Wiring help...please

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by RobertSM, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member


    I appreciate any help.

    I had gates installed over the summer, I asked the guys to leave some extra wiring for when I want to add floodlights.
    The installer has run a 4 core cable from a socket in my garage to the gates to provide power etc…( he has it going to a 10a Fuse in the installation box that powers the gates and other stuff)


    Now I want to wire up a light, I don’t want to take the power from the box by the gates as its on a 10a fuse.

    You can see the spare cable in the garage, so this is my plan:


    Wire a 3a switched spur from the socket in the garage this is the wire cable then goes to a distribution box my at the gates, then from here take 1.5mm twin&earth to the lights.

    My question is, is it ok to just take the neutral and earth from any qualifying connections in this box( I imagine it is as only the live is fused)?

    If my light is blown or are switch off at the switch will it affect any of the other circuits, the way I see it is I am just borrowing a live/neutral.

    Is it safe in your eyes?

    Any help would be appreciated.


  2. dobbie

    dobbie Screwfix Select

    Get the gate installer back to terminate that cable properly. He has left you with one massive bodge the way it is all taped up and going into the plug top.
    It should be properly glanded and terminated at each end, if it means installing a metalclad fused spur in the garage, that is what has to be done, or put it on it's own circuit not spurred from the sockets.
  3. Philip Hyde

    Philip Hyde Active Member

    Yeah completely agree. Really poor job.
  4. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member

    Thanks for the replies, I agree with the Spur in the garage for sure, as regards the box, all I know is that it works and looks messy, I imagine 1 out of every 100 customers ever open the box.

    Regarding my original question, does it make sense?
  5. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    **** poor, another installer who will bodge electrical work on his own jobs to save paying for a spark but if you happen to be knocking around on the same site he will swear blind he isn't allowed to touch electrics and the spark has to connect it all up. Get him back and make him install it properly at his own cost, ******* chancer.
  6. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member

    Bodge as is not neat? or just need to install a spur in the first place like Dobbie said and terminate properly/neaten up cabling?
  7. dobbie

    dobbie Screwfix Select

    The full thing is a bodge. Where does the white cable go? does not seem to be a suitable cable for purpose.
    Joints just taped up, they could be on din rail connectors.
    PSU and socket held in place with sticky back cable tie bases.
    Using grey as neutral in one cable and earth in another cable without any sleeving.
    The box they have saddled you with is used/second hand.
    You have been had and need to get them back to sort it, what have they done we cannot see.
    Armour/hi-tuff can't make out what it is properly bodged, without any terminations.
  8. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Is this bodge RCD protected ?
  9. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member

    From what i see the white cable you see is the armored 4 core from the garage, it goes to terminals that are taped up but you are right, they could be on Din rails for sure and or terminated.
    The box i am not concerned with, i cannot see how it could be in better condition.
    There is no way in hell you will get the guy back, TBH I think his talents were in welding etc... the gates/posts are perfect and really nice, the electrical part I think he has just figured out along the way.

    It functions from his perspective, it doesn't like nice, but when you close and lock the box who sees!

    For now I just want to wire a light up so my original question still stands if anyone cares to answer it ;-) I will revisit the main box in the summer when the days are better/dryer and i have more time.

    Thanks again for all your inputs.
  10. GregB

    GregB New Member

    I think you can do it but it's frowned upon, sorta like masturbating on a plane
    RobertSM likes this.
  11. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

  12. GregB

    GregB New Member

    Joking obviously its completely illegal as is putting light circuits and socket circuits together
  13. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    You couldn't just wire the black wire through a spur and leave the pug on the end of the rest, for a start if the spur was on and you unplugged the plug then you would have a live neutral.

    For a start the whole armoured needs terminating in a metal clad switched spur fed of the socket - assuming the socket is on a ring or is part of a radial circuit. Then maybe you could wire a switch in the black wire and use the other cores for the shared earth and neutral.

