Ring Main Spur Outlets over Sink Drainer

14 Jun 2007
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United Kingdom

My sister has bought a flat which has a very small kitchen and what I think is a dodgy electrical installation. The sink is in the corner of an L shape arrangement and has a gas boiler overhanging the end of the sink drainer. A switched fused spur outlet (feeding the boiler) and non-fused switch spur (feeding the cooker via a BS1363 outlet located under the sink) are located above the drainer. To make matters worse, the sink has a mixer tap that can be moved around over the drainer and opposite the switches. Is this legal? If it is it just looks plain wrong!

There are two double socket outlets near the sink - one about 400mm from the sink and the other about 400mm from the drainer but because the sink drainer is right in the corner of the 'L' it would be easy to use the sink and socket at same time (if stupid enough to attempt this). Again - is this legal? I can think that it would be easy enough to replace the latter socket with a blanking plate (leaving only two double sockets in the whole kitchen) but cannot think of any way of dealing with the spur switches. Is it possible to buy an off the shelf cover to give the switches protection against splashes? The switches are flush mount so buying IP65 rated switches (with their back boxes) is not a suitable option. Another thing I could do is build a protective box over the switches but this just seems wrong as it would hide the switches and if easily removable could be taken off and left off. Any advice would be appreciated as there are only two further options - redo the kitchen (nightmare!) or tell my sister to be careful (bigger nightmare!).

The only saving grace is that the kitchen ring main is protected by an RCD in the distribution box.
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This topic has been covered numerous times, go to search, type "socket sink" in the top right hand box and you will find what you are looking for.
I hope the search was fruitful.

As a rider - if you are concerned about safety, it may be worth making sure that the circuit is fitted with an RCD. It should be if it is a recent installation.
This would give belt-and-braces safety trip. Do note that installing an RCD should not be considered a cure-all :!:
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Thanks for the replies. I had hoped there might be a difference in regulations between a spur and socket outlet in terms of sink proximity but apparently not. :cry:

It means some kitchen modifications are called for and I've been thinking how to get this done at minimum cost. Would it be ok to remove both spur plates over the drainer, leave the backbox wiring in place (i.e complete ring main using 30A terminal strips), then cover the boxes with blanking plates making sure these were adequately sealed? There would be no way of splashing the electrics then. This would cut the job down to replacing one of the double sockets with two new spurs. The alternative means lifting floor tiles, floor boards so on and so forth.......

The kitchen ring main is protected by an RCD so I doubt anything bad could happen but electrics over a drainer looks so bad I can't ignore it!

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