I know there are various threads regarding the accessibility of junction boxes, but none of them are quite like the question I have.
The company I work for has had new kitchen and bathrooms fitted in 61 flats/maisonettes. It has come to light that when the electricians wired the kitchens, they used standard junction boxes to break into and extend the ring main. These junction boxes are located in non accessible "boxing" that also houses copper soil pipes which have, in the past, leaked.
Now that our company is aware of this issue, I feel as though we should do something about it. Problem is, this would involve removing almost the entire kitchen, to then smash the boxing open and make the connection maintenance free. Very, very costly.
As the Qualifying Supervisor, I know what should be done. However I have to present a case in a coming meeting to try to convince the managers to carry out the work.
My question is this. Am I wrong to suggest we carry out this work? I believe it needs to be done but our "Electrical Surveyor" says it will be fine and the work will be a waste of time and money.
I would say forget about the regulations book and consider the risks instead. In other words do a risk assessment. So what will happen if the screws work lose on the JB and how likely is it that it will happen?
In real terms very unlikely they will work lose and if they do one should smell something before there is a fire. Also intermittent connection is likely to trip a RCD.
Again water is likely to trip an RCD.
So as long as the circuits are RCD protected the likely dangers are very low. So in real terms I would not worry and would do nothing other than recommend those electricians are never used again.
So my only action would be to install RCD's if not already fitted. To cover my own back I may do a test of all RCD's to ensure they do trip as they should and then file the report so should soothing go wrong you can show the HSE you did what is reasonable. And you will find that word "reasonable" crops up a lot with health and safety and to test all RCD's would be a reasonable action.
Who signed the installation test sheets?
You mention 'electrical surveyor' whatever that is!!! did he sign it off?
You also say you are the 'Qualifying Supervisor' a term only used by and allowed by Niceic so presume that means you signed off on the poor workmanship (probably unknowingly).
The best reason I know for Elecsa, BSI,NAPIT not allowing such an arrangement.
If the Surveyor signed the design section,
If the guys doing the work filled in the installation section
and you only filled in the inspection test section as required then all have played a part.
I would be inclined to agree with Ericmark about the actual chance of a problem arising but would try to ensure you somehow get it in writing (ie as a minute if a formal meeting) that you are unhappy with the situation.
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