Does cabling to our electricity sockets need 'conduiting'

Postby goldiecliff » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:48 pm

An electrician finally decided to turn up today to install some new sockets for us. Unfortunately neither of us was able to be at home today and they were left to it. They have installed all the extra sockets and now the gaps around the sockets need plastering. However they have not put the cables that run to the sockets in conduit and I am wondering if we are OK to just plaster over the top or do they need covering.

The only cable that is exposed is approximately 2 inches between the top of the skirting board and the bottom of the sockets (the cabling runs under the floorboards to an existing socket). The walls are plaster on brick. Thanks for any help.
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Postby Hyoumper » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:32 pm

Hi, although the cables will be ok, it is extremely rough that the cables aren`t concealed in conduit. The main danger is that if you ever fix anything to a wall that cables run down, you may puncture them and have to go through a lot of hassle getting the problem fixed. Id recommend that you get another electrician to do the job properly!
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Postby sparx » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:35 pm

HI! no cover reqd in regs, plaster won't hurt cables, go ahead and 'make good' regards SPARX
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Postby holmedwa04 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:04 am

Flexable conduit is used to one, allow cables to be fed easily from one place to another and two, to stop them from being damaged. I remember using some flexable conduit underneath a concrete floor, to feed the cables it was a case of sticking a fair size piece of tape to the end of a piece of string, then using a vacuum cleaner to suck the string through the conduit, this could then be used like a draw wire.

Besides, it is unlikely that you will be putting pictures at the height of where the cable is exposed or under the plaser just above the sockets, so putting nails through them shouldn't be a problem, just be aware that they are there! Any proper electrician will have an idea of where cables go, and should have an electricity detector for when drilling etc.

Solid conduit is also available, with corner junctions, etc. that have removable plates to allow easy inspection, these are usually used in schools and the likes, not homes.

As for me, I wouldn't want to plaster over wires, not because they may get damaged but more to do with the fact that they are now trapped. It becomes a pain to remove them, if you want to remove them and so that is not strict practice. I personally use a sort of semi flexible capping, this can be nailed oven the top of the cables if the wall is chased out and can then be plastered on top of, still allowing movement of the cable or in a garage for example where you may not want to see wires running everywhere, you can use it directly on the breeze blocks, which gives a faily flush white finish.
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Postby markh » Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:40 am

This is related to a question I have on electrical wiring - I want to insulate my walls with a Celotex type product between battens, directly behind the plasterboard. However I have read that you shouldn't run cabling within insulation as it could overheat. What is the accpted method of running cables when using this type of insulation in the walls (And indeed floors)?
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Postby superspark » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:11 pm

Just had to post a reply!!
My god conduiting is that actually a word?? Puncturing cables which are 2 inches up from a skirting??
Im afraid Hyoumper clearly isnt an electrician and should therefore not be giving advice on the subject.
SPARX has the right answers and also the third response indicating the use of 'capping' is perhaps good practice but is not a regulation!! (I would cap my work before plastering, but on a large job cost goes up therefore cutting out the true professional as the yeahaw cowboy will undercut the price by undercharging on materials and of course the labour cost of doing this extra work!! extra chasing, nailing up, cutting lengths..etc etc)
The true answer is as long as the cable or cables follow the prescribed routes ie. vertically or horizontally from the accessory(the socket) or within 150mm of wall corner meets or 150mm from ceiling downwards (eliminating the 'puncturing' thing as all electricians know this and joe public should use a cable finder before smashing nails in anywhere (plumbers will tell you the same!!) you can run the cables bare without any protection
In addition to this you can also run cables diagonally across a wall but they do require to be at least 50mm (this dimension comes from average nail length in case you wondered!!) from the finished surface and do require mechanical protection which brings in the use of burying conduit in the wall.
Hope this clears up the argument sorry to go on!!
Also final bit of advice when choosing your local sparkie make sure he is a full NICEIC registered contractor and not some numpty that has done a 2 week course and is now on the Part P self certification scheme(sorry there are a lot of good sparks on the Part P list but its finding them!!), that way he will do it right first time and if they dont threaten to call the NICEIC and report them you'll find they soon return to correct any bad practice.

P.S If you can afford to install conduit throught your house do it and give me a ring when you want it rewired next(the dollar signs appear in the eyes) be the easiest rewire money Id ever earn!!!
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