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wickywackywoo

Anybody Know Anthing About Electrics?

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Hi all,

Mods: Please leave for a while before moving.

Living in a rented property. It has two sets of lights in the living room running off independent dimmer switches. First set is a doodar thingy in the centre of the ceiling that takes three bulbs and the second set consists of four wall lights.

About three months ago one of the switches blew up (big blue spark shot out). A couple of weeks later the other switch did the same. Landlord implied it was my fault for overloading the switches. Couldn't be bothered to argue so replaced both dimmer switches myself.

Since then I have had one 100w bulb in each set of lights, ie. total draw on each dimmer switch is 100w, well below the rating of 240w per switch. They have just blown up again, first one a week ago and the other today. So yet again I have no lights in the living room.

Anybody got any ideas on what can cause this. Whole house is a complete bodge and I believe that the house was rewired by an amateur at some point in the past.

Edited by wickywackywoo

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Get an electrician if you are unsure mate I have seen some really nasty photos of what happens to people who supposedly know what they are doing when they mess with electrics

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You probably know this... but don't use those energy saver bulbs with dimmers.

If it keeps blowing like that then it's up to the landlord to sort it, if he doesn't

tell him you will get an electrician and send him the bill for refunding.

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Hi all,

Mods: Please leave for a while before moving.

Living in a rented property. It has two sets of lights in the living room running off independent dimmer switches. First set is a doodar thingy in the centre of the ceiling that takes three bulbs and the second set consists of four wall lights.

About three months ago one of the switches blew up (big blue spark shot out). A couple of weeks later the other switch did the same. Landlord implied it was my fault for overloading the switches. Couldn't be bothered to argue so replaced both dimmer switches myself.

Since then I have had one 100w bulb in each set of lights, ie. total draw on each dimmer switch is 100w, well below the rating of 240w per switch. They have just blown up again, first one a week ago and the other today. So yet again I have no lights in the living room.

Anybody got any ideas on what can cause this. Whole house is a complete bodge and I believe that the house was rewired by an amateur at some point in the past.

Sounds like faulty wiring which could lead to a fire, call in a electrician ASAP. It's not a DIY job at all.

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Im a sparky

If you are renting the house you should have an up to date electrical test certificate

from the LL if not he is breaking the law.

If you had "a big blue spark" coming from the dimmer that does not sound good.

Did the fuse in the board blow/trip when this happened?

If not ,you probably have no earth in the lighting circuit which

was quite common in old installations where a 2 core cable was

used now illegal, meaning if you have metal light fittings/light switches

and there is a fault eg."live cable" loose/trapped touching metal casing this has

the potential to become live.

VERY DODGY GET A ELECTRICIAN IN AND MAKE SURE THE LL PAYS FOR IT

THATS THE ADVANTAGE OF RENTING, IT IS HIS RESPONSIBILTY NOT YOURS

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Im a sparky

If you are renting the house you should have an up to date electrical test certificate

from the LL if not he is breaking the law.

If you had "a big blue spark" coming from the dimmer that does not sound good.

Did the fuse in the board blow/trip when this happened?

If not ,you probably have no earth in the lighting circuit which

was quite common in old installations where a 2 core cable was

used now illegal, meaning if you have metal light fittings/light switches

and there is a fault eg."live cable" loose/trapped touching metal casing this has

the potential to become live.

VERY DODGY GET A ELECTRICIAN IN AND MAKE SURE THE LL PAYS FOR IT

THATS THE ADVANTAGE OF RENTING, IT IS HIS RESPONSIBILTY NOT YOURS

Yes the board does trip when one of the switches blows. You are correct, there is no earth, just the two wires going into the switch. The switches themselves are white plastic.

There is no electrical certificate. I didn't realise this was compulsory like the gas one.

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You probably know this... but don't use those energy saver bulbs with dimmers.

If it keeps blowing like that then it's up to the landlord to sort it, if he doesn't

tell him you will get an electrician and send him the bill for refunding.

Yep, just standard bulbs.

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Obviously you need an electrician to check this out. It's a recurring issue and blatantly unsafe. I work in the power industry and these matters are not to be taken lightly! :ph34r:

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Yes the board does trip when one of the switches blows. You are correct, there is no earth, just the two wires going into the switch. The switches themselves are white plastic.

There is no electrical certificate. I didn't realise this was compulsory like the gas one.

Every rented house should have a 5 year periodic test/inspection certificate.

Sounds like you have a short circuit somewhere in the lighting circuit.

Get a sparks in to have a look

Got to log off now just on my way out the door

Good luck!!

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In reality, there is no requirement for regular, professional inspections of electrical installations in rented residential properties

Pay yourself for an electrician to check it. Quible over the money with your LL later.

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Hi all,

Mods: Please leave for a while before moving.

Living in a rented property. It has two sets of lights in the living room running off independent dimmer switches. First set is a doodar thingy in the centre of the ceiling that takes three bulbs and the second set consists of four wall lights.

About three months ago one of the switches blew up (big blue spark shot out). A couple of weeks later the other switch did the same. Landlord implied it was my fault for overloading the switches. Couldn't be bothered to argue so replaced both dimmer switches myself.

Since then I have had one 100w bulb in each set of lights, ie. total draw on each dimmer switch is 100w, well below the rating of 240w per switch. They have just blown up again, first one a week ago and the other today. So yet again I have no lights in the living room.

Anybody got any ideas on what can cause this. Whole house is a complete bodge and I believe that the house was rewired by an amateur at some point in the past.

