New consumer units


Postby Kev.L » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:18 pm

When I moved into my house about 7 years ago there were 2 meters feeding 2 old rewireable fuse boxes. The first was a standard meter feeding ring main, lighting circuits etc, the 2nd a timer feeding 6, 2.5mm spurs to various places around the house that had been cut off and left LIVE! under floor boards, for 12 hours a day. I have since fitted double socket outlets to each of these cables, done away with the timer and fitted a new 2 way consumer unit which is RCD protected to feed the new radials via 16amp MCB's. I have also replaced the standard fuse box with a split load consumer unit. As I am C&G 2360 quilified and do inspection & testing on lifts as a job I am confident that my work is to a good standard. However as I'm not a electrician working on domestic as my main job I find the whole part P thing very confusing. So do I have to get things inspected that I done 3-4 years ago, if not how do I prove the work was done before Part P was introduced.
Kev.L
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Postby sparx » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:33 pm

Hi, easy to prove pre-Part-P as wiring colours changed at the same time!!
clever eh? so if it's all in red/black it's not reportable.
It matters not your qualifications, if you want to do domestic work even in your own home then you are treated same as 'joe public!
So either pay inspection fee for any work covered under part p (before starting} or join one of the self certifying organisations (NAPIT, ELECSA, BSI, ECA-BRE, or the dark side NICEIC) and certify/register your own work ,or pay a registered Sparky to do the work & register it.
sorry but thats the 3 legal options.
I had not worked in domestic sector much since end of apprenticeship (1963-1968). had all the bits of paper, but when asked to work for plumbers/kitchen fitters I had to register with a scheme operator (NAPIT).
Had to sit 17th edition C&G in Feb. as now have to update quals. on regular basis, unlike Doctors, Dentists, Solicitors, Accountants etc.
I know this is not what you wanted to hear but bldg regs are law, unlike wiring regs.
regards SPARX
sparx
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Postby Kev.L » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:28 pm

Thanx for your reply Sparx, I was talking to a sparky on site today, he thinks that changing a fuse board for a new consumer unit is not reportable. Is this correct? As for the new wiring colors, I am aware of the change as the new harmonised colors effected us lift installers aswell. However as I only replaced the consumer unit I did'nt need to add/replace any of the circuits therefore there is no proof of when the work was done. Would I be correct in saying that approx 4 years ago was prior to part-p?
Kev.L
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:42 pm


Postby sparx » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:55 pm

Hi Kev.
the site leckie is wrong! replacing consumer unit in domestic property is most definitely one of the items directly stated as reportable on the list.
Regs part P came into force 1st Jan. 2005 so 3years 51/2 months later and so called sparkies still don't know the rules! what chance for joe public?
regards SPARX
sparx
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:33 pm
Location: The fifth continent.


Postby ericmark » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:52 am

Hi Kev,
When the Part P first came out there was a lot of confusion as it said one could replace like for like without Part P and some interpreted this to mean they could do complete rewire as long as it was as original and no extras added. On the 6th April 2006 a new document was published free to down load in pdf format to which there are links in the projects area of this forum which clarified many of the mistakes being made. It is still not a good document and as with any law is enhanced by case law where the courts have given a ruling but courts only tend to get involved where sub-standard workmanship is involved and I know of no cases where the only crime was not to follow the Part P regulations. The big problem is that the owner is responsible to ensure Part P is complied with, but the electrician is the one doing the job. Where electricians have told the owner they are Part P registered but were not there have been heavy fines. But where the electrician says he informed the owner he was not Part P registered it is near impossible to fine the electrician for not informing LABC as it is not his job to do that but the job of the house owner so in the main where trading standards are involved they go for bad workmanship side rather than Part P. If you had not done the work yourself and had employed an electrician and wanted to get replacement completion certificate you would apply to LABC for copy. If it transpired that it was not lodged with them, they would then start an investigation. It would be unlikely that they would fine you but they could require the work to be re-done if sub standard and would in most cases charge a fee to register the work. Each council seems to have different rules and inspection criteria. If I needed the completion certificate I think I would apply to the LABC to update consumer unit then change to 17th Edition make out all inspection and testing certificates and submit them to LABC which would then give me a completion certificate covering whole house as everything is tested when changing a consumer unit. And I would not tell them any work had been done between 2005 and now. The problem is if you can inspect and test to required standard? I have read so many posts where people are unaware they need £750 worth of test equipment to do the inspection and test and do not realise all the calibration certificates need to be traceable so borrowing the test gear from work is only any good if official. I am lucky in that my son was in business and owns his own test set. So all calibration certs are available. Strictly speaking you don’t need any qualifications but in real terms the LABC is unlikely to accept your results unless you hold some and I have C&G 2391 and 2382 plus a degree in electrical engineering which has resulted in non of my work being re-tested by LABC but as my son says he has never completed a periodic inspection report without finding some faults and if the LABC do re-test your work then any guess work will soon come to light and the more they find wrong the more they will look. Although this may not be a bad thing as you do want to live in a safe house. One misconception is that the LABC have to complete the inspection and test without further fee. If they don’t like your inspection and test and re-do it then they do have the cost but you must submit the first inspection and test at your cost. Also a new job requires a Electrical Installation Certificate not a simple periodic inspection report and the former can only be completed by the designer and installer of the work if you had not said you were qualified I would suggest you got a registered Part P company to change your consumer unit lets face it if the roles were reversed and you were the insurance company or prospective buyer would you want to see the house owners signature or some independent firm?
There are still some daft bits on Part P for example if the casing of a consumer unit is damaged I can change the case without Part P yet it is the same job as changing a complete consumer unit. And I can replace cables which are damaged and any other part like for like but this does not excuse me from filling in the paperwork required under BS7671 and I would think if I was taken to court for changing a casing on a consumer unit I would lose and it would become case law. As we have seen with the laws on TV licences having a black and white TV does not allow you to use a colour video machine on black and white licence.
Do read BR_PDF_ADP_2006-Part-P-regs.pdf yourself they have tried to use layman’s wording but there is no glossary of terms so “consumer unit” will be as BS7671:2008 says which means I don’t have one in my house as the RCD’s are housed in a separate box to MCB’s but again in court of law I don’t think I would win the case.
Remember people like Sparx have the backing of their clearing agent who will assist in interrupting the rules and I am sure they will tell him a casing change is regarded as a consumer unit change and trying to be claver and read the rules to suit you only really makes you feel good at the end of the day it is up to the courts to decide and some really heavy fines have been dished out to rough traders who put it in writing that they were Part P registered when they were not.
All best Eric
ericmark


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