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Unsure How To Rewire Vintage Metal Wall Lights


bertieogg

Question

Ive got some vintage metal wall lights that I need to rewire to current UK standards. Im comfortable with rewiring a table lamp, and earthing through the lamp holder but Im not sure how to do it for a wall light. One of the lamps has the neutral & live coming out & then the earth is attached on its own to a hook which attaches to the wall hook. Is this sufficient?

One also has just the neutral & live coming out & then there is a plastic type clamp which they go through then come out of - I dont know what this does...? 

Im keen to learn all of this but need some guidance as it obviously needs to be done right!!!

All the best

Bertie

 

 

 

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18 answers to this question

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The best way to get it done 'right' is to take it to someone who has the skills and expertise as well as the testing equipment to ensure it is safe to be used after it has been re-wired.

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It sounds like the earth is on a lug that gets sandwiched between the light and the wall ?

 

If so this is not adequate  and the cable should be attached to the metal of the light its self. The main thing i find with with diy'ers connections are loose cable strands protruding from connections as flex should be used, probably heat resistant.

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I have photos of the lamps if anyone could look at them? I would post on here but as I'm new I cant...

I am happy to take these to a professional, but I really would like to do it myself if possible... 

Thanks

Bertie

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Welcome to the forum bertie,

 

Are these your lights for your own use?

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Thanks Sidewinder - no I'm looking to sell them on

Thanks

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OK, if you are looking to sell them on then you need to ensure that they meet the relevant product directives, this would typically be the Low Voltage Directive, you would need to certify them, legally as compliant with said directive, and ensure that you have adequate product liability insurance in place, and a suitable product testing regime to back up your designs for the modifications to ensure compliance with the statute law under which the EU Low Voltage Directive has been translated into UK law under, that is the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations, SI1994/3260.

 

This is unfortunately these days, not quite as simple as just re-wiring something, if you are going to place this modified part on the market for use, never mind for sale.

 

Sorry to bring this up, but, thems the laws of the land.

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Welcome Bertie. Please accept my apologies for not welcoming you earlier. I had not noticed this was your first post.

You may well be competent to carry out these works but you must be sure. The only way to do this is to test the equipment to COPIITEE.

Say someone gets injured from one of your lights due to say a loose earth connection. What can you say you have done to ensure these were wired correctly?

I am sorry but if you are willing to charge someone for these lights the least that should be done is a competent person with the appropriate equipment re-wire and test the lights to ensure they are safe for use by an innocent customer.

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Essex,

I disagree with using the COP for ISI&T.

If this is fundamentally a new product for sale, then it must be subjected to new product tests, and, I believe that with new lamp holders and a re-wire the fitting would be fundamentally a new product.

Thus the full new product safety requirements must be met.

IF I were to end up as the expert witness for the prosecution, then I would be looking to turn this into it being a new, or substantially modified product to such an extent that it must be considered new, thus, I would be looking to prove that the seller was negligent if they had not applied the new product safety standards to the goods that they were placing on the market.

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Thanks for your comments - I have previously spoken to trading standards in regards to re-wiring & re-sale of electrical goods, I was under the impression from the extensive conversation I had with an efficient man that as long as you make make sure that you have made the wiring safe to all the best of your knowledge then that was where the law stands. A very grey area to mess about in obviously.

I am in no way up for electrocuting someone & I always advise my customers to have the electrics checked by a professional electrician but I would like to be able to do the rewiring of the electrics myself as I am interested & I think capable.

Thanks though

All the best

Bertie

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I'm sorry,,, but your lack of knowledge would be no defense in court

 

You have to do it right and follow the appropriate regulations, codes of practice, etc or not do it at all

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bertie,

There is a difference between replacing a flex on an appliance and a total re-wire of a light fitting and replacement of the lamp holders, and, re-configuration of the means of earthing of the fitting body.

That would be major modifications, and re-building as it were, not simply a re-wire.

