Part P - can I do this work myself?

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Hi, and I'm sorry if this is a commonly asked question, but I am utterly confused by the "notifiable work" regulations.

There are a few things I want to do to my electrics. I know most if not all of my electrics go through my loft and I want to add a few sockets. I'd like to know if I can do the following myself (ie it's not notifiable) or if I need an electrician to do it for me:
1) Install a new light switch and light fitting in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom lighting circuit)
2) Install a single socket in parallel with an existing light fitting in my bedroom, for a 12V transformer for an LED lighting track (am I allowed to fit a normal socket here? I know it's bad practice but I can't think how else to wire this up)
3) Install a double socket in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom socket ring)
4) Install two double sockets off the same ring as 3 (and very adjacent) in the top of a cupboard

I presume because of 3 and 4 I would need to extend the ring rather than run a spur, probably by fitting the loft sockets using one end of the cut existing ring, running a new cable down to the new sockets, then running a new cable back to a junction box where it can join the other end of the cut cable? I'm not sure if that counts as extending the ring and whether that needs notifying.

Would really appreciate your advice, particularly if you can think of anything I've missed.
 
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Paul_C

I'd like to know if I can do the following myself (ie it's not notifiable) or if I need an electrician to do it for me:

You can do any work yourself, it's just that officially some is required to be notified if you do while some isn't.

So specifically:

1) Install a new light switch and light fitting in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom lighting circuit)

Not notifiable. And it wouldn't matter if the lighting circuit does feed a kitchen or bathroom light as well, as the work would not be in either of those locations.

2) Install a single socket in parallel with an existing light fitting in my bedroom, for a 12V transformer for an LED lighting track

Again, not notifiable as you are adding a socket to an existing circuit and it's not in any of the notifiable locations.

(am I allowed to fit a normal socket here? I know it's bad practice but I can't think how else to wire this up)

You mean a regular BS1363 (13A) socket? Personally I wouldn't consider it ideal, and if a plug-&-socket connection is needed would use a 2- or 5-amp BS546 type instead. That might be difficult if the power supply is the all-in-one molded case with integral plug, however.

3) Install a double socket in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom socket ring)

4) Install two double sockets off the same ring as 3 (and very adjacent) in the top of a cupboard

Again, not notifiable if you are adding sockets to an existing circuit not in a kitchen or bathroom. Whether that circuit already feeds kitchen sockets or not doesn't make any difference.

I presume because of 3 and 4 I would need to extend the ring rather than run a spur, probably by fitting the loft sockets using one end of the cut existing ring, running a new cable down to the new sockets, then running a new cable back to a junction box where it can join the other end of the cut cable?

You could extend the ring, or you could add them as spurs subject to each double socket being on its own spur (and to the usual provision about the number of spurred sockets not exceeding the number already on the ring itself). You could also install an FCU with a 13A fuse and then run to several sockets as a fused spur if you wanted to - Subject to whatever you plan on connecting to those sockets not requiring more than 13A in total, of course.

I'm not sure if that counts as extending the ring and whether that needs notifying.

Again, extending an existing ring is not notifiable so long as the work is not in a kitchen, bathroom, etc.
 
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(am I allowed to fit a normal socket here? I know it's bad practice but I can't think how else to wire this up)

You mean a regular BS1363 (13A) socket? Personally I wouldn't consider it ideal, and if a plug-&-socket connection is needed would use a 2- or 5-amp BS546 type instead. That might be difficult if the power supply is the all-in-one molded case with integral plug, however.
Therein lies my problem! Maybe I should put in a BS546 and find an adapter? I presume they exist...

I presume because of 3 and 4 I would need to extend the ring rather than run a spur, probably by fitting the loft sockets using one end of the cut existing ring, running a new cable down to the new sockets, then running a new cable back to a junction box where it can join the other end of the cut cable?

