light off shaver socket off a spur

31 May 2016
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United Kingdom
I have a shaver socket in one of my bathrooms that I think is a spur off the ring - it was installed by electricians, so most likely this is how they did it.

Am I allowed to spur off the shaver socket to power a bathroom cabinet with a light? Or am I better off getting a cabinet with a shaver socket and light and replacing the shaver socket on the wall.
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There are two types of spur, unfused, and fused the latter is really a radial, with the latter you can add as many items as you want as long as the loop impedance restrictions are not exceeded. But with a unfused spur it must only feed one item. I have converted a unfused spur into a fused spur by fitting a grid system socket switch and fuse instead of the double socket, so it can still be done but is a little more involved.

Often shaver sockets are fed from the lights, if that is the case then it is likely on a radial not a spur, and you can add more to it, although consideration should be made to over loading a lighting circuit.

As to the legal bit this varies according to where you live in the UK, you can do the work but in some areas the LABC charges are so high it is not worth DIY if you want to be legal. Wales, Scotland and England are all different, it comes under Part P of the Building regulations in England and Wales, the document is on line, you really need to read it your self and decide if you need to register the work.
Thanks - I'll take a closer look. It may be easier to run a light cable down from the ceiling and chase out

the thing that really blimin annoys me about Part P & notifiable work etc. is its supposed to improve safety. But I've got sockets hanging off walls with exposed wires, electrical tape on choc blocks, over loaded junction boxes all done by qualified electricians and signed off by building control. That is on top of the stuff I flagged during the install - such as replacing FCUs with ordinary switches and failing to properly install appliances.
Because of time and signing off the work I selected to have a scheme member rewire my mothers house. There was just one point where I would have picked up the workmanship with an EICR that was using twin and earth to garage, I spoke about this and straight away it was corrected plus some minor niggles which were not against regulations.
OK there are things I want to do but it was not down to the electrician it was down to me and what I asked for.

There are of course good and bad in every trade, and if I had no intention of renting out my mothers house I may have ignored the law, but I knew renting it out was on the cards so I have ensured everything is correct so at a moments notice I can rent it out.

As to why in Wales we have more restrictive regulations than in England when it was the English parliament not the Welsh assembly who introduced Part P in the first place I really don't know. In England it was seen that the rules were too restrictive and the rules were relaxed. With the changing it made only listed items reportable where before it made all items not listed reportable. The result means there is some interpretation, I don't want to get involved with that interpretation, hence I said read them your self. There needs to be case law to now work out what can and can't be done.

In the main electricians follow BS7671 which is more restrictive than the Part P law. There is nothing illegal about not following BS7671 you could follow any other standard and as long as you can show you have not made it dangerous you can do what you want. I would like to be a fly on the wall when some one says yes I didn't use maintenance free junction boxes I feel where fitted there is no vibration and they were not required, show me why they are required, I have a degree in electrical engineering what do you have, to a building inspector?

Scheme member electricians have not got the option, if they do work their contract with the scheme provider says they must follow BS7671, however a non scheme member can do what he wants. I as a non scheme member can sign my own minor works certificate.

What Part P has done is replaced the Unions and the closed shop so some one can stop substandard electricians from being members of the scheme and as long as you only employ scheme members just like in the old days only employing people with a Union card, likely you will get a reasonable job. But unless you only employ scheme members Part P does not help. It simply replaced the closed shop, and likely as a result it is technically illegal.
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There needs to be case law to now work out what can and can't be done.
That would, in theory, be a solution but, in practice, it's almost certainly not going to happen - since the question of what work is, or is not, notifiable (in England and/or Wales) is most unlikley to ever be addressed by a Court.

Kind Regards, John
Yes in the main to go to court either some one must die, or some one must lose money, so if an electrician claims to be a scheme member and is not, then the scheme provider is losing money, so they will take him to court. If some one dies it does not really need the Part P laws to prosecute, so again unlikely to clarify what has been written.

We have seen with the TV licence law how it has changed over the years with court cases, the wording was really bad to start with, it said you needed a licence to have or use an apparatus to receive TV transmissions, which when I went to school was called an aerial. That was clearly not what they mean, painting the aerial black and white did not mean you could use a black and white licence. There have been parliamentary changes, you now need a licence to use iplayer, but in the main it was court cases which modified the case law.

With Part P there is a major problem as there are few definitions given, and where they are it is open to abuse. So for example I want a new kitchen (remember I live in Wales) so I rip the old kitchen out, so there are no food preparation surfaces, so it's no longer a kitchen, so I can modify the electrics as much as I want, then new kitchen is installed, but you don't need to register existing work, so no fees. We all know that is not what is meant by the regulations, and that I should pay the LABC to register the work, but considering across the boarder kitchens are no longer special places it unlikely any Welsh council will bring a court action when some one does such a trick.

I know in a village near me half is English and half is Welsh and a few electricians have done work thinking the house was in England, and only after being asked for the compliance certificate did they find out it was in Wales.
Yes in the main to go to court either some one must die, or some one must lose money ....
True ... but the point is that, even in those cases, the court's concern will be about the quality/safety of work that resulted in the death or financial loss, not the question of whether or not the work was notifiable - so I don't think the latter would/will ever get tested in a court.

Kind Regards, John

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