Shower switch earth is too short, is there an acceptable inexpert DIY fix?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Catalogue, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Catalogue

    Catalogue New Member

    Hi, I'm installing a replacement shower switch and the earths are too short to reach the terminal. No slack, no repositioning, definitely won't reach.

    Here's how it looks:

    IMG_20180809_215732.jpg

    Thanks!
     
  2. Coloumb

    Coloumb Well-Known Member

    You use a chock-box or just crimp on another 2 bits of cpc. Chock box might be a bit more difficult to fit in to the back box. Make sure you use the same size cpc. And put some sleaving on it.
     
  3. Coloumb

    Coloumb Well-Known Member

    Actually you could just choc-box the two cpc's togther as it's a plastic switch. I'm sure someone will confirm shortly. Not sure if this is good practice tbh.
     
  4. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Is it not possible to get at the cables above the ceiling to see if some slack exists?
    Or use a ceiling box rather than the surface box you have?
    Live and Neutral cables look a bit on the limit also
     
  5. Catalogue

    Catalogue New Member

    Never crimped anything before, don't especially want to start learning on a 50 amp switch even if it is just the earth.

    Could I get away with connector blocks inside the pattress without a chocbox surround? I notice some pattresses come with embedded earth terminals of their own?

    There's definitely no slack, it's not an unusual feature of the house. L & N are barely there but I'm happy they're secure. When you say ceiling box, do you mean one of these? https://www.screwfix.com/p/appleby-1-gang-35mm-dry-lining-box/44827

    I have to bend double and hurdle over freely hanging slim copper water pipes criss-crossing the loft to get to the ceiling above, no exaggeration. Possible, but I'd rather not unless I have to.
     
  6. Mr A greig

    Mr A greig Member

    Does the earth actually go anywhere on the switch or is it just a bit of brass?
    Given its a plastic box and switch I would just crimp the wires together as it looks like that's all that the earth Terminal does.
    It's what I would do... not saying it's right...
     
  7. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Not the one in your link. Would need deeper and also I notice some electricians use deep metal boxes (same as can be built into walls).
    Best an electrician advises further
     
  8. Catalogue

    Catalogue New Member

    The terminal is on a strip of metal that goes round to both machine screw sockets.
     
  9. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is normal so that the bolts are earthed that hold pull cord and other switches in place.
    And stating the obvious, the terminal allows the earth coming to the switch to continue on to earth the shower.
     
  10. Alan sherriff

    Alan sherriff Member

    As before you need to get continuity to the shower of the earths cpc more than the plastic box . Crimp best option but if no crimps connector block if room after all the connection on the switch is a screw connection and belt and bracers buy some plastic fixing pins for swith to pattress box if no room get deeper box.
    Last option will get remarks on this put conectors on earths and push in to ceiling void . if issues later that connection can be pull down to inspection I know the regs on keepin double insulation within pattress as the is no double insulation on the earth this is acceptable ???
    Just a note how many sparks strip back outer insulation and leave outside pattress when dealing with 10 mill cable .100% make sure the earth is to the wet area do not worry about earthing the switch to much
     
  11. Alan sherriff

    Alan sherriff Member

     
  12. Alan sherriff

    Alan sherriff Member

    One other thing is the earthing is the important thing not so much other connections as to lose line or neutral would not cause an issue on shock just loss of shower or lose connections burn back
     
  13. Bazza

    Bazza Well-Known Member

    Per the above, a separate (20A minimum) bit of insulated choc block would sort this. It's a plastic box and there's no absolute requirement for the fixing screws to be earthed. They aren't on the majority of plastic switches.

    Earth sleeve needed on the earth wires and (sorry) I don't like to see bare copper like you have on the live conductors.
    PS make sure the terminals are done up good and tight.
     
  14. Mr A greig

    Mr A greig Member

    Is the bare copper thing a rule? I usually leave the tiniest bit showing (like 1mm) just as a visual check that I'm hitting copper not plastic with the screw.
    I would also add that make sure you fit the little blanking plastic buttons to the screw hole if earth isn't connected to switch.
     
  15. Catalogue

    Catalogue New Member

    Seems to be the agreed suggestion. I'll see if I can enlarge the hole in the ceiling and push a chocbox above the pattress without snapping any remains of the earth, which is how I got here in the first place.. The switch isn't accessible without a ladder so unearthed screws aren't the end of the world.

    Thank you very much everybody.
     
  16. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

  17. Catalogue

    Catalogue New Member

  18. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    Not sure what size cable you have but terminating 2x10mm T&E's properly into one of those pull switches is a pain in the **** and your switch doesn't look particularly well done. Most of the ones I have seen must have been terminated with a neon screwdriver so dont last long at all, coupled with everything being compressed and twisting the switch out of shape when its forced back with the screws I'm not surprised I see plenty that look like that picture, then you will know all about short cables.

    The Crabtree switch is a vastly superior design for terminating cables into, 10mm is a doddle, I wouldn't use anything else now.
     
    Sparkielev likes this.

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