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Discuss Problem...too much electricity! in the DIY Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. davhill
    Offline

    davhill EF Member

    Location:
    Kendal
    Here's a weird one that's suitable for losing my forum virginity...

    The villain of the piece is my stair head light, which went out one evening. No drama, no breaker tripping, just darkness. So, I whipped out the existing energy saver and changed it. Nothing. So, I tried another one, and an incandescent. Result, seven times the square root of foxtrot alpha.

    Next day, I returned with an LED neon thingy from GnomeBase.

    The light can be switched from both levels so I took out the top (single) switch to reveal...lots of red wire, and there were lives to detect in there.

    'Check the bulb holder' I thought. Here's where it gets strange. Both pins inside tested as live!

    The holder and ceiling rose were aged so I just changed it. No evident damage to the wires coming from the loft and no evidence of crosstalk between live and neutral. All changing the rise has done is make the tester light brighter.

    So I'm stumped. Nothing else has been fiddled with so something has failed all by its little self. The bottom line is therefore simple...er, Help,

    Cheers, David
     
  2. Vortigern
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    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    Any chance of a picture or two?
     
  3. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    i'd suspect a fault on the neutral. and chuck that neon driver in the bin if it's the type you have to put a finger on the end. then i'd advise getting an electrician in. with the relevant experience and test gear, should be sorted for the sake of a call-out charge. compare that with the cost of getting even a mild shock and falling down the stairs, breaking bones etc. :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  4. LankyWill
    Offline

    LankyWill Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northants
    Possible faulty switch or either a loose connection somewhere, best get a spark in to sort it. I would advise throwing the neon screwdriver in the bin and stop sticking it in places you don't really understand. Not being an arse just hate for you to look a numpty in a pile at the bottom of the stairs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. davhill
    Offline

    davhill EF Member

    Location:
    Kendal
    Thank you, gents.

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, scraped off the film. I once found the only quick way down the spiral staircase and have had many shocks.

    You can accept that advice has been taken 100% on board.

    Vortigern want pictures. Of what, I wonder?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    your girlfriend/wife in her underwear of course. :mad:
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. anthonybragg
    Offline

    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    What type of lamp holder is it ?as above if post some pictures it would be more helpful
     
  8. davhill
    Offline

    davhill EF Member

    Location:
    Kendal
    It's a bog standard pendant fitting...

    [​IMG]

    Here's where it gets weirder still...

    [​IMG]

    This is the dimmer switch in the bedroom, just off the stair head.
    The LED thingy is busy telling me that the securing screws are
    allegedly live. The same goes for the single switch at the top of the stairs.
    Given I opened that one yesterday without receiving a shock, the
    probe thing is clearly telling porkies. It'll be binned next.

    ELEX1.jpg

    ELEX2.jpg
     
  9. Rpa07
    Offline

    Rpa07 3000 posts - only 50554 behind Telectrix! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bristol
    Business Name:
    Ebenezer electrical
    Look what you've done now! There's a neon screwdriver in that 2nd photo - I NEED TO WASH!
    No offence @davhill@davhill - you didn't know!
     
  10. Des 56
    Offline

    Des 56 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
    That screwdriver likely won't help finding your problem
    From your description it would appear you have lost the neutral return,have you changed any other lights recently?
    That decorative switch is metal,is your lighting earthed?
     
    • Creative Creative x 1
  11. davhill
    Offline

    davhill EF Member

    Location:
    Kendal
    It's actually an LED one, a whole quid from Gnomebase. It claims to do everything but make the the tea - it has batteries and everything. Perhaps I should've got the neon one instead - know where I am with one of those.
     
  12. anthonybragg
    Offline

    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    I think that if you can't find anything obvious eg broken cable you need to call a electrician.
     
  13. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    Those neon screwdrivers can be very misleading as they can detect as low as 12v. It is entirely possible to get up to 15v on earth and maybe that is the case. You can only really tell the voltage with a proper v. measurement instrument. As has been advised, throw, you know how to throw don't you @davhill@davhill ? (paraphrasing Bogart film) Pictures, well maybe not- I was thinking of the wiring NOT i repeat NOT what @telectrix@telectrix suggested (wife is watching gotta say something, although...ah nvm). As stated by @telectrix@telectrix very likely a neutral problem, which translates as a wire has come adrift somewhere. Maybe you should get a spark to track it down. Always a chance when looking for loose connections of sparks and bangs if you don't approach it right.
     
  14. ackbarthestar
    Offline

    ackbarthestar Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    A Zoo near YOU
    don't you mean: 'your wife's girlfriend' ?
    Most likely a floating neutral voltage.......
     
  15. telectrix
    Offline

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    get up to speed. it's gender neutral voltage these days according to the politically inept brigade.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
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