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|