Is it legal to change a light fitting.


Postby tmev » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:11 pm

I lived in my new build house for 16 month and have changed light fittings but now have a problem with the downstairs lighting. The MCB tripped and on resetting only 2 of the lights work. Thinking it maybe a fault on the fitting a put the old ones back on and the fault remained. I contacted Persimon customer care who put me in touch with the electrican, I explaned the fault and told him I had changed some of the standard lights for new ones and back at which he said "I'll ring you back" Later Persimon rang back and said I had broken the warranty due to changing the lights and the electrican didn't want to be liable as I had changed the fittings. I has just wondering if it is legal to change light fittings or is the electrican talking rubbish because he had wireded it up. PLEASE HELP
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Postby ericmark » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:55 am

There are two related rule books Part P building regulations are legally required to be followed but the BS7671:2008 can be used in a court of law but is not legally binding. Part P refers to BS7671:2008 so as a result it is very hard to ensure items are legal without following BS7671:2008 also known as the 17th Edition.

Any electrical work done under BS7671 will need inspecting and testing and the person doing the work will sign either a minor works certificate or an installation certificate and who ever changed the light fittings would have needed to complete a minor works certificate if following the requirements of BS7671 to the letter. At which point he takes responsibility for the work he has done.

Had the work not been DIY then you would have called back the last electrician to work on the system and either he would repair it or write a report saying why it does not work and pointing the blame at some previous work done. If the latter then you could phone builder and tell them what was on that report and if it was something like "The MCB is faulty" then I am sure they would return and replace it.

However it has to be up to the last person to work on the system to identify what the fault is.

It would be the same with anything else. If the wheel fell off your car after a service then you would claim against the garage but if between the service and it falling off you had changed the wheel due to a puncture then it would be nothing to do with the garage.

I think you were lucky as if he had come to house and found it was something you had done then he would of course charge for the time spent and normally due to going through the builders the charge would be a lot higher than if you went direct to an electrician.

It could of course be a fault nothing to do with changing fittings but as electricians we know likely it is. And I would have also washed my hands of anything to do with any work altered after I had left.
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