Odd wiring?

  • Thread starter The Medway Handyman
  • Start date

T

The Medway Handyman

Changed some light fittings today, like for like, in a house perhaps 5 years
old.

Strange wiring in the ceiling roses. I'd expect;
2 x blacks + neutral to lamp.
3 x reds joined.
1 x black with red sleeve + live to lamp.

They were wired;
2 x blacks + neutral to lamp.
2 x red + 1 x black joined.
1 x red + live to lamp.

So in other words, the switch cable was the opposite way around from the
usual.

Thought it was a mistake at first, but all the lights upstairs & down were
wired that way. It was a particularly neat & tidy job as well - workmanlike
(lovely word) describes it, obviously deliberate. Customer has had the
house from new, no work on lights since they moved in.

Obviously this way of wiring works, but;

Is it in accordance with the regulations and why would it be wired that way?
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Tim S

The Medway Handyman coughed up some electrons that declared:
Changed some light fittings today, like for like, in a house perhaps 5
years old.

Strange wiring in the ceiling roses. I'd expect;
2 x blacks + neutral to lamp.
3 x reds joined.
1 x black with red sleeve + live to lamp.

They were wired;
2 x blacks + neutral to lamp.
2 x red + 1 x black joined.
1 x red + live to lamp.

So in other words, the switch cable was the opposite way around from the
usual.

Thought it was a mistake at first, but all the lights upstairs & down were
wired that way. It was a particularly neat & tidy job as well -
workmanlike
(lovely word) describes it, obviously deliberate. Customer has had the
house from new, no work on lights since they moved in.

Obviously this way of wiring works, but;

Is it in accordance with the regulations and why would it be wired that
way?
Hi Dave,

Your former method is a valid and usual method for certain installations (ie
there are many valid variants, but this is a perfectly normal one) (colour
change excepted).

The method you found - it does appear, the way you described it, to simply
have the switch cable the "wrong way" round.

However, the only technical error I can see is the lack of red sleeve on the
live (normal parlance)/ line or phase (technical parlance) wire.

No particular reason it was wired that way, other than the installer was
waiting to catch you out. It's not the best way as seeking to catch people
out without a good reason is considered a "bad thing" (TM) but it's sound.

Seriously, it's more conventional to take the red or brown as the supply
live, but it's not prescriptive AFAIK.

Stick a red sleeve on and you've corrected the only regulatory breach that
seems apparent.

However, that's only based on what you've said. There may (or not) be other
problems lurking. You didn't mention earths - are there any? There should
be in a 5 year old installation (which should have been done to the 16th)
and it does affect whether you should be adding any Class I accessories (ie
needing an earth, not double insulated).

Cheers

Tim
 
T

The Medway Handyman

Tim said:
The Medway Handyman coughed up some electrons that declared:


Hi Dave,

Your former method is a valid and usual method for certain
installations (ie there are many valid variants, but this is a
perfectly normal one) (colour change excepted).

The method you found - it does appear, the way you described it, to
simply have the switch cable the "wrong way" round.

However, the only technical error I can see is the lack of red sleeve
on the live (normal parlance)/ line or phase (technical parlance)
wire.

No particular reason it was wired that way, other than the installer
was waiting to catch you out. It's not the best way as seeking to
catch people out without a good reason is considered a "bad thing"
(TM) but it's sound.

Seriously, it's more conventional to take the red or brown as the
supply live, but it's not prescriptive AFAIK.

Stick a red sleeve on and you've corrected the only regulatory breach
that seems apparent.

However, that's only based on what you've said. There may (or not) be
other problems lurking. You didn't mention earths - are there any?
There should be in a 5 year old installation (which should have been
done to the 16th) and it does affect whether you should be adding any
Class I accessories (ie needing an earth, not double insulated).
'Earths ommited for simplicity' - yes there were earths.
 
T

Tim S

The Medway Handyman coughed up some electrons that declared:
'Earths ommited for simplicity' - yes there were earths.
Sounds OK then :)

Unless anyone thinks of any weirdisms I didn't...

Cheers

Tim
 
However, the only technical error I can see is the lack of red sleeve on
the
live (normal parlance)/ line or phase (technical parlance) wire.
You don't really need the red sleeve.. you open it up and can see the black
is connected to the live.
I would be more interested in knowing if the far end has a red sleeve.

The sleeve is very useful for remembering which is the switched live though.
Makes you wonder how they knew?
 
