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Old 24.01.2020, 15:19
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Clueless on light installation

I want to put a light fixture in the ceiling, but there is not currently any electrical wiring there. However, there is a switch+plug socket on a nearby wall.

So my basic idea is to attach some new wire from that socket run it up the wall and along the ceiling to connect the new light.

I haven't done anything like this before so was wondering:

1. Is there anything online which shows what the inside of these swiss socket things look like? I guess it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out anyway

2. Cutting out a path along the wall and ceiling and then re-filling it and re-painting it seems like a lot of work. An alternative may be to run a small plastic conduit along the wall and ceiling and put the cable inside that. Apart from being ugly is there anything that speaks against doing this (code/regulation-wise)?

3. Any pitfalls to watch out for?
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:23
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Re: Clueless on light installation

Don't you have to have a qualified electrician to do this sort of work?
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:25
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Don't you have to have a qualified electrician to do this sort of work?
I don't know.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:29
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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1. Is there anything online which shows what the inside of these swiss socket things look like? I guess it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out anyway

Not very complicated. Just observe the colour codes for the wires. If you have a fair idea how electrickery works (and about your own safety) combined with common sense, it should be fine.

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2. Cutting out a path along the wall and ceiling and then re-filling it and re-painting it seems like a lot of work. An alternative may be to run a small plastic conduit along the wall and ceiling and put the cable inside that. Apart from being ugly is there anything that speaks against doing this (code/regulation-wise)?
No reason that I'm aware of.

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3. Any pitfalls to watch out for?
Before you start drilling holes in the wall to hold the conduit, check if there is a cable underneath. Quite often the cables for sockets come down in a straight line from the celing, so putting your conduit precisely there may not be entirely without pitfalls.

And of course all the usual disclaimers about using tools and materials fit for purpose. But I'm assuming you know all that.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:34
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Don't you have to have a qualified electrician to do this sort of work?
Officially and according to the house insurance yes. (or have it certified afterwards)

It this would cause fire in some years and it turned out it never has been certified and OP did it all himself while not being an electrician himself it could cause him to loose al the money.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:35
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Re: Clueless on light installation

A conduit is fine, there's nothing against having the cable behind the wall, it's just not as elegant. You'll need a hole for the wire to come out of the wall above the light switch, if the wall is hollow you could do this close to the ceiling so you don't have the vertical run along on the wall.

One other tip is to try wiring it all up before you install the conduit, drill the wall etc, this way you'll know how it works. Then note or photo the wiring and redo for real.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:38
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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I want to put a light fixture in the ceiling, but there is not currently any electrical wiring there. However, there is a switch+plug socket on a nearby wall.
I did this the other day.

Well actually I did most of it.

We had an existing wall light and wanted to change that for ceiling LED spots.
As the walls had a Schweizer-shiesser-rough-putz surface (or whatever it is called) and were going to be re-plastered anyway, the chap ran the conduit in the wall and put up one one of those square cable connector boxes in the ceiling for access (definitely put one of these up).
I then drilled the holes for the spots, added the triac dimmer modules and spots and connected it up the cable ends in the connection box.

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2. Cutting out a path along the wall and ceiling and then re-filling it and re-painting it seems like a lot of work. An alternative may be to run a small plastic conduit along the wall and ceiling and put the cable inside that. Apart from being ugly is there anything that speaks against doing this (code/regulation-wise)?
No. We had a break in a neutral wire recently and there was a blockage in the conduit in the wall (where the break occurred).

I found the break and this was going to be an insurance thing and I thought an electrician might have a trick for running a new wire but he just ran conduit from a riser cupboard then down to a n existing joint box in the wall.

Bunch of cowboys. Legal but doesn't look nice.

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3. Any pitfalls to watch out for?
That shitty shredded-wheat ceiling stuff gets everywhere.

And, make sure you follow any Swiss electrical work regulations. For example, as my spots were for a shower room, and due to the proximity to the shower, they needed to be waterproof so fitted IP65 rated ones.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:39
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Re: Clueless on light installation

I'd go for something like P25/K25 Raceway, they also have proper things to put behind your switch/socket, to make a decent legally allowed split from your socket to run across the wall.

If you want everything inside the wall, than use pipe. and no need to start chopping the wall from the socket, do find how the pipes run in the wall and pick the perfect/best spot to make a hole to detach from and take it from there, if you are lucky it even runs somewhere nearby in the ceiling. There is equipment to find almost exact locations of your pipes, and also to see if it is the same group.

