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creating a garage ring main

Postby phatbox50 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:40 pm

Hi All
I understand under the electrical regulations part P that I cannot do certain things to the electrics in my property, but I would like to install a ring main in my garage .

I consider myself a a competent person so Is it Ok to save a bit of money by doing the donkey work as it were, for me to fit the sockets and a small consumer unit and run the cable, then get a qualified electrician to check it all and then make the final connections to the elctricity supply.
Many thanks in anticipation. 8)
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Postby ericmark » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:29 pm

There is nothing to stop any competent person from doing work on there own property so long as any work requiring LABC notification is notified to the LABC before the work starts.

Some work does not need notification and the problem is to work out what does and what does not.

Some very simple jobs could require notification and some complex can avoid it. Any work in a place where there are food preparation services needs to be notified. Except for like for like replacement. Work outside and in bathrooms also falls into the net as does changing a consumer unit.

However the wording is odd as it does not say consumer unit but says new circuit however the LABC seem to define a new circuit different to the definition in BS7671 in that they don't consider a FCU as producing a new circuit.

So is a garage consumer unit producing a new circuit? Or is it just reducing the maximum current on a spur of an existing circuit? One would need to be a lawyer to answer the questions.

In all likely hood the LABC will consider the work you are doing as requiring notification. The problem then is what work can you do and an electrician still sign the installation certificate? He must see all the work of course and often they are happy for you to dig holes for them.

So how much will it cost to DIY and how much will it cost to get an electrician to do the work. As a ball park figure I would allow £200 for LABC charges and hire of test equipment. So if the work is over £200 more expensive for an electrician to do then you can consider DIY.

Insurance will expect a competent person to hold a C&G2391 or 2392 however a skilled person would likely get away with a C&G2381. Remember competent is higher than skilled. Now you don't have to have passed any exam to be an electrician but you will still need to show that you have the skill. The exam is easy way of showing you have the skill. Not only do you need to satisfy insurers but also LABC and they are a law onto themselves. They would not accept my sons signature on an installation certificate and he holds a C&G2391 and 2381 but would accept my signature as I had a degree in electrical/electronic engineering. (I also have 2391 and 2381 but they did not know that)

So before starting do ensure the LABC will consider your training as making you a Competent person. (defined as) A person who possesses sufficient technical knowledge, relevant practical skills and experience for the nature of the electrical work undertaken and is able at all times to prevent danger and, where appropriate, injury to him/herself and others.

They may only consider you as Skilled person. (defined as) A person with technical knowledge or sufficient experience to enable him/her to avoid dangers.

Or even just Instructed person. (defined as) A person adequately advised or supervised by skilled persons to enable him/her to avoid dangers which electricity may create.

Do check before you pay their fees exactly what they will let you do. Also if you can sign the installation certificate or if they want you to employ someone with professional indemnity insurance to do the testing for you. The public liability insurance held by most electricians may not permit them to inspect and test other peoples work so before going down DIY route do find out what you can and can't do.

I am being careful as in the past I have come out with statements like you are not competent and you can't do that only to find the guy is a marine electrician and does have all the skills required to inspect and test and knows exactly what loop impedances will be required.

But the question is not if you consider yourself as competent but will other people consider you as competent?
which electricity may create.
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Postby phatbox50 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:10 am

Thanks for the explanation its seems like my hands are very much tied doesnt it, I will contact local building control and see what happens.
Many Thanks.
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