You could extend the ring, or you could add them as spurs subject to each double socket being on its own spur (and to the usual provision about the number of spurred sockets not exceeding the number already on the ring itself). You could also install an FCU with a 13A fuse and then run to several sockets as a fused spur if you wanted to - Subject to whatever you plan on connecting to those sockets not requiring more than 13A in total, of course.
Well half the reason for the sockets is that the location I want them is a long way from another socket, so the idea of running three spurs isn't one I'm particularly keen on. Three of the sockets are for my wireless equipment (telephone and internet) so don't consume much power, so the FCU idea may be ideal. The other consideration is that I know the cables run across the roof so they're easier to get at there than going down the wall space to run a spur.

Thank you, I appreciate your advice.
 
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Therein lies my problem! Maybe I should put in a BS546 and find an adapter? I presume they exist...
They shouldn't exist, and I'm sure would be non-compliant with various regulations/standards - because you would be talking about an adapter which allowed a '13A plug' to be plugged into a 2A or 5A socket. I suppose you could use a 15A socket with an adapter (which might exist), but even that would be messy.

The problem you're experiencing is one we've all encountered, and the only real solution is to use a 13A socket for 'all-in-one' moulded power supplies, even if it's not ideal. If you were concerned, I suppose you could feed the socket via an FCU with a 5A, 3A or 1A fuse in it.

Kind Regards, John.
 
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How about if I put a lighting 12V transformer in the loft, would that be better than a socket? How would I get the wire through the roof/wall to the LED strip? Would a small hole in the ceiling be ok (the hole would be hidden from view) Or do I need a flush mount or ceiling rose?
 
P

Paul_C

I suppose you could use a 15A socket with an adapter (which might exist), but even that would be messy.

And you'd just have a 15A socket on a 5/6A circuit instead of a 13A one. There were certainly BS546 15A to BS1363 13A adapters made years ago, but if the only perceived problem is somebody coming along and plugging a 3kW load into a 13A socket, he could just as easily do that with a 15A and the adapter which has been conveniently provided.

If you really wanted to go from 5A BS546 to 13A you'd have to make up your own short adapter lead with a 5A plug and 13A trailing socket, which for this application would be horrendously messy.

Personally, I'm not keen on those molded-with-plug power adapters anyway, and for any sort of permanent installation would be looking at using a different power supply of suitable rating.

But if you really need to use one of those, just wiring a 13A socket on the lighting circuit is probably the neatest overall solution even though it's something which just "doesn't seem right" to many of us. It's not dangerous from the electrical point of view, just an inconvenience if somebody comes along and tries to plug a 3kW heater into it at some point.

Locating the outlet somewhere where such general use is unlikely but it's still convenient for the lighting would go a long way to reducing the chances of that happening, and you could always label the socket appropriately as a warning.
 
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Hi, and I'm sorry if this is a commonly asked question, but I am utterly confused by the "notifiable work" regulations.

There are a few things I want to do to my electrics. I know most if not all of my electrics go through my loft and I want to add a few sockets. I'd like to know if I can do the following myself (ie it's not notifiable) or if I need an electrician to do it for me:
1) Install a new light switch and light fitting in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom lighting circuit)
2) Install a single socket in parallel with an existing light fitting in my bedroom, for a 12V transformer for an LED lighting track (am I allowed to fit a normal socket here? I know it's bad practice but I can't think how else to wire this up)
3) Install a double socket in the loft (off the non-kitchen/bathroom socket ring)
4) Install two double sockets off the same ring as 3 (and very adjacent) in the top of a cupboard

I presume because of 3 and 4 I would need to extend the ring rather than run a spur, probably by fitting the loft sockets using one end of the cut existing ring, running a new cable down to the new sockets, then running a new cable back to a junction box where it can join the other end of the cut cable? I'm not sure if that counts as extending the ring and whether that needs notifying.

Would really appreciate your advice, particularly if you can think of anything I've missed.

Although this work might not be notifiable, it will require an EIC with full set of test results - including 'Ring Final Circuit' continuity tests - are you competent to do this, do you have the correct test equipment and will you know how to interpret your test results?? - if not, then you should not do this work yourself, you should get an electrician.

It's not just about Part P and notification!! :)
 
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Hi, and I'm sorry if this is a commonly asked question, but I am utterly confused by the "notifiable work" regulations.
Schedule 4 isn't that complicated.