Plus TBH, not many of your normal trading standards people understand electrics, they use experts for that same as HSE do when they have problems.

It might to you seem simple, however, it seems from your posts to me that you don't fully understand what you must achieve to ensure that the product is safe.

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Ok, so you obviously think you know better than the people on here who have tried to advise you....

 

A quote....

 

" Before you do any electrical work, always remember that one day you may be called upon to give evidence in a coroners court"

 

Your problem is, you might find one day that you are up against one of the forum members here, acting as an expert witness for the prosecution...

 

Best of british with that one... You will need it...

 

john...

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John - I'm not sure I've given off the impression that I know better than anyone on here, there really is no need to be patronising- the reason I came to this forum was to ask advise as I obviously don't know! 

I want to do what is best and that is apparent to leave it to the professionals! My mode of thinking to get where I need to be is to start from bottom & work up, if I could do it myself (as Im sure a lot of people do) then I would do but I'm a responsible & sensible dealer so my next step up is to seek out an electrician in my area!


Or maybe Ill take a course & seek some qualifications!

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bertie,

You need to ensure that your "electrician" is fully familiar with the relevant product standards and capable of testing to these standards, because most only work with BS7671 which is irrelevant when it comes to your predicament.

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Sidewinder, why is the word electrician in speech marks?!

Anyhow...So going back to your previous comment it would need to comply with Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations, SI1994/3260? Am I correct?

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Yes it would need to meet the requirements of the SI IMHO.

The quotes are because not all "electricians" these days are "equal", and many would not understand the requirements of a product standard because it is something that they would never come across.

Most would only be taught to comply with BS7671, which is irrelevant when it comes to products.

 

Well it should be but, it has stuck it's oar into consumer units, where IMHO it has no business in interfering because they are a product.

Also the motives for interfering are again IMHO invalid, there is a better solution to the root cause of the problem.

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Electricity can kill a healthy adult in less than half a second. Industry standard procedures for inspection and and testing of electrical installations highlight the dangers of unearthed exposed metal parts. A lot of our members regularly come across metal fittings that have been incorrectly installed but appear to work OK as far as the user is concerned and they often say they have been installed by a DIY person who considers themselves competent at electrics. Trading standards as far as I understand is to do with how goods and services are described not if they are fully functional and working. It is perfectly legal and acceptable to sell something as shop soiled, or second hand, or not functional, or for spares and repairs only. The buyer and seller both understand what the product is and expect a price to reflect the products deficiencies. If you cannot prove the safety and functionality of your lights then you may be better selling them as 'not wired' and leave it for someone else to rewire and test them and accept all of the liabilities and dangers that go with it. Rewiring metal light fittings, be they antique or modern, is not to difficult for a competent person with the correct test gear and correct insurance to cover themselves in the event of someone being injured. I would be very wary of any of my friends or family purchasing a DIY rewired light then installing as a DIY project, with no appropriate testing done at any stage of the process. As well as the earthing aspect there is also the correct gauge of cable to be used suitable for the size lamps to be fitted. All new light fittings state the maximum power rating of lamp that can safely be fitted in the lamp holder. If this is a one-off project it is probably more cost effective to get a local electrician to test and or rewire the lamps for you. If you have hundreds of them then maybe work  with a local electrician where you do some of the donkey work and they test them to an agreed standard that you can sell them to. If they were plug-in lamps then normal portable appliance testing methods would probably suffice. Sold as 'second hand PAT tested'. But as has been highlighted there are a lot of grey areas and risks you need to cover yourself.

 

Doc H.

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As an additional point, remember many charity shops will not accept mains powered second hand electrical goods for resale. Some of this is to do with the liabilities and cost effectiveness of ensuring all their items are functional and safe. It is not just a case of plug something in and see if it works.

  

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/donate-goods/what-you-can-donate

What we can't sell Electrical goods that run off the mains (a few shops do accept these, so please check before donating)

 

 

Doc H

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