I have just got back from my son's new flat in Thurso (Scotland. Loved the
native Scots, they were great. ) and he wanted me to fit some light fittings
that would replace the ones the builders installed. The flat is brand new
and has the highest spec of insulation, but is of a wood construction. I'm
sure the experts know what I mean.
The original light fittings look like they have been selected by the
construction company. However, I was reluctant to do the following, until I
contacted the group.
Can I terminate the wires from a light fitting; 3 red, 3 black, 1 switch
return, any earth, fan neutral, fan feed, (bathroom only for the fan) into
connecting blocks and then connect a length of 1mm twin and earth into the
connecting blocks, tuck all the connecting blocks into the ceiling cavity
and fit a light fitting to the other end of this cable?
The flat has an owner above this ceiling. Hence my question.
This is normally called a pudding joint and it is normally done by pudding
electrician. It is not safe practice at all Dave. I take it you don't have
the space or the right sized hole to push a proper junction box through the
If not, then you can buy a ceiling rose that will give you enough connection
inside it, to do the job you want. Ask at your local DIY store or
electrical wholesalers, for a loop through ceiling rose, most are of this
pattern now, or an empty one which you can put all the cables in with
terminal connectors (choc block) and do the job correctly.
Like these: (watch out for the link wrapping back)
If you click on the picture of the second link, you'll see that it has many
connection terminals that you can use to loop circuits together.
I recently bought a bathroom light from B&Q which was supplied with a
chock block. The instructions told me to wire it with the chock block
used for the loop-in wiring of the lighting circuit, and to push the
block into the ceiling void! Is this unsafe? Isn't that what diagram
2B on the website above is suggesting?
Beg to disagree, albeit in a slightly limited way.
A choc block doesn't have any strain relief capability built in. It
might be okay for fixed wiring behind a panel where the wiring is held
firmly, but is definitely not good karma for wiring which might be
subject to being moved occasionally.
I agree that it shouldn't be used where strain relief is required. But the
original question related to use above the ceiling over a light fitting -
where it is ok, and comes within my description of "properly installed". In
essence, it's not a lot different from a round junction box - which also
doesn't have strain relief - although it does provide better insulation.
"Ceiling void" was not part of the specification of the message to
which I replied - it was a reference in an earlier part of the thread.
This is a d.i.y group where it is extremely likely that many people
reading the content are not qualified tradespeople. They could read
the reply in isolation (without reading the rest of the thread) and
then think "so it's okay to use a chocolate block anywhere then".
I sought to add clarification. People are generally more likely to
read messages and replies than they are to read messages and previous
messages (IMHO) ;)
Choccie blockie in the void is *not* consistent with the 16th Edn regs.
Joints in circuits are s'posed to be made within enclosures made of
non-flammable material; it's hard to argue that wrapping a couple of
turns of insulting tape (the official name for the stuff in this group ;-)
around yer blockie-of-choccie constitues a non-flammable enclosure, or
that the resulting blob of gooey mess anyone working on it after a year
or three will have to unravel - or which Sod and Murphy will themselves
unravel - makes for "good workmanship".
If the fitting in question will be replaced with another in the same
position, it might provide a suitable enclosure for the mess of cables
the OP describes. If not, given there's no access from the floor above
(that's a different flat), with a modern plasterboard ceiling you can
readily fit a dry-lining box (square or round to taste, though the
latter are hard to find covers for) into which you can put the
choccie-blockie without needing to swathe it in goo-exuding insulting
tape. The other Regs requirement is that the join (unless it's "permanent",
i.e. crimped or insulated) should remain accessible for maintenance and
fault-finding - so no hiding this junction box/chocblock in the void
and then flawlessly plastering over the 'ole!
Hope that doesn't result in an outbreak of gloom... Stefek
Not to me it doesn't :-)
All I want to do is make a safe connection that will stand the scrutiny of
an insurance assessor :-(
If it comes to that.
On the other hand, you have come up with what I wanted to know. Many thanks
for that, now I know how to solve the problem.
The light fitting is about 300mm in diam. so yes I could do that. It is
designed to fit flush with the ceiling, with a seal between.
Yes, but the light fittings all have to sit flush with the ceiling, as they
are a complete unit that replaces all of the original light fitting.
The next problem is the kitchen light. It is one of those down lighters with
four lamps on a curved bar. The ceiling rose part is about 4 or 5 inches in
diam. with all the cables connecting in it's ceiling rose (it has all the
required terminations inside it). He wants me to change that for another
version, but different colour that has a smaller rose fitting, with no
terminations inside it. This means I have to condense the wires some how and
make another connector block joint.
If you can fit a round or square dry lining box in the ceiling, the type
that grip inside plasterboard, you can make all you connections inside it
and drop cables to your new fittings.
Like these: (watch out for line wrap on the link)
So i the original position of a light fitting you want to join out the
feeds and run a new cable to a fitting elesewhere.
I would advise against just using chocblok connectors as its not
really safe and a bit rough.
Can you get a button joint box inside the celing void as this would be
Just read all this and thought I would mention that
some Scottish building regs concern electrical issues
because they are much tighter on fire safety than in
England. It's probably worth checking this as the
insurance assessor would take a very dim view if
the work on the lights hadn't been to regs.
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