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Can't locate junction box

Postby lucylastic » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:07 am

I have recently had an electrician out to provide a landlord's electrical certificate as i want to rent out my property. He tells me that the light fittings in one part of the house only have one wire coming out of them and so he must check the junction boxes are correctly wired before I can get my certificate. he can't locate the boxes externally so says he will simpyl have to punch holes in the ceiling of each room until he finds them, or else rewire the relevant part of the house - this seems hugely expensive and messy! is this all correct and will i just have to bite the bullet and get the work done to get my certificate? is there no other way of detecting where the junction boxes may be? i know nothing about electrics!
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Postby ericmark » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:23 pm

Under the rules the junction boxes must be accessible if it needs holes punching in plaster its not accessible! Seems far more sensible to look under carpet for hatches. And yes the same unit used to find cables in road will find cables in a house. We have always called it a CAT think that’s the make like calling a vacuum cleaner a hover. I think he is being a bit pedantic and it the earth loop impedance passed I would not worry. We are told again and again we can’t sign an installation certificate unless we have done the installing as we can’t see how the cables are fixed and to only do an inspection and test. Which I would assume for an inspection and test we do not need to see fixing. If I was doing test I would note on test sheets there was no access but I would not refuse to issue. I will be interested to see what the others say! I have only tested in house so maybe others will have a different opinion. If Sparx comes up listen to what he says he has far more experience than me.
All best Eric

Postby kuzz » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:42 pm

Agree with eric. would not stop me issuing a cert. Would only want access if there was a problem, and the first step would be to fold the carpet back. normally obvious where the junction box is.
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Postby ericmark » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:55 am

Out of interest the regulation is:- 513 ACCESSIBILITY
513.1 Except for a joint in cables where Section 526 allows such a joint to be inaccessible. every item of equipment shall he arranged so as to facilitate its operation, inspection and maintenance and access to each connection. Such facility shall not he significantly impaired by mounting equipment in an enclosure or a compartment.
526.3 Every connection shall be accessible for inspection, testing and maintenance, except for the following:
(i) A joint designed to he buried in the ground
(ii) A compound-filled or encapsulated joint
(iii) A connection between a cold tail and the heating element as in ceiling heating, floor heating or a trace heating system
(iv) A joint made by welding, soldering, brazing or appropriate compression tool
(v) A joint forming part of the equipment complying with the appropriate product standard.
The main point is the joint could comply with list in 526.3 and to rip apart a house in case it does not apply is unreasonable. we are suppose to do non destructive testing and where for example dimming switches are fitted we don't do insulation test at 500 volt. We also have to indicate severity of faults BPG4_08.pdf is a document giving the codes and there are 4 of them.
Code 1 Requires urgent attention.
Code 2 Requires improvement
Code 3 Requires further investigation
Code 4 Does not comply with the current issue of BS 7671
He could use Code 3 but the document points out the purpose of periodic inspection is not to carry out a fault-finding exercise, but to assess and report on the condition of the installation within the agreed extent and limitations of the inspection. That is a quote from the Electrical Safety Council document. Try an internet search for BPG4_08.pdf I am sure you will find link.
All best Eric

Postby sparx » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:06 pm

Hi all a bit late on the scene but for what its worth...
there is a disclaimer on a 'Periodic Inspection Report' which says something like "wiring concealed within the fabric of the building not checked" so unless a test reading gave rise to an unusually high loop impedance result I would not go looking, certainly not to the point of criminal damage! How does Mr OTT know if there is a spur from the ring via a junction box unless he takes off every socket on every circuit, counts the number with only single cable in and counts the ones with 3 cables to make sure they tie up!!??
Seems to me he is missing the point of a PIR which is to make a general assessment and give such an issue a [3] 'requires further investigation' if he must comment at all.
regards SPARX
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