Discuss What is notifiable and FCU questions in the Lighting Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Hanson

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Hello my name is Hanson and I am new to these forums, I am a retired plumber.

I recently purchased a freehold ex local authority 3 bed property for my own use, everything appears fine except for two minor issues.

Cealing hights through out is 7ft 10inches.

Bedroom 1, the largest of them has no overhead lighting, no light switch, I did not note this when I viewed the property, all other rooms have their light switches and cealing lamp fittings.

I have spoken to the excutors of the late owner, according to her daughter to the best of her memory it was always like this, her Parents relying on table/side lights for this room.

The property was bulit in 1962, I think it unlikely no overhead lighting was installed in this bedroom, the daughter did inform me a new cealing was put up in 2012, for reasons I can't fathom, a light circuit was not reinstalled at that time.

There is no light switch but I am about to strip the walls of several layers of paper, I may find evidence of one.

What there is however, about 4inch below cealing height, is a live unswitched FCU, live of the supply side in 2.5 T&E, ( old colours ), no cable from the load side. the suply to this FCU comes from a twin socket in the bedroom.

I have made an assumtion this FCU must have operated a light circuit for this bedroom, it is a fair assumption but not a certainty but I can't think or see what else it would have done.

I know it's permisable to run a lighting circuit off a FCU but under currant regs can the FCU remain in its currant position/height or repositioned along side a new light switch or next to the socket and is this notifiable work?

My next question is the kitchen has 2 seperate final ring circuits each protected by their own seperate MCbs, 1 isolates all the sockets above work tops including a single spur for the combi, the other is for a twin socket that apparently was used for a washing machine and tumble dryer only, is this set up OK?
 

littlespark

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You will find this FCU has had nothing to do with supplying lights. Possibly a wall heater?
Bathroom on other side of wall?

Seems strange there was no lighting in that room from the day it was built, so I think you will find a plastered up switch box. It may still have a cable in the wall.
You won’t see where a ceiling light was if it’s been reboarded. Maybe to hide damp patches… have you been in the attic?
1962, I’d reckon there’s a central joint box just up through the attic hatch and all the lights and switches run back to there. You may find this room cables simply disconnected.
If not, then it won’t be hard to run new cables.

Be aware though, that if any new work on lighting circuits, it should be RCD protected… but could argue this is a repair.

Just a thought…. What’s the rest of the electrics like?
 

timhoward

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1962… may be no cpc (earth) on lighting circuit. Required after 1966 I think. I wouldn’t extend a circuit that doesn’t have one.

As long as you stay out of the bathroom it wouldn’t be notifiable work, however it may need a new circuit which would be notifiable.

It sounds as if some things have been modernised so there is hope this won’t be a big job. Checking other lights for an earth, and seeing what access is like in the loft would be a good starting point.
These days there are reliable wireless battery free switches so chasing a switch cable wouldn’t be required.

Nothing wrong with kitchen arrangements, sounds sensible.
 
OP
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Hanson

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You will find this FCU has had nothing to do with supplying lights. Possibly a wall heater?
Bathroom on other side of wall?

Seems strange there was no lighting in that room from the day it was built, so I think you will find a plastered up switch box. It may still have a cable in the wall.
You won’t see where a ceiling light was if it’s been reboarded. Maybe to hide damp patches… have you been in the attic?
1962, I’d reckon there’s a central joint box just up through the attic hatch and all the lights and switches run back to there. You may find this room cables simply disconnected.
If not, then it won’t be hard to run new cables.

Be aware though, that if any new work on lighting circuits, it should be RCD protected… but could argue this is a repair.

Just a thought…. What’s the rest of the electrics like?
Thank you for your reply, I hadn't ignored it but until I had completed the paper striping there seemed little point me further speculating.

It is as you thought and I surmised, I found where the light switch once was, a shallow recess that had been filled and stupefying high at 63 inches from floor and bizarrely behind the bedroom door, meaning the bedroom door would have had to be closed before you could get to the switch, that can't be correct so can only think bedroom door was hinged differently.

Fortunately installing a light switch at a sensible height below the existing FCU will be a simple task and allow easier access.

I have been in the attic, piles of thick insulation to roll back, no sign of cable/s for a light circuit to this bedroom but there just had to be one in the past.

Near to where I'm guessing a cable would have exited for a lamp fitting, screwed to a joist, is a black, 4 terminal round junction box, I am assuming from the FCU was a load supply to this box, and wired accordingly.

Can I still use this junction box or must it be a Wago box?

Can the existing unswitched FCU remain at its present height, about 100mm from ceiling or should I drop to a more sensible height or next to the double socket that supplies it and should it be switched with neon or remain unswitched?

The rest of the electrics appear and operate OK, I am still chasing the electric report the previous owner had done in 2018 but can't find but I think the executors are being sincere about it being undertaken.

Edit, there is no bathroom on other side of wall just a bedroom.
 
