Equipotential bonding and Elecsa certificate

Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Hi everyone. Firstly, this might prove useful to some. I have an Elecsa certificate from my electrician provided 9 years ago when he fitted a new consumer unit. Yesterday, a new inspection revealed no equipotential bonding to mains water supply or gas meter. 9 years ago, the electrician lied on the certificate by stating all connections were verified. Apparently, he also lied about 10mm copper pipe being present running from the consumer unit to the electric meter I believe, but it's about 6mm. Unfortunately, the guy has retired/moved away/died, and I complained to Elecsa but they only deal with complaints within 6 years of issue. So I now know (too late) that it pays to get your electrics inspected every 5 years incase you need to complain. Here endeth the lesson which probably about 90% didn't need anyway, lol.

OK now for the problem. The Mrs is not amused cos the new electrician wants the ''unsightly'' green/yellow earth lead to run externally from where the water supply enters the house round to the gas meter which is on the opposite corner of the property. Running it inside the house is not doable, annoyingly! Approx distance is 9 meters of 10mm thick green/yellow cable running around the outside wall of the house. Can it be hidden inside white conduit cos the Mrs is livid about the cable on view? Best place to run it is 2 bricks up from the ground so it passes under the back door step/ledge, but this is right on the damp proof course). Is it OK to drill holes in the wall below or on the DCP? Thanks for reading, any advice appreciated.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
15 Sep 2017
Messages
28,850
Reaction score
2,123
Location
S. Uplands
Country
United Kingdom
I do know that electricians sometimes use black 10mm cable to do this, then uses earthing sleeve it where it connects to identify it as an earthing cable

I know its still a cable, but black is less noticable -against brickwork

if its white render then use white cable

drilling on DPC is not ideal but prob not an issue
 
Joined
28 Jul 2009
Messages
6,455
Reaction score
520
Location
Kent
Country
United Kingdom
drilling on DPC is not ideal but prob not an issue
No way.

The DPC must not be drilled or otherwise tampered with.

Fixing above or below DPC is fine.

I've also seen brown single used for the purpose which almost disappears on brickwork but many will refuse to use brown for an earth wire.
Apparently, he also lied about 10mm copper pipe being present running from the consumer unit to the electric meter I believe, but it's about 6mm.
I've just measured an old piece of 10mm² wire as about 5.9mm diameter.
 
Joined
11 Jan 2010
Messages
7,783
Reaction score
641
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Hi everyone. First Apparently, he also lied about 10mm copper pipe being present running from the consumer unit to the electric meter I believe, but it's about 6mm.
I assume you mean copper cable not pipe! So how are you measuring it? You need to measure the diameter of each strand, calculate the cross sectional area and multiply by the number of strands.
OK now for the problem. The Mrs is not amused cos the new electrician wants the ''unsightly'' green/yellow earth lead to run externally from where the water supply enters the house round to the gas meter which is on the opposite corner of the property. Running it inside the house is not doable, annoyingly! Approx distance is 9 meters of 10mm thick green/yellow cable running around the outside wall of the house.
It won't be 10mm thick though. A 10mm thick cable (assuming 1mm of insulation) is around 60mm2.
 
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
replying to Winston1 - sorry, meant to say copper cable. I didn't measure the thickness, nor have I looked at it. This is the info the sparky gave me.
 
Joined
27 Jan 2008
Messages
19,653
Reaction score
1,886
Location
Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
Country
United Kingdom
The standard time between PIR/EICR was always 10 years, so should be OK to claim back within the 10 years, but the claim would be on his professional indemnity insurance, not Elecsa unless they are the insurers.

After 10 years it could be said you an negligent in not testing within the prescribed time, in the main the time is written on the consumer unit for the next test.

The major problem is anyone can buy EICR forms with the logos on them, it does not show membership to the scheme, it seems there are two colours, one for members who have permission to do EICR under the scheme and another colour for those who don't, but since a free download from IET clearly the whole idea is to con the client into thinking it is covered by one of the schemes.

To bond water and gas is only required for an extraneous-conductive-part, defined as "Extraneous-conductive-part. A conductive part liable to introduce a potential, generally Earth potential, and not forming part of the electrical installation." so if the water enters the property with a plastic pipe then earthing not required, and as to gas one needs to be very careful, in the main there is an insulating part so the gas pipe in the property is not connected to the gas pipe in the street electrically, as if the PEN is lost, you don't want a massive current going down the gas pipe and melting it, the resultant fire or explosion it likely far worse than any shock you may get.

