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Regs question

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Dylan123, 15 Jul 2021.

  1. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    Hi,

    I want to add sockets and change my lights to spots.

    the additional sockets are in the living room.

    Both my dad and my late grandfather are sparks. I did a couple of years but decided to do something else, but me and my dad certainly have the knowledge to install this, pretty simple job.

    I know the law was changed a while ago to say a lot of home electrical upgrades has to be done by a qualified spark (neither of us are), but not sure what the leeway is.

    I THINK fused spurs off the ring Main are ok to do as DIY, and adding spots is ok too. My understanding is that it’s only new circuits to the consumer unit which need testing etc.

    can anyone advice? It’s the difference between a few quid and hundreds for a job which I can comfortably do at home provided I google the regs.
     
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  3. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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  4. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    you mean these jobs don’t need a qualified spark?
    That’s great news
     
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  5. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    Additional lights and sockets to existing circuits are not notifiable activities, so anyone can carry this out. Providing the work is done safely. This means in accordance with wiring regulations.

    Now..
    Not so. New circuits need notification to the local authority. The work you describe is not a new circuit.

    BUT

    Any work needs testing. Otherwise you are just doing what is known as a BANG test. Your dad will tell you that is not a great way of going about electrical work.
     
  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Any work certainly needs testing.

    However, I would suggest that work which fails the "BANG test" immediately the circuit is re-energised (assuming it was de-energised :) ) is not really the greatest concern. It's when things do not immediately 'go bang', but with a persisting 'silent fault' which may subsequently electrocute someone that one has more reason for concern!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  7. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    That is what the trade scams, err competent person schemes, would like you to think - and it's a load of bovine manure.

    In simple terms, anyone who is competent to do the work (including testing properly) can do it. What did change in 2005 (for England and Wales) and was relaxed considerably in 2013 for England (but not Wales) was the notification requirements for building regulations.
    Now in England, you are only required to notify : work within the zones of a bathroom, addition of a circuit, or replacement of a CU. And that's it ! Members of a scam can self-notify via their scam for a trivial amount - but if not in a scam then you need to go through your LA's Building Control process which will mean notifying them in advance of the work and paying the relevant fee, then notifying them when you've done the work.
    And this is where it can get interesting and/or expensive. On fees, charges vary by council, some I believe charge as much as £400 for minor electrical works which is taking the urine. But the big one is that many will expect you to provide test/inspection results from a "proper" electrician - which they will usually take as a scam member. It may well be that you say nothing about who will be doing the testing, and simply provide them with a set of professional quality results which they may well accept without question. Personally, that's the route I'd take as having a set of professional looking results in hand may well give them the confidence that they have someone else to blame if it all goes wrong later. If you ask them first, then they'll almost certainly insist on a scam member simply because that allows them to tick a box because (as well all know :rolleyes:), scam member equates to both competence and quality of work :ROFLMAO:
    There's a member on here who faced down his LABC by presenting paperwork, and when challenged more or less said "if you want to challenge it, put up someone with a higher qualification - I've got level 6" and they backed down.

    And of course, if you do any other work (e.g. an extension) that needs building control, lump any electrical work in with that notification even if it's not directly related to the other works ;)
     
  8. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    I’m a bit confused when you say it needs to be tested. Do you mean paying a spark to test it? Or do you just mean it’s good practice?

    getting into a ring and then putting a fused spur into a socket, got to be honest, what do you expect could go wrong with that?

    my old man will know this. I only did kind of basic stuff. I know how to wire up and stuff but testing....I know how to hurt people with a mega!
     
  9. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    All sorts could be wrong.
    Ring not complete, for instance. This will be found by a continuity test, if the ring is not complete(one wire not properly terminated for instance) then the circuit and your new sockets will still operate, but the cables will be carrying more current than they are designed for. The cable overheats, potential for fire.

    That is just one of the reasons why testing is needed and necessary.
     
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  11. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    ok cool, that’s my dads area anyway, I’m just the muscle really.

    I thought if everything is wired in properly and there are fuses then not really much could go wrong. I must remind you that I decided not to peruse a career in electrical engineering :)

    probably this kind of attitude does not a competent spark make !

    “is this installation safe?”

    “should be, should be, can’t see what could go wrong. Call 999 if you smell smoke. Here’s my invoice. Bye”
     
  12. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    This is typical.

    SParks get paid to do work and they have to follow standards.
    They check the ring is a ring to start with and meet regs. (you could do a similar but not so accurate test if you wanted)
    They make their modifications.
    And then they do their ring testing. This is why sparks hate rings. As they are required to test it.

    However as long as you wiring it up correctly. No wires are touching metal back boxes. It should be ok and no worse that before.

