network guru and electrician wanted

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Elk Towers
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network guru and electrician wanted

Post by Elk Towers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:38 pm

am toying with the idea of adding wifi enabled light switches.

I would like these to be on a separate wifi network to my main one - how would one setup this

secondly is it permissible under 17th regs and part p to run a neutral wire from the rose down to the switch - this is easy in my house as after the house was rewired by council all wiring is surface mounted.

comments please
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sweh
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by sweh » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:38 pm

Many wireless light switches don't use "wifi" directly, but alternate protocols such as zigbee or z-wave. These require a gateway controller hub, but the one hub can manage multiple switches. The hub can be added to a home automation system.

At home I've played a little with the Philips Hues lights (zigbee based), and have them connected to Alexa for voice control.

If you go with directly controlled WiFi lights and switches then creating a second network will depend very much on your home router. Not all home routers support "guest network" or "second SSID" functionality. You'd need to read the manual for your router to find out how to do it.
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by 1024MAK » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:40 pm

You say that the council rewired the house. I presume you now own it?

I can't see any problem with neutral being present in the switch, as long as all wires either have the correct colour insulation or have the correct coloured sleeving fitted and a suitable terminal is used. Some industrial installations have the neutral running via the switch back box.

However, I'm not at all sure how this alteration would fit in with part P. When part P was introduced, it restricted what work could be done by non-certified persons. At the time, my understanding of it was, you can replace wiring, sockets, fixtures etc like for like, without having to employ a certified electrician. But any extension, or additional circuits, or work in bathrooms, shower rooms etc had to be done by, or checked by a certified electrician.

So best wait until a certified electrician pops in here :wink:

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by Elk Towers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:09 pm

Yes I do now own this house

I intended to buy a roll of wire the correct diameter for lighting and strip it down and use the blue/black wire.


My network at the moment consists of a modem/router connected to a couple of Ethernet switches (I have ten items connected) what I was hoping to do was add another Ethernet switch that had a separate wifi (separate ssid) so that I could connect the lights to that. do they exist?

the light switches need to be directly connected as I would like to switch them on/off via my phone while I am work on nights or during the autumn/winter so that a) any would be burglar will think someone is about and b) when I leave work at either 7am or 7pm I can switch them on as I leave.
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by dp11 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:16 pm

I don't know about your situation , but you might need this : http://www.meteorelectrical.com/cables- ... -coil.html

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by 1024MAK » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:48 pm

I was thinking that the existing twin and earth (2 core and earth) cable would be replaced with 3 core and earth cable. Or this cable. The brown wire is then line (live), the black has blue sleeve added at the terminations and is the neutral. The grey has brown sleeve added at the terminations and is the switched line (live).

There are many suppliers that stock this type of cable.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by sweh » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:44 pm

Elk Towers wrote:the light switches need to be directly connected as I would like to switch them on/off via my phone while I am work on nights or during the autumn/winter so that a) any would be burglar will think someone is about and b) when I leave work at either 7am or 7pm I can switch them on as I leave.
No, they don't need to be directly connected. That's what things like the zigbee hub do for you. The hub is reachable from your phone / browser / alexa / whatever and it instructs the switch / bulbs / plug / whatever what to do over the zigbee network.

I'm currently in England and can control the lights in my living room in America from my phone.

Even more fun, I can see the current state. So when my girlfriend popped over to check on the house I could see the moment she turned the lights on.

The Philips hub is directly plugged into my network, but that's all. That's the only thing with an IP address; nothing else.
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by 1024MAK » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:45 pm

Oh, before I get distracted again, a lot of light controllers don't need a neutral connection anyway. As they steal the small current that they need via the lamp, whether it is lit or not.

But check the instructions. Often the information you need can be obtained beforehand.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by crj » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:35 pm

This might be a question better suited to DIYnot than StarDot!

One thing I will say: I can't see any reason it would ever be prohibited to run a neutral wire anywhere you want, provided you connect it to something safe and sensible at the far end. But , I strongly suspect you must protect it with an earth connection to the same standard as if there were a live wire present.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by jgharston » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:04 am

crj wrote:This might be a question better suited to DIYnot than StarDot!

