old cooker wire?


Postby mark prior » Sun May 29, 2011 9:44 pm

My liveing room use to be part of the old kitchen i have a double socket with a 6mm cable going to it i believe it to be the cable for the old cooker it also has only one cable going to it as far as i know it is not on the ring mains so it is a spur the only time the socket gos dead is when i flick the main swich off so my question is this.

i am doing my decking at the moment and want to have a double socket out side. I was going to use the socket in side to run this socket i was going to put a single on and then run a fuzed socket from that to run my out side sockets off would that be ok and would it be safe. And as far as i know the socket in the house is a 16a not a 32a as a cooker wire should be how can i test that socket to see if it is a 16a socket?
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Postby ericmark » Mon May 30, 2011 10:33 am

Unless you have got to apply for planning permission for other part of the work the fees charged under Part P mean that to DIY outside electrics are just not worth it and likely it would be cheaper to employ a registered electrician who can self certify the work.

I would get a quote for two reasons. One as said it may be cheaper and second you will get an idea of what he would do.

Using an old cooker supply could be the answer but the rules are complex. For example where the current carrying capacity of a cable is reduced one need to include an automatic disconnection device (fuse) at the point of reduction. There are special cases for example where there are no branches then you can fit the fuse up to three meters from the change in size of conductor. This allows us to fit a spur on a ring main as long as only a single item is at it's termination and it is no more than 3 meters.

The rules on RCD's both for sockets under 20A and for cables buried in the wall at less then 50mm deep further complicate the design. There are way around it for example using Ali-tube cable the RCD could be in the socket even with buried cable. But try buying Ali-tube cable and you find only sold by the role. B&Q do not sell it so buying just 10 meters is out.

There is nothing to match being on site and viewing the job for aiding the design. So start with the quote and then decide if it is really worth all the hassle in doing it as a DIY. I would say allow around £200 for LABC charges and hire of test equipment. Plus what ever you need to do the work. So unless quote over £300 or you already have LABC involved not worth DIY.
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Postby mark prior » Mon May 30, 2011 8:06 pm

Thanxs for that ericmark. So as i D,I,Yer what is stoping me from geting rid of the double socket that is there at the moment and puting a fused socket in it's place to conect to a out side socket that way. Or are you saying as a DIYER i can not do out side electrics i am just tring to lighting for my decking i was going to drill a hole thou the wall and andput the lighting on a plug but i thort that would look naf. eney i dears on get lighting for my decking
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Postby ericmark » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:30 am

Are you asking about the law or what is safe?

In England and Wales Part P means to legally work outside you need to pay the LABC £100 plus for privilege to DIY.

Personally I feel if you have the test equipment then there is no reason why you should not DIY. But that is of course the question. Do you have the test equipment?

If you install electrical equipment or circuits you are of course responsible for ensuring it is safe. In the main the DIY guy relies on the existing installation being A1 before he starts to ensure his bit is also compliant. However we really have no idea as to if the existing is correct or not. Now in a house where all sockets are protected with a 30ma RCD the chances of getting a fatal shock from anything inside the house is slim.

But as we move outside the house not only does the likely hood of getting a shock increase but also the likely hood of it being fatal is also increased including a shock from line to neutral which will not trip a RCD.

Although 95% of DIY work outside will not result in a fatal shock one wants to protect both your family from a shock and yourself from court proceedings which would follow any fatal shock.

So you need to do that risk assessment. Is it really worth the risk to you and your family. Can you be 100% sure the existing supply is A1? I am not considering you making a mistake I am looking at possibility of guy before you making a mistake.

Now if the whole house is RCD protected you may feel it's worth the risk. Personally I have a full set of test meters so I know my earth loop impedance is OK and my RCD will trip at 30ma and at 150ma it will trip within 40ms (try measuring that with stop watch). So I have no problems. But likely you don't have the test gear. So if the house is not RCD protected then to do any DIY work without the test equipment is really fool hardy. And to do work outside is stupid. Without a RCD the risk is just too great.

With RCD it is like doing 40mph on back lane with 30mph speed limit at 10pm. But without the RCD protection it is like doing 60mph through local town at mid day. Both of course are wrong but the chance of being caught and the resulting action are very different.
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