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Ceiling light problem
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sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 2:10 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

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

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33661
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
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.


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



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4662
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 16 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
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.


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



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 16 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 16 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 16 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Trea,

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

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 16 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

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

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 16 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No worries Trea

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

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



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5819
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 16 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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 but Mrs C was most pleased that there was light in the dining room.

Thanks for all your help and advice guys even yours Nick

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