But do take note of what Electrifying said - there's more to this than worrying about whether it's notifiable.

http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Book/8.1.1.htm


How about if I put a lighting 12V transformer in the loft, would that be better than a socket?
LED drivers and ELV lighting supplies are often not the same sort of thing.

What are the specs of the supply for your LEDs?
 
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Parts of it are badly worded and very much open to interpretation though.
Only by people with an ulterior motive of trying to create loopholes.


What precisely is 1(b) supposed to cover, for example?
Oooh - wild guess, but how about making replacing a damaged cable for a single circuit only non-notifiable?


Well, another wild guess, but how about, in relation to an existing fixed building service, which is not a fixed internal or external lighting system, making it non-notifiable to replace any part which is not a combustion appliance or add an output device, or add a control device, in situations where resting and adjustment of the work is not possible or would not affect the use by the fixed building service of no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances?
 
P

Paul_C

Only by people with an ulterior motive of trying to create loopholes.

It doesn't need anyone trying to create loopholes. There is enough about it already which is unclear, or which by the generally accepted version of what's notifiable clearly doesn't mean what it actually says, e.g. the "and" vs. "or" issue in 2(c) discussed a few weeks ago.

Oooh - wild guess, but how about making replacing a damaged cable for a single circuit only non-notifiable?

And what precisely is "single circuit" supposed to mean in that context? Every cable forms part of a single circuit, whether a final circuit or a sub-feeder of some sort.

Well, another wild guess, but how about, in relation to an existing fixed building service, which is not a fixed internal or external lighting system, making it non-notifiable to replace any part which is not a combustion appliance or add an output device, or add a control device, in situations where resting and adjustment of the work is not possible

"Resting and adjustment" of the work? What's that supposed to mean in plain English?

or would not affect the use by the fixed building service of no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances?

"Would not affect the use..... of no power fuel and power than is reasonable." Again, what exactly is that supposed to mean?

Leaving aside the bad grammar, and assuming that the intent was to say something like "And would not cause the fixed building service to use more fuel and power than is reasonable.....," then what is somebody replacing, say, an exhaust fan supposed to make of that?

How is he supposed to know what is "reasonable in the circumstances" to know whether or not the job is notifiable?
 
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It doesn't need anyone trying to create loopholes. There is enough about it already which is unclear, or which by the generally accepted version of what's notifiable clearly doesn't mean what it actually says, e.g. the "and" vs. "or" issue in 2(c) discussed a few weeks ago.
I'm not going there again.

It was, is, and always will be clear and unambiguous.

If you claim that it is not then either you have an ulterior motive or you have an IQ smaller than your shoe size.

If you want to try to revive your trenchant nonsense from a few weeks ago then do it in that thread, but your arguments will be no less pathetic now than they were then.


And what precisely is "single circuit" supposed to mean in that context? Every cable forms part of a single circuit, whether a final circuit or a sub-feeder of some sort.
Since that is an electrical provision, how about using the definition of "circuit" in the Wiring Regulations?

Or would that not suit someone who's aim is to look for mad interpretations because he is driven by an ulterior motive?


"Resting and adjustment" of the work? What's that supposed to mean in plain English?
I don't know - it's explicitly not a fixed internal or external lighting system. It appears to be heating related, but as I'm not an expert I can't explain it fully to another non-expert such as yourself.


"Would not affect the use..... of no power fuel and power than is reasonable." Again, what exactly is that supposed to mean?
I imagine it's supposed to mean something to people who are competent to work in the field to which it relates.

The parts of Schedule 4 which relate to areas where I have expertise are clear to me, and I am totally convinced that they are equally clear to anybody else with relevant expertise who does not approach them with the intention of looking for places where they can abandon common sense because what they really want to is to circumvent them.

Regarding the parts of Schedule 4 which relate to areas where I do not have expertise I can only do two things:

1) To assume that they are equally clear to people with relevant expertise.

2) To not t**t around doing work in those areas until I do understand what the regulations mean.