411.3.1.2 Protective equipotential bonding
In each installation main protective bonding conductors complying with Chapter 54 shall connect to the main
earthing terminal extraneous-conductive-parts including the following:
(i) Water installation pipes
(ii) Gas installation pipes
(iii) Other installation pipework and ducting
(iv) Central heating and air conditioning systems
(v) Exposed metallic structural parts of the building.
Connection of a lightning protection system to the protective equipotential bonding shall be made in accordance
with BS EN 62305.
Where an installation serves more than one building the above requirement shall be applied to each building.
To comply with the requirements of these Regulations it is also necessary to apply equipotential bonding to any metallic
sheath of a telecommunication cable. However, the consent of the owner or operator of the cable shall be obtained.
However it also states
542.2.4 A metallic pipe for gases or flammable liquids shall not be used as an earth electrode. The metallic pipe of a water utility supply shall not be used as an earth electrode. Other metallic water supply pipework shall not be used as an earth electrode unless precautions are taken against its removal and it has been considered for such a use.
So to earth the pipe work is OK but it must not be used as an earth electrode so there must be some for of isolation to ensure it is not being used as an earth electrode.

The idea is you don't want to be able to touch two items which have a voltage between them, if a street of homes all have the water and gas pipes bonded to the PEN then with the loss of the PEN the current is shared between all of the homes, so non have excessive current on the pipe work, the problem arises when only one home of many is bonded, so with the loss of a PEN 100's of amps can flow, the DNO fuse will not rupture as there is no fuse on neutral or earth. So the electrician must be very careful to ensure the bonding is the right side of the isolating block, in theory we want the connection within 3 meters of where the supply enters the home, but if the isolating block is not within 3 meters, the the bonding can't be within 3 meters either, OK two wrongs don't make a right, but don't want to prove the big bang theory either.

So in the main we test rather than use visual methods, but in the main earthing a water pipe is unlikely to cause a big bang, so we simply earth it, same not true for gas pipe, so for more about a broken PEN 1652974759019.png See this Wiring matters March 2021 and ask yourself did the old guy really get it wrong?
 
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
UPDATE - Elecsa have no record of this person so looks like he got hold of the certificates from somewhere and issued them illegally. Only found all this out cos we're selling the house, so we're living in a death tap for the last 9 years and it will all be made safe for the new owners.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
27 Jan 2008
Messages
19,653
Reaction score
1,886
Location
Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
Country
United Kingdom
My father-in-laws house had all sorts of faults, and we spent a lot of time and effort trying to rectify them, new owners ripped it all out and did so much work turning garage into a room etc, it was all wasted. See this advert you can buy blanks without breaking any rules.
 
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
38,434
Reaction score
4,668
Location
Retired to:
Country
Portugal
no equipotential bonding to mains water supply or gas meter. 9 years ago,
Is the water supply metal?
If plastic, no bonding is required - nor possible.

Is the gas meter outside?
If so the bond should not be connected at the meter but to the pipe where it enters the premises - where practicable.
Where it enters could be outside or inside where the pipe becomes touchable.
 
Joined
11 Jan 2010
Messages
7,783
Reaction score
641
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Only found all this out cos we're selling the house, so we're living in a death tap for the last 9 years and it will all be made safe for the new owners.
Big exaggeration there. You have not been killed after all.

Why did you have an inspection when you were selling? It is normal practice for the buyer to commission, and pay for, any surveys including an electrical inspection.
 
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
38,434
Reaction score
4,668
Location
Retired to:
Country
Portugal
Only found all this out cos we're selling the house, so we're living in a death tap for the last 9 years and it will all be made safe for the new owners.
I expect both your water and gas pipes are "earthed" by their connections to boilers, cylinders etc. so whilst that might not meet the strict requirements of main bonding it likely is not far off.
 
Joined
28 Jul 2009
Messages
6,455
Reaction score
520
Location
Kent
Country
United Kingdom
UPDATE - Elecsa have no record of this person so looks like he got hold of the certificates from somewhere and issued them illegally. Only found all this out cos we're selling the house, so we're living in a death tap for the last 9 years and it will all be made safe for the new owners.
If you are moving, why are you so concerned about what the earth wire looks like? Presumably the buyers have requested this work is done.
 
Joined
18 Jun 2010
Messages
2,298
Reaction score
173
Location
Derry, Ireland
Country
Ireland
I do know that electricians sometimes use black 10mm cable to do this, then uses earthing sleeve it where it connects to identify it as an earthing cable

I know its still a cable, but black is less noticable -against brickwork

if its white render then use white cable

drilling on DPC is not ideal but prob not an issue
Incorrect. It must be green/yellow throughout its length.
 
Joined
11 Mar 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
The water and gas pipes are all metal. The gas enters the house next to the meter and no earth is visible. That's the problem - the word ''visible.'' The Mrs is friends with the buyer, she's a single parent going through a bad time currently, and we were happy to get an updated electrical certificate for her. Why wouldn't we? After all, we had a certificate showing all was ok, or so we thought. Buyer says the colour white would be better than green/yellow running round the outside of the building. Another thought... how do I know the latest sparky is signed up with Elecsa or similar? How do I know he's not buying blank certificates online and issuing these so they look legitimate?
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top