You found the bulb was not the problem, but your courage was low about looking into the three-way switches, so you hired a handyman to fix things. Connection is also made to each of the protective earth wires in each circuit that feeds an appliance in the bathroom e.
For these reasons and more, one should not carry out safety critical work based solely on wiki content. Information and plans should be independently checked and verified before action. Anyone installing wiring should also understand some basic safety issues not discussed here. This article is an introductory overview rather than a complete A to Z on rewiring , and assumes some basic electrical knowledge. Some regulatory requirements are mentioned in this article.
These apply to new wiring, and in many cases are not requirements for existing wiring. The Electrical Glossary may be useful. The radial lighting circuit has 3 common wiring options, which may be mixed at will:. Other options are also possible:. Each fuse or MCB supplies one circuit only. One circuit may supply anything from 1 to a large number of loads. Split load CUs have become popular in recent years, and ubiquitous since with the introduction of the 17th edition of the wiring regs.
They usually offer significant advantages over the traditional unsplit CU type. See 17th Edition Consumer Units for more details. Each bank usually having its own RCD. There should also be a master switch that will switch the whole CU. Split load CUs are recommended, and this article will assume the use of a split load CU.
Earthing is a fundamental safety system used in electrical installations. It works in co-ordination with circuit breakers MCBs , Fuses , and RCDs to ensure that an electrical supply can be disconnected quickly in the event of a fault. This greatly reduces shock risk. Most houses have an earth connection supplied by the electricity supplier. Those that don't generally country houses several miles from the nearest town , use a local earth rod instead.
The supplier's earthing terminal or your own earth rod is connected to the CU earth block. Each electrical circuit in the house takes its earth connection from the CU earthing block. In general, ANY cable which is buried less than 50mm below a wall's surface AND is NOT mechanically protected, or wired in one of a number of specialised cable types that incorporate an earthed screen must have 30mA trip RCD protection.
New installations will have two or more RCDs. Older ones may only have one or none. RCDs reduce the risks of injury from electric shock they don't eliminate it completely , however they can also introduce reliability and issues of their own if not used in an appropriate way.
Historically RCDs were usually only used on some circuits rather than all. With a local earth rod , the situation is different in that all circuits must be RCD protected, since a local earth rod is not usually a sufficiently good earth on its own to clear all earth faults.
So RCDs are used on all circuits even in older installations. This is not an ideal arrangement, as a large earth leakage fault on the non-RCD side will cause complete power failure, and sometimes inability to reset the power. RCBOs allow individual circuits to be protected by their own RCD without any risk that a fault in an unrelated circuit could cause it to trip. However protecting all circuits like this is more expensive. See 17th Edition Consumer Units for details.
If any neutral wire is connected to the wrong side, the RCD will trip. Historically, installations using a supplier earth connection will run some circuits directly off the non RCD side of a CU. These include:. All socket circuits, should have RCD protection since Plug-in are the source of almost all electrocutions. Modern installations will typically provide additional RCDs so that vulnerable circuits i. Sockets may be wired on ring circuits or radial circuits.
Mostly rings are used, as they use less copper for most circuit layouts, they have safety advantages over radial circuits sometimes debated , can provide more power, and cover more floor area per circuit. Sockets are on 32A ring circuits in most house installations.
These use a ring of cable ie a loop , so that at the CU 2 cables are connected to the MCB instead of 1. An unlimited number of sockets may be connected on each ring. One ring circuit per floor is a fairly common arrangement, but by no means the only option. Larger houses generally have more rings. Its also common to have a ring dedicated just for sockets in the kitchen since that is where you will find many of the highest power consuming appliances in a modern house. Spurs are permitted, but sockets should be included in the ring rather than spurred wherever practical.
Spurring is best only used for later additions to circuits. Spurring sockets prevents the easy later addition of more sockets in some positions, as a spur may not be spurred off a spur. Spurs also prevent the addition of more sockets at existing spurred positions, whereas a practically unlimited number of sockets can be added where a socket is in the ring. Bear in mind the number of sockets wanted has risen greatly over the years, and can only be expected to rise further.
Radial socket circuits are used less often. These use a single cable from CU to socket, then a single cable to the next socket along the line etc. Radials use more copper on most circuits, though less cable on physically long narrow shaped circuits. Connection faults have greater consequences than with ring circuits.
Minimum and desirable numbers of sockets recommended per room are given. Recommended numbers are inevitably a matter of opinion, and are only recommended as a starting point for consideration. Radial circuits are used for lighting. Wiring Diagrams for Two Outlets in One Box- Wiring for two receptacles, two switches, and a receptacle outlet and switch in the same box.
GFCI Outlet Switch Wiring- Diagrams include wiring for a garbage disposal or light fixture controlled by the combo switch with both protected and unprotected arrangements. Switched Receptacle Wiring Diagrams- Wiring diagrams for a switch to control a receptacle with various arrangements and multiple receptacles in the same circuit. Diagrams to Add a New Light Fixture- Wiring to add a light from an existing switch or receptacle circuit. Diagrams to add a New Receptacle- Wiring diagrams to add an outlet from an existing switch or receptacle.
Doorbell Wiring Diagrams- Wiring for hardwired and battery powered doorbells including adding an AC adapter to power an old house door bell. Lamp Wiring Diagrams- Wiring for a standard table lamp, a 3-way socket, and an antique lamp with four bulbs and two switches. Adding a New Electric Wall Outlet- How to run cable behind a baseboard to add a new receptacle outlet. Making a Pigtail Splice- How to strip and slice electrical wires in a junction box.
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