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Cath McK

Lights in my house keep tripping - advice please

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Cath McK

Hi everyone, the lights in my house keep tripping, fault finding has been done on two occasions and the problem wasn't found but pointed to it being in junction box, which was somewhere underneath loft floor. It was a bit of hassle finding where the unmarked JB was but finally found it. When it was opened there were 10 different sets of red/black wires but no earth. He said he'd never seen the likes of it and it was dangerous, then left saying he'd get back to me with a quote, but it would take two men on an 8 hour shift to fix it. My neighbour, who is elderly and retired electrician says its not dangerous, its the way they did junction boxes years ago, and although it's dated it's neither dangerous or illegal. Any advice please 

 

 

 

 

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Murdoch

I would tend to agree with your neighbour. Lighting wiring from a single box used to be the way to do it and actually makes fault finding easier.

 

 I’d say get another spark to take a look

 

ps there is nothing illegal about what you describe

Edited by Murdoch

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Sharpend

Concur ^, 

I think a better quality spark is required here 

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Geoff1946

I hope someone has checked the condition of the flex in all the drops and lamp holders.

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SPECIAL LOCATION
7 hours ago, Cath McK said:

Hi everyone, the lights in my house keep tripping, fault finding has been done on two occasions and the problem wasn't found but pointed to it being in junction box, which was somewhere underneath loft floor. It was a bit of hassle finding where the unmarked JB was but finally found it. When it was opened there were 10 different sets of red/black wires but no earth. He said he'd never seen the likes of it and it was dangerous, then left saying he'd get back to me with a quote, but it would take two men on an 8 hour shift to fix it. My neighbour, who is elderly and retired electrician says its not dangerous, its the way they did junction boxes years ago, and although it's dated it's neither dangerous or illegal. Any advice please 

 

 

So did they say it was or wasn't dangerous?

and,  is it something they've never seen before, or just a different method of wiring?

Your post appears to have contradictions?

 

Did your "retired electrician" do any testing of the condition of the cables?

e.g. insulation resistance tests..?

 

If there is no earth on your lighting circuits...  

i.e. no physical earth conductors in the cables, (not just cut off and not connected)..

then the wiring dates from pre 1966..

In which case it probably needs a thorough check-over..

 

From what you describe it sounds to me like a property that has had no formal inspection and testing done on any of the wiring..

BS7671 wiring regulations recommend every 10 years or change of occupancy..

 

You don't actually say what keeps tripping..

an MCB / RCD / RCBO?

as the type of device will also point toward the type of problem..

 

:coffee 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cath McK
9 hours ago, Murdoch said:

I would tend to agree with your neighbour. Lighting wiring from a single box used to be the way to do it and actually makes fault finding easier.

 

 I’d say get another spark to take a look

 

ps there is nothing illegal about what you describe

Thanks Murdoch, yes I’m agreeing with that. I’ve arranged for another spark to have a look, when I emailed him with pic he said the same as you and that he’s seen  this a lot. They had me worried 😧 

8 hours ago, Sharpend said:

Concur ^, 

I think a better quality spark is required here 

I agree Sharpend 100% thanks

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Cath McK
8 hours ago, Geoff1946 said:

I hope someone has checked the condition of the flex in all the drops and lamp holders.

I’ve had it all checked 3 times with fault finding explorations - all light fittings removed and checked, bulbs out then replaced one by one, all light switches opened and wiring checked, RCD board wiring and screws checked/tightened and ok flexes in all drops good condition that’s why finally get floor ripped up and search for junction box

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Fleeting

What actually trips. Rcd, rcbo or mcb.

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Murdoch

Is there any pattern to the tripping? I would recommend you keep a diary of when it trips

 

Time of day? use of certain light(s), people walking upstairs?

 

What is actually tripping? MCB? RCD?

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Sharpend

Cath, has any of these electricians mentioned ‘insulation resistance test’ or ‘Megger cables’ to you either in a report or verbally in conversation?

Did you actually see any test Instruments come out during all these electricians visits? 

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Cath McK
8 hours ago, SPECIAL LOCATION said:

 

So did they say it was or wasn't dangerous?

and,  is it something they've never seen before, or just a different method of wiring?

Your post appears to have contradictions?

 

Did your "retired electrician" do any testing of the condition of the cables?

e.g. insulation resistance tests..?

 

If there is no earth on your lighting circuits...  

i.e. no physical earth conductors in the cables, (not just cut off and not connected)..

then the wiring dates from pre 1966..

In which case it probably needs a thorough check-over..

 

From what you describe it sounds to me like a property that has had no formal inspection and testing done on any of the wiring..

BS7671 wiring regulations recommend every 10 years or change of occupancy..

 

You don't actually say what keeps tripping..

an MCB / RCD / RCBO?

as the type of device will also point toward the type of problem..