Last edited by EdwinNL; 24.01.2020 at 15:53. Reason: Dumb spelling correction, changed death to detach.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:45
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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No. We had a break in a neutral wire recently and there was a blockage in the conduit in the wall (where the break occurred).
Just out of interest, how did you manage to break the wire while it was in the wall?

Cables can get handled and pulled quite a bit during installation, but this shouldn't cause the wires inside to break. Neither should reasonable age related degradation.

Just imagine, it could have been the earth line that broke rather than the neutral. You wouldn't have noticed any difference until the day an electrical fault occured, and then you wouldn't have had the protection you thought you had.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:53
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Just out of interest, how did you manage to break the wire while it was in the wall?
I know you did not ask me, but we've had our own company for years and it actually is not extremely rare.

Most I've seen it happening is due to people pulling to hard on the wires when pulling them through the pipes, or pulling new wires over old ones when adding a wire. The copper stretches and can handle less amps, or the isolation gets torn of and even some of the copper can get taken of, or a corner is to small and they pull the wire to hard against an edge making it weaker at one spot.

Now add some vibration, or a lot of expansions/shrinking moments due to load and it is just a matter of time (which still could be many years) before it breaks.
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:56
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Just out of interest, how did you manage to break the wire while it was in the wall?
When the free end came up, it was very corroded and the insulation was burnt.
The initial damage looked quite old.

There was also lots of sharp builders rubble down the conduit (I made a special adaptor for my vacuum to suck it up).

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Cables can get handled and pulled quite a bit during installation, but this shouldn't cause the wires inside to break. Neither should reasonable age related degradation.
I think it got badly nicked during installation and the current eventually was too much for it.
It went just after I had been using high-power power tools in a room on the same circuit for a few days. It had previously been a bedroom.

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Just imagine, it could have been the earth line that broke rather than the neutral. You wouldn't have noticed any difference until the day an electrical fault occured, and then you wouldn't have had the protection you thought you had.
That's a good point. How often do people test their earths? How often do people test their appliance earths too?

How often do people test their RCDs?
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Old 24.01.2020, 15:59
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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That's a good point. How often do people test their earths? How often do people test their appliance earths too?

How often do people test their RCDs?
doesn't the NIV thing take care of that once in a while?
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Old 24.01.2020, 16:00
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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That's a good point. How often do people test their earths? How often do people test their appliance earths too?

How often do people test their RCDs?
I know some people who test the earth leak detection in their power cabinet, I know absolutely nobody who regularly tests their wall sockets. Heck, besides professionals I know nobody who even has the equipement or knowledge to properly test the wall sockets, surely you can hold a wire between power and earth, but that tells you nothing about the connection, only if there is some connection, which might as well be rotten away for 90%
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Old 24.01.2020, 16:01
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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doesn't the NIV thing take care of that once in a while?
Probably should be a bit more regularly.
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Old 24.01.2020, 16:05
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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doesn't the NIV thing take care of that once in a while?
Only partially imho. And that is often also a huge interval.

I've never seen them for example test the earth connection on a lamp and the wire that runs away from it.
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Old 24.01.2020, 16:24
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Re: Clueless on light installation

There you go. 1843.94 CHF at Galaxus.



At our old place- a new build. One of the sockets was missing an earth.
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Old 24.01.2020, 16:46
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Not very complicated. Just observe the colour codes for the wires. If you have a fair idea how electrickery works (and about your own safety) combined with common sense, it should be fine.
This bit, because it is actually possible to wire a light so that it goes off, but remains live.... probably why they required a qualified electrician to do this kind of thing.
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Old 24.01.2020, 21:11
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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Any pitfalls to watch out for?
EF standard response. "danger of death".
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Old 24.01.2020, 21:26
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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EF standard response. "danger of death".
or

a visit from the rules police and a mark on one's permanent record

or

threat of crippling litigation...
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Old 24.01.2020, 21:36
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Re: Clueless on light installation

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This bit, because it is actually possible to wire a light so that it goes off, but remains live.... probably why they required a qualified electrician to do this kind of thing.
It's actually very easy rather than just possible, the no of times I have seen Phase & Neutral reversed in an 1980's built studio in ZH might surprise you. Sound men usually cut the earth connection..........
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