PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

Hello Forumites! In order to help keep the Forum a useful, safe and friendly place for our users, discussions around non-MoneySaving matters are not permitted per the Forum rules. While we understand that referencing house prices may be sometimes be pertinent to a user's specific MoneySaving situation, we ask that you please refrain from going off-topic into broad, general debates about the housing market, the economy and politics. Threads that are found to have derailed into wider discussions may be removed. Thank you for your understanding.

Electric Ring Final Circuit downrating concern

edited 5 August at 1:05PM in House buying, renting & selling
26 replies 661 views
Val45Val45 Forumite
8 Posts
Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
Forumite

When I first moved into this rented one bedroomed council bungalow 12 years ago the small kitchen only gave spaces for a cooker and under bench washer. In 2019, I asked the council if they would upgrade the kitchen furnishings to allow space for a fridge/freezer but was told that my request wouldn’t be considered for at least another 4 years. However, they gave me permission to bring the kitchen up to 21st century living standards as long as I paid for it myself and followed their recommendations. My bank granted me a loan to cover the full cost of the kitchen refurbishment which included a new electric ring final circuit. I forwarded the DCN18C to the Council on completion in August 2019. However, since February 2022 they are insisting that they need to replace 3x32A with 3x20A for no reason that I am aware of. 

I am worried about the outcome. In all of the time that I have lived here they have never visited my home to do an electrical test and since I have noticed that in part 5 (DCN18C) “Socket for washing machine cover is stuck on” and I have a photo of the old electrical wires under the kitchen floorboards (two to one) joined by only insulating tape and lying over the top of a copper pipe, plus their recent email informing me that the work they intend to do will only take about 15minutes in all to complete I’m feeling great concern. 

My new electrical ring final circuit added around £3,000 to my kitchen refurbishment costs and I am still paying back the loan. My gut feeling is telling me not to let the council alter anything to do with the certified electrical installation but I have no knowledge of such and I am at a loss. I suppose my question is: Am I legally entitled to say No thank you, leave my certified electric ring final circuit as it is?


«13

Replies

  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
    10.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Val45 said:

    . In all of the time that I have lived here they have never visited my home to do an electrical test .......................

    As I understand it there is a requirement for an annual electrical test.

    Contact your local councillor - let him/her chase the housing department.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • powerful_Roguepowerful_Rogue Forumite
    6.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Val45 said:

    When I first moved into this rented one bedroomed council bungalow 12 years ago the small kitchen only gave spaces for a cooker and under bench washer. In 2019, I asked the council if they would upgrade the kitchen furnishings to allow space for a fridge/freezer but was told that my request wouldn’t be considered for at least another 4 years. However, they gave me permission to bring the kitchen up to 21st century living standards as long as I paid for it myself and followed their recommendations. My bank granted me a loan to cover the full cost of the kitchen refurbishment which included a new electric ring final circuit. I forwarded the DCN18C to the Council on completion in August 2019. However, since February 2022 they are insisting that they need to replace 3x32A with 3x20A for no reason that I am aware of. 

    I am worried about the outcome. In all of the time that I have lived here they have never visited my home to do an electrical test and since I have noticed that in part 5 (DCN18C) “Socket for washing machine cover is stuck on” and I have a photo of the old electrical wires under the kitchen floorboards (two to one) joined by only insulating tape and lying over the top of a copper pipe, plus their recent email informing me that the work they intend to do will only take about 15minutes in all to complete I’m feeling great concern. 

    My new electrical ring final circuit added around £3,000 to my kitchen refurbishment costs and I am still paying back the loan. My gut feeling is telling me not to let the council alter anything to do with the certified electrical installation but I have no knowledge of such and I am at a loss. I suppose my question is: Am I legally entitled to say No thank you, leave my certified electric ring final circuit as it is?



    The new ring would still be certified via their electrician. It's the councils flat, your home. They need to abide by the regulations.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
    7.2K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    @Val45 -  I think you are posting on the wrong board.  Should be on House buying, renting and selling board?  If you report your own post (exclamation mark in bottom right corner) you can ask one of the admin team to move it.

    House buying, renting & selling — MoneySavingExpert Forum
  • JumblebumbleJumblebumble Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Val45 said:

    When I first moved into this rented one bedroomed council bungalow 12 years ago the small kitchen only gave spaces for a cooker and under bench washer. In 2019, I asked the council if they would upgrade the kitchen furnishings to allow space for a fridge/freezer but was told that my request wouldn’t be considered for at least another 4 years. However, they gave me permission to bring the kitchen up to 21st century living standards as long as I paid for it myself and followed their recommendations. My bank granted me a loan to cover the full cost of the kitchen refurbishment which included a new electric ring final circuit. I forwarded the DCN18C to the Council on completion in August 2019. However, since February 2022 they are insisting that they need to replace 3x32A with 3x20A for no reason that I am aware of. 

    I am worried about the outcome. In all of the time that I have lived here they have never visited my home to do an electrical test and since I have noticed that in part 5 (DCN18C) “Socket for washing machine cover is stuck on” and I have a photo of the old electrical wires under the kitchen floorboards (two to one) joined by only insulating tape and lying over the top of a copper pipe, plus their recent email informing me that the work they intend to do will only take about 15minutes in all to complete I’m feeling great concern. 

    My new electrical ring final circuit added around £3,000 to my kitchen refurbishment costs and I am still paying back the loan. My gut feeling is telling me not to let the council alter anything to do with the certified electrical installation but I have no knowledge of such and I am at a loss. I suppose my question is: Am I legally entitled to say No thank you, leave my certified electric ring final circuit as it is?


