Please ensure your electrics are up to date!!!!!!!!!

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  • red40red40 Forumite
    264 Posts
    Thank you brightontraveller, I am fed up of people assuming that its only the NICEIC that poses the Part P scheme.

    Very useful post :T
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
    19.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    If you are buying a house-get a proper paid for-electrical inspection done-the results often enable you to negociate down the price of the work that needs doing-we have done this recently.And obviously keeps you safe.
  • gromitukgromituk Forumite
    3.1K Posts
    Alternatively, the results may just consist of work which doesn't need doing, like when you go and get your car MoTd.
    Time is an illusion - lunch time doubly so.
  • i_love_iti_love_it Forumite
    813 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Can anyone recomend someone to check electrics, I have no light in the bathroom currently and think it may have got wet. Also all lights keep blowing when a bulb goes requiring a new fuse in box each time. I am struggling to find an electrician.
    I live in Warrington, Cheshire
  • I cannot stress how important house wiring is. I have recently had builders in to build an extension. Being an electrician, I opted to provide sockets and lights, but not looking at my house wiring in 12 years, they say a builders house is never finished, I uncovered a rats nest of bad wiring under the floorboards. I have had to gut all the wiring in the house an rewire completely. I was horrified at what I saw and I have been an electrician for 15 years. BAD WIRING CAUSES FIRES - GET IT CHECKED.
  • How many wiring checks are going to pull up floorboards to check what's going on?
    Time is an illusion - lunch time doubly so.
  • If a joiner gets it wrong, your doors/windows don't fit.
    If a plumber gets itwrong, you get wet.
    If your wiring is wrong, IT CAN KILL!!

    As a qualified Electrician dealing with 90% of the issues in this thread on a daily basis, I thought I'd do what I can to assist here.

    Firstly, I noticed a LOT of misinformation in this post and I will do what I can to correct those points I can remember (5 pages is a lot to read thru)

    1 - RCD units do not only protect against live-earth shorts. They actually work by detecting an imbalance between live and neutral conductors. 99.9% of the time this is due to current leaking to earth, but activation can be caused by other factors. They DO NOT protect against overcurrent and so do not protect you against a live-neutral short, ONLY current leakage.

    2 - Part P of the building regulations is a statutory document -compliance is required. BS7671 (formerly known as the Wiring Regulations) is non-statutory but provides the standard required by other statutory documents. ALL electrical work should be completed by a 'competent' person to this standard.

    3 - BS7671:2004 requires that any socket that can reasonably be expected to supply outdoor equipment be protected by a RCD with a current rating not exceeding 30mA.

    4 - Existing installations are NOT required to meet the current standard, but compliance is HIGHLY recommended for safety reasons.

    5 - Installations which incorporate a RCD protecting the socket outlets do not require a second RCD to be fitted to outdoor extension leads.

    6 - The splitting of lighting, cooker, shower, sockets etc. onto seperate fuses is correct. For example, blowing a fuse on the sockets but the lights still working is the desired effect and not an error. In fact, in the new edition of BS7671, it is a requirement to avoid low light hazards and such.

    7 - Prices for electrical work vary widely for many reasons, I recommend getting a range of quotations before employing a contractor, butthe cheapest is not necessarily the best, esp. if it is significantly cheaper.

    8 - Bulb wattage rating on lamp fittings are NOT just about lamp shades - it also takes into account the size of the contacts and cable used within the fitting.

    9 - Periodic Inspection Reports do not cover cables concealed under floors or within the general fabric of the building. They only cover what is generaly accessible. At additional cost, most electricians should be wiling to do a more thorough inspection if you request it.

    10 - ALL electrical work requires a certificate of some sort. Almost all require notification to Building Control, but there are a very small number that do not.

    11 - (My boss wil hate me for this, but..) You do NOT have to use an Electrician registered with one of the competent persons schemes ON THE CONDITION that the electrician in question has satisfied/can satisfy your local council Building Control Dept. that they are 'competent' as defined in law. However, it is normally cheaper to use a spark registered with one of the schemes as there is no additional fee for notification - this is included in their annual membership fees.