T

The Medway Handyman

You don't really need the red sleeve.. you open it up and can see the
black is connected to the live.
I would be more interested in knowing if the far end has a red sleeve.
You mean the switch end? I'm going back Friday to finish another job, I
could have a look.
The sleeve is very useful for remembering which is the switched live
though. Makes you wonder how they knew?
Sorry, knew what?
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Tim S

[email protected] coughed up some electrons that declared:
You don't really need the red sleeve.. you open it up and can see the
black is connected to the live.
You do Dennis. IEE regs, correct identification of conductors. I'll quote it
verbatim if you like, but, no matter how obvious it seems, it *should* be
sleeved correctly.
I would be more interested in knowing if the far end has a red sleeve.
That is true.
 
A

Andrew Gabriel

You don't really need the red sleeve.. you open it up and can see the black
is connected to the live.
I would be more interested in knowing if the far end has a red sleeve.

The sleeve is very useful for remembering which is the switched live though.
Makes you wonder how they knew?
IME, the red sleeve is fitted incorrectly sufficiently often that
it must always be ignored, and would be safer if it wasn't used
at all.
 
T

The Medway Handyman

Andrew said:
IME, the red sleeve is fitted incorrectly sufficiently often that
it must always be ignored, and would be safer if it wasn't used
at all.
It often isn't used at all. I change loads of light fittings for people,
very rare to ever see a sleeve. Another problem is that they easily fall
off when you undo the terminal, I tape them in place with red tape before I
undo them.
 
C

Cicero

It often isn't used at all. I change loads of light fittings for people,
very rare to ever see a sleeve. Another problem is that they easily fall
off when you undo the terminal, I tape them in place with red tape before
I undo them.
=========================================

Use a digital camera for reference and record purposes. It's quick, easy
and almost fool-proof.

Cic.
 
A

ARWadsworth

The Medway Handyman said:
It often isn't used at all. I change loads of light fittings for people,
very rare to ever see a sleeve. Another problem is that they easily fall
off when you undo the terminal, I tape them in place with red tape before
I undo them.
It is rare to see a sleeve.

I always cut the exposed copper off the switched live when changing a
pendant to a fitting so that when the sleeve falls off I know which cable it
is. It is just a case of stripping it back again.

As to your odd wiring I know one old sparky who always wires lights up that
way (with sleeving). He says that the first connection he makes is the black
to premanent live and then he cannot get anything mixed up.

Totally legal.

Adam
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Tim S

ARWadsworth coughed up some electrons that declared:
It is rare to see a sleeve.
Sorry - I only did my 4 day course a few months back - still
indoctrinated! ;->

TBH, I'll probably stop using sleeves and start using a wrap of same
coloured tape. Sleeves always end up falling off when people fiddle so even
if it was perfect to start with, it probably doesn't stay that way.

Cue discussion on hellerman sleeves!

Cheers

Tim
 
A

ARWadsworth

I seldom sleeve my own stuff.. I am still using some triple and earth I
had left over for the switch drops.

What do you do with the spare core?

And stop being tight with the sleeving. It is about £3 for 100m.

Adam
 
ARWadsworth said:
What do you do with the spare core?

And stop being tight with the sleeving. It is about £3 for 100m.
I leave it there in case I want to make it a two way or twin sometime.

You need to fold it back and tape it but the colour of the tape doesn't
matter much.
 
A

ARWadsworth

I leave it there in case I want to make it a two way or twin sometime.

You need to fold it back and tape it but the colour of the tape doesn't
matter much.
It should be sleeved green/yellow and connected to earth until you wish to
use it. But there is no harm in using 3core and earth instead of twin and
earth for switch drops, especially if you may use the spare core in the
future.

Adam
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

Geo

Hellerman oil was banned from the fast jet industry more than 20 years
ago. It was rotting the sleeves.
I discovered in the late '60s that it also made the sleeves conductive. Multiway
connector with all wires sleeved and you could measure the resistance with an
ordinary AVO 8.
 
G

Guest

TBH, I'll probably stop using sleeves and start using a wrap of same
coloured tape. Sleeves always end up falling off when people fiddle so even
if it was perfect to start with, it probably doesn't stay that way.
I tend to use a short length of heat shrink these days. Shrunk on it should
last. I'll find out in a few years if it works.
Cue discussion on hellerman sleeves!
Curses! Certainly the ones varnished with conductive (after several years)
varnish.
 
Ad

Advertisements

A

ARWadsworth

Dave said:
Why is that Adam?

Dave
Unused cores should not be left "floating". Apart from the voltages that
could be induced into unearthed spare cores it is more important that there
is a possiblilty that they could make contact with live parts resulting in
the other end of the conductor becoming live.

Adam
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

Odd wiring. 27
Odd lighting circuit wiring 11
Ceiling light - Odd wire 9
Please ID another odd wire! 1
Odd question... 30
Odd taps 7
Odd question. 13
Odd project 13

Top