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AssuredElectrical, Home Improvement Enthusiast
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Electrical contractor's license
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Hi, I have a landing ceiling ( as big as a postage stamp) with

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Hi, I have a landing ceiling ( as big as a postage stamp) with very short wires dangling ( approximately 2cm in length, ) where my previous light fitting was, it went "bang" & was removed. There is not a hatch or anywhere you can gain access to the wiring above the ceiling in this small area. The design of the house means it has no loft, but the prior owners had a lowered ceiling constructed in this bit using tongue & groove wood which has then been lightly skimmed with plaster. I have had some other electrical work carried out & asked the electrician to fit a new light fitting he said there was no neutral wire & because he couldn't have access to see if there was a junction box or the remains of a neutral wire, the only solution would be to cut another hole in the small ceiling to investigate. I can see the sense in this, but I want to avoid having to repair the ceiling afterwards.I did suggest that if I bought an alternative light fitting with a larger base plate, it then can cover the existing hole if that were to be enlarged. An exchange of blank looks, I asked if there was another way around the problem. Another blank look, it depends he said & that was the end of the conservation. I've looked extensively for a spotlight type fitting with a base plate big enough to cover the offending potentially quite large hole, not easy when the ceiling space is low & tiny. Are there lights that don't need a neutral wire? Is there a different way to solve this problem? Any help would be much appreciated so I can have a sensible chat with the electrician, who did start to make another hole in the ceiling and stopped when he encountered what was probably a joist? I am possibly proficient enough to repair that one, but don't relish having to get a plasterer in, although the channels which were made downstairs do look like gaping wounds, so again they will be at the outer limits of my own "expertise". Help!
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

Was there an actual light connected to the fitting prior to the situation?

The existing opening has only a single wire from the cable exposed?

Let me know and we can continue,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, yes & worked fine for a couple of years.

There is a little bit of cable showing & there are 3 wires: a brown, a blue and a yellow/green stripe, the wires are actually a bit longer than I first thought, long enough to attach a light to. I'm not sure what a neutral wire is, but I think he used some sort of meter to check.

Ok, thanks for the information.

A neutral is part of the power, you have a hot wire , a neutral and a ground.
Ground is for safety to keep from getting shocks or short circuits, and the hot plus neutral is the power to turn on the light.

It sounds more like a loose connection at the point where the cable originates.
I do not know why he doesnt map out the circuit, to see everything on the same breaker, then start troubleshooting to find where it may have come loose.

The neutral is the blue wire in the cable. The brown is the hot and yellow/green ground.

So if you measure with a tester , to the brown and yellow/green and show 230 volts, then measure the brown to blue and measure 0 volts, that means that the neutral is broken in the circuit.

Probably in another light fitting on the same circuit or in the switch for that light if it had one. .
Follow the cable to the point it comes from and it should be able to be repaired there, without cuting into the ceiling.
This is what you do to find all the items on the same circuit breaker or fuse.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again, thank you for your reply, I understand now the wiring names, live, earth & blue being the neutral. In my fuse box there is a switch to turn off the power to the upstairs lights ( 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom & the landing light), so presumably they are on the same circuit. My bathroom light also does not work, we had arranged for him to replace the existing broXXXXX XXXXXght with a new one I had bought, but he said that it was not suitable for a bathroom ( I did check this as it was sold to me as a bathroom light & the area that the light is in as far as I can see is a zone 2, which the light is meant to be suitable for, I did buy it from a reputable company). Anyway, could that be the problem? I'm not sure that he did anything with the bathroom light as he thought the fitting was incorrect.

My previous landing light was controlled by a normal on off toggle switch on the wall. I'm sorry but I didn't understand the map of the circuits you attached! but when he mentioned the junction box, which is probably in the inaccessible void, would that be where there might be the loose wire? if it is therein lies the problem, but if I understand you correctly

it probably isn't? I realise it isn't easy to know but are there things he could do to check the probability before he cuts the ceiling, I don't really want to be fobbed off by him & overcharged for work that is not necessary. You have already been very helpful, but I just need to check that I have grasped your answer correctly. Thanks.

Ok, thanks.

First the map is how you determione what is on the circuit.

You turn the breaker off, then search everywhere for a light or recptacle that no longer works.
All of those not working are mapped to that breaker.
Now you know hwat is on the circuit.

Now, if you have a 2nd light not working, that is where I would start looking for a loose connection.
It may be why both are not working.

Cables loop from one point to the next, so when you have a connection point between the blues, if one is loose, that light works but the next one doesnt.

I doubt there is a hidden junction, but you MUST go from point to point to determine the problem.
Anyone wanting to cut and look before going through the process of elimination, may not be the one to perform the work for you.
Might think on another electrician if he doesnt want to actually to the testing and troubleshooting.

The information on the packaging should denote the IP rating on the bath fixture and even inside should be some markings. That distinguishes whether or not it can be used and he should check that as well.

Hope that helps. Let me know.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I now understand perfectly due to your answers.

I will go through things with him again, now armed with some information so I can know what he is talking about. Have a great weekend.



Ok, Deb.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX assist in the situation.

Best of luck