Do I need to replace kitchen downlights with FR versions


Postby kgunton » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:55 pm

Had kitchen replaced a while ago and electrician checked and verified all the circuits for the downlights used - these are mains halogen types and not that old. Do they HAVE to be replaced with the flame retardant types or can I just wire up the old ones that were taken out? The electrician says I 'should' but is it a legal requirement now?

Also I have a second project where I want to replace wall lights with ceiling downlights - the room is quite low and looking to use small flush mounted downlights (like an MR11 size bulb) - are these only available with transformers? The room above will be re-floored so once done there will be no access back again and prefer not to have transformers up in the ceiling which could go wrong.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:37 pm

Can't help on legal requirements but as to MR11 and MR16 lamps the only low energy types are LED and with the withdraw of tungsten lamps the government say they are going to do using those with GU10 bulbs is better option but look for the type with free GU10 connector and the bulb is fixed in by glass as the cold cathode discharge lamps are longer than standard lamp and stick out of holder with the type when fixed by the GU10 socket.
GU10 are 230 volt so do not require a transformer.
Be careful with the words "Low Voltage" as this officially for AC covers 50 to 1000 volts so all 230 volt lamps are "Low Voltage" the 12 volt type are called "Extra Low Voltage" often given the letters SELV.
Eric
ericmark


Postby singer » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:03 pm

Current building regs require holes in ceiling material used as fire barrier to room above must be replaced with fire rated luminaires. Places like B&Q or Wickes still sell cheap non fire rated luminaires and to be quite honest I don't know how they are allowed to get away with it. The only way these fittings can be used is with the use of fire hoods above each light in the roof void or under the floor but the cost of the fittings and the fire hoods is more than the fire-rated fittings so becomes a no brainer. So what your electrician is telling you is correct so be advised by him!!!
As for the other project all I can suggest is if there is a local cupboard or wardrobe you could site the transformers in then fish the elv cables across the ceiling to the light positions then connect the lights at one end and the transformer at the other and all will be accesible for future maintenance.
Hope this helps.
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Postby kgunton » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:13 pm

Just questioning how the 'current' regulations get defined though. I replaced the kitchen ceiling and all the existing circuitry was there and used non FR type luminaires. The regulations don't enfore all non compliant stuff to be updated do they? I have similar luminaires in the hall / landing areas - these were all put in a few years ago. When the regs get updated you don't have to change your exisiting fuse board - who knows what has been updated and when? Or would this come up on a survey when we sell the house some of the electrics have been certified as they have been done in the last 12-18 months.

I guess you can say its better to be safe than sorry but changing everything that is non compliant in a 200 year old house would not be practicle.
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Postby ericmark » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:31 am

The regulations are not law and normally anything new will be to new regs and existing items if not altered will stay as they are.
So adding a spur the fused connection unit may need to be a RCD FCU feeding the new socket or the new socket a RCD type and Ali-tube cable used but original ring and fuse box can stay as they were.
Does that answer your question?
ericmark


Postby singer » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:35 pm

[quote]The regulations don't enfore all non compliant stuff to be updated do they?[/quote]

This is correct as long as it was installed to the regs that were current at the time


[quote]I replaced the kitchen ceiling and all the existing circuitry was there and used non FR type luminaires. [/quote]

Lets think about this logically. Any room containing a bath or shower, or a kitchen is classed as a special location, and as such is subject to building control. Any electrical work done in these locations must be done either by a competent person who will take responsibility for the building control himself or by a person who requests building control from the local authority before any work commences and pays a fee. All work then would require inspection during and after completion by local authority inspectors. Now this work that you are doing you could argue that you're not changing anything as the lighting will be exactly the same when you've replaced the ceiling as before you started, but you've still disconnected and reconnected the lights which is a minor works and will need a certificate and is a notifiable job as its in a special location. To complete the certificate the electrician will need to check that all earth bonding is in place and if not will have to install it at extra cost, together with other tests like adquate earthing at each lighting point, correct protection within consumer unit etc etc.
Now coming back to your original question "Do I HAVE to change the downlighter for FR type" I would say yes as any work you do now must comply with current regs and current building regs require FR downlighters.
And if you think about the reason why they insist on this(because there have been endless cases of death or serious injury from fire or hot smoke spreading through holes in ceilings containing non-fire rated luminaires) then its worth forking out the money for new lights for your own peace of mind.
Hope this helps.
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Postby ericmark » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:19 pm

To complete the certificate the electrician will need to check that all earth bonding is in place and if not will have to install it at extra cost?

