I intend to have a new modern consumer unit fitted (by a sparkie) in a couple of months.
I have been told that my utility supplier will iinstall an mains isolator if I request one (free of charge?), to make this job and any future work easier since there would be no need to remove the incommer main 100amp fuse.
Oh and it's a PME Earthing sytem but I don't know if that makes any difference.
There has been a lot of debate over the isolator question with some suppliers charging and some doing it FOC. It also seems to have something to do with way it is asked for. I have responded a few times for my son when the supplier insists on an electrician on site but never need to do anything they just wanted a presence. There is nothing to stop any spark fitting an Isolator and asking the supplier to connect to the isolator provided which I have done with large house wiring using a three phase fused isolator and three consumer units so if required later they could be split to three phase and a supply bigger than 100A could be provided and they have connected to my isolator with no problem.
It seems under the supply regulations they are to provide an isolator and many electricians feel where an isolator has not been provided they can also break the rules and remove the main fuse. I can see their point but two wrongs don't really make a right. I am told where the customer phones the supplier and says the seal is broken the supplier that's the attitude that it is just a naughty electrician and they just replace. But if they find the seal missing they assume some one has been steeling power. How true I don't know.
They are not permitted to give permission to break the seal so no point asking but I have not heard of any prosecutions where it is obvious it was removed to fit a new consumer unit.
I would be interested to read what happens in other areas but in my area most electricians just break seal and tell house holder to phone up after they have gone and report broken seal.
However it is not legal. The real problem seems to be where LABC is involved as they want to see everything done by the book. However is all changes area to area so no one can really advise as what to do they can only relate as to their own experience.
Again I have had to attend a few time to connect up when the supplier arrives where new installation is temp linked to old until supplier moves meter etc. Sat there all day and just about to give up and they arrive. Once they have done I have had 10 mins work but they will no be tied to time which is OK where other work is being done but otherwise real pain.
As you may gather we did not break seals and caused us a load of hassle as a result. Thankfully my son is no longer a sole trader so I don't have to do it any more.
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