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  #21  
Old 26.03.2010, 21:09
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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I usually start drilling with a 2mm bit. When the hole is deep enough switch to the appropriate diameter. Make sure you're using Tungsten Carbide or similar. A water sprayer is useful for lubrication, and to keep the bit cool. But keep the water off anything other than the tip of the bit!

( If you need to, you're welcome to borrow my drill and bits ).
He wanted a light fitting not deep core excavation..... you forgot to mention scafolding & PPE
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Old 26.03.2010, 21:13
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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Thanks, gave me a good chuckle on a Friday - probably because it's just the kind of thing I would do. Last time I tried to show something who was boss, I ended up with an expensive repair bill on my hands.
And make sure you know which way the cables are running in the ceiling before you start drilling as you wouldn't want to drill into them and have to put new cables in.
You probably need a percussion drill (not just hammer) as you can just spend ages drilling away to know avail.
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  #23  
Old 26.03.2010, 21:29
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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I usually start drilling with a 2mm bit. When the hole is deep enough switch to the appropriate diameter. Make sure you're using Tungsten Carbide or similar. A water sprayer is useful for lubrication, and to keep the bit cool. But keep the water off anything other than the tip of the bit!

( If you need to, you're welcome to borrow my drill and bits ).
I usually use a high quality No. 6 bit and my BIG two hand Bosch hammer drill. I find if I start with a 2mm bit it just falls apart.
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Old 27.03.2010, 00:32
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

No, it's nothing as simple as deep core excavation - we're talking about drilling into Swiss concrete, far more difficult. However, nothing I've said is out of the ordinary, so I don't really understand the quip. You need a light touch. But if you spray the bit with water, or as I did, dip it under a running tap, you'll find that a 2mm bit will withstand the rigour. Bits get more brittle the hotter they get. Tungsten carbide bits also go under the name of "Beton" (=concrete) or masonry bits. Using a small bit to drill a pilot hole, then widening it is fairly normal.
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Old 27.03.2010, 00:44
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Interestingly (!) since having the ceiling light fitted Ive just discovered one of the (triple) sockets in the room has stopped working.

I'll have a look tomorrow when it's light
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  #26  
Old 27.03.2010, 00:51
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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Interestingly (!) since having the ceiling light fitted Ive just discovered one of the (triple) sockets in the room has stopped working.

I'll have a look tomorrow when it's light
It would be helpful if you could post how many wires you have and what colour they are, I might be ale to tell you then how to wire it up properly.
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Old 27.03.2010, 00:56
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

I notice you live in Basel, which helps explain why your ceiling is so sturdy. Basel is prone to earthquakes (admittedly, not many and not often violently destructive) and the local building code requires a degree of earthquake-proofness (proofosity?).

This doesn't really help you with your hole-drilling issues (and as others have noted, the key there is to use the best bits money can buy), but it may make you feel better about the 4 storeys of concrete above your head next time you see buildings swaying around you.
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  #28  
Old 27.03.2010, 01:05
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Papa Goose came earlier today with a decent drill bit and a basic cordless drill and got through without too much difficulty. I only have one drill bit (evilshell gave me the drill when I bought the lights off her) which is probably one for cardboard or something ;)

Once I take the lights back down (which, by the way, work perfectly) tomorrow I'll describe the wiring. It's odd, because when "Papa" checked the wiring the one which looked like an earth wire was actually live. It's more odd as before he came the wires were just dangling from the ceiling I think; although I now wonder if that "earth" was connected to anything.

I'll check tomorrow. In the UK the lights and sockets are on different ring mains. Not here. I know if I flick one of the circuit breakers (marked "lights") then the bedroom light goes off ... and so do the bedroom sockets. Crazy wiring.
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  #29  
Old 27.03.2010, 01:10
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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No, it's nothing as simple as deep core excavation - we're talking about drilling into Swiss concrete, far more difficult. However, nothing I've said is out of the ordinary, so I don't really understand the quip. You need a light touch. But if you spray the bit with water, or as I did, dip it under a running tap, you'll find that a 2mm bit will withstand the rigour. Bits get more brittle the hotter they get. Tungsten carbide bits also go under the name of "Beton" (=concrete) or masonry bits. Using a small bit to drill a pilot hole, then widening it is fairly normal.
What pray tell makes Swiss concrete any different to any other concrete? For a 4mm hole 25mm deep there is simply no need for pilot holes or water cooling. The Bosch bits I mentioned are for stone/concrete/brick and require no additional cooling. Some people just seem to like making things harder than they need to be The more you drill, especially with a hammer drill the more chance you have of making the plaster boss, best to have the right kit and drill one hole.

