Electrical Question

Downstairs lighting ring not working.

The upstairs lights work because they are on a separate fused ring.

I've checked the obvious downstairs - fuse board not tripped (it isn't), loose connections in light fittings (there are none), broken wires (nothing obvious), poor earthing of light fittings (all as manufacturer intended).

All the light fittings have been in place for between a one and five years with no problems, and then yesterday evening the lights went off (no fuse tripping) and came back on a short while later.

This happened several times. Managed to rule out different lighting combinations as being the problem and managed to check that all lights were actually working before we lost the lights completely.

Anyone got any other suggestions before I call an electrician?

The fuse board is around 22 years old and is a Proteus (no model number obvious) unit.

Had an electrician out today as this had gone beyond my comfort zone - turned out to be a trip switch for the downstairs light ring that had burned out. The case of the trip switch has visibly melted and discolored.

Temporary solution put in place while I source a new one from CEF.

Thanks for the responses.

4 Answers

Best Answer

Could be a loose connection at a concealed junction box thats under the floor somewhere or possibly a loose neutral connection at the consumer unit etc?

Less likely but its possible is that the MCB has gone open circuit, have you tested the load side of the circuit breaker to prove that the line conductor is actually live?

One way to establish if its a neutral fault would be to test between L & E at one of the ceiling roses. If you get 230v L -E and not between L-N then its definately a loose/broken neutral somewhere on the circuit.

Answered 6th Nov 2012

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

sounds like a poor connection either at the consumer unit or the first light but probably a job for an electrician , regards Terry.I am dissapointed that 2 tredesmen are suggesting that an unqualified person carry out live tests on an electrical installation despite their good intentions

Answered 6th Nov 2012

tm property services

Member since 9 Mar 2011

Hi there. Sounds like you’re having some fun with your lighting there.

The first thing that I would check is that the neutral connection in the consumer unit is connected and not broken.

Then I would check that the 60898 circuit breaker that protects the lighting has power coming out of it at the consumer unit. This can be checked at the outgoing breaker terminal to Neutral or to Earth with a voltage tester.

To do this means removing the cover of the consumer unit AFTER a process of safe isolation has been carried out.

I do NOT recommend you to do this yourself unless you know how to safe isolate and ensure its isolated using a tester.

I have had a breaker fail on me a few times in the past. If it is the circuit breaker then the place to get one from is City Electrical Factors (CEF) as Proteus is their own make.

If it’s not the circuit breaker then I would then test voltage at each fitting, ensuring that I have a Loop (Perm Live), and a Neutral and that all connections are tight and none of the cables have broken.

When stripping a cable ready for termination, if the copper conductor is scored it will become brittle and can break easily. Sometimes it can look as though they are connected when they are actually broken.

Another point to note is that the cable entering the circuit breaker could be behind the screw terminal and not making contact correctly. The same thing can happen to the live side of the circuit breaker sitting on the bus bar.

Hope this helps you out.

Answered 6th Nov 2012


Member since 16 Oct 2012


im afraid it needs a full test really to try and find the fault on the circuit theres plenty of electricians on here who would pleased to help you ,it shouldnt be a major issue and hopefully not too expensive , kindest regards jason .

Answered 7th Nov 2012

jeh electrical

Member since 9 Oct 2012

Need help with your project?

We have tradesmen ready to help you. Post a job, read reviews and hire today.

Post a job

Need some help?

Post a job on MyBuilder to find quality, local Electricians who can help you with your project.

Search all questions