Easier than I thought

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Sometimes I worry a little about the jobs I am asked to do for people. I've run through the job long before I go there and when I arrive I find it not as I thought. For instance, a man called me on Saturday morning asking if I could help him with a problem to do with the lights in his house, half of them were not working. He was in no hurry to have them sorted and I was in no hurry to do the job seeing as it was the weekend. I told him that I would go immediately if he thought it was an emergency, however, knowing that it wasn't he said Monday morning would be fine. I duly arrived there on Monday morning at nine o'clock as arranged. I pondered in my mind as to what the problem could be, a loose connection, a disconnected wire inadvertently dislodged by other works or one that had been inadvertently cut. When I arrived it took me about ten seconds to discover the problem. The man had not been living in the house very long and he told me that the previous occupier had taken two of the light fittings with them to their new home. They had replaced them with two basic units, a rose and a pendant on a flex.

I suspected that he had himself removed at least one of the lights for it was left dangling from the house wiring, not screwed to the ceiling. Because of the way the house lighting had been wired, which incidentally is the standard method these days, one loose wire in a fitting could result in all the following lights not working. In this case he had somehow connected the incoming neutral wire to an isolated connector in the ceiling rose thereby isolating all the other lights from the neutral. That could be a very potential hazard to anyone touching the other neutral wire that it should have been connected to if any of the remaining lights were switched on as it would have made that 'neutral' wire live! I was there but ten minutes or so then left for my next job. Far easier than I had imagined it might have been. My next job, in the same town, was to replace two ceiling lights with modern units.The first went up very easily but the second took twice as long. Even so I was driving back homeward at eleven o'clock having completed my work for the day. An hour's driving and two hours at work cannot be bad!

Shirley Anne

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