Wiring colours

21
Posted 21st Nov
Hi all,

Why DIY experts out there know why the outdoor light I have wired up isn’t working?
Wires look right to me?
3337023.jpg
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21 Comments
Looks like you have a three & earth cable coming in, was the grey not connected to anything when you removed the old fitting?
Typically, in a 3 core cable the grey will be the neutral. In your picture the grey conductor is sleeved blue, which is how you identify a neutral conductor for compliance.
Edited by: "steveex" 21st Nov
SaltyExpert21/11/2019 13:12

Looks like you have a three & earth cable coming in, was the grey not …Looks like you have a three & earth cable coming in, was the grey not connected to anything when you removed the old fitting?


Hi, no it wasn’t it was how you see it now, I’m going from a PIR light to just the standard on off switch one instead.
Looking closely, have you got a bare wire in there?
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steveex21/11/2019 13:37

Typically, in a 3 core cable the grey will be the neutral. In your picture …Typically, in a 3 core cable the grey will be the neutral. In your picture the grey conductor is sleeved blue, which is how you identify a neutral conductor for compliance.


And in basis leccy talk please? Lol
Ringfinger21/11/2019 14:42

Looking closely, have you got a bare wire in there? [Image]


No, the yellow and green sleeve has just some away slightly
andyjp121/11/2019 14:42

And in basis leccy talk please? Lol



They are suggesting the grey may be the neutral instead of the black, but you have wired colour for colour.
You got way of checking the voltages?
Not with the tool I have it’s very basic.
andyjp121/11/2019 14:49

Not with the tool I have it’s very basic.


Bit tricky to diagnose the issue here then.
Check it on a plug top and flex maybe?
Can you check the cable connections at the other end inside the house?
I’ve taken the switch socket from the wall, all appears in order, what would happen if I was so use the grey rather than the yellow and green one as the earth?
Ringfinger21/11/2019 14:42

Looking closely, have you got a bare wire in there? [Image]


It's just a loose sleeve fitted over a bare earth cable, there's nothing wrong there provided the bare section isn't touching any other conductors.


I'd expect black to be earth and grey to be neutral, assuming the sleeved earth comes in separately.

If that is the case then it's not connected up correctly. You'd need the grey connected to the blue and the black in the same connector as the other earth.


If it's a four conductor cable then I'm not sure. Is the other end of the cable accessible? If you don't have a multimeter then seeing how the cable is connected at it's other end is your best bet for identifying which is which.
As an electrician, the advice i would give is if you don't know, then leave it alone.

That said looking at the photo, it is a plain 3 core and earth pvc/pvc cable (6243Y)
There is a non-insulated conductor in there which has a yellow and green sleeving. This is the earth conductor (CPC)
The brown cable will be the live (line) conductor
The grey will normally be the neutral, and is sleeved as such (blue)
The black probably serves no purpose (but could be related to a PIR overide conductor etc)


If the light you are replacing has a built in PIR, which you could overide via a switch somewhere then most electricians would wire it as:

Yellow/Green - Earth
Brown - Permanent Live
Grey- Neutral
Black - Switched Live.
Edited by: "steveex" 21st Nov
steveex21/11/2019 15:59

As an electrician, the advice i would give is if you don't know, then …As an electrician, the advice i would give is if you don't know, then leave it alone.That said looking at the photo, it is a plain 3 core and earth pvc/pvc cable (6243Y)There is a non-insulated conductor in there which has a yellow and green sleeving. This is the earth conductor (CPC)The brown cable will be the live (line) conductorThe grey will normally be the neutral, and is sleeved as such (blue)The black probably serves no purpose (but could be related to a PIR overide conductor etc)If the light you are replacing has a built in PIR, which you could overide via a switch somewhere then most electricians would wire it as:Yellow/Green - EarthBrown - Permanent LiveGrey- NeutralBlack - Switched Live.


Thanks. Would you suggest that the grey one replaces the black one then? And cover the black? As yes it was previously a pir
Andy.

Forgive me. I am not suggesting anything.
I cannot possibly tell you how your particular installation is wired.
Given that you now say the original light had a PIR i would say the second of the examples I have given above (including PIR) is most likely.
It is very possible that the black conductor is also a line (live) conductor, switched from inside the house perhaps.
Most compliant/competent electricians would use the grey as the neutral.
Clearly something is wrong here going from a PIR to a standard light that just turns on via an on off switch.

I’ve a friend who’s going to have a look tomorrow as he’s qualified in this field.

I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for the replies
esar21/11/2019 16:49

Get one of these, it might just save your …Get one of these, it might just save your lifehttps://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-ms8907-voltage-detector-pen/3222g[Image]


I prefer a multimeter with NCV!
Those pens can be dodgy and might just take your life!
Edited by: "omendata" 21st Nov
Turn the power off and remove the blue cover off the grey wire. Take the black wire out the connection and put the grey wire in instead. Put a connector block over the black wire. Turn the power on. The light will either work or it won't. You won't do no harm to the light if it's either live or neutral. That would be the simplest idea. Otherwise you can but those cheap screwdrivers with the little lights in there to identify which wire is live.
The black wire is most likely switched live that works of a switch. If the light does work you could always try and replace the brown with the black if you have a switch connected to the black. But if it's a pir then leave the brown as it is.
Edited by: "kash2013" 21st Nov
esar21/11/2019 16:49

Get one of these, it might just save your …Get one of these, it might just save your lifehttps://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-ms8907-voltage-detector-pen/3222g[Image]



It won't be any good for neutral wires as only detects live and as said I wouldn't trust it. Don't you have a photo of the wires connected before you removed the old light fitting?.
Which Hemisphere are you in?
Electricity flows in different directions depending if you're in the North or South.
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