Socket and Light Switch Heights


Postby johntrue » Wed May 27, 2009 10:19 am

Is it a requirement that power sockets are no lower than 450mm and light switches no higher than 1200mm or simply a recommendation?
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Postby kbrownie » Wed May 27, 2009 4:33 pm

johntrue,
it's a requirement in new dwellings, so all persons including those with restricted reach can easily use them. Habitable rooms only, so kitchens and garages not included, unless the build is for the use of those with restricted reach.
So if you are replacing socket-outlets or adding on to existing circuits or even re-wiring, no requirement needed in old dwellings.
Of course it must still comply to BS7671:2008.
Hope this has answered your question
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Postby bd3cc » Wed May 27, 2009 9:10 pm

It is requirement
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Postby rosebery » Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm

Part M of the building regs applies and its all about accessibility. It applies to new builds and complete property renovations ONLY and in these cases MUST be complied with.

If you are moving a socket or adding a socket these heights above floor level DO NOT apply at all.

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Postby moggy1968 » Thu May 28, 2009 12:11 am

it comes under the auspices of the building regs, not the wiring regs (I believe, although I stand to be corrected). As such this applies to new builds, even if it is a 4th floor flat with no disabled access!
that leaves a grey area though as to wether this applies to extension works, renovations or rewires. It wouldn't apply if, for example, a new socket was being aded to your living room.
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Postby johntrue » Thu May 28, 2009 4:52 pm

Many thanks for everyone's input - appreciated. We have had a new dormer put in our roof which will give us a new bedroom + an en-suite off an existing bedroom. My impression from the replies is that as this is not a completely "new build" the requirement re heights of switches etc does not apply. Am I right?
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Postby kbrownie » Thu May 28, 2009 7:10 pm

johntrue,
Should not need to be!
Requirements are as previously stated, If you are installing a new circuit will need electrical installation cert. If building controls are involved with dormer, you should have also notified them of any new circuits being installed and the en-suite electrics, ie lighting and fans etc... Will also need to comply to part p of building regs and notifiable. Unless you are using a domestic installers scheme registered electrician. Then they can complete all the paper work for you.
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Postby moggy1968 » Thu May 28, 2009 7:53 pm

as you can see from the replies above, this is far from clear cut. I would say no, but I think some of the others would disagree. my get out with all this when I am working is if the customer doesn't want sockets at these heights I mark it on the installation cert that they have requested not to have sockets at this height (wether that would really work as a get out remains to be seen!)
for example I am about to rewire a grade 2 listed property and having sockets at the required height would look all wrong and would involve cutting into beams which I suspect would contavene the regs for the listed building, but finding regs that contradict each other is nothing new!
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Postby kbrownie » Fri May 29, 2009 3:49 pm

Hi moggy1968,
I agree with you on clients request, regarding insisting they would like sockets and switches to suit them and log it down.

But as far rewires are concerned Approved Doc M does not require socket and switches to be at 450mm-1200mm as long as when rewire is complete the level of complience is no worse.
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Postby rosebery » Sat May 30, 2009 1:08 pm

Part M is quite clear in that it applies to new builds and complete renovations so I can't see how its non application to rewires and extensions is a "grey area".

"My impression from the replies is that as this is not a completely "new build" the requirement re heights of switches etc does not apply. Am I right?"

That is how I interpret Part M which is quite clear to me.

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Postby kbrownie » Sat May 30, 2009 11:16 pm

rosebury,
A bit of clarity is required here as far as I can see it johntrue does not need to have his sockets between 450mm-1200mm from FFL as this requirement is for new dwellings, does an extension classify as a new dwelling and does a rewire have too? unless it was previously wired as a new dwelling therefore a level of compliance that is no worse?
KB
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Postby rosebery » Sun May 31, 2009 2:16 pm

Sorry KB but I thought I was clear.

1. Part M applies to newbuilds and complete renovations. The later meaning you gut the place and start again.

2. Part M DOES NOT apply to rewires or extentions.

as you say, in the latter case, a level of compliance that is no worse than the existing. For example it is no longer permissible to put sockets in skirting boards so new sockets in skirting boards where existing are 25mm above does NOT comply.

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