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  • FIRST POST
    ftbworried
    Please ensure your electrics are up to date!!!!!!!!!
    • #1
    • 31st Jan 07, 3:48 PM
    Please ensure your electrics are up to date!!!!!!!!! 31st Jan 07 at 3:48 PM
    Official Insert from MSE Martin

    This post, from a few weeks ago, highlights the importance of keeping your electrics up to date at home. I thought that ftbworried's experience was worth sharing with as many people as possible; it's easy to let electrical repairs slip, but the consequences can be very costly.

    The NICEIC recommends that household electrics are inspected every 5-10 years, yet a survey revealed that many houses haven't been looked at in 30. If your house hasn't been checked you should get an inspector in to take a look.

    Electrical safety law dictates that all modern electrical work be inspected by a registered electrician. If you don't get a certificate for the inspection, you'll be breaking the law, as well as living in a potentially unsafe home.

    Back to the original post:

    We bought our house back in April last year and noticed that we didnt have an RCD box (a box that trips your electric should there be a fault in the circuit etc). We dilly-dallied about, putting off installing one- thinking that it wasn't really worth the cost etc. My Dad has pestered us and pestered us to get one fitted since April 06 and eventually 2 weeks ago we had one fitted.

    Today I went to plug our washing machine in and unbeknown to me, the plug had been damaged in the kitchen move, and the casing along had been damaged and a damaged wire was exposed.

    Not seeing this (and with my hand touching the wire!!) I plugged it into a live socket . I am usually quite a careful person but I was rushing to get some washing on before i went out. I heard a loud 'crack' and I got a strong but short shock (which left a burn on my hand) and the RCD box tripped. If we hadn't had the RCD box fitted then I would have been a gonner, there and then at 23 years old.

    I cannot stress how important it is to make sure (regardless of cost) that your house is up to date with the nessecary safety protections. Don't let costs put you of like it did initially with us...it COULD save your life.


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    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 07-07-2008 at 2:57 PM.
Page 1
  • Ystrad Lad
    • #2
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:11 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:11 PM
    Excellent advice!

    It's the sort of thing that everyone puts off because of the cost but how much is a life worth?
  • Alan50
    • #3
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:23 PM
    Good post
    • #3
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:23 PM
    Suprising how we take electricity for granted, I still think (passed statistics) that there have been no fatalities where an RCD has been installed in an electrical installation.

    Good luck

    Alan (NICEIC electrical domestic installer)

    see:- www.NICEIC.com for electrical safety advice
  • OK Sauce
    • #4
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:28 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:28 PM
    Good advice. Until last year my whole house was running off a total of FOUR fuses! With all of the electronics now in peoples houses - plasmas, dishwashers, tumble dryers, computers, etc., if your house is over twenty years old and you haven't updated your fusebox you ARE asking for big trouble!
    "...IT'S FRUITY!"
  • ftbworried
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:40 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 07, 5:40 PM
    Well, it has certainly taught us a lesson. It has really shaken me up today to think that I would have quite possibly died today if we hadn't had it installed.
  • roger56
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:17 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:17 PM
    RCDs are excellent safety devices, it's also worth remembering to get your
    electrics inspected and checked regularly (5-10years).
    The cost is worth a life!
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 31st Jan 07, 6:27 PM
    • 3,246 Posts
    • 1,821 Thanks
    alanobrien
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:27 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:27 PM
    First thing i did in my place when i moved in 2 years ago was replace the fuse box with a split load RCCD MCB unit. Worth every penny.
    • viccig
    • By viccig 31st Jan 07, 6:42 PM
    • 248 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    viccig
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:42 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:42 PM
    Hi after reading your post I must thank you as I didn't realise how important it is to get one of these installed, in my house is the old fashioned fuse style and I havent thought twice about it. The house was rewired a 2 yrs ago before we moved in but they didnt fit a new box.

    Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay to get one of these fitted??

    Thanks again
    Vicky
  • ftbworried
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:54 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 07, 6:54 PM
    Don't really know about how much it would cost to just get an RCD installed, but they appear cost around £60 to buy from screwfix- then you have to add the labour. I had the job done as part of a number of electrical jobs so I don't know the individual costs.

    God only knows why these things are not compulsory by law.
    • Ishtar
    • By Ishtar 31st Jan 07, 7:25 PM
    • 1,042 Posts
    • 11,332 Thanks
    Ishtar
    Apparently you can get trip switches that plug into the fuse box, where your fuse carriers currently sit - can't remember how much they cost, but my dad has been nagging us to get them for a while (he's seen them in Focus DIY, and I'm sure they are probably available from Screwfix). Obviously the ideal situation is to get an RCD box, but this could be be a good interim measure.

    D.
    • Nile
    • By Nile 31st Jan 07, 7:43 PM
    • 14,437 Posts
    • 14,407 Thanks
    Nile
    Hello ftbworried

    I'm glad you're alright. To help spread the message I'll make your thread sticky for a while and stop it dropping off the first page.

