Can anybody tell me the answer to the following please ?
A friends mother is due to get a new kitchen fitted and the company that is fitting it have told her that it is illegal for them to fit the kitchen when the electrics are supplied through a fuse box, and that she requires to have an RCD box fitted to comply with regulations.
Is this right ?
Surely all homes with fuses would have to have the fuse boxes replaced to comply, if this was the case ?
They are talking out of their backsides. Yes a new consumer unit with RCD would be advisable from a safty point of view and whilst the kitchen is being worked on it would be a good time but its not illegal. Ask the company who their Part P body are ie NICEIC ,NAPIT ELECSA etc & contact them for to verify these fitters are up to the job and if what they are telling you is correct. There are two types of Part P qualification 'Defined competance' usually kitchen fitters who only do small amounts of electrical work with this they cannot upgrade the fuseboard. Full competance is usually an electrician able to rewire a house and test.
For the fitting of RCD's July 1st 2008 this will to all intense and purpose be the case but not quite true at the moment only sockets which are likely to be used outside and houses supplied with TT system which is an over head line in most cases. And unless you have no garden then I suppose you will need an RCD but these do not replace fuses they are extra to them and at the moment you could get away with a RCD protected socket at the place where you use any outside items.
But from the 1st July you must have at least two RCD's and any smoke alarms etc. can't use same RCD as sockets so most modern houses will need at least 3 RCD's as not all the sockets all allowed to go through the same RCD. It seems the new consumer units will have three neutral bars. Two RCD's and a Main switch from the non RCD protected rail you will use RCBO's to feed emergency services like smoke alarms, Then the two protected rails will feed sockets and lights split so if a socket trips the RCD it will not trip lights in the same area.
The main change is due to the use of twin and earth cable. It is now felt it is too easy to put a nail through a cable and electrocute someone so either a cable which if one puts a nail through it will blow a fuse for example Flexishield or steel wire armored or to fit an RCD.
Although you could have an RCD and non re-wireable fuses the cost of the extra boxes with the RCD's would be more than changing whole consumer unit and although all houses will not have to up-grade they will if they want any electrical works doing as all new work must comply including all cables feeding it.
Although you may get away with it for jobs between now and July1st hardly worth the money to fit RCD sockets when next time anything is done the wires feeding them will need protecting.
As yet many of the suppliers have not caught up with the new regulations and the new type consumer units are in short supply. There are some new items arriving on the market like automatic reseting RCDs but at the moment very expensive and although the new cable to BS8436 trade name Flexishield is advertised I have not seen the price yet I am sure less than steel wire armored cable but will be more than twin and earth.
Many of the regulations have been there for years but now Part P means electricians can't get away with out filling in all the paperwork that goes with a job and sending it either direct to building control or via a clearing agent to building control. So in 9years 11months they could still be taken to court for something they do wrong today. (All houses have to be tested every 10 years so after 10 years it would be the owners fault for not getting the house tested). So now there is a lot of "Jobs Worth" so I don't blame kitchen fitters for wanting to fit a new consumer unit all I would say is make sure it is latest type with at least two RCDs not old stock.
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