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Power next to a container.

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by dhutch, 25 Mar 2014.

  1. dhutch

    dhutch

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    The motorclub at my old university have a area for working on cars, beside a container for storing kit and parts, opposite an access road from a number of lock-up garages which have power in them.

    They want to, and have had verbal permission to, run power over the road to the area using a semi-permanent road cover.

    Ideally they would wire power to the container, for an internal light and or sockets, but the key requirement is to have sockets outside for the work area, which could either be fixed to the container or mounted to posts next to it.

    As I understand it, been steel, if you run power to the container you would either need to bond it back to the source (say, by running an 10mm^2 cable alongside the power feed) or you would need to place and earth stake next to it and have a consumer unit and RCD, which may also be depending on the type of earth used at the supply.

    However, where do you stand in terms of running it to a number of sockets on posts next to the container?

    If this was plugged into a 16 or 32amp socket fitted in the garage, would anything else other than installing the socket (assuming it was a new circuit) be notifiable or need signing off?


    Daniel
     
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  3. viewer

    viewer

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    You're basically right about the container wiring - although much depends on distances, etc. For the stand-alone post I'd suggest that it wouldn't help because, come the first wet day, somebody will fit an extension lead and work inside the container.
    If this is a university club then there is probably something in the constitution which requires consultation with the university health and safety officer. Probably better to check the latter before spending money.
     
  4. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    What is mean't by a semi-permanent road cover!
    I assume as these are garages/storage containers for a motorcycle club, that there would be plenty of vehicle traffic in this location and unless the cable was actually suitably buried at a reasonable depth (normally about 600mm), or strung over using a catenary wire, again at a specified height with regards the vehicle traffic. I cannot see how a semi-permanent cover would be suitable.

    Where would the power source be feed from and do you now what type of earthing arrangement exists and what distance the power source is from the container?
     
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    There has been a lot of talk about power to charge electric cars and safe methods and although not a charging point as such it is very similar. Major problem is however insurance and some one with insurance cover will need to sign the installation certificate.

    When I as at Uni there were a lot of problems with electric supplies trying to work out who could and who couldn't be allowed into areas with switch gear. Two of the class held C&G 2391 and as such would be considered as competent. However some lecturers subject was not in electrics so the question arose could they teach in that class room? It was in the end agreed since two mature students were competent the teaching of lessons in that class room could continue but the amount of problems having class rooms that had power in them caused was really OTT.

    Yet same Uni had open stairs without any barrier to stop things falling through them and a student information desk under them. Clearly an accident waiting to happen.

    So get the Uni to decide what they want as regulations and common sense does not always apply. It would seem HSE does cover the employed staff but not the students so there are some odd things that go on.
     
  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As others are pointing out, I would think that 'notification' is probably the least of your worries as far as this project is concerned.

    However, FWIW, I don't think that 'notification', at least in the sense that we normally discuss it in this forum, would be applicable. That notification relates to works to which Part P applies and, in turn, Part P only applies do domestic dwellings and associated land, power supplied from such dwellings or shared areas of blocks of flats - and it sounds as if that's not what you were talking about.

    In passing, if something similar were being proposed in a domestic setting, then I suspect it would become a subject of debate - centering around whether or not interposing a 16A/32A plug/socket (probably 'permanently' or 'semi-permanently' plugged in) in a new circuit excludes everything downstream of that plug/socket from being part of that new circuit.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  7. dhutch

    dhutch

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    Clearly tha is a possibility. The container is mainly used for storage, so its unlikely someone would be working inside it (there's not much space left) but there is certainly a possibility that someone might run a light into it.



    This sort of thing: http://www.theworkplacedepot.co.uk/speed-ramp-cable-channel

    The power feed would come from the lock up garages, which have a fairly substantial power supply, but the earth type is not yet known.


    Daniel
     
  8. dhutch

    dhutch

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    Valid point about it not being a domestic installation.

    The campus facilities manager has agreed in principle to the provision of supplying power to the container, now that it appears that the current setup is expected to be fairly permanent. When they originally move the club to this location (to vacate the other location for building development) it was considered that we might move again, and or, that they might be able to remove us from campus all together. However that was now 6 years ago and it appear to now be the case that we will stay in this location, and certainly, on campus.

    Currently, unprotected extension leads are used over the road, which was what was agreed, on the basis they would be unplugged should a vehicle need to use the road, but clearly while the lead is only put out when needed it, in practice vehicles arrive un-announced and simply drive over it.

    I understand there is going to be a meeting with estates and one of there electrical with the current club chairman and garage sec, but they have been asked to draw up what they would like for it to be considered, and as the person who championed this about four years ago less time it nearly happened, I have been asked to pass on the work I did and or advise on the best place to pitch it given what happened last time, hence the thread.


    Daniel
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    How are you proposing that the supply to the new sockets will be metered - i.e. who is going to be paying for the electricity?

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. dhutch

    dhutch

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    I believe there is currently a meter within the garage, but equally, as far as I am aware the cost is included within the rent paid for the garages.
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Fair enough - I didn't realise that the 'lock-up garages' were also used by the motorclub.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  13. dhutch

    dhutch

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    No worries, yes, I should have said.
    They have two now, having merged with the less active motorcycle club, and use of a third.


    Daniel
     
  14. dhutch

    dhutch

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    A rough outline is attached below.

    To get to the container, the road is around 8-10ft wide, plus 10-12 foot within the work area, plus 10-12ft to the back of the garage where the current consumer unit is, I believe the cable feed int he four garage comes in at the bottom left corner of the four garages, and presumably each has a meter and consumer unit as ours does.

    There is then a fixed steel boundary fence along the back of the work area (top of the image) and movable site fencing around the work area.

    We do not know what the supply looks like beyond what we can see, nor as far as I know, what the earthing arrangement is currently.




    Daniel
     
  15. stillp

    stillp

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    Part P might not apply, but the Electricity at Work Regulations certainly do! Have the university's insurers been consulted? This doesn't sound like a DIY task to me.
     
  16. dhutch

    dhutch

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    As said, as I understand there is going to be a meeting with estates and one of their electricians with the current club chairman and garage sec, at which point I presume the plan will be drafted up of how its going to be done.

    But they have been asked to draw up what they would like, for it to be considered.

    For me they need to work out what they want would like best, whats a bear minimum, and where they can be flexable in terms of what is electrically easy and or cost effective. Obviously having an insight in to what they can expect from the meeting is a bonus in terms of understanding what the electrician is saying.

    Bear minimum as I see it, is a pair of sockets, or a single socket, on the other side of the road from the garage, so they can run power tools from it without running an extension over the road.
    - Ideally they would also be able to run a welder (the largest mig unit you can get off a 13amp plug) of the socket.
    - Ideally there would be provision for having some lighting in the area, either flood lights on stands, mounted on the container, or mounted on the garage for winter evenings, and the help them tidy up at the end of a day. Which could be turned on an off without opening the container.
    - Ideally they would have a light in the container, to help people put thing back neatly, and prehaps a socket if that could be put in at the same time, to prevent people running leads through the door.


    Daniel
     
  17. stillp

    stillp

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    That's the first question you'll need to answer.
     
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