    An electrican doesn't want to know it no worse though, they want know it perfect, otherwise they could end up in court.
     
  13. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    well, the house I bought I wasn’t really able to check wiring but my spark (I got one for the shower work) said that the house is wired ok but “it isn’t how an electrician would have done it - seems “bloke from the pub” did it.

    So will be going under the floor to have a look.

    the issue is. The places I need power I think the nearest place is a spur. There is only one cable I think going to the socket (will have to double check) so that’s prob a spur. In which case I will have to tap into the ring somewhere, unless he’s a real cowboy and has done radials or something weird.

    If I remember rightly you can spur off from a ring almost as many times as you want. I know there are some considerations re the load side etc that I can’t remember but my dad will know and we can check it with the regs.

    come to think of it, I will work out the wiring plan and I might just check it on here if one of you would be happy to have a look at what we’re doing. My dad was a spark for 20 years but he hasn’t done a job in about 30 years other than the odd job at home.
     
  14. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    you can take a spur from a ring.
    you can't take a spur from a spur (unless you fit a 13A fuse unit, at the start of the spur)
     
  15. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    The thing is, there are other faults that won't create smoke, but which create dangers. For example, without testing, you can't know for certain that the CPC (Circuit Protective Conductor, a.k.a. earth wire) is unbroken and properly connected everywhere. So the socket works fine - but when a faulty appliance is plugged in, instead of blowing a fuse, it now has a live case. Might not manifest itself for years - or possibly never.
    Or there could be a miswiring - it happens regardless of how careful you are. So everything works, but when there's a fault in an appliance, the fuse doesn't blow because it's not in the live. Again, might not manifest for years.
    So a couple more tests would be for CPC continuity and outlet polarity - which can often be combined into an "r1+r2" test. Needs suitable test equipment, a multimeter won't do it.

    And then you can't be certain that the bit of old cable you used, or even brand new cable, is fault free - there's been some produced over the years with faulty insulation IIRC. Or even the brand new accessory, it's not unknown for them to be faulty out of the box.
    So insulation resistance (at a high voltage) is another test - which needs the right test equipment, a multimeter won't do it.

    So just adding a point to a ring will need ring continuity (all 3 lines), insulation resistance, polarity, and CPC checks.

    And when you've done all the right tests, you'll have the numbers to fill in the EIC (electrical installation certificate) or MWC (minor works certificate) to hand over to building control. But remember that when you fill in one of those, you will be signing a legal document that says "I designed, performed, and tested this work in accordance with BS7671, and I declare it's safe and compliant" - if it later turns out that it wasn't, then you could have to justify why your statement was correct. Court cases are few and far between (usually only when someone dies), but there have been convictions which could be boiled down to "you certified this was safe, it turned out that it wasn't" :eek: Some result in changes of the law ... Some highlighted plain criminal activity (like skimping on the testing and making up the figures in the brew room)

    Even the most conscientious and careful sparky can make a mistake - that's why they have public liability (and usually professional indemnity) insurance.


    Having said (written) all that, in your own home it's a bit different. And as you've just highlighted, what you inherit may "not be the best work ever done". Your dad should know about testing, but it's unlikely he'll be up to date with regs - unless he's one of those that enjoys reading such stuff as bedtime reading. And I'm guessing he won't have test equipment any more.
    You can do testing with a multimeter - but the result really won't be that accurate. Can detect gross errors, but will not pick up some that (for example) a 500V IR tester, or a continuity tester putting 200mA min down the wire, would find.

    If you are starting with something that "could be interesting" then you may well be improving things - but you need to be aware of the hazards that could be lurking.
     
  16. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    it’s the living/dining room.

    I am putting down a new floor so I need to get the electrics done before it goes down.

    you can access via crawlspace even when the floor is down but it’s like a maze and hard work for anyone.

    Basically I have a bunch of sockets in the dining room (as the deceased resident used this as a living room) and just one in the front room. It’s one side of the chimney breast and I need one the other side and also ideally another one on the opposite wall.

    when I took out the fireplace and boarded before I saw the cable and it was in a sleeve but I think it’s one cable.

    it might be 2, once I am underneath I can check
     
  17. Dylan123

    Dylan123

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    the problem is, sparks won’t sign off your work and want the whole job which is going to cost me £500 for something which didn’t even have testing for about 80 years. I mean, there were barely regs until the modern day.

    provided what I am doing is legal, that’s ok with me. What I don’t want to do is work which might invalidate buildings. Of course, how would they know it was me anyway?

    will sparks let you first fix and just have a look and let you know if it’s kosha?

    my old man won’t know currrnt regs but we can google, he will certainly know how to do it practically, but to be fair after 30 years there’s a risk he will make an error.
     
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