Always been DIYer. Can I still?


Postby happyhacker » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:01 pm

OK, I know I need part P to do most work and I envisage doing some bathroom and kitchen work. I was wondering which of these options would be best followed:

1. Do the work and have the main unit changed and the circuits retested to get approval?

2. Do the work, fitting everthing and pay an approved electrician to provide the cert. for the LA.

3. Get myself approved so I can sign off my own home jobs but how?

Advice welcome and thanks for your time.
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Postby sparx » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:36 pm

option 2 illegal no one but LABC appointed leckie can do 3rd party sign off on others work.
option 3 Ruddy expensive.
option 1 No comment....
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Postby happyhacker » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:47 pm

Thanks, sparx. In fact I've found out from my local building control that the fee I pay the LA covers their Electrician to come and inspect and approve. So as long as I do the work to spec. it should be a breeze. Not sure if that covers the Consumer Unit though but I expect it does?
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Postby ericmark » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:35 am

There have been some changes to what the LABC can charge and now if they use an out sourced electrician to inspect and test the cost can be charged to you.

In Wales the fees are fixed by the assembly so at £100 plus vat for first £2000 worth of work and it is this minimum charge which makes it all ridiculous. If you are doing a full re-wire or the work is part of a larger job which involves the LABC then not so bad but if for example in a kitchen you wanted to fix the loose cable on an extension lead and hang it on the wall rather than just leave on counter then charging £100+ to check the cable clips are in correct is some what daft. And to letter since in a kitchen and fixed even though plugged in it needs a completion certificate issuing.

If you register work and complete it including issuing your own installation certificates then the LABC if not satisfied and want to re-test your work then any costs are down to them. But if you have not completed the work and want them to do all inspection and testing then they can charge extra.

There are five areas which require registration.
* Fitting a consumer unit.
* Installing a new circuit although for Part P only if it returns to consumer unit they don't count a FCU as being a new circuit although according to BS7671 it is!
* Work in a bath room except like for like replacement.
* Work outside there seems to be some confusion as to items attached to outside wall with no junction box outside i.e. outside lamp pre-wired.
* Work in a kitchen other than like for like replacement.

The use of pre-wired units can remove the need and there are some outside lights and kitchen units which fall into this category which may include the extension lead I referred to!

The question is often asked what happens when a room changes use? So if one has a utility room and decide to add some food preparation area to it then do you need to involve building control. And of course if you rip out all food preparation areas then the room is not a kitchen. But the real problem is at some point you may wish to claim on insurance or sell the house and however much one tries to con ones self that the completion certificate is not required it will likely cost you when one tries latter to explain why it does not exist.

All work in any where should be inspected and tested. Adding a socket is not just a case of finding a socket which is part of a ring and then adding some cable and another socket. It also requires you to test the ring main is complete and the check the earth loop impedance/prospective short circuit current to ensure it is low enough so under fault conditions the protective device will open. Then once completed re-tested to ensure again the protective devices will open when required within the stipulated time. Also that the earth is good enough and the wires are correct way around. (Polarity)

These tests need a set of meters that cost around £750 and even to hire around £80. Also it requires some skill to test as during the testing one can make earthed items live.

What you need to ask yourself is two questions.
* Have I got the skill required.
* Will DIY be more expensive than getting a professional to do it.

Most DIY jobs to do correctly on electric and gas are just not worth it. Either one lacks skill and equipment or the costs of inspection and testing make it uneconomic. For some one like me with a full test set and all the skill required but normally not working on domestic so not a member of a scheme then to DIY may be worth while. But for most just not worth it.
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