This requirement has changed be careful as only if installed to BS7671:2008 do the new earth rules apply (Very little earthing) if to BS7671:2001 than old rules will have to be complied with.

If we consider a periodic inspection report needs to be completed every ten years or change of occupant and you can reasonable get away with code 4. That is anything which was allowed on previous edition or amendment of BS7671 but not allowed now. So from last year you can get away with anything which was in BS7671:2001 amendments 1 and 2 i.e. Brown book.

So for example having sockets which are likely to be used outside without RCD protection is now code 1 or 2 so would be considered as a fail. But cables buried in a wall without protection only came in with BS7671:2008 so would be code 4 and you are advised that this will need correction if you alter things or when the next issue of BS7671 is released.

Can’t remember exact date when sockets used outside needed RCD protection but it’s been a good 10 years and by now most houses should have been updated.

As I said before BS7671 is not law, but it may as well be as Part P which is law refers to BS7671 and it can be used in a court of law to show negligence.

As to claiming it was done before 2004 slight problem cable colour codes changed at same time so hard to claim. Yes you can renew like for like except for a consumer unit but trying to get out of it by using this sort of excuse is like saying the TV receiving equipment is black and white because it is the aerial that receives the signal and I’ve painted it black and white. May get a laugh in court but you will still get done. Even when the TV is black and white and only video recorder receives colour the old lady still got done.

You never asked about bath and shower hence not referred to before. The hoods for fire proof are not electrical regulations CHAPTER 42 PROTECTION AGAINST THERMAL EFFECTS does give some guidance with:-
422.3.1 Except for equipment for which an appropriate product standard specifies requirements, a luminaire shall be kept at an adequate distance from combustible materials. Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer, a small spotlight or projector shall be installed at the following minimum distance from combustible materials:
(i) Rating up to 100 W 0.5 m
(ii) Over 100 and up to 300 W 0.8 m
(iii) Over 300 and up to 500 W 1.0 m

So as long as nothing that can burn is within 500mm of lamp you don’t need hood and this was also in BS7671:2001 in BS7671:1992 green book although no measurement was given just that risk of fire needs protecting by using one or more of 3 methods given see 422-01-02 that’s been since 1994 which is oldest book I have so since the spot lights have been made there has always been a requirement to protect against the heat produced.
Eric
ericmark


Postby singer » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:55 pm

Eric. I think you are getting confused between "Inspection & Testing" and "Installation".
"Inspection & Testing" is simply testing and reporting on what you have in front of you and so yes there will be installations installed to different versions of the regs.
kgunton's question is about electrical work that is being carried out NOW and so is subject to current 17th ed regs.
Even under the 16th edition when issuing a certificate - even a minor works - there are sections that need to be completed which verify that adequate earthing arrangements exist (tick boxes on minor works, more detail on a full cert) No matter how minor the job that you are doing if the main bonding doesnt exist then you cant complete the certificate correctly and so have to install it at extra cost. If the customer refuses then you dont do the job. That hasnt changed with the 17th ed!!

[quote](Very little earthing)[/quote]

This comment confuses me! How has the introduction of the 17th edition reduced the need for adequate earthing?

[quote]The hoods for fire proof are not electrical regulations [/quote]

Not stictly true. If you look at 527.1.2 and 527.2.1 it refers to general building structure and the need to ensure any structural performance and fire safety are not reduced when installing wiring systems - downlighters are a good example of this. Basically if you cut a hole in a ceiling for a downlighter, then whatever you replace the disc of plasterboard with ie the light fitting must give the same or better fire barrier protection as the plasterboard did!(Ref Approved Doc B (Building Regs))

So if kgunton replaces his non-fire-rated downlighters he will have to install hoods to meet this requirement (KGUNTON -Sorry to talk as if you're not there - I know you'll be reading this)
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Postby securespark » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:41 pm

[quote="singer"]How has the introduction of the 17th edition reduced the need for adequate earthing?[/quote]

It has, in a way. As long as PEB's are in place and all circuits in a bathroom are RCD protected, supplementary can be done away with.
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Postby singer » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:29 pm

[quote]It has, in a way. As long as PEB's are in place and all circuits in a bathroom are RCD protected, supplementary can be done away with.[/quote]

I dont disagree with that at all securespark but that is one room in a unique set of circumstances and still requires main earth bonding, and earthing via CPC's. How that can be described as "Very little earthing" compared to the 16th is beyond me!!

