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sgt.colon

Ceiling light problem

I'm hoping one of you electricity gurus will be able to offer some help please?

We have a problem where three lights are not working but two others on the same breaker circuit are. Now I've changed the switches, tested that there is a live going to the switches and also tested that there is a live making it to the light fitting itself, which all pass. Yet when you turn on the switch nothing happens, oh and I've also tried a new bulb and also a new light fitting. I'm flumoxed. Any sage advice is much appreciated.

Thank you. Smile
Nick

Mains? 12v?
sgt.colon

Ah sorry, mains.
Nick

Not a clue then. With low voltage I'd have suggested dead transformers.
dpack

continuity of circuit?

is the return faulty?

tis a bit difficult to diagnose remotely but at the mo my money is on a wiring problem but a faulty fitting or loose connection to a fitting could be the break point.
sgt.colon

Well nothing has change with the lights themselves but we had a problem that when we turned the outside like on the kitchen and dining room lights would dim and or flicker. Yesterday morning we had a leak through the hallway ceiling from a central heating pipe I went up to look under the floorboards and an old electricity pipe, the steel ones (I think they were steel) that they used to run wire's through was resting on the heating pipe and seemd to be live as I got a shock off it. I lifted the old pipe up and there was water squirting out of the heating pipe. I turned the electricity off so I could sort the heating pipe and it's after this that they won't come on. The old electricity pipe is still live but I don't know how this is possible. Might it be that causing my problem?

How do I check that the return is okay?

Thanks. Smile
Nick

In my house, with an electrician. Specially near water. Smile
sgt.colon

Laughing Laughing Yeah you have a point Nick. I was just trying to solve it myself as I like to tinker. Very Happy
Nick

Oh, I'm sure it's not beyond people. Just me. I know my limits. Smile
OtleyLad

Well nothing has change with the lights themselves but we had a problem that when we turned the outside like on the kitchen and dining room lights would dim and or flicker. Yesterday morning we had a leak through the hallway ceiling from a central heating pipe I went up to look under the floorboards and an old electricity pipe, the steel ones (I think they were steel) that they used to run wire's through was resting on the heating pipe and seemd to be live as I got a shock off it. I lifted the old pipe up and there was water squirting out of the heating pipe. I turned the electricity off so I could sort the heating pipe and it's after this that they won't come on. The old electricity pipe is still live but I don't know how this is possible. Might it be that causing my problem?

How do I check that the return is okay?

Thanks. Smile


Sounds like there is a loose/damaged wire that is causing the shock/flickering lights, etc.
An electrician would have to find the wire in question so you could save time/money if you could isolate it yourself.
I'd get into the ceiling space above the lights and trace the wires back to the light switch. Probably means lifting carpets/floorboards but better you do it than pay an electrician.
If it is live up to the light fitting but the light is still not functioning then it does suggest the return (black or blue) wire has come loose or is damaged somewhere. Often the return wire will go back to a junction box to gather returns from other circuits. Can you locate it?
sgt.colon

Thanks OL. I'll pull up boards and trace the wire back. I'm wondering if a junction box has been used somewhere and a wire in there has got damaged and it's that that is causing an old pipe to be live.
OtleyLad

Thanks OL. I'll pull up boards and trace the wire back. I'm wondering if a junction box has been used somewhere and a wire in there has got damaged and it's that that is causing an old pipe to be live.


Sometimes wires can just work loose especially if they were only marginally secure in the first place.
dpack

what they said or it might be a tube/box full of water.

if you have isolated the circuit properly checking for water or a physical break is a lot safer than if you have not . even wet ceilings can give you a nasty jolt.
sgt.colon

Another odd thing I've just thought is that the light nearest the leak is fine, it's the three lights furthest away that aren't working. scratch dpack

water can run down ducting etc

disturbing one thing can cause another thing to pop loose ( a common effect in less than perfect electrics )
Slim

Another odd thing I've just thought is that the light nearest the leak is fine, it's the three lights furthest away that aren't working. scratch

Could just be that the leak has damaged power from that point on (after that light)

Regardless, be extremely cautious and remember that an electrician's expense will be more easily forgotten than a mortician's.
sgt.colon

I will be Slim. I treat electricity with the utmost respect.

I've have a good look under the floorboards last night whilst repairing the pipe. The old electricity pipe that is live has going over it the wire that I think it taking the power to the three lights that are not working, so I'll be taking the floorboards up in our bedroom to have a look at if it is shorting there.
Treacodactyl

I'm assuming you have old re-wireable fuses and not a modern RCD/RCBO fuse box? sgt.colon

Trea,

We've got a circuit breaker box. No fuses to be seen.
Treacodactyl

Ignore me, I forgot the old regs still allowed for somewhat dodgy wiring. If you have an RCD it'll probably not protect the lights, still allowing for a fault in the lighting circuit to make something else live. I had initially thought the RCD should have tripped stopping the old electric pipe from becoming live. Another reason why I like all circuits to be protected by RCBOs.

Anyway, Sgt, you're still alive. Any progress in the bedroom. Shocked

(Edit to add, the latest regs now have all circuits protected by RCDs now I think? Normally two in a consumer unit?)
sgt.colon

No worries Trea Smile

Well it's looking like you've said about the RCD not tripping with this old pipe being live.

Laughing Not until tomorrow night. As I've got commitments tonight that I can't get out of. I'll report back on Thursday.
sgt.colon

I've got the problem fixed.

Took the floorboards up, which hadn't been taken up before (in the wrong place first of all). So I then found the place and looked at the wires which all seemed fine but it looked like it was over where the living room light was. I went down stairs and removed the light from the ceiling and one of the return wires had come lose from the juction. So this wire must have been touching the mounting plate, which was then touching or a screw was touching the old pipework.

It was just a shame I had to pull floorboards up to find this out Laughing but Mrs C was most pleased that there was light in the dining room.

Thanks for all your help and advice guys Smile even yours Nick Wink
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