New fuse board and RCBO's

Postby debmnnx » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:18 pm

Help please? - we had our house rewired around 12-18 months ago. we never got the certificate for building regs purposes as the electrician moved to Spain just after we paid him.
my husband spoke to another electrician a week or so ago, who was working at a house just down the road. he knocked on our door tonight and asked if we were ready for him to come and look at the electrics and give us a quote. our fuseboard is just above the front door and he told my husband that we had the wrong type of fuses in the board. He told us that we should have RCBO's but we have RCD's on the one circuit and normal ones on the lighting circuit. he has quoted £100 to certificate and quoted £30 for each RCBO - is he right in what he says. he said that the regulations had changed around 12 months ago and that we have to have RCBO's fitted now. Is this correct?
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:08 pm

Slightly over simplified but yes.
June 2008 the new regs came in but you don't have to strip out old stuff and put in new. But any new stuff has to comply. So to make an installation certificate which he shouldn't do anyway as not his work then it would need RCD protection on buried cables less than 50mm from surface which is really everything unless special cables are used.
However a periodic inspection report would just note the change in regs by coding the departures as code 4.
You may be better going to council as Part P refers to 16th Edition (BS 7671:2001) not 17th Edition (BS 7671:2008) and it is likely they would issue a completion cert on paying fee even when wired to 16th Edition.

On other hand changes were made because of safety so maybe you want the protection anyway?

There are three certificates to consider.

Installation Certificate can only be issued by those doing the work and has nothing to do with Part P any qualified person can issue them normally with Insurance.

Periodic Inspection Report can also be issued by any qualified person and nothing to do with part P normally they will have Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Completion Certificate this is Part P and can either be issued by the person doing the job's overseeing body when they are registered or the Local Authority Building Control. Where the person doing the job is not registered it can't be signed off by anyone but Local Authority Building Control. This is the all important bit for selling house.

So unless you new electrician is going to take one hell of a chance he would need to go through LABC even if he's registered. So find out what cert he is going to issue.

And I would say a visit to council offices may be your best option. Be honest with them. Builder did a runner with my parents house and I involved the LABC and they were very good. In fact as parents were disabled they did not charge. OK not full re-wire and I did provide the Installation Certificate with limits to worked marked on it.

New electrician could issue a completion cert for the fitting of the new consumer unit and likely no estate agent would realise this was not for whole job. But that's something for you to decide.
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Postby debmnnx » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:50 pm

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. In simplified terms its a case of getting in touch with LABC then. Will make enquiries and see what I can do - is this expensive?
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Postby moggy1968 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:52 pm

There is no need for a board change, just RCBOs on the circuits not protected by RCDs, however, if the rewire was done before the change in regs you don't need to upgrade unless you want to, it depends on the exact date you had the board fitted. If it was before the 17th then you comply. Providing an installation complied with the regulations when it was installed, there is no requirement to upgrade. however, any new work must comply with the current regs. for example, if you now have an outside light fitted, feeding from youre lighting circuit, that circuit would need an RCBO (or equivalent on the modified portion)

I think your spark is suggesting he will give you a periodic inspection report, which will usually satisfy an buyer in the absence of a cert, but do try the very good advice above first as a proper cert would be best.
I would say his pricing, if this work is needed, is competitive
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Postby ericmark » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:08 pm

In Wales it costs £100 plus vat for first £2000 worth of work. Out of Wales the price varies council to council. However they can wave charge which they may do if you can provide a PIR (Periodic Inspection report) but it is all up to your LABC and only way is to ask. I went in person and I think that approach worked. And I was totally honest with them. However with a degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering they accepted my paperwork. For people who are not qualified may be different! Do let us know how you get on as it's only when non electricians report back do we know how the other half are treated.
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