Using wiring for attic light socket as plug socket?

Currently got wiring in the attic that runs a light. Originally just a pull switch and bulb/holder but I've replaced with strip light.
However, what I want to do now is have plug socket up there. Is it acceptable to run this wire into a double plug socket. (Then I can put plug on end of wiring for light also and just plug this is leaving me with one space socket).
Or leave well alone because its a light circuit?
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is this wiring actually on the lighting ring? If yes, then no. I'd not chance it, in any case the breaker on that ring would probably pop if you used it with a vacuum or angle grinder when the motor started! Brian
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On 10/02/2014 15:00, paulfoel wrote:

It would seem sensible to split the feed to leave the light permanently wired, and then have a socket connected via a fused spur unit.

If you fused the socket (via the spur) at 3 or 5A[1] and labelled the socket accordingly, it would be ok for powering low current appliances. This kind of thing is often done for supplies to aerial amps or TV distribution amplifiers etc.
[1] Depending on the rating of the protective device for the whole circuit, and the existing load on it from other lamps.
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Oh, I used a clock point for that sort of thing, I have to say, but then I'm weird. Brian
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More normal plug/socket combination to use on a lighting circuit would be 2 or 5 amp three pin - that's why they are still available from nearly all makers of wiring accessories.
But if you wish to use something like a lead light or other device fitted with a 13 amp plug, you'll need a 13 amp socket. With the wiring protected by a FCU with a 5 amp fuse.
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On 10/02/2014 16:40, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Or use with a self-made flex having a 13A socket at one end and a 2A or 5A plug at the other? Thus leaving the fixed wiring relatively standard/safe but allowing use of things with 13A plugs on them (up to some appropriate current limit).
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

No need for the 5A FCU. The 6A MCB or 5A fuse will take care of any overload.
Now what is required is the labelling of the 13A socket. eg "TV amp/loft light ONLY"
Sometimes you just have to fit 13A sockets for the TV amp/LED lighting wall warts that you want to power.
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On 10/02/2014 20:40, ARW wrote:

My reason for including it was not for protection of the wiring, but for adding discrimination if possible. I.e. it would be nice if overloading the current budget for the socket blew only its fuse rather than taking out the lights in the loft you happen to be in at the time! (especially if its not boarded and you now have to find your way back to the hatch in the dark)

yup
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John Rumm wrote:

Use a 1A or 3A fuse then.
Bill
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On 11/02/2014 04:47, Bill Wright wrote:

Indeed... although it does depend on what the main circuit is protected with. There are some 10A lighting circuits about which will offer more scope.
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John Rumm wrote:

From Day One of my self-employment I've used 3A fuses to protect TV amplifiers etc. I've always bought a big bagful. During my recent month-long stock room clear out I found three large bags of 3A fuses, all partly used. In volume terms I'd say I have over a litre of 3A fuses. It seems unlikely that I will need these for my domestic requirements.
Bill
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On Tue, 11 Feb 2014 10:42:42 +0000, John Rumm

I suspect such circuits would only qualify for the higher 10A rating when completely wired up with Pyro cabling and appropriate fittings. a more likely scenarion in commercial premises rather than in premises of the domestic persuasion (i.e. a house) where the limit has always been 6A fusing at the CU panel afair.
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Johny B Good wrote:

    Mine is on a 10A ring.
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On 11/02/2014 20:43, Johny B Good wrote:

10A is well within the capability of even 1.0mm T&E in some cases, and 1.5mm T&E in most.
There used to be a restriction on not using SBC and SES lamp fittings on such circuits, but that was deleted with the issue of the 17th edition.

10A is used domestically as well... I have certainly met it a few times.
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On Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:53:15 +0000, John Rumm

