DIY Doctor

Is Using Black and Red Cable Correct for Lighting and Sockets in new Extension?

Postby Clocks » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:14 pm

Hi there, I’m having my house extended and the builder has run a grey 2 core cable with black and red wires coming out of it (and no copper earth wire) for the down lights and a similar or same one for the sockets. Is this correct? I’ve been reading that black and red is old wiring. I am also troubled about there being no earth wire coming out. Please help.
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Postby Mr White » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:12 pm

The colours do not really matter, BUT the new colours came into being in 2004. Draw your own conclusions.

The lack of an earth wire is NOT acceptable under any circumstances.

Also the cable for the sockets should be 2.5mm and lighting can be 1.0mm or 1.5mm they should not be the same size (similar yes)
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Postby ericmark » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:38 am

Down lights could be 12 volt, and often you don't have an earth with extra low voltage, however the whole idea of 12 volt was to have a thicker element on the quartz bulb, with LED lighting there is little point in 12 volt lights, except maybe in a bathroom.

Sockets must have an earth, and any new electrics will have paperwork to show it has been tested, there are five bits of electric paperwork.
1. EICR done every 10 years or change of occupant, some times accepted by LABC where electrics were DIY. Not legally required.
2. Minor works, this is when an old circuit is modified like new lights added, again not legally required.
3. Installation certificate this is for more major work like a new circuit, again not legally required.
4. A compliance certificate depending if England or Wales rules are different, some work must have one of these or a completion certificate, compliance is issued by a scheme provider.
5. Completion certificate, this is issued by the LABC where the person doing the work is not a scheme member.

There is very little work today where the LABC is not involved, I got into trouble when we had a pantry and toilet converted into a wet room, it is the owner who must inform the LABC although normally the builder will do it for you. The fee is linked to cost of job, so for pure electric work the charge from LABC is normally the minimum which is often more than the job cost, but where other work is being done, the whole job can come under the minimum so builder can include electrics in the application.

I can't see the LABC inspector being happy with old colours used, nothing wrong with using old colours, but the inspector is god, and in my case even when regulations said did not need fan in wet room, the inspector insisted as he said people could walk past the open window when coming to door so we would not open window.

Theory the LABC inspector is clerk of works and ensures all is OK, in practice if they trust builder you may never see him. But up to you to ensure application has gone in, good builders will do it for you, but you must check.
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