All that has changed is the introduction of RCD's inplace of equipotential bonding. The CPC's still need to be in place and so does the main bonding.

To infer in a forum read by inexperienced lay people that the earthing requirements have relaxed with the introduction of the 17th edition is in my mind irresponsible and gives a totally wrong impression!!
singer
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Postby ericmark » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:13 pm

Not stictly true. If you look at 527.1.2 and 527.2.1 it refers to general building structure and the need to ensure any structural performance and fire safety are not reduced when installing wiring systems.

This refers to wiring system and is all to do with using fire stop etc. When penetrations have been made.

I have made similar mistakes myself. Searching for a word etc. easy mistake to make I have in the past quoted from caravan section without realising I was in special section.

However you are right in that for the price of hoods hardly worth putting your family at risk even if no regulation required them.

422.3.1 is still valid and my house has no where near 500mm between plaster board and wooden floor boards so unless specially designed by the manufacture for that use you can't use them and this means built with hood rather than added hood. It also does not give exemption for LED and cold cathode lamps which seems an over site?

As to earthing arrangements I was referring to new rules in bathrooms. 411.3.1.2 has to be complied with in order to take advantage of the reduced requirements and it becomes a little involved for layman.

Also many bedrooms are now classed as bathrooms as the special bedroom 601-10-03 has gone and this has been replaced with 701.512.3 see after Zone 2 (ii) it is easy to see when something has been added not so easy when it has been taken away.
ericmark


Postby ericmark » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:28 pm

Sorry posted my reply before yours was released but the Question has to be raised when could you install without integral fire hood and manufactures recommendation that they can be used within 500mm of combustible material?
As I say before maybe not pain enough not allowed 1994 i.e. Green book.

He said "Had kitchen replaced a while ago and electrician checked and verified all the circuits for the downlights used". The "while ago" must be at least 15 years ago to pass under electrical regulations.

"Places like B&Q or Wickes still sell cheap non fire rated luminaires" Nothing wrong in using these where there is no combustible material within 500mm I have seen them used in many shop displays to keep food warm and often a notice saying hot surface! Unless B&Q or Wickes say "Suitable for use in ceiling space where combustible material is used they have done nothing wrong.
ericmark


Postby TheDoctor4 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:58 am

Before entering or following any advice in this electrical forum please refer to our project on part P of the building regulations. This project can be found at www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/partp.htm If you are unsure about any of the work you intend to undertake at home please seek advice from a qualified electrician and do not rely on the posts in this forum.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:43 pm

Singer has already referred to requirement of building control involvement but had not named it as Part P and thanks for this as many DIY people may not realise the two are the same.
Seems we have gone OTT on this and sorry.
Simple really he who signs the completion cert calls the tune.
And the electrician who said the lamps needed changing is most likely correct and it was his call he has to sign paperwork.
The villain if you like is the one who said they were OK in first place. But we have no dates and the regulations have changed over time.
Also with Part P we are much more concerned with regulations than before plus even today you don't need Part P to do a periodic inspection and test it is only required to make out a completion cert.
As a non Part P electrician I would inform the LABC I or more to point the owner will inform LABC that I intend to start work and what I am going to do. He may request to view the work at a set stage although normally this would not be required where an electrician is doing the work. Once completed I will inspect and test all the work and fill in an installation certificate which will be given to the LABC who will decide if they will accept it. Either they will re-test my work or they will issue a completion cert on the strength of my report.
Once the completion cert is issued then the house holder should be assured all is well.
For this in my area the LABC charge £115 for any work up to the value of £2000 so to fit a new socket in a kitchen for example with cost £115 plus what you pay electrician.
I would call it a stealth tax as all the council has to do is check the paper work for obvious errors and normally quick visit at the end.
ericmark


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