EICR - Do I need to replace this fuseboard?

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Hi all, I am renting my property soon and would need to do an EICR. however, I don't want someone to come over and force me into replacing the fuse board if it's not required.

The property was built in the 1990's, I have attached a pic of the current fuse board. Can someone tell me if this would need replacing?

No alternations have been carried out to the property since it was built.

Thanks all.
 

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It depends on the inspector, he has to list items which are not as considered appropriate today, and he has three codes he can use, C1 = dangerous, C2 = potentially dangerous, and C3 = recommended, we did have 1, 2, 3, and 4 with 4 being not compliant with current regulations, but this was dropped as being unhelpful.

Potentially dangerous is rather vague, some feel if not potentially dangerous in 1980 why should it be potentially dangerous today, so code it C3, others feel because we could drive down the M1 at 100 MPH when it opened, does not mean it is safe to do it today, so what was permitted in 1980 has nothing to do with the EICR done today.

However the MCB's can likely be swapped to RCBO's so should not need a consumer unit change, very few feel being plastic means needs changing or that lack of a surge protection device means it needs changing, but who ever you get to do the EICR simply ask first what code do you give to no RCD protection.

1990 was before BS7671 came out, so can't refer to previous edition, and RCD protection for sockets likely to be used to power items used outside has been in for a long time, so I would expect most inspectors would give it a C2. So you have 28 days to swap it.
 
An EICR identifies deficiencies in the electrical installation. The EICR is done by reference to current regulations, not what happened to be in place at the time the installation was done. Each defficiency is then assigned a code, C1 - danger present, C2 - potentially dangerous or C3 improvement recommended.

Unfortunately BS7671 says virtually nothing about what code to assign any particular defect. So we are left to rely on the inspectors judgement and industry guidance. I will go with the electrical safety council's guidance in assigning codes here, but there is no gaurantee your electrican will do the same.

Assuming there is no RCD protection located elsewhere and assuming the property is wired in normal twin and earth cable I identify the following deficiencies in your photo.

CU not made of non-combustible material: C3 or no code at all depending on location.
Lack of RCD protection for concealed cables: C3 (but there is apparently a NAPIT publication out there that assigns this C2, AIUI napit have said this was a mistake but that doesn't make the book dissappear)
Lack of RCD protection for sockets: C2 if the socket can reasonably be expected to power equipment outdoors. C3 otherwise. Unless the property is a flat high-up in a large block I think it's reasonable to expect that sooner or later at least some of the sockets in the property will be used to supply equipment outdoors.
Lack of RCD protection for lighting: C3

So at the very least it's likely you will need to add RCD protection for the sockets, an esepecially picky inspector may insist on RCD protection for everything. One way to do add RCD protection is to replace the MCB with a RCBO, but an issue with older CUs can be parts availability. I *think* hager have maintained compatibility for a long time but i'm not 100% sure.

Another thing to consider is any future work on the installation, most electricans work to the principle that any new work should be to current regulations. This can make extensions/modifications of circuits that do not have RCD protection problematic.
 
It depends on the inspector, he has to list items which are not as considered appropriate today, and he has three codes he can use, C1 = dangerous, C2 = potentially dangerous, and C3 = recommended, we did have 1, 2, 3, and 4 with 4 being not compliant with current regulations, but this was dropped as being unhelpful.

Potentially dangerous is rather vague, some feel if not potentially dangerous in 1980 why should it be potentially dangerous today, so code it C3, others feel because we could drive down the M1 at 100 MPH when it opened, does not mean it is safe to do it today, so what was permitted in 1980 has nothing to do with the EICR done today.

However the MCB's can likely be swapped to RCBO's so should not need a consumer unit change, very few feel being plastic means needs changing or that lack of a surge protection device means it needs changing, but who ever you get to do the EICR simply ask first what code do you give to no RCD protection.