Well, not being an electrician by trade, I've been unable to find any references to the regulations, only anecdotes regarding 10A lighting circuits (including the use of a ring lighting circuit) so I can't quote 'chapter and verse' as to whether this is an acceptable departure from the regulations or not (I know some leaway exists within the regulations but this seems to be quite a large departure to my mind).
All my knowledge comes from when, with the assistance of a retired electrician (a family relative), I totally rewired this 3 story 6 bed Victorian semi-detached house back around 1983.
This is where I learned about the CU fusing regulations with regard to ring mains, lighting circuits, high power spur feeds to things like cooker points and power showers as well as to the requirement to provide a dedicated 15A fused feed to the immersion heater (classified as a fixed connected load requiringa high temp flex connection between the heater element terminals and the switched terminal box on the end of said dedicated feed). Plus I also learned about the earth bonding requirements of all exposed metalwork (pipework, stainless steel sinks etc).
It isn't exactly rocket science for someone experienced with electronics kit and a well founded knowledge of electrical theory. Once you understand that the fundamental protection provided by the fuse links (MCBs) in a CU is essentially to protect the permanent cabling and fittings it's easy to see why 5A was chosen for lighting and up to 30A for ring mains with 45A protecting 4mm FT&E cabling to a cooker point and other similar heavy duty loads.
A small 3 bed semi can manage with just a single ring main circuit and a single lighting circuit plus cooker point and immersion heater feeds so could be nicely served by a 4 fuse CU with a set of fuses comprising of 5A for the lighting, 15A for the immersion, 30A for the ring main and a 45A for the cooker point.
In a bigger property, you'd be well advised to fit a 6 way CU so you can split the lighting across two circuits, each with their own 5A fuse rather than the ill advised use of a 10A fuse on a single circuit (even when 1.5mm cabling is used - the ratings on the fittings are all based on the protection of a 5A fused supply). Obviously, the second extra fuse position will allow two seperate ring mains to be provided.
When we first moved into the current property, it didn't have a cooker point so I was able to wire up three seperate ring mains (ground floor, first floor and second floor mains socket supplies).
The basement was catered for by fitting 3 single outlet 13A sockets onto the CU backboard each fed off the 3 ring main circuits so that the freezer we kept in the basement could be readily powered from any one of the ring main circuits as an insurance against any protracted outage that might arise due to faults or planned changes in the ring main wiring.
The freezer no longer resides in the basement but the 'diversity' of this setup is still very handy although I have installed an extra twin outlet wall socket away from the CU, connected most likely to the 1st floor ring main circuit (but I'd have to take a gander at the fuse cover labelling to confirm this - but it seems the most logical choice of ring main so I'd be surprised if it were otherwise since the same logic would have dictated my original choice).
When it came to replacing all the VIR cabling in conduit lighting wiring, we knew it had to be split across two lighting circuits. As it happened I bought a couple of 100m reels of 1.5mm FT&E for this job and used nearly all of it.
The Mortgage company had held back £1000 of the loan on account of the state of the lighting circuit wiring but when I delved a little deeper into the state of the rest of the wiring, I discovered the house had two ring circuits and a mix of spur fed outlets randomly distributed about the property (one ring main fed half the ground floor sockets and half the first floor sockets and the other ring main fed all the 2nd floor sockets but with a length of heavy duty rubber sheathed appliance cord being used instead of the regulation FT&E.
What had started out as just a lighting circuit 'rewire' developed into a complete rewiring of the whole house. The job was essentially an exercise in re-organising the randomly fed sockets into 3 distinct ring mains.
Since the top floor was the only proper ring main in the whole house, I replaced the rubber sheathed flex with 2.5mm FT&E to bring it up to standard then dropped a very long mains extension down to the kitchen with another extension lead into the basement to power the freezer whilst I stripped out most of the 'ring main' wiring to the ground and first floor sockets, sorting out the recovered lengths of FT&E so I could rebuild the ring main circuits using shortest lengths first.
This minimised the need to add extra cable to the point where I was able to beg the extra 20 or so metres from my dad thus reducing the cable costs to nil with only the new dual gang 13A sockets as the main parts cost.
It was a lot of work to sort it out but I felt it just had to be done in the interest of safety (it's not good having sockets in the same room powered from different fuses in the CU). needless to say (after sorting out the earth bonding) I had no trouble getting the job certified and the extra grand released by the Mortgage company.
I suspect anyone trying to get their house wiring certified whilst they have a 10A fused lighting circuit in the mix will have a hard time trying to convince an inspector that it is within regs and standard wiring practice.
With many house owners now using CFLs and LED lamps in place of most of the originally fitted 60 and 100 watt incandescent lamps, I think any such 10A lighting circuits could now be 'downgraded' to 5A fuse or 6A mcb protected circuits without any problems.
Other than 'special cases' I think anyone with a 10A fuse protected lighting circuit should downgrade to a 5A fuse for their own peace of mind just on safety grounds alone. Using a 10A fuse, even in a larger domestic property is probably unnecessary with modern lamps these days.
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On Wednesday 12 February 2014 03:44 Johny B Good wrote in uk.d-i-y:

