DIY Doctor

Help With Fuse box Safety in Rented Property

Postby samwis3 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:53 pm

Hi, I am a Tennant in a property and today my son was in the bath and splashing like kids do. Unfortunately he splashed too much and the water started slowly dripping through the kitchen light, (we found out after the incident). Upon him getting out of the bath once his feet were on the wet carpet he touched the bath and suffered an electric shock.

None of the electrics tripped off when this happened and it indeed happend a second time as he unwittingly touched the bath again.

As I said earlier we later found that the water he had splashed out of the bath was dripping through the kitchen light that was on at the time and obviously causing some sort of circuit with the iron bath tub.

Since I thought it was strange that nothing tripped ie: lights main switch I went to look at the fuse box. What I found was nothing I had ever encountered before (link to pic here: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 643654.jpg ) it has only one main trip switch and several large square boxes and that's it.

What I'm wondering is; is this safe, compliant and legal for a landlord to have in a property they are renting out?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I don't want any more inadvertent shocks anywhere else in the house.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:11 am

Regulations and laws have changed through the years, in 1980 that set up would be standard and it would require all items in the bathroom to be bonded, so everything is at same voltage.

Today we use different methods to ensure safe bathrooms, the bonding has been removed and instead we have RCD protection.

The problem is use of plastic has resulted in loss of bonding, from plastic gas and water supply pipes to plastic pipes inside the house, so the IET recommendation is the home it tested every 10 years or change of occupant which ever happens first.

However as far as I know, only Scotland has a law about inspecting and testing, rest of UK it is not so cut and dried.

In Wales one has to pass an exam to rent out property and this is to show you know what needs to be provided, and I think a electrical installation condition report (EICR) is considered as being required.

However for the electrician it is not so clear as to what can be passed, there is a book BS7671 and there are guides the electrical safety council publish best practice guides which don't follow BS7671 to the letter, and seem to permit an installation if it follows any version of wiring regulations which before 1992 there were IEE regulations (now IET) but no BS7671 yet the best practice guide instructs as to what to do when there is no earth on the lights which was normal before 1966 and it does not require a rewire to be done.

So there is clearly a fault, however it may not be land lords fault, or even the electrician, I have copies of BS7671 back to 2001, but no earlier so if I come to a 1980 house it is hard to check what is permitted.

So you have a problem, you need to tell land lord there is a fault, but he can clearly charge you for damage due to water spillage, so some diplomacy is required, to avoid high charges of damage.

So got a shock off bath taps can you send some one to test please, hope you get an electrician who will cure problem without telling land lord there has been a water spillage.

There was a case in Cornwell where the tenants told the land lady of a electric shock, who in turn asked an electrician to have a look to see what the problem was, however some one was killed before the electrician arrived, so the land lady had a massive fine as a result.

So what the land lord should do is evict you until the electrician has inspected, hence saying being diplomatic.
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Postby Mr White » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:11 am

You may want to read This
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Postby ericmark » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:40 pm

As said land lord must ensure the property is safe, however it clearly takes time to correct errors, and the only way the land lord can ensure he is not fined while waiting for repairs to be completed is to get you to vacate the property until repairs are complete.

With fines of £3000 being dished out to land loads, if I was land lord I would want to play safe, so would tell you to find alternative accommodation until fixed.
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Postby collectors » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:06 pm

Personaly i would slightly loosen the bath waste/trap & say you have had a leak & a shock to your son. No one should be getting shocks for the sake of £75 & a few hours' labour to get a RCD fuse board fitted.
But note, a shock will quiet likely happen, but only for a fraction of a second. I got one with an electric cement mixer a few years back when i picked up the damp extension lead by the mixer. You still remember, even the mild ones, lol.
But the safety RCD tripped & possibly saved me from something a lot worse.
Get the landlord to sort it or hold him responsible.
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