Electrical Question

House lights

i want to change a 3 bulb light fitting to an ordinary 1 bulb pendant. on removing the light fitting i found 2 cables of 3 core (live, neutral & earth) plus 1 cable of 1 core (live), should there be another live wire?. I then unscrewed the light switch and found only 2 single core wires, i then unscrewed other light switches to see if they are the same and found they all had a 3 core cable( live,neutral & earth)( i believe there is no neutral and both wires in the switch are live)can anybody tell me if there should be another wire going to the light(i.e. should both wires in the switch go to the light as it seems there is only 1 also why is there no earth wire on this switch yet the others all have one.(i have fitted the pendant and it works but want to be sure that it is ok and safe.

2 Answers

Best Answer

Y bobby_23, first and foremost without wishing to be offensive in anyway, its clear that you should not be messing around with the lighting circuit if you don't understand the concept of junction box, 2 plate and loop in wiring methods.

Depending on what method or combination of methods have been used to wire the lighting, then it can be normal to have just a single "switch line" from the switch to the light fitting. Also in the majority of situations there would be no neutral at the light switch as the switch only needs to turn the power on and off and so just interrupts the live conductor.

Please be aware that Part P of the bulding regulations applies to domestic DIY electrical work and if the work is notifiable, you are breaking the law and could be fined up to £5000.

Google part P or take a look at;


For safety get an NICEIC electrician in to put up your new light, carry out the necessary tests using a calibrated test intrument, and also issue you with a Minor works certificate. That way if anything goes wrong your insurance company have no grounds to get out of paying the claim. - Whereas if you do the job yourself they may well do!

Answered 9th May 2012

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

I hope i'm not being rude but if I was you I would leave everything well alone and call a professional electrician. It sounds like a pretty normal wiring set up, but if you don't fully understand how wiring systems work you could end up with a serious problem.



Answered 9th May 2012

photofinish contracts

Member since 6 Oct 2011

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