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Light Switch Help Please

Discuss Light Switch Help Please in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Marvo

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I'm in the UK at the moment and I've already been roped into helping family out.

I've got 3 light switches to replace and I'm hoping maybe someone might have something very similar in a junk box in their shed and might be willing to swap them for a couple of beer tokens.

The switches are very old and I'm assuming none of them are available as new items.

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Honestly though... you can take the plates off without touching the actual switch, to examine the state of the wiring before anything else.

Your only issue is the round switch at the top.... the whole dome shape needs to be unscrewed from the base... and if its a bit stiff... a "gentle tap" could still smash it
Having rewired loads of old houses wired in rubber cable, even pulling a socket or switch front forwards 2 inches to 'look at' the cables is enough movemnet to crack and split the rubber exposing the aluminum tinned cores. I just don't see the point in attempting to change a switch on 100 year old britlle cables. Its like putting a new sail on a boat riddled with holes
 
Having rewired loads of old houses wired in rubber cable, even pulling a socket or switch front forwards 2 inches to 'look at' the cables is enough movemnet to crack and split the rubber exposing the aluminum tinned cores. I just don't see the point in attempting to change a switch on 100 year old britlle cables. Its like putting a new sail on a boat riddled with holes
its like i said above in #12 though... the cover or plate comes off without disturbing the wiring at all. the switch is fixed to the back box.

Not so sure about sockets though
 
If the installatiion is all original, based on those switches the cable is going to somewhere between 50 and 100 years old?

I would not be touching those switches unless it was part of a full Re-Wire
She says she's lived in the house for 70 plus years and the wiring hasn't been altered. Unfortunately the CU is under the stairs along with about 10 heavy boxes from when she packed everything upstairs away so I couldn't get to it or even see it.
 
I wanted to run a thought I had past you guys to see if it might be compliant. The ceiling light fitting is also broken so I was thinking of killing two birds with one stone and just replace the light fitting with an LED 20w or 30w floodlight with a built-in motion sensor and wire it in the wooden ceiling connection box (ceiling rose I'd guess you call it) to the permanent live and neutral.

I realise it would be unorthodox but would it be legal? It would fit needs well, she wouldn't need to fight with any light switch, it might avoid a VIR wiring nightmare at the switches at least and it would give much better light so she could see better.
 
I wanted to run a thought I had past you guys to see if it might be compliant. The ceiling light fitting is also broken so I was thinking of killing two birds with one stone and just replace the light fitting with an LED 20w or 30w floodlight with a built-in motion sensor and wire it in the wooden ceiling connection box (ceiling rose I'd guess you call it) to the permanent live and neutral.

I realise it would be unorthodox but would it be legal? It would fit needs well, she wouldn't need to fight with any light switch, it might avoid a VIR wiring nightmare at the switches at least and it would give much better light so she could see better.
One of these may be a better option https://ansell-lighting.com/en/products/disco-evo
 
If this is upstairs I’d run a new circuit to a quickwire in the loft, and probably replace the fitting using a quinetic switch.
I wouldn’t open any accessory I couldn’t open carefully and tentatively as it isn’t worth the risk. Yes, it might all stay intact but if it doesn’t the can of worms is well and truly open.
If it were downstairs I’d offer choice of lifting boards and starting provision of new lighting circuit or trunking.
I’ve been burnt too many times trying to do ‘one more fix’ to seriously old wiring!
 
I see it's an emergency light. Will it operate on its motion sensor if it has permanent 230v supply?
If this is upstairs I’d run a new circuit to a quickwire in the loft, and probably replace the fitting using a quinetic switch.
I wouldn’t open any accessory I couldn’t open carefully and tentatively as it isn’t worth the risk. Yes, it might all stay intact but if it doesn’t the can of worms is well and truly open.
If it were downstairs I’d offer choice of lifting boards and starting provision of new lighting circuit or trunking.
I’ve been burnt too many times trying to do ‘one more fix’ to seriously old wiring!
All the switches are downstairs. The first switch in the opening post is in an external cupboard/room which I think was a coal store originally. The second switch is for the kitchen and the last one is for the lounge which has a ceiling light and a wall light on separate switches.

I'm not going to start lifting carpets or floorboards. I'm not equipped, the only tools i have are 2 screwdivers (one philips and one which is neon), a pair of toenail clippers to use as sidecutters and a hammer with a head that falls off the handle. If I can't complete this job with my newly assembled tupperware tool packout it's not worth buying tools and throwing them away when I leave in 2 weeks, I'll rather get someone in to do it.
 
I see it's an emergency light. Will it operate on its motion sensor if it has permanent 230v supply?
The fitting I linked to has a number of different options and can be ordered with a microwave sensor or if needed the emergency option as well
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I used one of these fittings on my MIL's house a number of years ago and it was very good
 
She says she's lived in the house for 70 plus years and the wiring hasn't been altered. Unfortunately the CU is under the stairs along with about 10 heavy boxes from when she packed everything upstairs away so I couldn't get to it or even see it.
Walking Away Nod GIF by GritTV

Trust me, a job like this will be a pain in your arse. Just tell her you have too much work on and walk away
 
Read the OP, dusty... this isnt some paying customer..... Its family (read in Vin Deisels voice)

;)
OP confirmed it is VIR so game over, the pictures and dates OP gave made it a very strong possibility. However if you read the thread they confirmed wiring is VIR. The place will need re-wiring, it has done very well indeed to last this long probably due to the lack of modifications, likely untouched for all of those years.

Once things start malfunctioning that is it with VIR it will fall apart when you touch it.

So family member or not this isn't a job for the OP given the information they have given.
 
OP confirmed it is VIR so game over, the pictures and dates OP gave made it a very strong possibility. However if you read the thread they confirmed wiring is VIR. The place will need re-wiring, it has done very well indeed to last this long probably due to the lack of modifications, likely untouched for all of those years.

Once things start malfunctioning that is it with VIR it will fall apart when you touch it.

So family member or not this isn't a job for the OP given the information they have given.
Why do you think it isn't a job for the OP
 
Last edited:
OP has not confirmed it is still vir.

What he said was the 102 year old occupant says the wiring hasn’t been altered in the 70 years she’s been there.
They may be mistaken, due to age… but a quick check would verify.

We’ve not seen the rest of the house… and part of it may have already been changed/ upgraded.
 

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