Should it be tested


Postby matthewm1965 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:34 pm

I am getting a kitchen fitted by one of the big companies who are also undertaking the electrics.
They are breaking into the existing ring main to spur off to new sockets for the under worktop appliances.
What paperwork / test certificates, if any should I be asking for?

2nd question
Am I correct in saying that they shouldn't be burying pvc flex (from cooker hood) direct into the plaster without some sort of protection, capping or conduit?

Thanks
Matt
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Postby ericmark » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:31 pm

Any Electrical work should generate either a minor works certificate or an installation certificate these are not law but are required by regulations.

In any place which requires Part P notification which includes Kitchens there should also be a completion certificate.

Using cable like twin and earth or Ali-tube there is no need to have any conduit or capping. However often capping is used mainly to protect cable from plasters trowel and it also tends to give some warning when in error trying to drill where fitted.

However plasterers don't like plastic as it flexes under the plaster making it harder for them. And Electricians since June 2008 don't like metal as it means the wall contains metal and means more protection is required.

With new installations (bare walls) capping is the norm but with old walls oval conduit is norm as it required less to be hacked out of wall. I would consider it bad practice not to use capping or conduit but it's not a requirement.

However the use of either Ali-tube or RCD protection is a requirement and Ali-tube may be allowed but not very common and in the main all cables are now RCD protected.

The RCD protection is required for ALL sockets less than 20A unless special marked for special equipment i.e. Fridge. Also any cable buried less than 50mm or in a wall containing metal (that's why we don't like metal capping). Also everything in bathrooms. So unless steel conduit (not capping) or special Ali-tube cable is used since most cables are buried less than 50mm RCD protection is required.

RCD's are not cheap and where you need one for cooker, oven, and ring main. So unless you already have a modern consumer unit that can take RCBO's it quickly becomes cheaper to renew the consumer unit than fit many different units.

There are two main methods either a consumer unit designed to take two RCD's (Cheap option) or use of RCBO's which although costs more are less likely to trip for no good reason.

Because one way or another many jobs do require work on the consumer unit often it requires a lot more testing and inspecting and often once completed the whole house is covered by new paper work.

However at the end of the day it's you who is paying and before insisting on extra work do be careful one what the bill may be.

I have seen it too many times. "What this bill for" "Your wife asked for it" "Did you" "Well yes but didn't realise I was going to be charged for it" It's just too easy to ask what you think is an inquiry to find it has been taken as an order for new work.
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Postby moggy1968 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:13 pm

I would hope they aren't going to spur off. they should be extending the ring for the number of outlets you will probably be needing, especially civen the high current of many kitchen appliances.
The cooker should usually have it's own feed.

If they are only extending or modifying circuits you will need minor works certs. if they are creating new circuits (i.e. with a new 'way' on the board) then an instalation certificate and Schedule of Results will be required.
All these circuits should have RCD protection, if your board doesn't already have this then you need a new board (which requires an installation certificate &SOR)
This work is also notifiable so they should be part P registered. the work can then be logged with their provider on completion and after a couple of weeks you should receive your certs from building control.

Burying the flex is no problem, provided it runs in the approved safe zones and is RCD protected. capping, IMHO merely increases the chances of dmamging the cable on installation and offers little benefit in terms of mechanical protection. Likewise conduit does not offer adequate mechanical protection, although may make rewiring easier.
I think thats about it, but if I have missed anything I am sure someone will let you know
Last edited by moggy1968 on Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sparx » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:27 pm

Hi, they MUST issue at least a minor works certificate, also as altering the circuit they will need to provide rcd protection for the ring if not already installed.
As for burying flex, WHY?
they should be fitting a local fused connection unit to which the flex is connected directly,
They must also register the work through a part p scheme provider who will send a notification to your local authority building control and a copy to you, which you should keep with the cert. they issue .
Ensure the cert has their membership number and name of the scheme they belong to, ie BRE,ELECSA,NAPIT,NICEIC
regards SPARX
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Postby matthewm1965 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:17 pm

Thanks for all the info.
The consumer unit is not being modified and already has RCD protection.

The cooker is on its own circuit.

It just didnt look right, a flex coming down from the cooker hood, chased into the plaster, exiting out of the wall under the worktop and fitted with a 13A plug to go into the socket.

When I was an Electrician 20 years ago, I would have spurred off the ring to a fused connection unit using T&E chased in and capped. with the FCU adjacent to the cooker hood for the flex connection.

Their excuse is that as long as the plug & socket is accessable then it is within the regs! And no unsightly FCUs mounted up on the wall.

I'll ask them for the minor work cert when they have finished.

Thanks
Matt
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Postby moggy1968 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:35 pm

didn't realise they intended to put a plug on the end of the burried flex, that is a weitd way of doing it. don't know if it meets the regs as I've never looked into it as I would never consider doing it!!
I would go the same way as you suggest with a FCU off the ring. I can't really see why they would want to do it any other way.
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Postby ericmark » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:38 pm

Alarm bells are ringing!
Any fixed wiring comes under Part P and it does not matter if it plugs in or is directly connected.

So in theory if I make up an extension lead and use it in kitchen it does not required registering under Part P. But if I then put two screws in the wall and fix the socket bar up out of harms way and use a few cable clips to tidy cable then it needs registering.

In my dad's house he had a new central heating boiler fitted in Kitchen and the Plumbers fitted it with a 13A Plug temporary until Electrician arrived as they were not registered. In theory this did not comply with Part P. Since to say anything may have resulted in my parents having no heat over the weekend I say nothing. And since their company was registered not sure if any crime was committed anyway more an internal thing within their company.

However when I see permanent items plugged in I wonder why. I have seen immersion heaters on 15A plugs so plumbers can change without calling electrician but once the cable becomes buried seems pointless.

So I wonder if it is some form of scam to try to get out of registering their work????
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