One thing I will say: I can't see any reason it would ever be prohibited to run a neutral wire anywhere you want, provided you connect it to something safe and sensible at the far end. But , I strongly suspect you must protect it with an earth connection to the same standard as if there were a live wire present.
Exactly what I logged on to post. Singles are ok where you are running them loose, eg under floors with other cables, but as a single line buried under plaster I'd always prefer to use single+earth.

As always, the uk.d-i-y Wiki and newsgroup is a valuable resource.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by dp11 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Before anyone else put loose singles under floors you should consult BS7671 Table 4A1 as I don't think they are really permitted. "Singles" usually refers to a cable with only one layer of insulations or protection.

Also any addition needs testing and a Minor works Certificate filled out. So you might have to borrow the test equipment.
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by TopBanana » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:10 pm

Buy LIFX bulbs.

They link to your WiFi, need no additional controllers and can be remotely activated as long as you have an Internet connection.

You may even be be able to set timers on them, or use IFTTT. They integrate with Alexa, Mrs Top Banana set this up - it’s beyond me :shock:
Last edited by TopBanana on Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by jgharston » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:50 am

dp11 wrote:Before anyone else put loose singles under floors you should consult BS7671 Table 4A1 as I don't think they are really permitted. "Singles" usually refers to a cable with only one layer of insulations or protection.
No, "singles" is a conductive core, covered by an insulating sheath, covered by a protective sheath, eg picture. What you're describing would only be earth bonding cable, which is a conductive cover covered by a single sheath.

You can get mains-rated single cables that don't have a protective sheath, but they can only be used in a situation where they are protected from mechanical damage by being enclosed within an enclosure, in effect taking the place of the protective sheath. There must always be two "layers" between the conductor and the outside world.

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by jgharston » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:54 pm

I repeat my previous assertion: all current carrying conductors must have two layers between the conductor and the outside world. Those in the linked-to pictures are suitable for using in conduit or trunking, as then the conduit is the mechanical protection. They are not suitable for "naked" use.

I'm going from what I remember from my ElecInst courses, but dragging myself across the room and checking my BS7671 confirms: 521-07-03: non-sheathed cables for fixed wiring shall be enclosed in conduit, ducting or trunking. This does not apply to protective conductors that comply with Section 543.

See, you've forced me to get some excercise!

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by dp11 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:40 pm

No argument with you say .

But "Singles" usually refer to single insulated cables by electricians. Google image search for the term "singles" and see how many images are returned for the cable you define to be singles. You may also go over the IET forum .

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by guesser » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:45 pm

dp11 wrote:Google image search for the term "singles"
Some of them don't look very well insulated at all :shock:




They'll catch their death of cold! :lol:
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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by crj » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:38 pm

I concur: two levels of insulation between live/neutral and the outside world are mandatory throughout an installation. But "singles" tend to be single solid-core conductors with one layer of insulation, suitable for use within something providing a second level of insulation. A single conductor with two layers of insulation, I'd call a "meter tail", though I don't doubt there's some official term.

As for Part P requirements: to a first approximation, if you're genuinely competent to do any electrical work at all beyond like-for-like replacement of a switch or socket, then you probably already know what work does and does not require Part P certification. As a general rule of thumb: if it's a 13A or lower circuit, indoors and not in a kitchen or bathroom you're in the clear, but otherwise you have to think more carefully about what you're doing. (Really, you should think carefully about what you're doing with fixed mains wiring even if not legally required to...)

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Re: network guru and electrician wanted

Post by 1024MAK » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:34 am

Whatever you wish to call them, a single core cable for line (live) or the neutral with insulation and an outer sheath were once very common in lighting circuits. This was before the loop-in ceiling roses were in widespread use. Now such cables are not normally used for most installations, as the loop-in ceiling roses, 2 core and earth and 3 core and earth cables mean they are not normally needed.

The advantage back when copper cable was (relatively) more expensive, was that the relevant cable ran directly as possible point to point from junction box to switch, switch to light fitting, or junction box to light fitting, or switch to switch.

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