I decommissioned my electric shower so there is nothing attached to
that 30A circuit. I want to add a load of lights to the master
bedroom/ensuite which will (at full load) overload the exsting 5A
lighting circuit. I can't add a new circuit to the consumer unit,
plus the cables exiting the consumer unit are chased in to the plaster
which I don't want to rip out.
Is there a good reason not to connect my new lights to the
currently-unused 30A cable? Should I change the 30A fusewire for 5A
if I do connect them? IE, have 5A fusewire connecting to some 30A
cable which connects to 5A cable which supplies approx 1kw max load of
Also if in the future I upgrade my fusewire consumer unit to one with
MCBs will any decent sparky (i'm wouldn't install the new CU ) refuse
to connect 30A cable to a 6A tripswitch?
Thanks a lot.
How much load are you thinking of taking to run lights ? There is nothing
stopping you from doing what you suggest, but you'd need to replace the
existing fuse with one marked at the new rating. To leave the fuse marked
as 30 amp, but to rewire it with a lower rated fuse wire, is not good
When you find out by how much you'll need to run the new lights, then go for
the nearest rating to it. Remember though, that fuse wire only comes in
certain ratings, so you may find that the next one up is not really safe
enough to do the job properly, and you might need to place fused spurs in
line with you new lighting circuits for your own protection.
A split load consumer unit is now the ideal way of distributing circuits
around the house. Power to sockets is taken from an RCD protected supply,
and lighting is taken from a similar set up as your existing box.
I can't see a problem with what you want to do. The fuse must be the first
thing to go - so a 5a fuse with 30a cable is ok but a 30a fuse with 5a cable
definitely isn't. To avoid any future confusion, a prominent label on your
CU, stating that this is a 5a lighting circuit, wouldn't do any harm.
I have a similar situation - where a 45a cable was installed for an electric
shower, but in the event, we fitted a power shower (using stored hot water)
so the electrics only had to power the pump. We thus downrated the breaker
in the CU to 15a, but kept the heavy cable.
As long as you de-rate the protection (ie. change the fuse to 5A) then
you're ok. You could run the whole lighting circuit in 6mm cable if it
floats your boat - and I'd happily connect it to a 6A breaker (and YES I'd
consider myself a decent sparky - my plumbing on the other hand...)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.