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Should a lighting circuit be connected to a socket?

Firstly, apologies if the question title is ambiguous.

Basically, we have had an electrician around to perform some jobs and he's cut a few corners. One of these corners is with regards to our extensions lighting. The lights work, however, instead of connecting these to the main downstairs lighting ring he's popped a plug on the end of it and plugged it in to one of the upstairs sockets.

I've raised this with the NICEIC and inquired about having this work resolved. The contractor has now made up some stories and the NICEIC are attempting to fob this off as a contractual matter, and as such they are reluctant to get involved. I've since raised the issue with them that their own website, and service details, state that they will help and resolve with any works that are faulty, dangerous or sub-standard.

My question here really is; does the work described above appear to be faulty, dangerous or sub-standard?

Part of the basis for my argument was that if anyone was to turn off the electrics on the consumer unit for the downstairs lighting to perform any work in the extension, then there is an electrical risk due to this particular area of the circuit not being isolated correctly and would still be live.

Please could I get the advice from competent electricians on the matter to help guide my argument with the NICEIC? Thank you.

5 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

This seems like a very lazy solution, as others have said provided the plug top fuse is no more than 5amps, then its safe, but extremely poor practice. Normally with extensions you install new circuits all the way back to the fuseboard. What was quoted for on the original job? and is this written down at all?


Answered 26th Jan 2017

You can put a lighting circuit onto a socket but only if you downrate it using a spur with a 3 amp fuse


Answered 26th Jan 2017

I'm surprised that a qualified electrician has chosen to wire a lighting circuit like that. There's nothing to say it's not allowed but it's a pretty rough way of doing it. Make sure he has fused the plugtop down to 3/5Amp.


Answered 31st Jan 2017

Its not great practice at all but technically safe. He's still fusing down to suit the lighting cable. Your table lamps are on a plug top remember. I'm presuming he struggled to get access to the existing lighting circuit?? Even the downstairs ring would have been better with a switched fuse spur labelled "extension lights".
Regarding the isolation he should have added extension lights at the consumer unit to the appropriate circuit. Also any decent sparky would be ensuring supply dead before carrying out work regardless of turning off breaker. Safe but sub-standard.


Answered 26th Jan 2017

Like all others have said, there is a lot more he should/could have done to ensure they were correctly labelled and identifiable. If this was the agreed method of carrying out the world beforehand or if it was agreed part way through the works then I'm afraid there's not much you can do. If he has gone ahead and carried out the work with no prior talk of the issue in connecting it to the existing lighting ring then I would argue that the work is sub-standard. Even though lots of things are not necessary and classified as 'best practice' every tradesman should do their best to work within the best practices and if you cannot, then inform the customer and go through the options. Personally I think either he's too lazy or you said you wanted it as cheap as possible. If he's watching the clock he may be worrying about putting in a fused spur with its own label in fear of you not paying the bill if it's too high. Communication is the best way forwards in this situation, if you talk to him and he is happy to improve the quality of works with something such as a fused spur and adequate labelling for a reduced fee to compensate, that may resolve the situation rather than trying to involve governing bodies with something that is not deemed dangerous.


Answered 26th Jan 2017

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