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I've previously searched for some advice using Google but I'd like to confirm for my specific situation.

It's simple enough to disconnect the chain supporting the chandelier but the wiring is proving a little tricky (I've put it back for now). It's not at all obvious where the connection is being held in place from, and even if I remove the wiring I'm wondering how I would put it back after.

I've attached some images to show the current situation (sorry for the quality). The only logical guess I have is that the duct tape is covering some form of connector, I will remove this if I have no other option but I don't want to remove the duct tape without some kind of confirmation.

One Two

If the connector is not at the duct tape and it's connected above the hole in the wall, I've had no way of reattaching the wiring afterwards if I wanted to put it in place.

As you may have guessed I'm not too experienced in DIY :) Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Looks like there's no box enclosing the wire; is that the case? May 24 '15 at 11:18
  • It's difficult to tell based on the photos, but it looks like the connections are indeed covered in electrical tape.
    – Tester101
    May 24 '15 at 11:43
  • If there is a box, it's out of view as far as I can see. That's why I assuming if I remove the duct tape I'll see connectors but that seemed a little risky even in itself. May 24 '15 at 15:08
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There may be an in-ceiling connector as well as the connections which are certainly in the tape, but if you cannot pull a connector down by gently pulling on the wires, and if you cannot access the ceiling space, then the following will work.

(1) BEST: Get somebody competent to assist or to do the job - you have less chance of dying that way.

Otherwise:
(2) The red and white wires provide power. Presumably this is AC mains - you did not say what the supply is but if the bulbs are 110V or 230V rated then mains AC is what is involved.

Mains voltage is, of course, capable of delivering a lethal shock - I know you know that but a reminder does not hurt.

Connection is made to the blue and brown wires inside the tape. If the person who did it was half competent they will have used a very compact joiner or will have soldered the wires together, but it is likely that they are just twisted together.

Ensure life insurance is up to date.
Ensure house insurance is up to date and that you are prepared to accept the worst case outcomes - eg house burned down, You or others dead.(Unlikey, but always be aware).
Then.

Turn light off then on with usual switch - now you know the switch works.
Leave the light ON.

Turn off circuit to light at switchboard so light goes out.
ie Turn off circuit breaker or remove relevant fuse. Light is now OFF.

NOW turn off light at usual switch.
You now have two off switches. in series.

Tell everyone to not switch ANY light switches or power points. Your life just may depend on this.

Assume that there is AC mains power at light - there MAY be.
I have experienced AC mains present on a light socket under the conditions described above. Really!

Remove tape, assuming that either wire MAY be alive.
Red wire should be most likely to be live / Phase BUT no guarantee.

If wires are twisted together pull apart.
If a connector is used, discoinnect.
If soldered, unsolder or cut wires near to join in a manner which will allow you to rejoining OK. Using a connector - even a screw down "chocolate block" is preferred when reassembling. There is ample room for it in the ceiling space shown.

The unconnected green and yellow wire is for the earth wire that the lamp manufacturer thought that you should use but which the wiring person decided you did not need.

IF soldering with an earthed soldering iron be aware that either wire COULD have mains voltage potential relative to earth.


Option (1) should be loooking more attractive.

Report back - inquiring minds want to know.

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  • Thanks for the info. For what it's worth, this is in Thailand which if you've ever had a chance to visit, you'll know is pretty scary when it comes to electrical wiring. I would have thought I would have been safe to at least remove the duct tape with the mains power off? I was waiting until tomorrow when I would have visibility to do this. I gave the connectors a medium strength yank down before and they didn't disconnect. May 24 '15 at 15:04
  • @swardjajang re "I would have thought" -> That's why I laboured the point. The switch can be in the "neutral lead" - and odds are there is a good chance that is is, and it will turn off but be live wrt ground. The fuse or breaker is more liable top be correct - but not certain. One that caught me out after 10 or 15 years of experience was a "rung main" wired house - illegal here (NZ) but used in UK. This left the cct live with various things off. I got AC mains fireworks at head level while on a ladder but no shock. For many years now I tend to short "off" wires together "just in case". May 24 '15 at 15:31
  • @swardjajang The worst wiring I have ever seen was in university owned housing in far North West China. I could not turn the power off - people had wired "bits of stuff into place to maintain connection of joints that were not screwed up properly - utterly diabolical, May 24 '15 at 15:33
  • I ended up removing the duct tape and examining the connection. It appears to just be some wires twisted together without any way of safely or reversibly disconnecting them, the only option appears to be cutting the wires. I have photos but there's not enough detail in them to show the situation clearly. I guess I'll probably just have a professional cut the wire although that leaves me the problem of reconnecting it again as this is a rental apartment :( May 25 '15 at 4:51
  • @swardjajang That does not make sense. If they are JUST twisted together then JUST pull them apart. Then use a "chocolate block" terminal strip connector to rejoin. You have OK wire length and room. If they are soldered do as I said above. If you cut very near the join on both sides of the solder you can use a 'chocolate block connector as above. DO NOT use soldred leads in a terminal strip connector. DO NOT !!!! .. May 25 '15 at 10:04

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