The homeowner called us out as the lighting circuit had tripped the main RCD leaving them without power.

The root cause was shown to be that a “family friend” that completed the wiring in the new extension, had installed the halogen spotlights incorrectly.

Best case = a tripped RCD, worst case = house fire

If you note the damage to the wiring in the photograph, the heat was so intense that;

  • The outer sheath and insulation of both of the live conductors became brittle, so any movement will expose conductors, and;
  • The strip connectors (which are not to be used outside of a junction box and are not maintenance free) had actually melted.

Despite being a new installation the insulation resistance from live to earth was just over the required limit which is unexpected which pointed to poor installation practices. There were also a number of regulatory breaches which we explained to the homeowner.