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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:50 pm 
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I am looking for a bit of advice.

I want to put some chrome faceplates (light switches and power) and chrome light fittings around my flat to make it look a bit nicer. The problem I have is when I look at the wiring of the current sockets and light fittings there aren't any earth wires. I've been told that this is because metal conduit in which the wiring runs through is used as the earth. I have 2 questions:

1. Can I run an earth wire from the chrome switch/socket to the back box (behind the switch/socket) that I can see is connected to the metal conduit?

2. There is no back box behind the light fittings so can I clamp an earth wire round the metal conduit and run the wire to the chrome fitting?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:14 pm 
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1. yes no problem

2. yes but im supprised there is no box either, please verify the conduit is effectivly earthed.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Thanks for the advice.

I will need to check there isn't a backbox at the end of each light fitting as the one I did check all I could see was the metal conduit with the 2 wires coming out of it and through the ceiling.

With regards connection of the earth wire to the backbox is there a special clamp I should use or will a screw and cable clamp through it be okay?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Conduit was in the past used both to protect the wires and to connect to earth but not all was connected to earth some only gave mechanical protection.

We would normally use an earth loop impedance meter to verify if the earth existed. There is a problem with DIY as these meters are not cheap.

Some of the more expensive socket testers like this one Image do have a basic earth loop test but still cost £44.16 + VAT so are not cheap and you would still need to make some form of adaptor to use them with lights.

So I would think it will likely be cheaper and safer to get an electrician to do this work for you. I think the biggest challenge for any DIY guy is to work out when it's just not worth doing the work as DIY and biting the bullet and paying out for a professional. I would think here because of the cost of test gear it is a job you should back heal.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:49 am 
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Using unearthed metalic cable containment is only applicable with double insulated conductors, any conduit or trunking containing single insulated cables has to be earthed and compliant for use to clear faults of the largest circuit install within.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:24 am 
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When I first purchased my current house, it was all done in VIR and conduit to provide earths. It was a bit hit and miss to be fair - I knocked myself a long wander lead up that I could connect to the MET and at least carried out a simple resistance check at the points of concern.

It worked, but was all ripped out anyway.........a large portion of it had been on fire at some point. :lol:

BG

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Years ago when I assisted in wiring the infamous 'Tricorn Nightclub' in Portsmouth we ran everything in screwed conduit then put a grub screw through every join to make good earth continuity.

PITA! :roll:

John

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