    I may be being uncharitable but if your Electrician charged £3000 for a ring main (which on the face of it seems astronomical as part of a kitchen refurb)  but was prepared to leave you with wires taped together I am not surprised the council do not trust his competence
    I am surprised that the council want to replace fuses without being willing to reveal why
    I wonder if you do not let them and then there is a fire if their insurers would come after you.
  • 2bFrank2bFrank Forumite
    353 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    £3000 for a few ring circuits is mental, are you sure there wasn't more work involved (e.g. full consumer replacement) even then it would be hard to justify on a one bed bungalow.

    if you have 2.5mm/1.5mm t+e on a ring final then the MCB of 32a should be sufficient (and most common), however it will depend on load. The MCB is to protect the cable (from overheating), if you dont have the correct protection, then it's possible that an overload could cause a fire. It also depends on length and draw, so I guess they are worried about a kettle, portable hobs, toasters etc all being on and could overheat cable, so the councils policy is to install 20a MCBs, which is fine as its their property.

    Does your consumer unit (fuseboard) have RCBs, if not then I would recommend the replacements be RCBOs instead of MCBs for added protection.
  • edited 5 August at 3:15PM
    anselldanselld Forumite
    7.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 5 August at 3:15PM
    The normal reason to downrate to a 20A MCB is to mitigate for a ring continuity fault on a 30A circuit.  It can be easier to downrate the MCB rather than trace the fault although the ideal would always be to trace the fault.
    Having said that, you say they have not tested so  they could not know if that was an issue.  Have you asked them what exactly they are trying to achieve?
  • sidneyvicsidneyvic Forumite
    80 Posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    From your description I take it the company that supplied kitchen also carried out the electrical work i.e. they subbed it and charged you through the nose.
    You should go back to them and tell them the council are not happy with the work and they need to rectify it.
    They sound like they have made more than enough money out of you so least they can do is rectify the work. 
    Be firm and dont back down, tell them you will pass their details to both trading standards and the council, hopefully they will sort it.
  • Val45Val45 Forumite
    8 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    2bFrank said:
    £3000 for a few ring circuits is mental, are you sure there wasn't more work involved (e.g. full consumer replacement) even then it would be hard to justify on a one bed bungalow.

    if you have 2.5mm/1.5mm t+e on a ring final then the MCB of 32a should be sufficient (and most common), however it will depend on load. The MCB is to protect the cable (from overheating), if you don't have the correct protection, then it's possible that an overload could cause a fire. It also depends on length and draw, so I guess they are worried about a kettle, portable hobs, toasters etc all being on and could overheat cable, so the councils policy is to install 20a MCBs, which is fine as its their property.

    Does your consumer unit (fuseboard) have RCBs, if not then I would recommend the replacements be RCBOs instead of MCBs for added protection.

    Hi 2bFrank, Thank you for your response it is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, I know very little about electricity so please bear with me in my attempt to reply. The total cost was £2,700 and something for the electrical work in this one bedroomed Council bungalow. The un-used adjoining old coalhouse now has an electrical supply and has been converted into a small Laundry to house the washing machine and dryer. My outside shed has also been supplied with electricity and now houses a large chest-freezer and fridge to store my dog’s food items in. I have been told that the electrical work was faultless and I am very happy with the results. 

    The kitchen was striped back to the bare walls by the cabinet makers prior to the electrical work being started. The walls were given chipped out channels up and around, for the electric wires to be housed in and then skimmed over ready for the cabinet fitters to start. I took photo’s at the end of each electrical work day to show the progress and where the wires were, in readiness to enclose with the Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate which I forwarded on to the Council Housing Office as soon as the work was completed. 

    In part 2 of the DCN18C it reads; New consumer unit installed in new position to facilitate new kitchen layout. Kitchen ring main and Heating control positions altered and new cabinet underlighting installed. In Part 7 it states Maximum demand (load) 40 A; Circuit-breaker/RCD Type BS(EN)60947-3 Kitchen Cupboard; No of poles 2; Current rating 100A; Rating/setting of device 100A; Voltage rating 230V. In Part 10 Number of points served; Shed 1 - 10mm - 40A, House sockets 9 - 2.5mm - 32A, Lights 10 - 1mm - 6A, Kitchen sockets 10 - 2.5mm - 32A, Hob 1 - 6mm - 32A, Loft and Washer sockets 3 - 2.5mm - 16A. 

    Do these figures sound alright and if so is there any need (in your opinion) for the 32A to be downrated to 20A? I have great concerns about going down to 20A as along with the usual everyday electric household items I use my home nebulizer frequently throughout each day and sometimes during the night, as well as a high capacity water distiller. Both are needed for health reasons. I dread the thought of the possibility of frequent tripping if the supply is dropped to 20A.


  • edited 6 August at 5:14AM
    anselldanselld Forumite
    7.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 6 August at 5:14AM
    The the numbers look fine for a normal installation.  It is difficult to see what they are worried about.  Perhaps they are concerned about the total load exceeding 100A if you fully loaded every circuit simultaneously, but that is the case for many/most installations.  They need to apply a thing called "diversity" to the loads.
  • LomastLomast Forumite
    788 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    As no testing has been carried out I cannot see why they are insisting on down rating, I wonder if they have had an issue somewhere else and have decided to down rate all their properties, would be very unusual though
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

The 'Ask An Expert' event

Last week's energy Q&A with MSE experts

MSE Forum

Ninja Kitchen air fryer & grill £175

Normally £250. Excl Northern Ireland

MSE Deals