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Wiring a light fitting

(15 Posts)
dashoflime Sun 16-Feb-14 18:26:57


I need to wire in a new light fitting (want to replace strip light with bulb) and replace some cracked electrical socket housings.

Is this a job I can do safely by myself with the help of a youtube tutorial or would you get a professional in?


specialsubject Sun 16-Feb-14 19:07:20

if you need a youtube tutorial, i.e. you know absolutely nothing about electric fittings, you are not competent, sorry.

I do know, but I don't do it because I'm a bit cackhanded with the wire strippers and pliers.

also - why are sockets cracked? Just an accidental impact or is something else wrong?

wonkylegs Sun 16-Feb-14 20:34:00

If you have any doubts get an electrician in. Electricity is not to be messed with.

Catsmamma Sun 16-Feb-14 20:40:34

It's essentially no different from wiring a plug.... but make sure you know your colours

house wiring can be different colours (red/black/naked wire) to plugs (blue/brown/green&yellow) Obviously make sure you know which ones to match up.

I'd certainly do it and have done in the past. But do make sure you know the mains power is definitely you need to know where your fuse box is and how to disable certain (or all) ciircuits.

And although you don't mention switches you may need to pay extra attention to any dual switches, they need to be wired in set ways in order for the light to operate correctly from either switch.

SarahBeenysBumblingApprentice Sun 16-Feb-14 20:50:12

Just don't.

I was going to do this with help from the Readers Digest DIY book and my Dad (engineer) had a lot to say about it and taught me how to do it correctly. You shouldn't just rely on switching off the circuit, you should use a circuit tester for starters.

The electrics in our house have clearly been messed with by someone who didn't know what they were doing - metal boxes not earthed, long lengths of core exposed… would you know enough not to do any of this?

You could always get a handy mate to show you what to do.

HanSolo Sun 16-Feb-14 20:57:59

Be aware- if you sell the house (or let it out) you will need to provide certification to show the work was carried out by a qualified electrician. If you don't have this, you have to get a certified electrician to provide a certificate saying the electrics are ok, safety-wise. Think this is about £200ish.
The law changed a couple of years ago on this- it's not okay to do electrics now unless your registered (I think it NiC for electricians, maybe under corgi too).

specialsubject Sun 16-Feb-14 21:45:47

I don't think that is entirely true, HanSolo. There's no requirement for any of those certificates in England/Wales for sale or letting. Buyers may want them (at their cost) and tenants can ask for them if they like. Good practice for landlords to get checks done every few years, but unlike gas, not mandatory.

regulations called 'part P' define what can be done by amateurs and what must be done by professionals. Unqualified people can do some things perfectly legally, including what the OP plans.

fortunately the nanny state isn't quite that bad yet. My partner is competent (but not Competent), which also means knowing what he can and can't do, and how to be safe doing it.

peggyundercrackers Sun 16-Feb-14 21:50:13

Agree with special subject, you don't need a certificate to say you have changed some sockets/light switches because the old ones are cracked. I do agree with others though that it's not difficult but if your unsure get someone who knows to help you.

HanSolo Sun 16-Feb-14 22:02:26

We've just bought a house. Our solicitor was insistent the vendors supply this certification before we purchased, at the vendors' expense.

CointreauVersial Mon 17-Feb-14 08:34:49

Hansolo - certain minor electrical work is exempt and can be done without certification, and that includes changing light fittings and socket covers.

That said, only proceed if you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. I changed a light fitting once, but when I took the old one off it matched exactly the picture in my DIY book, and I was able to cable like-for-like. If there had been any uncertainty I would have booked an electrician.

InsertUsernameHere Mon 17-Feb-14 10:45:14

I'd agree with contreau. I would tackle a light fitting (and have done in the past) but in daylight and with someone else in the house. When you unscrew the casing (and before you touch the wires) check it looks exactly how you were expecting! If not replace casing and call electrician or other competent person. I probably wouldn't tackle a socket though. If you do book an electrician bundle a couple of things together to get value for money.

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 11:09:17

never does any harm to have things checked - but HanSolo, if your solicitor said it was a legal requirement, they were lying.

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 11:09:56

oh, and Corgi has gone - it is now Gas Safe.

the part P thing came in 2005.

dashoflime Mon 17-Feb-14 11:51:54

Right that's a pretty resounding "no" then.
Thanks for your help guys, am booking a electrician

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 12:08:40


just thinking of the light fittings we found - scorched bits, switched live connections going to random places, etc...

it can be very simple or it can be complex - and the penalty for getting it wrong is rather severe!!

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