Part P Problems

10 Aug 2005
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United Kingdom
I am currently building an extension to my house, well two extensions actually. One is a single story to the rear extending the rather cramped Kitchen and providing a downstairs WC and cloakroom. The second is a two storey on the side with a garage on the ground floor and large bedroom with en-suit on the first.
When I say I am building, I really mean I am building. I drew up the plans I dug the foundations, I layed the bricks etc.
I am at the stage where the roof is on the single storey and we are about to knock through. The other day the building officer asked me who was doing my electrics. I said that as I was doing everything myself I though I would. It was then that we entered into a conversation which I only half understood about the testing and inspection procedure under part P.
It seams that if I engage an electrician who is part P certified to do the work he will issue a certificate, job done. If I engage an electrician who is not part P registered I will then have to either have the installation examined by the building inspector or another electrician who is part P registered. If I do the work myself it will have to be inspected and tested by an electrician, if he is part P registered he can certify it, if not the building inspector will have to look at the installation and scrutinize the test results before ok'ing the installation.
First Question, Have I got this right?
I have contacted a number of local electricians who I have more than a passing acquaintance with, a surprising number are not part P registered. None seem happy to test or examine my efforts. Many don't even seem keen to take on the job of the full installation.
I work at a local college with an electrical installation dept. and even they cannot tell me what I could or should do.
Has anyone had experience of part P from a DIY perspective?
I set out in this project to do the whole thing myself. I really should like to keep to my principals.

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If you already have submitted your building plans and they have been approved then the building inspector will (or should) automatically issue the building regs cert (including Part P). Did your submitted plans include the electrics?
the only details as to the electrical installation on my drawings were as follows:
Electrical Installation:
All electrical installation to be in full accordance with BS 7671 and with the latest edition of the IEE wiring regulations, and should be carried out in accordance with current installation techniques applicable to the materials and equipment being used.
All light switches are to be set at 1200mm above finished floor level and switched socket outlets to be set at least 450mm above floor level. Position or switches and socket outlets to be determined on site.
Electrical installation in ground floor WC and en-suite to be limited to lighting, all of which is to be operated by pull cord switch, ventilators, which is to be operated automatically from lighting circuit and electric shower, the main power switch for which is to be mounted outside of the en-suite in the main bedroom.
The drawings included no layout schemes etc.
This was not questioned by the building control officer.
I had 8 points which he needed clarifying before he would pass the drawings but at no time were the electics mentioned.

I have been told by third parties that I will have to pay the council further £300 to get my electrics certified? but I thought that the building control fees were all inclusive.

I would value further comments.

andy wheeldon said:
I have been told by third parties that I will have to pay the council further £300 to get my electrics certified? but I thought that the building control fees were all inclusive.

Thats correct AFAIK, they can't charge you extra just to inspect the electrics, you have paid your fee for them to inspect the work you are doing, and thats what they should do in return, without demanding more money.

/waits the arrival of ban...
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This link on the ODPM's website explains that LABCs cannot levy additional charges for Inspection & Testing.

Here is the relevant paragraph: -

"There have been reports that some local authorities are asking householders to have electrical installation work inspected, tested and certificated by someone other than the person carrying out the work. Section 33(2) of the Building Act 1984 (which would give power to local authorities to require persons carrying out building work to carry out such reasonable tests, at the person's expense, of or in connection with the work for the purpose of enabling local authorities to ascertain whether the work complies with the requirements of the Regulations) has not been commenced. This means in our opinion that local authorities do not have the power to require householders to retain an electrician to test and certificate the work in accordance with BS 7671. Local authorities which have adopted such a practice should discontinue it immediately."

This information was sent out as a letter from Anne Hemming (Head of Buildings Division of the ODPM) to all LABCs in March 2005

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