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Electrics in a home workshop

Postby stephenR » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:33 pm

I am just finishing insulating and lining a garden shed as a workshop. Next job electrics, but is it still legal for a diy'er to install a ring main and lighting in a garden workshop? I have been given an unused 10 way split consumer unit with RDC to go in the workshop.

Then I need power from the house and I am thinking of running from the house's consumer unit in the garage (about 2 meters from the workshop). Again is it legal for me to do and can I just put say a 40 amp breaker in the house consumer unit or must it be connected direct to the main supply? If main supply I would need connection done professionally, but can I lay armoured cable to workshop?

Any advice before I start and do something wrong will be gratefully received.
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:03 pm

There are now restrictions called Part P and there is a link on this site. In theory you can inform building controls and once completed submit paper work and get it passed. In practice however the satisfying building controls that you are competent to do the work and filling in the forms at the end with all the test data means that only commercial electricians who want to work on their own house can really use the system and even then for small jobs it becomes more expensive to pay building controls than to get a registered electrician to do the work.
If you get an electrician to do the work he would most likely fit a 40 amp MCB as you suggest and use SWA cable since most consumer units are plastic he would most likely fit a box to the consumer unit to gland to SWA to and use three core 10 or 16mm cable. Many electricians are lazy and if asked if they will act as Clark of works and direct how the job is to be done then test it at the end they will often say yes. But they are not allowed to inspect the job once completed and sign the paperwork they must be involved from the start. Every electrician has his own way of working and I would do nothing until you know who is doing the work then do as your told and nothing on your own bat or he may not sign for design and installation.
So to recap not illegal in theory but it is in practice.

Postby sparx » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:25 pm

Hi, certain works have to be notified to Local Authority Bldg. Control before any start is made & all work outside the main body of the house is included in such catagory, for more info see Doc's 'Projects' Part P of bldg regs.
It is still legal to do work yourself PROVIDING you notify LABC first and pay their up front fee of £150+, for this they will visit twice, once when wiring in place and still visible to check cable routing ect. & again at finish to check fittings correct.
They do not however usually do any testing or certifying which you would need if you ever wanted to sell later. This testing is definitely NOT DIY as cost of instruments, availability of test sheets & the knowledge to fill them in is beyond non-qualified people. No electrician is able to retro-certify work not done by him personally, however a registered leckie who does the work can 'self-certify' the work and register it with LABC through his approving body ie NAPIT, Elecsa, ECA, niceic,
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