    12 - Any notifiable work (ie. any that requires notification to Building Control) is required to ensure the suitability of the installation after the work is done. This MAY require upgrading the cables for incoming supply, incoming earth connection, gas/water/oil bonding conductors. In the example raised earlier, gas, water and consumer unit (fuse board) in close proximity (within a few metres) should not be an expensive upgrade and I would not expect it to cost more than say £50. However if your consumer unit is at the opposite end of the house from the water stop tap, or your stop tap is in a built-in kitchen cupboard, it can be difficult to achieve and therefore more expensive - as I said earlier, get a couple of quote before you say 'yes'!

    13 - Electrical upgrades/alterations do not necessarily require a new consumer unit - a favourite money spinner for cowboys - but anyone still using rewirable fuses or cartridge fuses rather than MCB's is recommended to get an upgrade. Prices vary, but £100-£200 should cover it.

    14 - While we are on the subject of CU changes, trhe 17th Edition of BS7671 requires pretty much ALL domestic wiring to be RCD protected (even lighting) and the new consumer units to accomodate this are pretty expensive at the moment. Here is a money saving tip! Some unscrupulous firms will tell you that they HAVE to fit these new and expensive boards because the new regs are out. They do not become compulsary until June - until then £50 worth of normal split load board is fine!!

    15 - If you find that after having an RCD fitted to your sockets that it trips a lot, don't blame the RCD or the spark! It could be a faulty appliance - as stated eariler in this thread, they are sensitive and can show up errors/faults that were not apparent before.

    16 - Bulbs that blow often or consistantly usually points to bad wiring - get it checked!! Do not buy bulbs in bulk packs - even branded ones - as if they are usually from the same production run and one of low tollerance or quality usualy means all in that batch are of the same ilk.

    17 - (for 'i love it') If you can't find lots of Electricians listed in Yellow Pages, call your Council and ask them for some companies to contact.

    18 - On the subject of Certificates, they consist of multiple parts, not just a single page. You should get the following...
    A] The Certificate (the bit with the address(es) and Signatures on)
    B] A schedule of of items inspected (a breakdown of what was tested)
    C] A schedule of test results (lots of figures in a table format)
    D] Notes on the certificate (This can be a seperate page or printed on the back of one of the other parts, it should explain what the certificate is and what it is valid for)

    19 - Whoever it was that said 'get a periodic inspection done every year' because of vermin ingress is really helping when this is supposed to be a site of money saving tips. A Periodic Inspection should be carried out if your installation is 10 years old or older. Based on the outcome of the inspection and the reasons for the inspection, the electrician doing the work should recommend an interval until the next one is due This can be a matter of weeks but it is likely to be measured in years. Vermin damage to cables is not as common as you'd think and certainly not in urban areas.

    20 - Your installation (and therefore your responsibility) stops and your supplier terminals. Starting from the meter follow the cables leading to your consumer unit, if you encounter a switch before you reach the consumer unit then your installation starts at the cables beyond that. If you do not encounter anything before reaching the consumer unit then your installation starts at the meter.
    Your meter and the suppliers fuse before it have seals (or should have) which you may not break and doing so can lead to prosecution - if you do not have a switch between the meter and the consumer unit, contact your supplier and they will usually fit one for free so that seals do not have to be broken to isolate your installation.

    ok, enough for now - any questions?
  • red40red40 Forumite
    264 Posts
    Thanks dwarvenassassin some very useful points and moneysaving tips.

    Perhaps some information for you, as not many electricians seem to be aware of the 'new' statute regarding HMO's and the legal requirement to have the fixed electrical installation tested and inspected at intervals not exceeding 5 years.
  • I might if I knew what a HMO is ;-) .....
  • red40red40 Forumite
    264 Posts
    HMO = House in Multiple Occupation
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