Width of cable safe-zones in walls created by sockets

29 Jul 2015
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United Kingdom
Is there an official standard for the exact width of the safe-zone created on a wall by the presence of a visible accessory like a socket?

Is it the exact width of the socket? If so - is it the width of the socket facia or the back-box?

Ultimately my ask is: if I have existing sockets in a room with horizontal cabling, and I want to run a new cable around the room and clip it to the wall directly below the existing back boxes - is that going to fall foul of regulation?
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If it's clipped to the wall it is not concealed, and therefore the considerations for concealed cables do not apply.
the room and clip it to the wall directly below the existing back boxes

If you are clipping it to the surface of the wall then surely it is visible? In which case safe-zones do not apply.
To clarify, it will be clipped to Thermalite, then plasterboarded over (dot and dab).
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Those safe zones only apply to the wiring for the accessories in question, the only ones that apply to all cables are the ones beside the ceiling and corners of the walls.
You might be able to get around it by running the cable through the back box, at least people will find out when they look on
Hmm, so here's the situation, I'm redoing the electrics ready for a new kitchen, the cable in question is the 6mm T+E (in orange on diagram below). The feed from the CU to the oven isolator on the South wall already exists, but I need to get 6mm around to the North wall for the hob. I want to avoid making any holes in the ceiling if possible and as I have to channel out all the plasterboard for the socket ring run anyway, it would be easiest to put the 6mm in there as well and run it horizontally, however this has to pass through the West wall with no accessories attached - you're saying is technically not allowed by the regs?


Obviously on the diagram I've put the horizontal runs at different heights for clarity - in practice all the switch accessories would be at the same height.
The "return" for the blue ring is not in the safe zone on your diagram!

Why not just install a suitable accessory in the orange cable run on the west wall? Call it future proofing if you like.
A debate about rings vs radials is about to start :cautious:, but ignoring that, I agree entirely about the above, put in a blanking plate and run the cable for that run through the backbox.
If you must have a ring, the long blue 'return' cable is a poor design, a far better option is to connect the accessories alternately, so the cable left to right connects to every other accessory, and the cable from right to left connects to the others.
Both cables can then be in line with everything, so that they are also in the appropriate zone.
If there are existing sockets in the room (on a ring?) then where does the existing cable run?

Are there sockets on the other side of the north wall? Are they part of the same existing ring?
I'm not quite sure exactly what he means, but ....

Kind Regards, John

You can avoid the ceiling and drill behind the coving. Even easier if there's no coving up.

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