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Hanson

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1962… may be no cpc (earth) on lighting circuit. Required after 1966 I think. I wouldn’t extend a circuit that doesn’t have one.

As long as you stay out of the bathroom it wouldn’t be notifiable work, however it may need a new circuit which would be notifiable.

It sounds as if some things have been modernised so there is hope this won’t be a big job. Checking other lights for an earth, and seeing what access is like in the loft would be a good starting point.
These days there are reliable wireless battery free switches so chasing a switch cable wouldn’t be required.

Nothing wrong with kitchen arrangements, sounds sensible.
Hello Tim, thanks for the reply. I hadn't ignored it but had nothing further to add untill I had investigated further, see my reply to Littlespark.

There is no lighting circuit to this bedroom so there is no CPC, there is to the cealing lamp fittings in the remaining bedrooms.

The remaining bedrooms have down lights, they went to town, I think original occupants/owners bought a job lot and had them all installed.

I don't like down lights prefering one central decoritive lamp fitting, so the remaining bedroom cealings will have to be overborded, plaster skim and large overhead LED light fittings installed when budget allows.

Thanks for your advise on the two kitchen circuits, it does seem like a sensible approach but had not come across this arangement before.
 

littlespark

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About twenty years ago I was asked to rewire a 2 bed house. The owners wanted no lighting circuits at all, just table lights, plugged into sockets.
This house is ex council…. I would have thought there would be lighting in every room.

It does sound like there has been alterations at some time.
Way in the past, they used to have room lights not in the centre of rooms, but closer to a window…there may be no evidence of a light ever in the centre…. but that practice might predate any council house..

There was a time they hung doors so the open door would shield a room rather than open against a wall, so I’m not surprised lightswitches might be on wrong side.
 

telectrix

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1. re: junction box.may fin d thst that is connected into lighting circuit and all you need is a switch wire to new switch and a feed to new light.
2. if the door is hinged at the corner of the room. i.e. it opens against the adjacent wall, then it's been re-hinged as all doors were originally installed the other way round. this could be why your switch position is behind the door.
 
OP
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Hanson

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This house is ex council…. I would have thought there would be lighting in every room.

It does sound like there has been alterations at some time.
Way in the past, they used to have room lights not in the centre of rooms, but closer to a window…there may be no evidence of a light ever in the centre…. but that practice might predate any council house..

There was a time they hung doors so the open door would shield a room rather than open against a wall, so I’m not surprised lightswitches might be on wrong side.
I think there was lighting to every bedroom, when they reborded the ceiling to this bedroom they did away with the light circuit for some unknown reason, I don't know why they left the FCU which is still live and supplied by a socket below, perhaps the intention was to refit and never got around to it, who knows.

There is no evidence of the door being rehung to open the other way but the paint work to the door lining appear to be a couple of layers thick only so maybe newish

It doesn't matter anyway the doors are going, it's them bloody awful, rolled up, compressed paper, light weight molded panel doors you can get from the likes of B&Q and other such outlets, 'bout time they stopped selling them, lethal and affords no protection in the event of a fire.

On the subject of the FCU, the existing is unswitched, can it remain that way or changed to a switched FCU., I noticed the fuse holder on the existing is chipped and is it ok to keep FCU at present height or drop it next to the socket its fed from?

I understand dropping the FCU takes me in to the land of notifing BC but the questions still remain.
 

littlespark

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I still don’t think the FCU is or was anything to do with the lights.

All the lights in the house would be from a single fuse in the fuse board, or two… upstairs and downstairs. (Or circuit breakers)

Why the FCU was there, I don’t know. All I can think of is wall mounted heater. There isn’t evidence on the wall near it showing rawlplug holes?

I know them doors well. My parents have an ex council, and the doors couldn’t withstand an angry teenagers fist.
And they were a special unstandardised size that you couldn’t get straight replacements for. Had to alter the frame or cut 2” off the door.
 
OP
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Hanson

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I still don’t think the FCU is or was anything to do with the lights.

All the lights in the house would be from a single fuse in the fuse board, or two… upstairs and downstairs. (Or circuit breakers)

Why the FCU was there, I don’t know. All I can think of is wall mounted heater. There isn’t evidence on the wall near it showing rawlplug holes?

I know them doors well. My parents have an ex council, and the doors couldn’t withstand an angry teenagers fist.
And they were a special unstandardised size that you couldn’t get straight replacements for. Had to alter the frame or cut 2” off the door.
Yes not great doors and definitely not angry teenager fist/foot proof. 😀

Filled holes dotted everywhere but nothing close by to the FCU.

I am going to use the FCU to get light into that bedroom and before it's mentioned, yes no doubt it would be more practical if not sensible to feed off the existing light circuit but the attic has been borded, it was a pain and a half to investigate as far as I did.

So should I leave it unswitched or change to a switched FCU, leave at its present height or drop it next to the socket it's supplied from?
 

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