Part P Building Regulations - Electrical Safety Information for DIY Enthusiasts

Summary: Part P building regulations. These building regulations provide guidance on electrical safety. Check which projects are covered and find further information about DIY electrical installations. Working with electricity is dangerous and your should seek professional advice before your proceed with any project. You must comply with Building Regiulations.

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Please also see our project on the New Wiring and Cable Colours.

NOTE: This legislation does not apply in Scotland

Part P of the Building Regulations states that any electrical installations must be carried out by a competent person. This is in line with the competency expected from gas installers and goes far beyond just knowing which colour wires do what.

Competency, in this case, will mean a full, qualified knowledge of electrical installations. It will mean you have the ability to thoroughly check a circuit for safety and you will be able to issue a minor works certificate as a self certified "competent person".

Electricity kills and injures many people every year. A great many of these people are dead or injured because they tried installations which they did not understand. The Government is also intending, it is believed, to introduce a scheme whereby domestic installations are checked at regular periods to make sure they comply, and also when a house is sold or purchased.

This would mean of course that if you had an installation which was not correctly certified, your house insurance may not be valid.

DIY doctor will continue to publish projects involving minor works which are permitted under the new regulations, eg the addition of a lighting point or socket to an existing circuit but regrets that because of insurance restrictions, is now unable to answer specific electrical questions.

Please get any installations you have done checked by a qualified electrician and stay safe. More about part P can be found on the Planning Portal website: Part P Approved document P - Electrical safety (2006 edition)

For regulations governing heights of sockets etc, please see our socket height regulations project. The table below gives some idea of what is allowed and what is not but please check with the Building Control Department of your Local Council first.

Checklist for work controlled under Part P of the Building Regulations

Work type Notification required? – Areas outside of bathroom, shower room and kitchen Notification required? – Within a bathroom, shower room or kitchen (special location)
New installation or complete rewire Yes Yes
Consumer unit change Yes Yes
Installation of a new shower circuit Yes Yes
Installation of an additional socket No Yes
Installation of an additional light No Yes
Addition of fused connection unit to ring final circuit No Yes
Installation of a new cooker circuit Yes Yes
Connection of a cooker to an existing connection unit No No
Installation or upgrade of main or supplementary equipotential bonding No Yes
Replacing damaged cable for a single circuit No No
Replacing damaged socket outlet No No
Replacing light fitting No No
Installation or fitting a storage heater, including final circuit Yes Yes
Fitting and final connection of a storage heater No No
Installation of extra low voltage lighting (not CE market sets) Yes Yes
Taking a new supply to a garden shed Yes N/A
Installation of a socket in a garden shed Yes N/A
Installation of a light fitting in a greenhouse Yes N/A
Installation of a pond pump, including supply Yes N/A
Installation of a hot air sauna Yes Yes
Installation of a solar photovoltaic power supply Yes Yes
Installation of ceiling or floor heating Yes Yes
Installation of a small scale generator Yes Yes

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