed rated current" written on it
     
  17. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    Show a pic of what tripped please.
     
  18. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    The switch I'm pointing at flipped down at some point during the install yesterday, I can't say exactly when obviously. I've put it back up to get power to other things in the house of course
    IMG_1395.jpg
     
  19. db1259

    db1259 New Member

    One further point to note guys, when I installed light 1, I tested it and it worked fine (i.e. before I removed and replaced light 2). It was only after installing light 2 and powering back on that the problem emerged
     
  20. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    Ok that is an RCD.
    I suspect your problem is the switch.
    Where are the earth conductors at the wall and switch positions. None are visible in your pics ?
    What does the right hand switch control ?
     

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