Trouble replacing lights and switches.

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Gregg McCarthy, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Hey guys,
    I used to take electrics at college but I dropped out and it’s been so long since then that some stuff has been forgotten.
    I’m replacing the light fixture in my bedroom.

    I’ve had a look in the ceiling rose and it’s old wiring, done 50 years ago and never been changed (I’m talking black and red wiring). There are 3 red wires grouped together, 1 red separate going into the block with the live brown for the pendant, (I think this is a switch live). 3 greens going into the earth port and 2 blacks over in the neutral zone. None of them have additional sleeving on them to determine what is a switch live or anything so that’s super helpful. Also to make things easier my next light I want to put up has only 3 ports. One for N one for L and one for E. I’m assuming I need to put a couple of cables in a connector block and put the

    2nd dilemma I have is that I want to replace the 1 way switch and make it a dimmer switch, both wires are red wires so I know 1 has to be a neutral. There is also no sleeping here to determine which is actually which. Also the switch doesn’t have L1/L2 or Com on it. It’s so old it just has Top. All I can think of is to put the Top wire in L1 and the other in L2.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ind spark

    Ind spark Active Member

    3 x reds in seperate terminal block.
    Single red to live.
    2 x blacks to neutral.
    Earths to earth.

    The 2 reds in the switch are a feed and a switch wire, so should connect onto com and L1 on your dimmer or however your dimmers marked.

    Turn the power off obviously before doing this.
     
  3. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    It is singles in conduit, so nothing needs oversleeving as all the conductors are the right colours, there’s a conduit box behind the light ceiling rose, I would remake the connections in there using Wago type connectors then connect the light.
     
  4. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Thanks for all the help it’s made things clearer in my mind but just 1 bit has confused me a little here. Do I just need to put 3 of those red wires into a wago connection block and that’s done? Do I remove the conduit box behind the rose as the rose is going to be replaced by then new fitting or shall I leave it there? Do I need a specific wago connector block as there are lots online and I dunno which one to buy. Thanks again for your help guys
     
  5. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    When did you drop out of college, the second day?

    Yes join the three reds together replicating what is already there, no don’t try removing the conduit box.
     
  6. Ind spark

    Ind spark Active Member

    Use a standard connector block if you havnt got a wago.
    And use the 2 pins that are fixing the old light to fix the new light.
     
    Gregg McCarthy likes this.
  7. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Thanks, super patient and helpful response. I appreciate that you weren’t condescending and understood that I’m asking for help because I’m inexperienced not necessarily meaning I’m dumb unlike other members. Will be sure to seek out your advice again in the future.
    Thanks again!
     
  8. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select

    Not sure if anyone said but label SL also before you start changing things take photos as u go I find handy. Brown tape on switch live
     
  9. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Yeah so it didn’t go as planned.
     
  10. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select


    Been there lol

    what happend?
     
  11. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Wired the switch, that’s all fine, turned the power back on light still worked.

    cut the power again, blacks in the neutral slot, 3 reds in a wago connector, 3 earths in the earth. 1 red in the live (same as the one that was on its own, I was sure as i did the 3 together In the clip first).
    Found it hard with the old wiring for the modern sized connection terminals as the older wires are so thick and I gotta get 3 in a small terminal.
    Anyways that was all good, right light bulbs everything good power back on turned on the switch. Ceiling rose sparked now its not working.
     
  12. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Ceiling rose ? Didn't you remove the rose to fit your new light fitting ?
    Any breaker trip , or fuse blow ?
     
  13. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Sorry, I didn’t mean ceiling rose I meant the new light fitting sparked just at the top. So I’ve got a fuse box but I haven’t checked if anything’s blown yet. Just gonna kinda deal with no lights for tonight and see what I can do tomorrow. Any thoughts if there is a blown fuse or if there isn’t?
     
  14. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Sparking at the light fitting base ? Where the wiring is connected ?
    If yes ,then a wire has come loose ,or a mounting screw may have possibly nicked a cable.
    If all other lights on the circuit are working it's unlikely that a fuse / breaker has intervened as that would disable the entire circuit.
     
  15. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Yeah where the wiring is, all other lights in the flat are working fine. I feel like a you’re right a wire has probably come loose, I struggled to even get them in to be honest so I wouldn’t know what I could do about this because I obviously can’t change the thickness of the wires.

    I don’t think it’s a mounting screw as I mounted the base plate before I connected everything up and then to put the light up I just twist to lock it and a couple of turns of some tiny screws hold it in a locked position.
     
  16. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    If the terminals are too small to accommodate the conductors ,use a larger terminal block.
     
  17. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    I mean the ones that are fitted to the base of the light.

    This is the light I’m using and the terminals are fixed to the base plate for the light.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Make everything off in larger terminal blocks in the flushed in conduit box, dropping three new smaller wires down to the new light.
     
    Timbo66 likes this.
  19. Gregg McCarthy

    Gregg McCarthy New Member

    Thanks for the advice. Did all of that and connected everything up. Lights work now.

    but the dimmer switch doesn’t?
    I checked and they’re dimmer bulbs. Maybe it’s a faulty switch?
     
  20. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Did you establish what caused the sparking ? Might have damaged the dimmer ,or dimmer may not be suitable.
    Show us pic of the dimmers specification ,usually on its back surface.
     

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