    Regards

    Nile
    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

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    • bockster
    • By bockster 31st Jan 07, 8:57 PM
    • 443 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    bockster
    Apparently you can get trip switches that plug into the fuse box, where your fuse carriers currently sit - can't remember how much they cost, but my dad has been nagging us to get them for a while (he's seen them in Focus DIY, and I'm sure they are probably available from Screwfix). Obviously the ideal situation is to get an RCD box, but this could be be a good interim measure.

    D.
    by Ishtar

    the 'trip switches' you mention are miniature circuit breakers whose function is to protect the cable on that circuit from overload, not to protect someone from shock.

    the device that is designed to protect people from shock has several names inc;- rcd - residual current device.
    rccb - residual current circuit breaker.
    elcb - earth leakage circuit breaker.
    there may be others! but all the same thing.
    it will have a 'test' button on it to help you identify it.

    please don't be confused into thinking you are protected from shock if you only have miniature circuit breakers!
  • roger56
    Here is an example of a RCD used as part of a consumer unit:
    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Consumer_Units_Index/MK_Sentry_RCDs/index.html

    You can also buy versions to replace sockets:
    http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id=23064&ts=79731

    And safety extension leads (recommended for garden equipment):
    http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id=40107&ts=79615

    Do be aware of current rgulations about electrics:
    http://www.niceic.org.uk/partp/partphouse.html
  • benood
    We moved last year and our rewirable fuseboard had a great warning sign: "wired by dyslexic electrician", that encouraged us to have a proper modern board fitted straight away, and it wasn't very costly - about £300 from memory including a few other bits of work too - well worth it I think after reading this post.
    • WestonDave
    • By WestonDave 15th Feb 07, 10:02 AM
    • 5,038 Posts
    • 8,521 Thanks
    WestonDave
    Not long since finished having ours rewired - total rewire from top to bottom. We were in two minds whether to do that now or wait a couple of years until our forthcoming baby was old enough to cope with the mess. As it was they could do it fairly quickly so we did.

    I won't bore you with all the potentially dangerous things they found - all no doubt perfectly legal when installed, but the piece de resistance was the discovery that the socket I was happily using for the lawnmower was actually on the unearthed lighting circuit!
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 17th Feb 07, 7:49 PM
    • 2,361 Posts
    • 1,621 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    All the stuff noted above is great, but I would point out there are other competent person schemes see below:
    You should use a competent person for the work, links below

    In Scotland:
    Individuals regitered;
    http://www.sbsa.gov.uk/register/ListAC.asp
    Companies registered
    http://www.sbsa.gov.uk/register/SearchCo.asp?T=Construction&ID=2

    In England and Wales:
    http://www.competentperson.co.uk

    Hope this helps
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 17th Feb 07, 9:05 PM
    • 19,666 Posts
    • 20,492 Thanks
    jobbingmusician
    Just a tip for those of you who have consumer units for the first time - they can be very sensitive, so don't panic if the lights go out - a blown lightbulb can tend to trip the fuse. Just keep a torch near the unit, and flick the switch back into position
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 18th Feb 07, 11:20 AM
    • 2,361 Posts
    • 1,621 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    just a quick point about lamps tripping MCB.

    If you buy branded lamps (phillips; osram ;sylvania) this is unlikely to happen.
    If you buy lamps from the supermarket (own brand, cheapo) these will cause the MCB to trip.
    • ksh123
    • By ksh123 21st Feb 07, 12:32 AM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 750 Thanks
    ksh123
    WARNING - on a similar electrical theme
    Completely agree with the advice about trip boxes, tho I hadn't thought of having a regular check and shall think about that soon.

    Similarly NEVER EVER neglect to use a circuit breaker plug when using outdoor elelctricals like a lawn mower, headge trimmer, mulcher et etc.

    My 21 year old daughter, who often gets impatient with mum for saying time and again, "don't forget to use the circuit breaker!" when she is doing a job for me outside, learnt the value of this the other day.

    She was up a small step ladder trimming the hedge with our electrical trimmer, a job she has done lots of times, when yes, you've guessed it - she cut straight through the wire. If it weren't for the circuit breaker tripping and immediately cutting off the electricity supply the combination of the shock and the fall would almost certainly have finished her off.

    You should have seen her ashen face when she came to tell me what had happened and I go cold thinking about it again now.

    Circuit breaker plugs are so cheap - usually between 7 and 12 - but they are certainly worth their weight in gold!

    Take care x
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....
  • ollyk
    Suprising how we take electricity for granted, I still think (passed statistics) that there have been no fatalities where an RCD has been installed in an electrical installation.

    Good luck

    Alan (NICEIC electrical domestic installer)

    see:- www.NICEIC.com for electrical safety advice
    by Alan50
    Are there alternatives to NICEIC? If so, what are they?

    I would like to ask Martin, considering he is a MSE, if he would like to change his original insert posted at the top of the OP's post, to reflect a broader choice and not miss-guide people into thinking there is only the one option...?
    Last edited by ollyk; 21-02-2007 at 1:13 AM.
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