Few questions regarding the fitting of a new consumer unit. Is it something that can be done yourself? My dad is a retired electrical engineer who fitted his own box in the past and was going to do ours for us. If we are just doing a straight replacement, i.e. old wire fuse box to MCB/RCD split load unit, can it be certified after installation? What would they need to check? We wouldn't be changing any of the wiring. Just the box.
Your father can most likely oversee the work and sign the paperwork first you need to contact building control and pay their fee this varies area to area. But of course the job will need testing, although I am sure your dad could complete the tests you will need the test meters. These need to have traceable records so need to be official you canâ€™t borrow from your mates who in turn unofficially borrows them from work as the records are not traceable. To buy your looking at Â£700 so not worth it for one job. It would be crazy to work to 16th Edition as you need to be future proof so you will need the newer system. There are a number of ways to comply. Now all circuits need to be protected with 30ma RCDâ€™s well there are ways around it but not really in practice. You are not allowed to use same RCD for safety circuits as for sockets and you are not allowed to put all circuits on the same RCD this means in modern house a consumer unit with three neutral bars, One main switch and two RCDâ€™s and a RCBO for smoke alarms. Thatâ€™s 7 ways before you add any MCBâ€™s you could use single neutral bar and one main switch and all RCBOâ€™s cheapest I have found RBCOâ€™s is Â£12.50 each. Hagar have how to fit to new regs on their site.
I would follow links on this site to Part P document. The sample forms I think start about page 23 let your dad look at them and see if he is happy about the tests it asks for. Also one now has to measure or calculate volt drop which is not on old forms or in fact still not on new forms think its an oversight but I would include PSC for incomer and final circuits then the volt drop can be calculated if required latter. You may find it costs more to DIY than getting a Part P registered electrician by time you pay council and hire or buy meters. I have a son who use to work for himself and has full set of meters and up to now I have only worked on houses occupied by disabled persons where there is no Part P fee it would be interesting to see what it does cost? Your father may not feel happy at doing inspection and test when I trained as electrical engineer inspection and testing was not included in modules and thatâ€™s only one year ago. I was I suppose still am an electrician and have passed my inspection and testing exams and have kept up with regulations and I would never expect a DIY person to ever be able to change a consumer unit and complete the tests required they may change the unit but not and do safety checks. Plus when putting everything on RCDâ€™s there are bound to be problems and you need skill to find and rectify the problems which is normally beyond the ken of the DIYer. If you ask an electrician to do the job after he has to remove and refit the consumer unit he is not allowed to just test someone elseâ€™s work and you have the problem in many houses of no isolator other than drawing main fuse and the problems with supply authority in removing and reinstating supply.
Forgot to mention, i'm in scotland. Same regulations apply? Tried to read the scottish executives advice on website but not too clear. May just phone electricians/Council and see what they will expect.
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