 

:coffee 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes they said it would have to be completely rewired and looked suitably horrified. No contradictions - just confusion as to why if it was so dangerous they left it saying they had no time to do it (almost 2 hours late). They didn’t check to see what was causing fault just put it down to this without testing.

 

My ‘retired electrician’ isn’t able now to do the work but looked at it and had seen these jb’s and wiring many times before and said it’s older but fine 

 

the earth wires have been cut off and partial rewire was apparently done before I bought the flat (light wires and switches/RCD box wiring all checked and fine)

 

it’s an RCD box with new circuit breaker and the light switch trips on this 

13 minutes ago, Fleeting said:

What actually trips. Rcd, rcbo or mcb.

Switch for lights in RCB

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Fleeting

Wouldn't mind seeing a pic of this junction box. Being concealed for so long and assuming it hasn't suffered ingress of water I suspect the cause of the tripping is not at the junction box, systematic testing of the circuit will find the issue.

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Cath McK
25 minutes ago, Fleeting said:

What actually trips. Rcd, rcbo or mcb.

RCD

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Murdoch
Just now, Cath McK said:

RCD

 

What makes you think the lighting circuit is to blame?

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Cath McK
4 minutes ago, Fleeting said:

Wouldn't mind seeing a pic of this junction box. Being concealed for so long and assuming it hasn't suffered ingress of water I suspect the cause of the tripping is not at the junction box, systematic testing of the circuit will find the issue.

I was trying to upload photos but couldn’t manage - do u know how to do it on here and I’ll upload them?

1 minute ago, Murdoch said:

 

What makes you think the lighting circuit is to blame?

It’s the circuit switch for lights in RCD that keeps blowing, and that’s what sparks have said

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Cath McK
4 minutes ago, Cath McK said:

I was trying to upload photos but couldn’t manage - do u know how to do it on here and I’ll upload them?

It’s the circuit switch for lights in RCD that keeps blowing, and that’s what sparks have said

 

84E6A42B-38E1-4587-849D-D5BC4CD73DDC.jpeg

ACA1523C-E2ED-451C-9B0D-5734AF154D55.jpeg

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Murdoch

Doesn't on the face of it, appear to have too many CPC's (earths) in there

 

I do think you need a better spark AND insist on a description of work / tests under taken to be with their invoice ..........

Edited by Murdoch

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Fleeting

I can see evidence of at least one bare earth (cpc) which was wrapped below the box lid screw and possibly others cut off. I would be very wary touching that if it isn't isolated completely. I think you need a thorough test of all your circuits to get a view on the overall condition because that isn't really looking very promising. 

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Sharpend
14 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

Doesn't on the face of it, appear to have too many CPC's (earths) in there

 

I do think you need a better spark AND insist on a description of work / tests under taken to be with their invoice ..........

As with all good pics they have been omitted for clarity!! 

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Murdoch

OP - how old is your property?

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Cath McK
20 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

Doesn't on the face of it, appear to have too many CPC's (earths) in there

 

I do think you need a better spark AND insist on a description of work / tests under taken to be with their invoice ..........

Yes, I think you’re right - not one person has given me a detailed account of their fault finding steps. This has gone on for months

 

9 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

OP - how old is your property?

Built in 1940’s, refurbished last year with partial rewire  (full rewire supposed to have been around 2000)

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Sharpend

Cath where are you in this land? 

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Murdoch
5 minutes ago, Cath McK said:

Built in 1940’s, refurbished last year with partial rewire  (full rewire supposed to have been around 2000)

 

Sadly I have to tell you that those cables appear to date from about 1960 to early 1970s

 

 

6 minutes ago, Cath McK said:

Yes, I think you’re right - not one person has given me a detailed account of their fault finding steps. This has gone on for months

 

 

Thats pxss poor.

 

When I do fault finding I list the steps taken and relevant test results on my invoice 

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Cath McK
13 minutes ago, Sharpend said:

As with all good pics they have been omitted for clarity!! 

 

1 hour ago, Murdoch said:

Is there any pattern to the tripping? I would recommend you keep a diary of when it trips

 

Time of day? use of certain light(s), people walking upstairs?

 

What is actually tripping? MCB? RCD?

It varies, sometimes it trips immediately, sometimes 20 mins and anything up to 40mins and a couple of times through the day when no lights are on it trips. Had the main circuit breaker replaced but it didn’t make any difference

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Sharpend
2 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

 

Sadly I have to tell you that those cables appear to date from about 1960 to early 1970s

 


I’d say 80’s poss 90’s? There appears to be some earths visibly cut- however that’s not to say that older cables are not mixed in, question is: is it that there are older cables with no earths so rewiring sparks said sod it do away with earths as some cables don’t already have them or is it they said no need for earths as all class 2 pendants were fitted? 
 

either way it’s a poor job in my opinion. 

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