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 Post subject: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:24 pm 
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When we first got our house in Brittany (200 years old stone cottage) we were told all light fitments we put in had to be double insulated (with the double square symbol). We struggled then, to find suitable lighting in France and the UK, but just about managed it.

Now we want to fit a pull cord light behind the double bed (for reading), and can't seem to find anything suitable anywhere. There is something that fits the bill in John Lewis clearance, however nothing says whether it is double insulated. I know nothing about electrics, and OH isn't much better. Does anyone know if this is actually necessary or not? :-?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:31 pm 
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According to OH (electrical engineer), if there is a correctly fitted earth wire, it does not need to be double insulated.
Unfortunately, France doesn't do pull cords :( .


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:12 pm 
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There are a couple of earth wires in the house, but who knows how well fitted they were. The wiring is a jumble - but everyone says that's normal! Someone put a new fuse box in years ago. We have had a number of electricians come over the years as OH would love to have all the electrics checked, but they don't return (Brits and French). :|


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
if there is a correctly fitted earth wire, it does not need to be double insulated.
Unfortunately, France doesn't do pull cords :( .


My experience is France doesn't do correctly fitted earth wires either!

J


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:42 pm 
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In what way?


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:34 pm 
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It does now, they have caught up :p In our place there were no earths at all upstairs cos you cant get electrocuted upstairs cos your not near the earth (must have been something lost in translation years back :-ss

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:48 pm 
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
None of the 4 appartments we rented had decent electrics - in one the washing machine tingled until the electrician stuck an earth wire in the socket and connected it to the water pipe and in another metal parts of my computer tingled.

Even the 70s built one had two pin sockets throughout apart from kitchen and bathroom - and a neighbour who had a rewire in 2014 still had two pin sockets throughout afterwards (I suspect they did not pull new wires through).

I am glad things have improved!

J


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:03 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:
Blaze wrote:
if there is a correctly fitted earth wire, it does not need to be double insulated.
Unfortunately, France doesn't do pull cords :( .

My experience is France doesn't do correctly fitted earth wires either!
J

I agree, J, especially if the wiring isn't recent. We had our last house wired by "professionals" who were incapable of balancing three phases correctly. Everything on 2 phases with the 3rd phase just taking the septic tank pump :|
The house we have moved to has several unearthed sockets. Those that do have earth wires are not necessarily properly earthed ! The diagnostics report pointed this out plus another couple of anomalies. Until we can sort things out properly, we have to make sure all our appliances work properly - toasters and kettles are notorious for tripping the system !

The plumbing here is strange too - we're still trying to work out where the water pipework goes !


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:29 am 
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Location: Norfolk and Morbihan (56)
Pull cord switches are not common in France, but they are available
https://fr.rs-online.com/mobile/p/inter ... d/7768403/
As for the double insulation question, I have never come across this as an issue, but if a switch is not safe to touch then what is?


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Cachette wrote:
<snip> There is something that fits the bill in John Lewis clearance, however nothing says whether it is double insulated.

Pound to a penny it will be. What you are referring to is what are known as Class II fittings, this being represented by the double square symbol. Class II means that they have a double layer of insulation to prevent a user coming into contact with any potentially conductive part of the fitting. To preserve this double insulation, an earth wire must NOT be connected to the fitting. Plenty of information in French or English on Tinternet (n.b. it's 'Class II' NOT 'Class 2').

I can't think of any mainstream manufacturer who would make anything but Class II fittings today. But why not just ask John Lewis?

For a pull cord light here in France, try searching under 'applique', 'cordon' or 'corde', 'traction' ou 'à tirer'. However, they appear not to be very common (are they anywhere?) and, for reasons not worth going into, are mostly sold for bathrooms. See here, for example:
http://www.france-luminaires.com/23589- ... oule.html#

http://www.france-luminaires.com/20618- ... hrome.html

HTH

Craig


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Ventodue wrote:
Cachette wrote:
<snip> There is something that fits the bill in John Lewis clearance, however nothing says whether it is double insulated.

Pound to a penny it will be. What you are referring to is what are known as Class II fittings, this being represented by the double square symbol. Class II means that they have a double layer of insulation to prevent a user coming into contact with any potentially conductive part of the fitting. To preserve this double insulation, an earth wire must NOT be connected to the fitting. Plenty of information in French or English on Tinternet (n.b. it's 'Class II' NOT 'Class 2').

I can't think of any mainstream manufacturer who would make anything but Class II fittings today. But why not just ask John Lewis?



There is nothing in the description that mentions class ll either. Maybe you're right, we'll have to contact John Lewis. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting - double insulated or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
Slightly OT - but I recall chatting to a chap doing electrical tests on our servers in the (UK) office in the 80s and he said double insulated means two levels of insulation between two circuits (as you'd expect!) but that one of those insulators can be air!

Is this still the case?

J


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