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Discuss Whats your method for holes in ceilings in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    Been fitting some new lights today in a Georgian townhouse that has been converted to apartments. Finding the unexpected in these old buildings around Bath is nothing new.
    Took the old light down and the hole in ceiling is 4 inches across at its widest part, good point was I could get my arm up in to ceiling and reach the junction box feeding the one cable that comes down to the light fitting to replace it properly. The old junction box was so old it was brittle, just attempting to unscrew the cover caused the thing to split and crack - out come the wagos!, was made by a company called Clang of England. Think it might have been from original post war electrical installation! the cables feeding it from CU were old colours but tested out okay, the flex feeding the light fitting was flex.
    The light was fixed to a crumbling piece of old wood that had been put up in ceiling with the metal bracket for the light screwed to it, the light freely rotated as the wood wasnt itself fixed to anything! I am sure it was the paint and plaster holding the light up! Just touching the light when taking it down it freely slid around an inch or so in each direction.
    The owner says the light has been there since she moved in during early 1990s.
    I have now put a piece of wood back up there and screwed it twice each end to spread out the weight and hold firm, the ceiling and plaster is a bit thin and crumbling in parts. I have a little bit of gap filling to do on Monday when I replace the extractor fan.
    Whats your preferred method when the hole is too big for the light holding bracket? Do you also use the piece of wood method? or something else? I was tempted to move the light 6 inches to the left to start from fresh and cut out a piece of plaster from some board and put a disc up to fill the old hole.
     
  2. Pete999
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    Pete999 Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Northampton
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    None
    Thought Clang was a Captain of a Klingon Bird of Prey from Star Trek
     
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  3. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    It might even have been one of your pieces of work from years gone by @Pete999@Pete999 - its on Great Pulteney Street in Bath!
     
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  4. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Staff Member Moderator

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    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Clang used to produce all sorts of adaptors and plugs, before my time. I always laugh when people say wires are old colours but tested out okay, why wouldn't they, they haven't suddenly decided to self destruct because we now use these fancy Euro colours.
     
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  5. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    fair point, its a colloquial way of speaking, suggesting the wiring is very old and could reasonably be expected to have degraded given its age.
    As to the age, the earth or cpc in modern parlais was solid green and not green/yellow sleeved. If im not mistaken that would make it circa 1970's?? at least its got a green sleeve and not bare...
    In the ceiling void you can still see some old lead sheathed cables clipped to joists.. that is definitely old, but doesn't appear to be in use thankfully. there is also old rubber coated cables going through the cavity leading to consumer unit that have been left in place. its a complete rabbit warren.
     
  6. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Staff Member Moderator

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
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    Places of that age are fascinating as sometimes you can see the layers of previous wiring systems.
     
  7. buzzlightyear
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    buzzlightyear still kicking sand, before pushing up daisies . Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    star command
    the only way is to put a piece of timber in on top of the old timber and lathes .the only screws I use are plaster board screws in which will not split the laths.
     
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  8. PEG
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    PEG Respected Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Hi,you haven't said if the ceiling is lath and plaster? If so,try not to remove any lats,and you may make good with some thin plasterboard and drywall adhesive.

    Over the years,i have provided potential suicide victims,with substantial hanging anchors,by always fitting a piece of 4x2 or 6x2 across rafters,with a 20mm hole,to ensure no carry-on,regarding light fitting.

    Pick them up on any build,probably ready sized,if stud noggins are used,stick em in your van,and they will be ready for such an occasion,or even if your handbrake fails...;)
     
  9. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Adam W
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    Adam W Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Bournemouth
    Unless you're going to start taking the old ceiling down (messy) you're looking at putting a fresh bit of wood through the existing hole, maybe screwing it down from underneath, then patching over the hole around the cable with a bit of plasterboard, some scrim tape and patching plaster.

    I'm guessing if you shine a torch through the hole you'll be able to see the underside of the floorboards of the flat above, which will also be the way the noise of their telly will travel. In addition to that there will be some give in the wooden structure of the floor, which certain residents will delight in utilising as they imagine themselves as giants stomping around and making the 'earth' move, every footstep of which will be heard by the people who bought the flat downstairs thinking it had 'oldy worldy character', together with the creaking of the floorboards from where the 'property developer' who 'did up' the upstairs flat didn't think to screw the floorboards down.
     
  11. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Somerset
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services Ltd
    Its a georgian building the flat im working in is top floor. Above it is a very small loft space you could just about craw in -if you were a victorian chimney boy. The ceiling is a mix of lathe and plaster that was then in parts boarded over. The ceiling around this hole from existing light has crumbled and cracked. Hence the issues. I put a piece of wood up there. Its nearly a foot long!! Then 2 screws either end to hold firm. Into this went new light fitting bracket with some long screws. I did use flame retardant expanding foam and a piece of plasterboard i cut from an offcut in the hole. The foam went around the circle. I just got to go back and touch up with filler when i change the extractor over.
    I made a nice 1cm hole for the new cable to go through.
    Had this not worked id have moved the light 6 inches along and simply filled the hole.
     
  12. SWD
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    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    In my house I found a length of lead sheathed cable connected to some T+E lol
     
  13. SWD
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    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    Wood lathe ceilings, takes me back to the days of helping my Uncle out who was an original Polish builder, repairing sagging ceilings, a couple of acrow's some would plaster and gauze netting. Jobs a goodun.
     
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