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Old 13.10.2015, 14:42
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Question for home electricity gurus

Hello,

I moved into my new appartment. I installed a lamp like usual. To discover that, there is no way to turn it off. It means, there is no switch that turns the lamp off. Yes there is electricity always on the wires, independently of how many times you touch the switch.

The cables look like normal cables in electricity installations. Does anyone have an idea of how to solve it, before I contact the landlord and have to wait for a handy mand to come over and look at it etc. ?

Thank's!
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:03
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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Hello,

I moved into my new appartment. I installed a lamp like usual. To discover that, there is no way to turn it off. It means, there is no switch that turns the lamp off. Yes there is electricity always on the wires, independently of how many times you touch the switch.
If you installed the lamp then it rather looks like you've installed it on a spur (or ring, but that's not likely here) that's not specifically intended for lighting, such that you need to install a switch with the lamp. No biggie, but might one ask why you didn't test it first?
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:07
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

How many wires come out of the wall or ceiling? Sometimes you have a "live" wire and a switched "live" wire so you can select which you want.
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:09
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

I did test it first. That is how I know I cannot switch it off... what do you mean?!

I could imagine the wires are placed before the switch and therefore, no way to switch it off. However, it is pretty strange, because these hole is in the ceiling, and it is right in a place where there is no other way to have any light source. It is right at the entrance of the apartment, so if a lamp cannot be there, there is basically no light when you enter the apartment. In addition, the hole is on the ceiling and cannot be reached with the hands, so I cannot figure out to put there a switch.

And the second misterious thing... what is the switch there at the entrance for? I checked every socket and it does not switch any of them. To me it looks like a FAIL in the installation of the wires.

I just feel so lazy to contact the landlord and have some guys checking this out... in case it would be fixed.
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:15
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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it is pretty strange, because these hole is in the ceiling, and it is right in a place where there is no other way to have any light source. It is right at the entrance of the apartment, so if a lamp cannot be there, there is basically no light when you enter the apartment. In addition, the hole is on the ceiling and cannot be reached with the hands, so I cannot figure out to put there a switch.

And the second misterious thing... what is the switch there at the entrance for? I checked every socket and it does not switch any of them. To me it looks like a FAIL in the installation of the wires.
Oh, now you come along with the extra information.

If it were me I'd take the switch cover off and have a look - it's entirely possible that it's not a fault, but that someone deliberately bypassed the switch and fitted a motion-sensing light, ideal in an entrance hallway. But assuming it's a rental you could just call the landlord in.
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:16
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

As Marton said - almost certainly a switched live going on.

Does it look like there are 2 light switches for the light in different parts of the hall?

Do you have a picture of the wires?
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:33
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

So, in the hole:

There are three "wires" accessible, the brown, the blue and the, safety ground one (yellow/green). The wires pass by, it means I can take power from them and they go ahead. If I interrupt them, then there is no electricity in half of the apartment. This is a bit strange also... why would there be in that hole the wires to interrupt the electricity in the whole apartment... strange.

In the entrance there is one switch, just next to the door. It is quite clear this switch is intended to be turned on when you enter the apartment. No other use that I can imagine.

If this setup is really intended to be like this, it is strange for me. And still the open question... what should do the switch if not switching that light?

The fact that someone could have installed a kind of regulator is a good point. But I think it does not explan the current setup. I.e., what would be the explanation and the way to fix it?

Thank you guys for all the tips!!!
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:35
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

The ceiling fitting will be for a fan with a pull chord switch and the wall switch probably corresponds to a wall socket.
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:36
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

How many switches "could" operate the light? Only the one by the door? or is there another?

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The ceiling fitting will be for a fan with a pull chord switch and the wall switch probably corresponds to a wall socket.
Unlikely in the hallway.
However pictures would be rather helpful
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:37
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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In the entrance there is one switch, just next to the door. It is quite clear this switch is intended to be turned on when you enter the apartment. No other use that I can imagine.
Are you sure it's not a master switch that turns off all the lights in the apartment, not unusual in expensive properties.

Last edited by Ace1; 13.10.2015 at 16:13. Reason: fix quoting
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Old 13.10.2015, 15:50
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

Yes I am sure, because nothing happens at all when I switch that siwch. I tried all the sockets and holes of the appartment, out of curiosity. Nothing happens when I press the switch.

The hypothesis that the hole is for a fan... is still the same as for the lamp. Is the fan intended to be continously working? because there is no way to switch it off.

I think more and more it is a fail of the wiring in the apartment.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:05
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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The hypothesis that the hole is for a fan... is still the same as for the lamp. Is the fan intended to be continously working? because there is no way to switch it off.
Well I agree it's very unlikely, but many light/fan combinations, specifically any that you get in the UK, will have separate pull switches for each function. It's normal there to have just the two wires (plus earth) going all the way around a building in a ring, and each socket or appliance will interrupt that wiring, part of its fitting being to join together two cut ends each of the live and neutral cables (although they're connected at both ends, so one missing wouldn't break the circuit). Light circuits would consist of this, plus an additional pair of cables going to and from the switch., allowing a light to be operated from the wall independent of the fan function.

However, it's clear that neither of these is the case here, and from what you describe, with just continuous wires, it seems likely that this is a bodge job that someone's just made a hole next to the wiring and tapped onto it, with the possibility of the original placement operated by the switch being blanked off.

Get a man in, at this stage, if you're not happy to work it out and rebodge the bodge yourself (and face it, in a rented property it's not the best idea - I probably would, but then I'm like that ).
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:09
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

Just install a switch on the ceiling and use a ladder when you want to turn it on or off.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:13
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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Yes I am sure, because nothing happens at all when I switch that siwch. I tried all the sockets and holes of the appartment, out of curiosity. Nothing happens when I press the switch.

The hypothesis that the hole is for a fan... is still the same as for the lamp. Is the fan intended to be continously working? because there is no way to switch it off.

I think more and more it is a fail of the wiring in the apartment.
Here is another idea: broken switch?

Does it click and more the same like the others in the flat or does it move easily?
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:26
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

The switch moves properly, at least from outside. I will check what is connected to...

On the other hand, I am just thinking, if the switch would work, it would switch down the electricity in half of the apartment. Because the cables availables in the whole, if interrupted, they shutdown the electricity in one side of the apartment... so even if the switch would be working fine, I do not understand what the installation is about.... I think I will call the landlord and ask.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:31
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

The people before you may have had a detector light.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:37
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

This is the very first sense-making explanation for the hole.
Still missing the explanation for the switch.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:44
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

Have you drained the wires? It sounds like a build up of electricity in that part of the ceiling, clogging the circuit.

You'll need an insulated container - a Thermos flask is ideal - to collect the accumulated electricity when you snip the wire slightly above the light fitting. Wait till the crackling sound stops, seal the container and take it to your local electrical store for recycling. When you reconnect the wires, everything should be back to normal.

Please note that I am not an electrician but I watched a programme about it once.
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Old 13.10.2015, 16:48
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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Just install a switch on the ceiling and use a ladder when you want to turn it on or off.
Or a pull cord switch.
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Old 13.10.2015, 17:04
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Re: Question for home electricity gurus

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Or a pull cord switch.
that's a silly idea! who would want an unsightly pull cord in the middle of a room!

not to mention the grave liability issues if guests bump their heads on it!

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 13.10.2015 at 17:38.
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