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Electricity -> hanging a lamp

I recently moved. You know how that goes, one of the things is...hanging new lamps. So for example I bought this halogen lamp for the kitchen. Comes with 3 wires, in, out and earth. I take away the things in the ceiling to be able to connect the lamp. Take out the electricity. Connect incoming, outgoing and the earth. Connect the electricity, hit the lamp button and... BANG.

I feel insecure, the building security guy from downstairs changes the plug so that I have light in the appartement again Laughing and tells me there is a electrician down the street. This guys helps me hanging the lamp, now without earth. And it works.

Now I'm wondering, WHEN do you use earth and when not? I'm not an electrician, but I'm a logically thinker. And I am used to fix things in the home. I live in Mexico (110V country). I'm originally from Holland (220V country) and used to connect to earth when I'm able to.
I don't know about it in Mexico... but usually if you see 3 places behind your light interruptor, they're NOT for in, out and earth... I usually use the 3 places for multi point interruptor (to turn on the light on 1 place and turn off in another and vice versa). When you connected the earth together, and you closed the circuit, you short-circuited earth and 1 of the phases... that's why the BANG. I usually use earth for showers, and some other stuff.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong...
If you mixed the wires up it can happen. You always should use earth for safety and besides, it doesn't affect your system if connected properly, its the other two wires tjhat may cause trouble. I beleive you connected them correctly though so the problem could be that the lamp was a different voltage or your home has an unstable electrical current that could send bursts out when you turn on the main power switch. I suggest call an electrician Confused
adiutrix wrote:
If you mixed the wires up it can happen.

Now in Holland the wires come in different Mexico they don't...So, your comment makes me doubt what I did.

So, just to be clear (I just want to know what caused the bang). I bought this simple lamp, it has 3 wires. 2 for the electricity and 1 for the earth. From the ceiling I have 3 wires also. 2 wires are covered in plastic (in Holland they have different colours, here 2 in white plastic) and there is an open wire that is earth (so told me the electrician as well as the security agent from the building).

You are saying if I connected the wires wrong -> incoming ceiling and outgoing lamp, like connecting a blue wire and a brown one and v.v. it bangs? That's what I don't like about could someone know which is which?

Am I formulating your answer ok like this?
Man u could check it with a voltmeter. The In will fluctuate rapidly, out and earth will be zero. I have no experience but know about it a liitle bit. Sorry if its wrong.
toughtrio wrote:
Man u could check it with a voltmeter. The In will fluctuate rapidly, out and earth will be zero. I have no experience but know about it a liitle bit. Sorry if its wrong.

I don't think it's safe to do that with live power leads... a small space where you could short really easily:roll:
Get a phase-finder! It's REALLY handy in such and millions of other cases, and it costs about a dollar. You know, the screwdriver-like thing with a glass handle, and if you point to the phase with it, the handle will light up.
Finding out which wire is what will immediately solve your problem.
You're right, my dad used to have a screwdriver like that. I forgot all about it Laughing Thanks for the advice guys.
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