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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

In the process of removing an over-sink light and shaver outlet I
switched off the ceiling switch (I presume there used to be a light
fitted that did not have an integral switch), the light went off so I
was about to get to work but something made me check first. Long story
short: inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined and the
blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on it) resulting
in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the light! I'm
getting a bit blasé in my old age so this near miss is a good reminder
to check!
I've just stripped the paper underneath where the light was and someone
has written "live!" on the wall - presumably, 20 years ago they got the
surprise that I narrowly avoided today.
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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

On Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:24:42 PM UTC+1, wrote:
inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined and the
blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on it) resulting
in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the light! I'm
getting a bit blasé in my old age so this near miss is a good reminder
to check!


I've come across the same thing in the past. About 10 years ago my sister-in-law asked if could change the bulb in their outside porch light. I turned the wall switch off and proceeded to remove the old bulb and received an electric shock. Turns out the previous owner had fitted the light and switched it on the neutral!
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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

On 11/06/2021 14:24, wrote:

In the process of removing an over-sink light and shaver outlet I
switched off the ceiling switch (I presume there used to be a light
fitted that did not have an integral switch), the light went off so I
was about to get to work but something made me check first.


You mean they had wired the over sink shaving lamp so that it was on the
switched feed to the main room lamp? Might be ok from a lighting point
of view, but you can only shave or charge your toothbrush with the light on!

Long story
short: inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined and the
blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on it) resulting
in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the light! I'm
getting a bit blasé in my old age so this near miss is a good reminder
to check!


Or just turn off the whole circuit...

I've just stripped the paper underneath where the light was and someone
has written "live!" on the wall - presumably, 20 years ago they got the
surprise that I narrowly avoided today.


Well done to the writer of the note, shame the person doing the
wallpaper did not re-instate the warning. Having said that, you would
probably not be able to see it until the lamp was removed anyway!


--
Cheers,

John.

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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

On 11/06/2021 14:59, John Rumm wrote:
On 11/06/2021 14:24, wrote:

In the process of removing an over-sink light and shaver outlet I
switched off the ceiling switch (I presume there used to be a light
fitted that did not have an integral switch), the light went off so I
was about to get to work but something made me check first.


You mean they had wired the over sink shaving lamp so that it was on the
switched feed to the main room lamp? Might be ok from a lighting point
of view, but you can only shave or charge your toothbrush with the light
on!

No. Most of the bedrooms have washbasins with ceiling switches just for
the shaving lamp, switched independently from the room light.

Long story short: inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined
and the blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on it)
resulting in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the
light! I'm getting a bit blasé in my old age so this near miss is a
good reminder to check!


Or just turn off the whole circuit...

Very true (and that's the correct thing to do) but then I wouldn't have
noticed the problem.

I've just stripped the paper underneath where the light was and
someone has written "live!" on the wall - presumably, 20 years ago
they got the surprise that I narrowly avoided today.


Well done to the writer of the note, shame the person doing the
wallpaper did not re-instate the warning. Having said that, you would
probably not be able to see it until the lamp was removed anyway!

True, but I would have preferred them to get a sparky to investigate and
correct the cock-up.



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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

On Fri, 11 Jun 2021 14:59:25 +0100, John Rumm
wrote:

snip

Well done to the writer of the note, shame the person doing the
wallpaper did not re-instate the warning. Having said that, you would
probably not be able to see it until the lamp was removed anyway!


Wouldn't that have just been a warning indicating that piece of cable
was 'live' when the place was being wired or re-wired / worked on,
rather than the wire (colour) use not being correct?

eg, Wasn't it obvious that it was (all) live (now) because it was
working?

Cheers, T i m


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Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

The worse ones are those old brass lamp holders and stranded wire badly
fitted into it so after a while a whisker of the live stranded touches the
brass which is not connected to anything else. That made me swear big time.
It does not help when the lady of the house asked, well I wondered why it
tingled last time I put a new bulb in.. ahem.

Note, do not use metal stepladder in such circumstances with one hand to
steady yourself. I was young then....
Brian

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"AlanC" wrote in message
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On Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:24:42 PM UTC+1, wrote:
inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined and the
blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on it) resulting
in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the light! I'm
getting a bit blas in my old age so this near miss is a good reminder
to check!


I've come across the same thing in the past. About 10 years ago my
sister-in-law asked if could change the bulb in their outside porch light.
I turned the wall switch off and proceeded to remove the old bulb and
received an electric shock. Turns out the previous owner had fitted the
light and switched it on the neutral!


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Posts: 25,191
Default Today's electrical SNAFU - a reminder to check!

On 11/06/2021 15:10, wrote:
On 11/06/2021 14:59, John Rumm wrote:
On 11/06/2021 14:24,
wrote:

In the process of removing an over-sink light and shaver outlet I
switched off the ceiling switch (I presume there used to be a light
fitted that did not have an integral switch), the light went off so I
was about to get to work but something made me check first.


You mean they had wired the over sink shaving lamp so that it was on
the switched feed to the main room lamp? Might be ok from a lighting
point of view, but you can only shave or charge your toothbrush with
the light on!


No. Most of the bedrooms have washbasins with ceiling switches just for
the shaving lamp, switched independently from the room light.


ah, ok makes more sense.

Long story short: inside the ceiling switch the red wires were joined
and the blacks went to the switch (one of them had red sleeving on
it) resulting in neutral switching and a permanently live feed to the
light! I'm getting a bit blasé in my old age so this near miss is a
good reminder to check!


Or just turn off the whole circuit...


Very true (and that's the correct thing to do) but then I wouldn't have
noticed the problem.


true, or risked electrocution!

I've just stripped the paper underneath where the light was and
someone has written "live!" on the wall - presumably, 20 years ago
they got the surprise that I narrowly avoided today.


Well done to the writer of the note, shame the person doing the
wallpaper did not re-instate the warning. Having said that, you would
probably not be able to see it until the lamp was removed anyway!


True, but I would have preferred them to get a sparky to investigate and
correct the cock-up.


Indeed - depends on who wrote the note I suppose - probably not the
original wirer.



--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd -
http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
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