New Consumer Box advice please

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Ray Jones, 28 Apr 2021.

  1. Ray Jones

    Ray Jones

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I'm planning on having a new consumer box fitted to my house by a qualified electrician, the house was built 1963 and a check on the wiring shows it as plastic. We had it checked before we moved in safety wise and it was deemed ok. I note however that there is no earth wire to any of the lighting switches and they are metal back box. All the pendants are plastic and relatively new My question is can I still have a new consumer box fitted without having to rewire the light switches.
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    49,099
    Thanks Received:
    3,234
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The ideal would obviously be to have the lighting circuits re-wired.

    However, provided that all the lighting switches (as well as all the light fittings) are themselves plastic, your electrician may well be happy to replace the CU with things as they are. The metal back boxes for the switches are not, in themselves, much of an issue, since they are not usually touchable, and if there are concerns about the screws (holding the switches onto the boxes), the could be replaced with nylon ones or perhaps 'screw covers' utilised.

    The bottom line is that you obviously need to discuss this with any electrician you are contemplating getting to replace the CU.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  4. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2009
    Messages:
    5,931
    Thanks Received:
    596
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The metal lights switch back boxes should have nylon threads in them if fitted in 60s
    Thus not a concern
     
  5. Ray Jones

    Ray Jones

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi there, no they don't they are just metal threads metal screws but can a consumer box still be fitted without having to rewire.
     
  6. Ray Jones

    Ray Jones

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Interesting about the nylon threads, I've looked at back boxes on toolstation and screwfix and can't find any boxes that have nylon threads
     
  7. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2009
    Messages:
    5,931
    Thanks Received:
    596
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thats cus they would have only manufactured them in the 60s
    As they weren't required in the 70s when light circuits had earth wires
     
  8. plugwash

    plugwash

    Joined:
    28 Mar 2004
    Messages:
    9,626
    Thanks Received:
    382
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, but don't be surprised if not all electricians are prepared to do it.

    BS7671 is mostly written as a set of requirements for new installation work and pay relatively little attention to how to deal with existing installations that are not compliant with current standards.

    Replacing the protective device protecting a circuit implies taking on a level of responsibility for the safety of that circuit.

    There is guidance from respected organizations (for example https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media/2146/bpg1.pdf ) that says it is acceptable to reconnect a lighting circuit with no earth if the customer refuses to get it rewired and there are no metal fittings/accessories and that in such cases a warning label should be placed.

    but ultimately that is just guidance, each tradesman is responsible for covering their own ass and a large part of that is deciding what situations they will or will not get involved with.
     
  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2010
    Messages:
    37,778
    Thanks Received:
    4,246
    Location:
    Retired to:
    Country:
    Portugal
    I presume you mean the Consumer Unit is plastic.

    You do not have to replace it and there is no benefit in replacing it just because it is plastic.


    As for the unearthed lighting circuits, they (or rather you) will benefit from a new CU with RCDs if you don't have them already.
     
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2010
    Messages:
    37,778
    Thanks Received:
    4,246
    Location:
    Retired to:
    Country:
    Portugal
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    49,099
    Thanks Received:
    3,234
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I believe that they are at least a spin-off from NICEIC. Do I take it that you are questioning "respected organizations"?

    Kind Regards, John
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    49,099
    Thanks Received:
    3,234
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I suppose you may be right, but I confess that I took it to mean that the wiring was 'plastic' (i.e. PVC) - which is what I look "... a check on the wiring shows it as plastic" to mean.

    Maybe I was wrong!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    49,099
    Thanks Received:
    3,234
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Only marginally, I would have thought. Given that unearthed lighting circuits should not supply anything with an exposed-c-p, the only protection an RCD would be likely to give (in relation to such a circuit) would be in relation to people who were injudiciously 'fiddling with' parts of the circuit's wiring whilst they were 'live', wouldn't it?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  15. plugwash

    plugwash

    Joined:
    28 Mar 2004
    Messages:
    9,626
    Thanks Received:
    382
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Perhaps "respected" isn't quite the right word but (as much as some people may dislike them) the reality is that many of the organizations involved in the production of that guide are many of the same organizations that are responsible for either setting electrical safety standards or approving people to self-certify electrical work.

    And at least the NICEIC link the best practice guides on their websites, for example https://www.niceic.com/contractor/essentials/downloads
     
  16. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    49,099
    Thanks Received:
    3,234
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I wouldn't argue with any of that, and I do not doubt that they are primarily well-intentioned (and often/usually sensible), even though they cannot be blind to the fact that their guidelines can sometimes have the effect of 'generating work' for their members.

    However, I think one of the problems with 'guidelines' from these trade organisations (which I suspect their members are obliged to follow) is that, in the eye of 'outsiders' they can sometimes appear to be 'requirements', even when they actually go beyond what would be required to satisfy (the 'minimum standard' of) BS7671.

    Kind Regards, John
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. boringoldcodger

    boringoldcodger

    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Messages:
    119
    Thanks Received:
    25
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
Loading...

Share This Page