1990 was before BS7671 came out, so can't refer to previous edition, and RCD protection for sockets likely to be used to power items used outside has been in for a long time, so I would expect most inspectors would give it a C2. So you have 28 days to swap it.
An EICR identifies deficiencies in the electrical installation. The EICR is done by reference to current regulations, not what happened to be in place at the time the installation was done. Each defficiency is then assigned a code, C1 - danger present, C2 - potentially dangerous or C3 improvement recommended.

Unfortunately BS7671 says virtually nothing about what code to assign any particular defect. So we are left to rely on the inspectors judgement and industry guidance. I will go with the electrical safety council's guidance in assigning codes here, but there is no gaurantee your electrican will do the same.

Assuming there is no RCD protection located elsewhere and assuming the property is wired in normal twin and earth cable I identify the following deficiencies in your photo.

CU not made of non-combustible material: C3 or no code at all depending on location.
Lack of RCD protection for concealed cables: C3 (but there is apparently a NAPIT publication out there that assigns this C2, AIUI napit have said this was a mistake but that doesn't make the book dissappear)
Lack of RCD protection for sockets: C2 if the socket can reasonably be expected to power equipment outdoors. C3 otherwise. Unless the property is a flat high-up in a large block I think it's reasonable to expect that sooner or later at least some of the sockets in the property will be used to supply equipment outdoors.
Lack of RCD protection for lighting: C3

So at the very least it's likely you will need to add RCD protection for the sockets, an esepecially picky inspector may insist on RCD protection for everything. One way to do add RCD protection is to replace the MCB with a RCBO, but an issue with older CUs can be parts availability. I *think* hager have maintained compatibility for a long time but i'm not 100% sure.

Another thing to consider is any future work on the installation, most electricans work to the principle that any new work should be to current regulations. This can make extensions/modifications of circuits that do not have RCD protection problematic.

Thank you all I really appreciate the replies you have given, I do have someone coming over shortly so I will let you know what he says.

Regarding the RCD, can the electrician install an RCBO or RBC within the current CU? or do I need to replace the CU?
 
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No RCDs for anything, it hasn't complied with BS7671 for 30 years.
No surge protection either.

Regarding the RCD, can the electrician install an RCBO or RBC within the current CU? or do I need to replace the CU?
RCBOs can be obtained which will fit into that consumer unit, but as the contents are the vast majority of the cost and the box itself is just an empty shell, it would be nonsense to not replace the whole thing.
It's only 4 circuits once the smoke alarms and lights are combined. Certainly at the lower end of pricing.
 
No RCDs for anything, it hasn't complied with BS7671 for 30 years.
No surge protection either.


RCBOs can be obtained which will fit into that consumer unit, but as the contents are the vast majority of the cost and the box itself is just an empty shell, it would be nonsense to not replace the whole thing.
It's only 4 circuits once the smoke alarms and lights are combined. Certainly at the lower end of pricing.
Thanks! managed to get it all sorted and got a new consumer unit installed... including the ECIR report all for £300.
 

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Can you Post the Test results, that seems awfully cheap. Whereabouts is this county wise? Is it just a flat?


Suddenly you have two socket circuits? Were two rings sharing an MCB?
 
The Consumer unit was probably about £50 to £60 with the RCBO, testing the circuits properly and fitting the new board for £250 is peanuts in Surrey! Did the Spark have to go shopping too & return with the board?
 
To elaborate on the comment on the new consumer unit being a pile on non-compliant junk, which it is, you have the problem with the vast majority of the circuits being supplied by the same one RCD, so if there is a fault with the cooker circuit, you will lose the sockets circuit and the lighting circuit - which is incredibly inconvenient to say the very least.

He should have omitted the RCD, and fitted each circuit on a separate RCBO.

An RCBO is a circuit breaker with an RCD built into it.

The good news is that I imagine BG RCBOs to fit you new board should be relatively cheap.

Whoever fitted that is not a proper electrician.
 

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