    I don't think its the best idea to have a switch turning off one core of the cable whilst there is another core still live in it but can't think of any reg that would prohibit this, suppose its similar to a 3 core and earth cable on a 2 gang switch or even supplying a fan where one core is permanent live and the other switched.

    As for the installation as it stands, I can see a steel wire armour cable with a plug shoved on the end of it, this should never be done, its not the right sort of cable to go into a plug, also the armour itself isn't earthed. Similarly at the other end there appears to be some sort of gland on the cable, even a banjo but again its not earthed to anything. What route does the cable follow? is it buried at all?

    I'm not even sure about all the single insulated cables and MCB just sitting there, is this classed as an enclosure like a consumer unit that can't be opened by your average person or do you just pull on a handle to get inside for access to the socket etc.

    The gland and banjo look rusty, how is that even possible on something made of brass. Looks like the armoured goes straight into the box, there needs to be a rotary isolator next to it, is there one? The wiring inside looks terrible, even worse than a DIYer, looks like he's butchered an extension lead to get a socket in there and every cable that has been stripped back looks like its been done with rusty blunt pliers.
  14. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    That is a disgusting mess ...

    I would advise telling the original installer to come back and reterminate it appropriately - at both ends. Also ensuring it is RCD protected.

    If the first image is at the gate end - then he could install and correctly wire two MCBs - 10A for gates and 3A for lights and wire both from there.

    However, if he refuses, then get another in to do it PROPERLY.
  15. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    OP, there is nothing right about this installation, and you won't get professional sparks on here to accept that because someone is an excellent metal fabricator and poor electrician that is OK, if he has no electrical abilities he should be getting an electrician to do that work. Lets look at some of the things wrong in the picture.

    1- You have an armoured cable with the armour un-earthed at both ends (the armour should link to the earth both ends)
    2- You have various connections taped up in haphazard fashion
    3- You have a 13A plug on a cable, no, no and no
    4- There is an extension lead socket in the box, at very least a metalclad socket screwed to the back plate would be secure
    5- There is no local means of isolating the box in order to reset the MCB if required
    6- The backplate and DIN rail are not earthed
    7- There is no proper segregation of the DC low voltage wiring
    8- The whole assembly relies on 4 self adhesive pads to keep everything in place
    9- There is rust and corrosion on the banjo and nut and signes of oxidation on the backplate indicating the housing is not waterproof
    10- Grey used as earth in one, N in other, no oversleeving
    11- Not entirely sure what the MCB is doing there anyway, it is not serving any purpose in terms of descrimination

    Overall it is a dangerous mess, I do hope it's on an RCD!
    Mike58 likes this.
  16. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member

    Thanks, that's great ammo to use.
    So what he has done ultimately (along with all you have said)is run a cable from a regular socket in the garage to a 10A MCB, from this he has wired a plug (for the GSM unit) and power to a control unit for 2-leaf gates.

    Also the cable is buried, he wanted to run it up the side of the driveway, before he arrived I buried PVC pipe directly from inside the garage 26m to the gates, depth is about 1ft, I wanted to run my own CAT5e cable so it suited me to do it.
  17. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    The MCB is basically useless, might as well have a 10A fuse in the plug!

    The whole thing could be done in a box half the size, I would have the cable (existing cable re-made off) running from a dedicated fused spur in the garage - if I was doing it I would make up a special double fuse spur from grid modules in a metal clad box (two switches, two fuses) the armour terminated to that - one switch and associated fuse for the gate control the other for the lights.

    At the far end the armour again properly terminated into a smaller waterproof housing containing a metalclad unswitched socket with the power adapter in. I would make all the mains connections within that metalclad sockets box and next to it fit a small plastic enclosure like a wiska box to join all the low voltage control wiring.
    Dam0n likes this.
  18. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    Heres a diagram of my suggestion

    Attached Files:

    Mike58 and Dam0n like this.
  19. RobertSM

    RobertSM New Member

    That's an impressive drawing, Thank you for that, I appreciate it, don't suppose your around the Clonmel area?
  20. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    Sorry Robert, in Salisbury.

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