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Thread: Electrics - Undoing tenant wiring change.....

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Electrics - Undoing tenant wiring change.....

    Hi,

    The previous tenant in my house rewired the kitchen lights for some reason. I'm trying to figure out how to put it back to how it should work. Hopefully someone out there can help - but if not, I've an electrician booked for next week to do some other work. I'm pretty ok with DIY and am always wary of the electrics.

    The kitchen has a double switch on the wall. One used to turn on the ceiling lights, the other controlled the lights under the cabinets. Currently, one switch does both. Complicating this, the garage light no longer works either - I'm pretty sure the circuit has been messed up by this re-wire as no other changes appear to have been made.

    My sister in law has the same model house, but without the attached garage and her kitchen switch has fewer wires.

    I've taken pictures of both houses wiring - the one with more wires is mine - from googling, the wires with sleeves on should indicate the switching cable.

    https://postimg.cc/d7XksVnB

    I'm thinking the wiring should be:

    top: all wires without sleeves, and a connecting wire between both top terminals (like the working lights picture), then the sleeved wires go to the bottom terminals (one per switch).

    Any advice / top tips - happy to stay well clear!

    Thanks in advance....

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Left is mine, right is working.

    On mine, the sleeved wires both enter the same switch terminal at the top, while on my SILs, they go into separate terminals on the bottom of the switch.


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  3. #3
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    For a rental property, wouldn't you want it tested and certificated by an electrician?

  4. #4
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Let the sparky do the work and get it signed off, gas, electricity and water not worth taking any risks.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  5. #5
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    More info: the garage has two light switches that control one light bulb.




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  6. #6
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poloman View Post
    Hi,

    The previous tenant in my house rewired the kitchen lights for some reason. I'm trying to figure out how to put it back to how it should work. Hopefully someone out there can help - but if not, I've an electrician booked for next week to do some other work. I'm pretty ok with DIY and am always wary of the electrics.
    Are you the landlord or a new tenant?

    1) If you are the landlord why create legal liability by doing it yourself rather than getting a pro to do it and sign off on it?

    2) If you are the tenant, report to landlord and get them to sort it.
    Last edited by Alansmithee; 10th January 2020 at 14:05.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    It was a rental - Iíve now moved back in. The tenant did the wiring changes without telling anyone and didnít disclose it on check out.

    I completely agree with getting the sparky to check it out - Iím just hoping to get it safe for the week till he arrives.


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  8. #8
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Canít quite see but if the one switch now switches both on then theyíve most likely moved the switched live from both circuits and put it into the one switch.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by poloman View Post
    Left is mine, right is working.

    On mine, the sleeved wires both enter the same switch terminal at the top, while on my SILs, they go into separate terminals on the bottom of the switch.
    You seem to have five brown cables & she has three so that's a bit of an issue.

    First you need to identify the incoming live from the three browns at the bottom & connect it to one of the two top terminals & add a strap to the other - the short brown wire on the working example. Disconnect the single brown at the bottom & if the lights stop working that was the incoming live (obviously turn the breaker off & tape up the loose cable before turning it back on). If the lights still work then the two wires in the same terminal are the loop in & loop out live supply & need to go to the top terminal & strap.

    As you say the sleeved cables (the switched lives to the ceiling & cabinet lights) should be at the bottom, one on each switch. It doesn't make much difference which of the two bottom terminals you use, it just means the light is on when the switch is up or down.

    Then you have to sort out the remaining feed to the garage: it will either be a single cable (if the two were the live supply) or the two cables (if the single was the live supply). Either way try connecting them to the same terminal as the strap (the end with only cable in it or you'll be trying to get four cables in one terminal). Hopefully this should send power to the garage lights.

    Be careful, always turn off the breaker & check all wires are dead before you touch them - don't rely on just the breaker.

  10. #10
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Just wait for your spark to turn up.

  11. #11
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Electrics by forum consensus?!!

    Nah, get the sparky to do it.
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Electrics by forum consensus?!!

    Nah, get the sparky to do it.
    It's not a difficult problem to sort out. As long as you take basic precautions it's a nice novice level issue.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pointy View Post
    It's not a difficult problem to sort out. As long as you take basic precautions it's a nice novice level issue.
    along with those how to strip and rebuild your brakes articles (even though you've no idea or skills) I see in some bike magazines.

  14. #14
    Master
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    The 3 brown wires at the bottom is one of those just a loop similar to your sisters switch?

  15. #15
    Master
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    If youíve got a spark coming next week anyway I wouldnít worry about it just get him to sort it, Iím fairly certain theyíve just commoned everything into one switch instead of having 2 and by doing that probably lost the feed out the garage lighting cct. Easy enough to fix but much easier to just do it rather than explaining it if that makes sense

  16. #16
    Master W124's Avatar
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    You need a decent multimeter, some brown sheath to tag any wires which are switched live, and a good understanding of basic wiring theory.

    Unless you are confident, best leave it for the electrician.

    The bunch of neutral wires would suggest that the wiring is looped in at the switch.

    One of the brown wires will be the feed out to the next light in the series, and this is the one which has been incorrectly positioned by your tenant.


    The garage is wired in the same way as a landing two-way change-over.
    You use 3 core / earth to connect l1-l1, l2-l2 and c-c.

    It's a task that appears complex, but when you sketch it on paper, it becomes obvious.

    However, each wire can be live, depending on switch positions, so you really do need some experience and the brown sleeve to meet the regs and stay safe.
    Last edited by W124; 11th January 2020 at 21:38.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Thanks for all the advice - I've been moving stuff in over the weekend and getting new carpet fitted so its all a bit hectic.

    I'll probably hold off on doing any of it, but its intrigued me so I'll ask the sparky how it works on Thursday.

    (although tempted to stick some identifiers on the wired then see if i can decode them!)

    I'll let you know which approach wins!

    Thanks again all.

  18. #18
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    Well that went south quickly. Mother in law put some nappies under the under cabinet lights and then thought her cooking smelt funny.

    Our old house had led under cabinet lights, which we rarely used. As the wiring means both sets now come on, and that they use hot bulbs, we ended up with this.....





    Weíre all out and about today but roll on Thursday! (Electrician visit) (and will replace the under cabinet lights with Leds too)






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  19. #19
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    Electrics - Undoing tenant wiring change.....

    The second pic is the glass from the under cabinet light fitting firmly melted into the pack of nappies.

    Have also fitted smoke alarms in all rooms just to be sure!


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