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Question category:

Electrical

So many wires going into light fitting.

Anonymous user 17 March 2016 - 8.14 PM

I have a ceiling light at either end of my hall both on or off at same time via a switch at each end. I replaced the fitting with a spot light at one end no problem: one cable with the three wires. However coming to replace the one at the other end I have found the existing fitting has four cables going into it, so there are 12 wires. Three black going into one side of fitting, one black and one red going into other side, three red going into a connector but not connected to anything. And four earth not actually connected to plastic fitting. Why are there so many wires?! The important question is how can I tell which are the live and which are the neutral, or does it matter which way round I put them into the new fitting? I wonder whether the two (black and red) are the live with there being a red going in. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Simon

9 answers from MyBuilder tradespeople

Best answer
kevin cassidy building contractors
Rating: 5 out of 55551 reviews
Accrington

Your 4 cables are 1/ main feed to this light. 2/ main feed to next room light. 3/ switch line. 4/ loop to other hall light. 3xblack=neutral 1xblack/1xred=switch live 3xred=permanent live

Answered

17 March 2016

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13
JPL Building Services
Rating: 5 out of 5556 reviews
Macclesfield

Your 3 reds in a connector are the permament lives. The three blacks are the neutrals. The single black will be your switch wire and should be tagged with a red/brown tape and the other red will be a switched live connection between the two lights. All the earths should be connected in a block.

Answered

18 March 2016

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13
MGE Electrical
Rating: 4.8 out of 54.8518 reviews
Wigan

Hi, it's quite normal to have 3 or 4 pairs of wires in a ceiling rose and the usual way they are connected is as follows; the 3 reds taped together are permenant lives (loop in/ out) the 3 blacks together are all neutrals and tha other pair of red and black should be your live and neutral for the light fitting. Hope this helps Mike MGE Electrical

Answered

17 March 2016

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9

Anonymous user

your reds in ablock on there own are your loop feed powering the rest of the lights on that circuit eg the living room (so these need to stay blocked) the red and black together are your switch lines which need to get connected into live and your rest of your blacks in neutral and earths into earth this is works that should be carried out by a competent person and electrician

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17 March 2016

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9

Anonymous user

It would be far easier, and safer to get an electrician in. I'm sure some on here will come on and explain everything in great detail but electricity is dangerous, and kills at will.

Answered

17 March 2016

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8
Propelec Limited
Rating: 5 out of 5557 reviews
Shoreham By Sea

Hi Simon, The problem you are going to have is that one of the cable pairs (Red and Black as you describe them) will actually be a permanent live and and switch live. This means that a black core is actually being used as the return live from the light switch. This should of had a red sleeve over the black core as an identifier. The only way you will be able to prove which is which is with a continuity and voltage tester.

Answered

17 March 2016

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7
DJ Electrical Services
Rating: 5 out of 555167 reviews
Widnes

Hi Simon, The 3 black cables together are the NEUTRAL. The 3 red cables together are the PERMANENT LIVE. The black & red cable together are the SWITCHED LIVE. The black switched live will come from the light switch, this should have some red tape or sleeving on it to identify it is live. The red switched live will go to the other light that you changed, so when you turn the light switch on the black & red cable will come live and the lights come on. Make sure the same black & red cables go together when changing the light. The 4 EARTH cables can go into a connector if there isn't one on the new fitting. Don't forget to ISOLATE first. Good luck! :) Dan.

Answered

18 March 2016

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7
Mines Electrical Services
Rating: 5 out of 55511 reviews
Newry

Hi Simon, Your four cables are as follows, 1 - Loop in, 2 - Loop out, 3 - Switch wire, 4 - switched feed to 2nd light fitting. Your 3 black wires are your neutrals, 4 earth wires are your c.p.c's, your 3 red wires connected together are your permanent lives and your red and black connected together are your switched lives. Of course it matters which way you connect these wires in the new fitting so as you seem unsure as to what you are doing, i would advise you hire a registered competent electrician. Brendan Mines Mines Electrical Services

Answered

18 March 2016

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2
DEACON ELECTRICAL SERVICES
Rating: 5 out of 55572 reviews
Grimsby

Two sets loop in loop out = 6 One set to switch= 3 One set to other fitting=3 Quite easy if you know what you are doing. Always if you are unsure of existing connections take a photo or draw it BEFORE you disconnect it.

Answered

18 March 2016

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2