10A lighting circuits are "standard" (by the wiring regs) as are 16A (though the latter are almost unheard of domestically).
I have designed by house with 2 x 10A lighting circuits, type C breakers on 1.5mm2 cable to make the system a) able to cope with upto quite a lot of lighting; b) more trip resistant when lamps fail.
I saw no real disadvantages to doing it that way - I prefer 1.5mm2 cable over 1mm2 as I find the latter a little flimsy.
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wrote:

====snip===
I guess I used 1.5mm at the behest of my "Consultant", probably on account of the fact that we'd need well in excess of 100m of cabling.
According to my "Consultant", the maximum fusing value for lighting circuits was 5A and I accepted this as gospel. Since this protects the ceiling rose and pendant fittings (cordage and lamp holders) as well as the cabling and switches, it seemed to be a logical and sensible restriction (the lower the fuse rating you can use without risking frequent 'fuse blowing' events, the safer it is).
In the past 3 decades since I re-wired the house, I've not had to change a lighting fuse and, afair, only one ring main fuse the one time I carelessly refitted a socket plate onto a new socket I'd added to the ring main (framing fault).
TBH, I can't see the point of mcbs which can have their own peculiar 'failure' modes. A good "Old Fashioned Wylex CU with fuse bridges does the job perfectly fine.
When it's just a matter of resetting a mcb to deal with a mystery intermittent overload, you're more inclined to let things slide than when you have to keep changing fuse links (and rewire the blown fuse links to keep pace with demand).
Fuse protection inclines you to "Do The Right Thing" straight away and fix the actual problem rather than to put it off until you get hold of a "Round Tuit" or have saved up enough money to pay a 'professional' electrician to sort it out for you.
If, like most householders over the past 15 years or so, you have changed a good portion of your tungsten filament GLS lamps over to CFL or LED lamps, you might find that a 6A mcb will now suffice for the reduced loading.
It's certainly worth checking out this possibility since the lower trip value mcb will reduce the risk of a house fire from very small to vanishingly small and it is _this_ hazard such protection is designed to eliminate in the first place.
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On 12/02/2014 14:27, Johny B Good wrote:

If you think about it, the drop lead to most BC lamp holders is in 3A flex...
(you are correct however in that it is "protected". This is one of those situations I alluded to in my previous post, where overload protection may be delegated or dispensed with in certain circumstances)
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title lculating_A_Cable_Size#Adiabatic_Check

They are still acceptable, however you would be very unlikely to use one in a new installation for several reasons.
Modern trends in insulating properties makes their use more difficult. The big downside with a BS3036 rewireable is the slower fusing time. This requires a x 0.725 de-rating factor be applied to the current carrying capacity of the cables used in the circuit they protect. With the effects of the extra thermal insulation added to the equation, you would frequently find that you would need to increase the conductor CSA to compensate - hence unnecessary cost in both materials and time spent wiring.
Old style fuse boxes typically don't have any provision for RCDs, hence you would need to house these separately, and also use multiple fuse boxes to provide adequate discrimination.

Much depends on who is doing the resetting... Its much harder for someone to wrap tinfoil round a tripped MCB or stick a nail in it instead ;-)

Alas, outside the shrinking population in places like this group, the number of them that can DIY seems to be ever diminishing.

Its a difficult assertion to validate one way or the other. However it might be worth considering that the vast majority of house fires started "electrically" are actually the result of the misuse of appliances, or use of faulty appliances. Fixed wiring faults come *way* down the list.
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On Wednesday 12 February 2014 16:19 John Rumm wrote in uk.d-i-y:

Indeed.
When designing my circuits to work with a 10A Type C breaker, I require the trip times (loop impedances) and max current capacity of the wiring to meet the standards for 10A type C lighting *right to the lamp fitting*.
If the lamp fitting itself is sub standard, then it is usually a negligible risk as
a) it tends to be self protecting (hard to fit a lamp that will overload it);
b) unlikely to be a danger even if it smoked (the exception being flush mount ceiling fittings or you live in a hippy den with fabric all over the ceiling!);
c) As John suggested, if you look at the wires in many fittings, they would not even be adequately protected by a 6A Type B breaker.
d) The bits that are most at risk of causing a fire (cables running thorough the building often via bits of wood, piles of fluff and sawdust etc) are designed and protected correctly.
Then you come to bathroom fans and other things that are commonly fed from a lighting circuit and they all want a 3A FCU fitted regardless of circuit protection!
Cheers,
Tim
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Quite - my ground floor lighting circuit has been 10 amp since I installed it some 40 years ago. Due to a rather large load on it. ;-) The feeds are all 1.5mm - switch drops 1mm.
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