It's 250 volts not watts, and dimmers don't have earth terminals. The problem will be with the circuit, you can't mix resistive with inductive loads, meaning the circuit is not suitable for a dimmer. Either as said get the landlord to check out the circuit, as there could be other problems or change it to a standard 1 gang 1 way switch. Only a few weeks ago a woman was killed due to faulty wiring in a rented property in Cornwall, so if in doubt check it out.

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm waiting for the landlord to come back to me on it but she's a tight cow so I'm not hopeful. I'm going to insist though that she gets a proper electrician out pronto to sort it out. I have three kids and there is a lot of evidence that a bodging idiot lived here at some point so I'm pretty concerned about it.

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I was an electrician and I can add nothing more than the previous sparks said.

But, my wife was a private sector housing adviser and she suggests you contact the Landlord by letter explaining that the situation is a matter of health and safety. If he does not respond -and you have to give him time - according to the circumstance wether he's abroad or just up the road. If you still have no responce you send him a registered letter telling him that after 28 days you will take action to have the work done yourself. You have to get three qoutes and engage the cheapest unless there is good cause not to use that firm. You don't pay the electrician yourself(part with any money) but have him send the invoice to the landlord.

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Landlady just rang. Her husband is going to come round and change the dimmer switches for standard switches. No idea if that will fix the problem or not.

Only have two and a half months until my contract runs out anyway and won't be renewing so probably not worth making a fuss over.

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It's 250 volts not watts, and dimmers don't have earth terminals. The problem will be with the circuit, you can't mix resistive with inductive loads, meaning the circuit is not suitable for a dimmer. Either as said get the landlord to check out the circuit, as there could be other problems or change it to a standard 1 gang 1 way switch. Only a few weeks ago a woman was killed due to faulty wiring in a rented property in Cornwall, so if in doubt check it out.

The dimmer would be rated in watts(and would have an earth terminal if it was metal)

I agree with you about the inductive loads though this is usually

if the load is going through a transformer you can buy dimmers

that work for this though but trying a normal switch is a good idea

if you feel brave!

But a large blue spark and blowing the fuse sounds like something more serious

to me.

Get someone in

look on NICEIC website for local domestic electricians

Edited by Maddog21

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A least with a standard switch it will break off quickly under spring preasure. If you continue to use dimmers your hands and fingers would be touching a faulty fitting for longer. I agree a blue flash usualy means there's a bit of a load still on the circuit, with no cpc not good. Hearing about inductive and resistive loads reminded me of tech days phasor diagrammes ect. Thanks to Pythagaros I manged to get through it

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If you are renting the house you should have an up to date electrical test certificate

from the LL if not he is breaking the law.

I thought the recent case of the woman in Cornwall who got nuked in her bath revealed the fact that electrical safety certificates are not a legal requirement in the same way gas certificates are.

Is there a RCD protecting the circuit with the dimmers on it? If it's getting to the point of blue sparks I suspect not.

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Im a sparky

If you are renting the house you should have an up to date electrical test certificate

from the LL if not he is breaking the law.

Not true. Only true in houses in multiple occupation.

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Not true. Only true in houses in multiple occupation.

Yeah you are right

Haven't done any domestic stuff for years

They introduced Part P a couple of years ago where any work

done on a domestic installation requires a test cert.

It was all supposed to tie in with the HIPS pack when you sell/rent

your house you would have required a cert but they dropped this

but thats another story.

The 17th edition regs have recently come out and all circuits should be protected

by an RCD these trip in 30ms and in my opinion a good idea although on lighting

circuits can trip with just a lamp blowing.

Anyone who suspects they have dodgy wiring please get it checked out I have

seen some really bad unsafe installs over the years.

You can use the NICEIC contractor search or ECA are another one

anyone who is Part P registered can issue a test cert.

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Yeah you are right

Haven't done any domestic stuff for years

It shows.

They introduced Part P a couple of years ago where any work

done on a domestic installation requires a test cert.

Not true.

anyone who is Part P registered can issue a test cert.

Whilst that is true, it misses out the point that you are not required to be Part P registered to issue a "test cert" - do you mean a PIR?

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My understanding of Part P is any work you undertake on a domestic installation if adding to

an exsisting circuit or installing a new circuit does require certification

A minor works certificate if adding a circuit

If adding to an exsisting circuit this becomes your responsibilty and the installation should have a

periodic inspection.

You can issue a test certificate if you are not Part P but it will have to be signed off by someone who is

Part P registered for it to mean anything.

Like I said I only work on Industrial installations now 11kv ,design etc. so don't get too involved in it anymore

this is just what i've heard from the boys on site.

You obviously know more about it than me

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Just been speaking to one of the sparks on site there does seem to be alot of grey areas

with regard to Part P found this link that may help

http://www.theiet.org/publishing/wiring-regulations/part-p/

Q10: Will electrical contractors be forced to join a Competent Person Scheme?

When Part P comes into effect there will be two routes for those carrying out 'notifiable' electrical installation work in dwellings to demonstrate that they have complied with the requirements.

The first is to join a competent person self-certification scheme.

The second is to submit a building notice to the local authority.

Five bodies have been approved to run schemes and electrical contractors have a choice of which scheme to join.

However, there will be no requirement to join a scheme. It will be perfectly acceptable to submit building notices to the local authority. It will be a matter for each individual electrical contracting firm to decide which of the above two routes to compliance would be best for their business.

If you are not Part P a local authority inspector will come round to certify your work

Edited by Maddog21

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