Monthly ‘How to’ from Checkatrade.com and A Passion for Homes
Our very popular monthly ‘How to’ blog from a Checkatrade.com expert continues with November’s topic: How to change a single cable light fitting – by Andrew Penty, Electrician.
‘Changing a light fitting can be a quick and cost effective way to give any room of the house a modern update. Of course, when dealing with electrical appliances safety is paramount, but provided the correct procedures are followed and necessary caution is exerted, replacing light fittings can be a relatively simple task. However, if you have even the smallest uncertainty, consult a trained electrician before embarking on the task yourself!!
When carried out correctly, this job should only take around half an hour. Ensure that you have the necessary equipment at the ready before undertaking the job.
This will include:
• Wire cutters
• Electrical screwdrivers
• Cable sleeving
• New light fitting
Before you begin this task, isolate the electrical circuit at the consumer unit or fuse box, and turn it off at the mains. Just turning off the light at the switch will not isolate the electricity and will put you at risk.
Now follow out simple step-by-step guide…
1. Remove your existing light fitting
Unscrew the light rose of your existing light fitting. This is the part attached to the ceiling – if the ceiling plate has been painted over, tap sharply with a screw driver to crack the paint and allow the part to move. Once loosened, the top part should be removed to reveal its wiring.If you find that you have a three plate ceiling rose or light fitting, where the internal wires are divided, do not attempt to change the fitting yourself but instead seek professional advice.
2. Disconnect the old light fitting
Remove the wires from the existing base and light fitting by gently loosening the connectors and retracting the wires. You may find that some connectors need to be unscrewed to loosen.
The wires should be:
Green/yellow for EARTH
Brown for LIVE
Blue for NEUTRAL
Some older houses may have black wires representing NEUTRAL and red for LIVE.
3. Attach the new mounting bracket
Using a screwdriver, securely fasten the new light fitting’s mounting bracket to the ceiling. Ensure that the fitting is firmly in place before attempting the next steps.
4. Connect the replacement light fitting
SAFETY NOTE: If you don’t have an EARTH wire at the ceiling connection point, you must not fit a metallic light fitting.
Assess the state of the ends of each wire – if the copper is damaged then trim the ends using the wire cutters. Remove a small section of the cable sleeving to expose a fresh length of copper wire. The new light fitting should come with instructions as to where each wire should be connected. Begin with the EARTH wire, positioning it beneath the ‘E’ labelled connector (in some cases the EARTH wire may be denoted with a symbol rather than the letter). Continue in their manner until all wires are connected, and then fasten the connectors to guarantee that no wires move out of position.
5. Position light fitting in the bracket
Once you are satisfied that all wires are safely connected, simply push the light fitting up into the ceiling bracket and screw it into place.
6. Install a light bulb
Be careful to follow manufacturer’s guidelines when fitting the light bulb for your new fixture. Never exceed the manufacturer’s recommended wattage.
7. Turn the power supply back on
Turn the electricity back on from the mains supply and test your new light fitting.
Checkatrade helps combat the UK’s rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local tradespeople such as builders, plumbers and electricians as well as service providers.
Since then, Checkatrade has grown to employ 110 staff with a turnover in excess of £7.5m. It includes over 11,800 genuine trade members, growing by an average of 300 new members every month. Over the past 12 months, Checkatrade-certified tradesmen carried out a combined total of £1.4b worth of work, with complaints at just one in 215, compared to the national average of one in four.
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