Leaving aside the bad grammar, and assuming that the intent was to say something like "And would not cause the fixed building service to use more fuel and power than is reasonable.....," then what is somebody replacing, say, an exhaust fan supposed to make of that?
That's easy to answer.

What he's supposed to make of it is that it's a clear warning to not do work to which it relates if he doesn't understand it.


How is he supposed to know what is "reasonable in the circumstances" to know whether or not the job is notifiable?
That's equally easy to answer.

If he doesn't know what's reasonable then he is not competent to be doing the work, and therefore he should not be doing it.

Runny paintwork, peeling wallpaper, dying shrubs are one thing, but when it comes to structural integrity, sanitation, insulation, fire resistance, electrical installations etc, then a DIYer must not do anything which he cannot do to the same standards as a qualified professional.

So if he doesn't understand what the provisions in Schedule 4 mean then he should leave the work alone.

Simples.
 
P

Paul_C

It was, is, and always will be clear and unambiguous.

If Schedule 4 is so clear and unambiguous, why does the Approved Document need to "explain" it?

Since that is an electrical provision, how about using the definition of "circuit" in the Wiring Regulations?

First, as you are quite aware, the Wiring Regulations/BS7671 are not statutory, and are not mentioned in the Building Regs. beyond a reference to the definition of certain locations. So why should it be assumed that "circuit" in Schedule 4 is intended to convey the same meaning as the way in which it is defined in BS7671 ?

But even though it might be reasonable to assume that such was the intent, you argued against this yourself, by insisting that "fused spur" in Schedule 4 does not mean "fused spur" as defined by the Wiring Regs.

So if a term is used, but not defined explicitly, in the Building Regs., are we to assume the meaning as defined by BS7671 or not?

Or would that not suit someone who's aim is to look for mad interpretations because he is driven by an ulterior motive?

Which would be?

"Resting and adjustment" of the work? What's that supposed to mean in plain English?
I don't know

But you've just stated that Schedule 4 is clear and unambiguous. If it's that clear, shouldn't the meaning be fairly obvious?

it's explicitly not a fixed internal or external lighting system. It appears to be heating related, but as I'm not an expert I can't explain it fully to another non-expert such as yourself.

"Fixed building service" is defined in the Building Regs., viz.:

"fixed building services" means any part of, or any controls associated with—

(a) fixed internal or external lighting systems, but does not include emergency escape lighting or specialist process lighting; or

(b) fixed systems for heating, hot water, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation

So allowing for those items which Schedule 4 says are not included, that means that the "resting and adjustment of work" refers to emergency escape lighting, specialist process lighting, heating, hot water, air conditioning, and mechanical ventilation.

The parts of Schedule 4 which relate to areas where I have expertise are clear to me, and I am totally convinced that they are equally clear to anybody else with relevant expertise who does not approach them with the intention of looking for places where they can abandon common sense because what they really want to is to circumvent them.

They are far from clear in places. And as I've pointed out before, I have no interest in trying to find interpretations to somehow circumvent the Part P notification requirements, because my approach is to just flat-out ignore any such requirements. In the past I've pointed out not only interpretations of Schedule 4 which would make something non-notifiable, but also interpretations which would make notifiable something which is generally taken as being non-notifiable.

If he doesn't know what's reasonable then he is not competent to be doing the work, and therefore he should not be doing it.

Presumably you are aware of the "Man on the Clapham Omnibus" view of how "reasonable" is supposed to be interpreted?

So if he doesn't understand what the provisions in Schedule 4 mean then he should leave the work alone.

Many qualified people have pointed out the shortcomings of the wording in Schedule 4, and Schedule 2B before it. Are they all to be considered incompetent then, and should not perform the work that their qualifications state they are competent to do, just because of badly drafted legislation?

"Resting and adjustment" of the work? What's that supposed to mean in plain English?
Could this be a misprint and meant to read "resiting...?

How would you know?

I've wondered whether it was a misprint, and meant to be something along those lines. But resiting, or even resetting still leaves the intended meaning of that clause very unclear.
 

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