DIY Doctor

Cooker circuit installation

Postby hwz1 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:27 pm

OK, this is a bit "after the event" but I could do with some advice. A couple of months ago we bought a new cooker as old one went faulty. Old cooker was Gas hobs and electric oven using a 13A plug. New cooker is all electric and rated at 9.6kW so I guessed that I needed a new circuit as old cooker circuit was utilised before we moved in the house for shower circuit.
Looking in the local rag we find a small ads guy who came around and advised a new circuit which he gave me a price for. Now, I asked him was he a qualified spark and of course he said yes. I understand after the event that was very naiave and will take your critisism on the chin. Anyway, job was completed and new cooker working OK. A few weeks later talking to a work colleague, he asks me was the guy "Part P" compliant and did I have any paperwork ...... The guy doesnt seem very receptive when I have since asked him the question, I can pretty much say he is not qualified or at least, not Part P. Can anyone give me advice on just where I go from here and how much its likely to cost? I am getting scaremongered now looking at internet sites saying things like my house insurance will be invalid and I just want to get things in order with a harsh lesson learned. To be honest though there does not seem to be much in the line of advertisement on this Part P so how are non technical folk like me meant to know especially if we end up with a cowboy. Any help really appreciated.
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:22 am

I would agree Part P is a problem. One problem is there is no permit to work issued by the LABC to say you can start doing work. So if someone is building an extension there is no paperwork to tell the Electrician if the work is covered by the LABC or needs self certifying which in turn means the Electrician needs to be part of one of the schemes (Read that as tax).

This leaves a big problem as the Electrician can claim he was under the impression it was a LABC job. And the rules say it's the owners responsibility. However this does not excuse the non issue of installation or minor works certificates which will be issues both when the job is under the scheme and under LABC. If the Electrician fails to issue these then it is likely there is something wrong with the work.

So if you want to be legal all you need to do is take the certificate issued by the Electrician to the council and explain there was a mix up and he thought you had applied to council and you thought he was registered in a scheme. You pay the council fee and they may decide to inspect but if the electrician is known to them they may not even do that.

However as to the need to have a completion certificate that's not so clear. As it stands work planned before 2004 does not need registering under Part P even if completed after that date. As to how the LABC know when the work was planned well that would depend on when the house was built. With some work needing a completion certificate and other work not needing it to work out there is a completion certificate missing is hard. So in real terms as long as you have the installation certificate it is unlikely to cause a problem not having a completion certificate. If you have a very diligent solicitor when you sell the house then may be he will pick up on missing completion certificate but as long as installation certificate is there unlikely to be a problem.

Likely the same with insurance. As long as there is an installation certificate then unlikely to be a problem. It shows the work was done and tested by some one who will put their name to the job and either your insurance or the electricians insurance should cover.

Where the problem lies is where the installation certificate is also missing. You then have no way to show who did the work or if it was ever tested and as far as insurance goes it looks like DIY work and as expected they will not be happy to find a house with loads of unauthorised DIY work being done. When I had an insurance claim the inspector was very interested as to if the problem was due to bad workmanship. If so then I would need to claim on workers insurance not my house insurance.

Back in 1980 when my house was built there was still a regulations book which said electricians should issue an installation certificate but this did not become British Standard until 1992 and from that point electricians in the UK should take exams to show they can read the book and issue certificates for every job completed.

However personally it was not until 2001 that I decided to take the exam. I could read it anyway and felt I did not need a bit of paper to say I could read. By 2008 without the bit of paper to say one can read the book one had a big problem getting work so all Electricians had to take the new exam to show they could read.

In the old days Electricians working in commercial needed to show the employer they had be an electrician for years and had a good record. Electrics who were not up to scratch would migrate into the Domestic sector as house holders do less checking on their record. Commercial Electricians called these guys "house bashers" and considered them as lowest of the low. This caused a problem which the 2004 Part P set out to cure. Now the tables have turned and it is the Domestic guy who needs all the qualifications in order to be a member of the schemes so they can self certify their work.

The sub standard electrician now has to work on the black market. They use tactics like saying "If I don't register the work I can do it on the cheap" and of course don't want to leave any paper trail to connect them with work done. If your guy was one of these then the next option is to get some guy who is know to council as one of the good guys to inspect the work and issue an "Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)" which is the new name for "The Periodic Inspection Report (PIR)" then submit it to council.

However with so little work done. The cost of £100 plus to register the work with council plus the cost of the "Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)" it could work out cheaper to get the work replaced by a registered spark under the scheme.

Personally as long as the electrician issued an installation report I would not worry. However if that has also not been issued my worry would not be lack of paperwork but the condition of the installation. Neither would I worry about insurance it would be the lives of my family which would be more important. So if no paperwork then I would want whole thing checking ASAP by registered electrician.

If the workmanship is bad then you could involve the council who would likely take the first electrician to court. You may then get some money back. But if the work is compliant then the council will likely not be interested as they would have to prove the Electrician knew you hadn't applied to council under Part P which is near impossible to do.

I have not seen a single prosecution for Part P breaches where the work was A1. All the prosecutions have included sub-standard work and the Part P just makes it easier to prosecute in those cases.
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Postby sparx » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:46 am

Hi just read this thread a bit late and Ericmark has given as usual a difinitive reply.
Going to your comment re part-p you are right about publicity lacking.
As members of the various authorised scemes we have been banging on at our registration bodies about this for several years.
As a rule before getting any kind of work done it's a good idea to look at a couple of sites, Trading standards have a 'Buy-with-confidence' list of checked traders as does the government endorsed 'Trust Mark' scheme.
Also all scheme providers for electrical domestic work can be found under 'competant persons register'
There are currently schemes run by BSI;ELECSA;NAPIT;NICEIC.
Unlike gas where there is only GASSAFE.
In your case the 'electrician' should have issued an 'Electrical Installation Certificate' for the work done no matter if he is registered or not as that IS LAW! no 'If's, buts, or maybes'.
A call to trading standards if he is advertising but not complying would be a good start.

Napit Membership costs me over £400 per year basic so as to be able to register work on behalf of my customers, cheapskates like him put us out of work.

By the way don't use any of the paid for trades checking scams advertised on TV as their 'Vetting' is minimal.
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