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Interestingly (!) since having the ceiling light fitted Ive just discovered one of the (triple) sockets in the room has stopped working. I'll have a look tomorrow when it's light
Have you checked the breakers in the fuse box in case one has popped. The other wire that was live I put a connector on for safety as that would appear to be the live feed for another light, so it shouldn't make any difference to your sockets, but never say never. When you get back tomorrow give me a call
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Last edited by Papa Goose; 27.03.2010 at 02:35.
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  #30  
Old 27.03.2010, 01:18
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Yep, checked the circuit breakers and even flipped them all (again). I'm putting my money on there being something weird going on with the wiring in/behind the ceiling light. I'll update once I've checked. I know you all can't wait
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Old 27.03.2010, 01:56
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Well it's more interesting than self raising flour & permits
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  #32  
Old 27.03.2010, 04:09
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Are you on good terms with your upstairs neighbours?
In any case, make sure you use short drill bits...
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Old 27.03.2010, 08:44
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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What pray tell makes Swiss concrete any different to any other concrete? ...
That was not serious statement... rather a wry comment on the effort required to drill holes in Swiss walls.

It's no fun when you have to explain everything.
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Old 27.03.2010, 11:10
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Just a quick update as I know you're all dying to know whether I've electrocuted myself or not ... I took the ceiling light off and connected the "spare" live to the live which is connected to the light and ... socket now works.

I assume this means the light switch switches the neutral and not the live? Anyway, the next test is to put the lights back and make sure they still work. But it's too nice a day so I'll do that later! Slowly slowly catchy monkey.
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Old 27.03.2010, 11:18
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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Yep, checked the circuit breakers and even flipped them all (again). I'm putting my money on there being something weird going on with the wiring in/behind the ceiling light. I'll update once I've checked. I know you all can't wait
Yep swiss wiring is a mystery to me (I used to install housing electricity in the UK)

In my last flat everything, and I mean everything was wired on to one circuit breaker!!!!

The live wire which was hanging free will need to be connected with the other live wires, as it's probably this which has stopped the power to the socket, I f I was in Basel I'd come over and test everything and get it working for you.
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  #36  
Old 27.03.2010, 11:22
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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Just a quick update as I know you're all dying to know whether I've electrocuted myself or not ... I took the ceiling light off and connected the "spare" live to the live which is connected to the light and ... socket now works.

I assume this means the light switch switches the neutral and not the live? Anyway, the next test is to put the lights back and make sure they still work. But it's too nice a day so I'll do that later! Slowly slowly catchy monkey.
Ahhh I posted too late
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  #37  
Old 27.03.2010, 11:23
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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I've recently moved into my new place and there's just a couple of wires hanging out of the ceiling where, in the UK, I'd expect a light to be. No problem, I thought, drill a couple of holes, smash in some rawlplugs and screw in the lights I've just bought from "evilshell" on here.

Hmm. The ceiling seems to be about 2cm of plasterboard, or something equally flakey, then something very solid that the drill cowers in fear of.

Is this normal? Are the ceilings here reinforced concrete or something generally? What next?
Yes. You need a hammer drill.

Very loud but very effective.

Brian.
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  #38  
Old 27.03.2010, 11:33
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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...I assume this means the light switch switches the neutral and not the live?...
I replaced the bathroom cabinet with light on Monday - the light being connected to a switch outside the bathroom. It was the live that went through switch. I've just done a little digging and this is the correct way.

If the neutral goes through the switch, as in your case, then you can get shocked by the light socket, even if the switch is off.
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  #39  
Old 27.03.2010, 11:48
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

Actually you can't have the lights switching on the neutral, it's not possible, what is more probable is that the electrician mixed his wires up, a switch has to work on live it can't work on neutral.

What probably happened is that when the lights were taken away the constants (the cables that always have to be live, these would normally be yellow in the Uk) were still connected or touching providing electricity to your socket and when you connected the light the circuit got broken, which is extremely easy to do as swiss electricians tend to wire in which ever way pleases them!!!
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Old 27.03.2010, 11:51
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Re: Drilling into the ceiling to fix lights

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Actually you can't have the lights switching on the neutral, it's not possible, what is more probable is that the electrician mixed his wires up, a switch has to work on live it can't work on neutral.

What probably happened is that when the lights were taken away the constants (the cables that always have to be live, these would normally be yellow in the Uk) were still connected or touching providing electricity to your socket and when you connected the light the circuit got broken, which is extremely easy to do as swiss electricians tend to wire in which ever way pleases them!!!
Im sure thats the case in my bathroom. You look up and see all sorts of cables and nothing is clear. Not nice when you want to read a book in a hot bath and candles are not enough!
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