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Qualification for fitting fused spur ?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by PASUK, 7 Apr 2019.

  1. PASUK

    PASUK

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    Hi
    In order to install security systems into homes do I need qualifications/certifications to take a spur off a ring main to install a fused spur and connect an alarm panel?
    If so, what's the minimum qualifications/certification needed?
    And could anyone recommend where to get this done and how much it costs?
    Installing security systems is not my full time occupation and only do 2-3 year.
    Thanks
     
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  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    You need no formal qualifications, but you need to be competent to do the work safely, otherwise you would be breaking the law.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  4. ericmark

    ericmark

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    As said no qualification required, however you must have the knowledge to do the work safely for yourself and others.
    The problem is as always, if some thing goes wrong, because it has gone wrong, it points to you not having the knowledge, so you want some thing to show you do have the knowledge. About the cheapest exam which really only shows you can read a book, but is seen as showing you have electrical knowledge is the exam to show your aware of the regulations, it has changed number 16th edition was C&G2381 then 17th was C&G2382 and I expect there is a new number for 18th edition of wiring regulations.

    To show any HSE inspector your able to do the work safely you would also need to show you have access to test equipment, as to what test equipment not so sure.

    Before the Emma Shaw court case I was not really worried about qualifications, however in that case an electricians mate was asked to take readings which entailed plugging in a tester and writing down what it said when he pressed the button, he did not need to interpret the results, simply write them down, however it seems the meter showed OL or some other non numeric reading, so he asked in the canteen and wrote down what they suggested. This resulted in his foreman being found guilty for using unskilled labour.

    The foreman could hardly argue the guy had the skill required because his actions showed he did not. Through out my working life there have been similar court cases for nearly every trade, and when you read them, one thinks there by grace of god go I.

    So to fit a FCU what do you need to know? Well we know it is not permitted to take a second supply from an unfused spur, so you need to identify the circuit you are tapping into, even when you know the load is so low, you still need to follow the rules, you need to test that the RCD supplying the new FCU will trip within the prescribed time, and current, and that the cables are within safe zones. And be able to get all the information required to fill in the minor works certificate.

    In real terms issuing a minor works certificate is your get out of jail free card, it shows you tested and inspected as long as the readings put down actually match the actual readings, so if your certificate says the ELI at origin is 0.23Ω and when some thing goes wrong the HSE inspector also gets 0.25Ω then it is close enough for him to think you actually took all the readings on the certificate, however if you write down it's a TN supply and it is actually a TT supply then it will show you didn't know what you were doing.

    So I would say any electrical qualification for radio hams exam to C&G2381 even if out of date, shows you have studied and have basic knowledge required, and of course the filling in and issuing of minor works certificates. So if a plasterer puts a nail through your cable, you can show it was OK when you left, nail must have gone in after you left. Which in turn means actual readings, not guessed readings. Which in turn means loop impedance meter, RCD meter, insulation tester, and low ohm meter, and some method to show the meters are working as they should.

    And the ability to answer questions from HSE as to how you knew the supply was suitable. From what I am told the new 18th is stricter as far as RCD protection goes, and the old idea of using a RCD FCU with Ali-tube cable supplying it is no longer allowed? So before I could start fitting alarms, I would need to buy 18th edition and study the changes, so I know what is permitted, even with a degree, and I would also need to buy myself a new test set, so looking at around £800 to get what I need to start, I considered re-wiring mothers house, but between LABC fees and getting new test gear, plus speed, it was not worth it, got some one else to do it.
     
  5. PASUK

    PASUK

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    great advice thanks.
    Out of interest what is a fair price to ask an electrician to come a long to an alarm install and add a FCU. Say I located it very close to an existing ring main say an FCU next to a existing double socket. South east england (outside London).
    Thanks again
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    It is likely you can find an electrician interested in repeat work who will give you a favourable rate, however alarm installs are an odd one out, I know local firm to me does the install at below cost, as he then gets the annual fee for the maintenance and the monitoring station. And it is these annual fees that make him his money.

    Knowing the install is often so cheap, not sure if you could actually make money if the supply part is farmed out? I know a friend of mine would do work like that on his way home from jobs, but the problem was timing, either house owner was not there to let him in, or there was not a supply he could use, or he needed something not on his van and whole sale outlet closed, so in the end he gave up doing them.

    Look at it this way, 2 men will likely take 40 hours (week) to rewire a house, so 80 hours = £3000, so with materials it will average at just under £40 an hour, and with travel likely it will take an hour so at least £40.
     
  7. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    That's a slightly misleading summary. It wasn't using unskilled labour he was found guilty of, it was various charges related to failure to properly supervise, making up the results etc.
    The guy doing the testing does appear to have been competent to do what he was asked of him. Where it all went wrong was when he (correctly) queried to unexpected reading and they decided to make up the numbers rather that send someone with the skills to look into it.
     
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  9. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    A mate is a qualified chippy and does a few kitchen and bathroom jobs. He got what I think was a part P certificate to ensure that he could complete basic wiring without issues.
     
  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The point is in this case, all is great until some one dies, injured and often settled out of court, but with a death then it all gets nasty. Why he felt he should ask guys in canteen what to enter we don't know, however if the reading was OL and he had entered OL likely his boss would have sent some one to find out why.

    As I said same has happened in other trades, I remember a case of a wheel bearing nut being fitted using hammer and blunt chisel, and I know at the time that was common practice, but because it split and the wheel came off as a result, then the guy was found guilty as had used wrong procedure.

    It has always been the same, Tay bridge failed because of poor quality castings as much as bad design, but it was not the firm making the castings that was blamed, it was the guy who designed the bridge.

    I would guess if a 1000 men fitted a FCU per day each, at end of year likely non would end up in court, one has to be very unlucky for the one you fit to have some thing wrong which causes a death. And even then for it to be blamed on you. So a scenario a FCU is fitted to a ring final and one of the rings is broken and you don't identify the fault, there is an over load as a result, and two years latter, the house burns down. What do you think is the chance you will get the blame?

    Clearly no paperwork in house to show you did job, it has burnt down, and even with Part P work when I tried to get a replacement certificate from council they said it would take 6 months, so unless you put up your hands and say sorry I never bothered testing I just guessed a readings, I think very unlikely, and also unlikely you will even remember the job. Only if your daft enough to tell some one, dam I have forgot my meters, Oh it's OK I will fudge up some results, are you likely to get caught.
     
  11. winston1

    winston1

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    Don't know what he got, but there is no such thing as a part P certificate.
     
  12. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Whinston, I think you know as well as the rest of us what he meant.
     
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  13. winston1

    winston1

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    As I said:

    "Don't know what he got." Perhaps you can tell us.
     
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