Undercabinet Kitchen Lighting Low Voltage Driver Position

Postby geezer01 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:12 pm

Hi guys,
just a quick one..my sparky has fitted some undercabinet kitchen lighting and left the low voltage driver on the cabinet. He used a connect block covered in insulation tape to connect the driver to the lighting ring which is also on the cabinet...is that ok in this day and age?
Cause its going to be rented out and people put all kinds of stuff on the cabinet I want to tidy it up abit.
I was thinking of connecting the ring to the driver with a MK FLEX OUTLET FRONTPLATE UNFUSED 20 AMP RATING.....such as this one...that way the driver is easily accessible and the connection too should i need to change it sometime in the future
http://www.mkelectric.com/en-gb/Product ... 90WHI.aspx

would that be ok?
thanks in advance!
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:51 pm

There is a difference between law, regulations, and warranty of skill.

For the low voltage side (230vac) one has limits 1mm from above (IPXXD or IP4X) and 12.5mm sides and bottom (IPXXB or IP2X) and one needs to use a tool or key for access so since a choc block is not fixed it would need to comply with IPXXD or IP4X which is unlikely so normally the choc block would be inside a box needing a tool for access (screw needs a screwdriver) about the only exception to the rules are bulb holders and ceiling roses.

For the separated extra low voltage (12v) one can and often do have exposed wiring having two bits of steel or wires which a lamp can be hung off is common and the only real thing that stops one is the fire risk so not real rules.

However warranty of skill would in the main mean a junction box would be used however the box may be opened without the need for a tool or key. The 50vdc used by out telephone is still put in boxes even though it is extra low voltage.

To rent out a property one needs an electrical installation condition report (EICR was called PIR) and the electrical safety council publish best practice guides on the internet which detail what is considered as acceptable reading these will help in deciding if what he has done is OK or not.

Any work done should have a minor works certificate or a installation certificate the latter will also have in England a completion or a compliance certificate as well. In Wales the rules are stricter and Scotland has another set of rules so anything not covered by the EICR should have a minor works or installation certificate showing the guy who tested and inspected (likely same guy who did work) has finished the work and says it complies with current standards.

As the land lord you need to retain this paper trail so if there are any claims you can show you took reasonable steps to ensure all was safe. Although this paper trail does not prove anything it does help where a tenant plays with something then says it was like that when they moved in.

In the main although an electrician may from time to time do substandard work he will not want to sign paperwork saying he did it and it's OK. Often you will get the "It's only a xxxx you don't really need a minor works for that?" which translates to "This is a botch up I'm not putting my name to that." So insisting on Minor Works or if it involves a new circuit an Installation Certificate in the main means the electrician will not do substandard work.

In Wales the old Part P is still in place but in England bathroom, consumer unit and new circuits only need the work to be registered with the LABC so in Wales as it's a kitchen it will need registering with the LABC but not in England. Sorry not sure on Scottish rules.

I can't really work out what you wanted to do. Lighting will not normally have a ring and when we want to fit some thing which may be latter removed or need isolating we would normally use a fused connection unit (FCU) which will allow us to remove the fuse (with TN earth system) to isolate for example supply to a bathroom fan. Where the power is greater than 13A then we will often use a cooker connection unit like you show but less than 13A the FCU would be normal. The FCU also comes in a switched version often used to switch lights where supply taken from a ring final circuit. Also the FCU comes in a RCD version often used to extend where there is not RCD in the consumer unit as all buried cables less than 50mm deep in wall either need special cable or RCD protection plus nearly all sockets now need RCD protection.

For a property to be hired I would expect RCD's to be in the consumer unit although with owner occupier often there are no RCD's and there is nothing to force upgrade but with rental because you should have a EICR on every change of occupant which will highlight no RCD protection if not there normally there will be RCD protection.
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Postby geezer01 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:07 pm

The undercabinet lighting is on the lighting ring for the kitchen.
I have sensio low voltage LED downlights....in the instructions it says as follows:

Plug the driver into the mains socket. If the driver mains lead has not been fitted with a plug, connect it to a fixed spur incorporating a 3 amp fused plug.

So as I stated the sparky just connected the driver to the mains lighting circuit via a taped up connector block. I have cut out the plasterboard and fitted the boxes and will now connect the driver to the mains lighting wire using this MK13A DP switched fused connector unit with flex outlet. I will replace the 13amp fuse with a 3amp fuse...does this sound ok ?

ericmark, i had a new consumer unit fitted so the RCD is inside there
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Postby ericmark » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:28 am

Yes sounds OK clearly tapped up not good enough but if taken from 6 amp lighting supply really not so important to fuse down further to 3A. I would guess when the manufacturer refers to no plug they are thinking of still connecting to a socket supply which would normally be protected with a 32A protective device so connecting to lighting with 6A should be fine.

Clearly no harm using 3A fuse but I would think if there was a fault likely the 6A MCB will open before the fuse does.
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