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1392 posts

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# 252917 17-Jul-2019 08:43
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We have a broken light fitting in the bathroom in our sleepout (the plastic around the socket has perished), and we have guests coming to stay this weekend.  I imagine it's a pretty simple job - turn off the mains power, unscrew the fitting from the wall, disconnect the wires from the broken fitting, connect wires to the new fitting, mount it on the wall.  Looking at the Worksafe website it looks like I don't need an electrician to do the job, but when looking at some possible fittings on the Bunnings website, they say I need a licensed electrician to install it.

 

 

 

Is my estimation of the work right, or is there more to it?  Do I actually need to get an electrician in to replace this kind of light fitting?


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1439 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2278105 17-Jul-2019 08:58
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If you're the home owner, and you're replacing like with like, you don't need a sparkie.

 

You shouldn't need to turn off the main, as long as you turn off the wall switch to the light. Then, like you say, its just a couple of wires.

 

I've replaced most of the light fittings in my home (incandescent downlights to LEDs), and a few switch plates as well.




1392 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2278107 17-Jul-2019 08:59
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Thanks.  That's what I figured.


 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek


  # 2278110 17-Jul-2019 09:01
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Bunnings will be running the Australian line. The is no homeowner exemption there. You will come unstuck if the new fitting has an earthing terminal but your old wiring doesn't have an earth wire. To replace the existing fitting you may need a double insulated fitting. Check this before buying the replacement.

Edit It is bad practice to rely on turning off at switch. There may be live wiring still at fitting, the wall switch isn't real isolation and who knows someone could walk into the room and instinctively switch the light on.

Fat bottom Trump
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  # 2278120 17-Jul-2019 09:12
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Bung: 

Edit It is bad practice to rely on turning off at switch. There may be live wiring still at fitting, the wall switch isn't real isolation and who knows someone could walk into the room and instinctively switch the light on.

 

You don't have to turn off all the power to the house, just the circuit that light is on.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


577 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2278126 17-Jul-2019 09:27
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BlueShift:

 

You shouldn't need to turn off the main, as long as you turn off the wall switch to the light.

 

 

 

 

Even with the switch off some light fittings still have live power so that's very bad practice. Should always just turn off the light circuit breakers and prove-test-prove

 

 

 

Source: Years ago, I was replacing a light fitting, only turned off switch and got a nice shock




1392 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2278147 17-Jul-2019 09:39
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Thanks for these replies.  As far as "prove-test-prove" goes, do I need to get a multimeter to check for a live wire?

 

 

 

The current fitting was probably installed when the sleepout was built, back in the early 90s.  Would that likely have an earth wire?


832 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2278148 17-Jul-2019 09:45
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Lizard1977:

 

Thanks for these replies.  As far as "prove-test-prove" goes, do I need to get a multimeter to check for a live wire?

 

 

Get a non-contact AC power detector. Literally $2 if you buy one from China. As with the expensive ones, always test on a live circuit first. They're good enough for the job, but are often too sensitive (according to an electrician I spoke to a few weeks ago), which isn't a bad thing if you're a DIY person.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2278150 17-Jul-2019 09:51
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Be aware there once was a common practice to wire inbound ph/n to the light batten directly, the phase was terminated on a spare terminal not connected to the actual lamp, then a two wire switch circuit was added from the inbound phase to the batten down via the switch and back to the lamp phase terminal. If this is the case, there will be live phase to the batten even if you turn the room switch off.

 

Cyril


177 posts

Master Geek


  # 2278153 17-Jul-2019 09:55
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cyril7:

 

Be aware there once was a common practice to wire inbound ph/n to the light batten directly, the phase was terminated on a spare terminal not connected to the actual lamp, then a two wire switch circuit was added from the inbound phase to the batten down via the switch and back to the lamp phase terminal. If this is the case, there will be live phase to the batten even if you turn the room switch off.

 

Cyril

 

 

Been caught out with one of these before and got a nice little tickle - Thumbs up for AC current  lol  

 

Its easy to underestimate the simple jobs like changing a basic light fitting


98 posts

Master Geek


  # 2278164 17-Jul-2019 10:12
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

Lizard1977:

 

Thanks for these replies.  As far as "prove-test-prove" goes, do I need to get a multimeter to check for a live wire?

 

 

Get a non-contact AC power detector. Literally $2 if you buy one from China. As with the expensive ones, always test on a live circuit first. They're good enough for the job, but are often too sensitive (according to an electrician I spoke to a few weeks ago), which isn't a bad thing if you're a DIY person.

 

 

 

 

Please do not do this. A non-contact indicator, especially a $2 one from China, is not the appropriate tool for this job. Buy yourself a good quality multimeter and learn to use it correctly. 

 

This video offers a great, if long winded, explanation of good practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qh28sHs7XA


Fat bottom Trump
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  # 2278166 17-Jul-2019 10:13
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Turn the light on, switch the circuit breaker off, see if the light goes out. That will prove there is no power to it. There won't be another live source at the switch or light, so you should be fine.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  # 2278171 17-Jul-2019 10:18
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Rikkitic:

 

Turn the light on, switch the circuit breaker off, see if the light goes out. That will prove there is no power to it. There won't be another live source at the switch or light, so you should be fine.

 

 

Correct this is the best option, but as others have said a multi meter is also a good check. My comment above was just pointing out that in some wiring situations to just turn the switch off at the wall may not be sufficient, but at the MCB is fine.

 

Cyril


2903 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2278174 17-Jul-2019 10:22
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Rikkitic:

Turn the light on, switch the circuit breaker off, see if the light goes out. That will prove there is no power to it. There won't be another live source at the switch or light, so you should be fine.


 



Maybe, that's why you test. I believe that some multiple switch plates can have power from different circuits.

Fat bottom Trump
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  # 2278194 17-Jul-2019 11:01
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If he's working on the light fitting as per the topic, it doesn't matter what the switches are doing. Light out = safe to work on. You don't need a multimeter for that.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


98 posts

Master Geek


  # 2278195 17-Jul-2019 11:06
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Rikkitic:

 

If he's working on the light fitting as per the topic, it doesn't matter what the switches are doing. Light out = safe to work on. You don't need a multimeter for that.

 

 

 

 

How do you know that the right circuit has been isolated? How do you know that another circuit doesn't terminate or pass through the same light fitting/switch/flush box. How do you know that another fault hasn't caused earth/neutral to become live?

 

This is why you need an appropriate test instrument to prove that the circuit is safe to work on. 

 

 


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