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Why do lights always blow in the dark at home?

Isn’t it typical that the lightbulb in the toilet always blows in the middle of the night? Not only that but it trips the whole circuit so that there is no light at all on the upstairs floor and you have to go scrambling around under the stairs to get to the consumer unit in order to turn it back on.

I’ve wondered why it is that a lighting circuit actually has to be MCB protected. It’s not like a socket where a 13amp plug could be wired incorrectly or the earth connected to the wrong pin is it? A light fitting once fitted should remain safe. BUT, in reality it seems it doesn’t work like that. I’ve just read that one of the most common problems with lighting circuits is that the lighting circuit cable gets chewed through by rodents such as Mice and Squirrels. This is a nuisance as the cable will need replacing but you do have the satisfaction of knowing that the Mouse or Squirrel didn’t survive.

Another common occurrence with lighting circuits is water damage. This can come as rainwater getting in through the roof but is also as likely to be an over run bath or a faulty valve on a toilet which has stuck open and not gone through the overflow. An electricity cable can help the water to find a course through the house and the light that blows isn’t always near the source of the problem. If the circuit is protected the MCB will trip as soon as the water touches the cable which protects anyone in the house from electric shock but doesn’t prevent the huge amount of damage that can result from this kind of accident.

So next time the lights go out in the middle of the night, don’t just curse as it has happened for your safety.

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