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Safety question

Postby Lady P » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:46 pm

Hi all, new here so please be kind :P

I am in a rental property with an extension lead type set up leading to the conservatory for powering washing machine and tumble dryer. This was done to the property by previous owner and keeps blowing the fuse which is replaced every few months.

It has now been agreed by the landlord that these plugs need to be put on the ring main and they have said this will take most of one morning to do.

I have also asked them to do a "safety" check on the wiring in the property as each sparks that we've had through the door has done a sharp intake of breath when looking at the fuse box! All have said it should be different (and excuse me here as I have no idea what i'm typing so it may appear strange lol), we have 100amp rather than 30? (I think it was amp!) The wires (yellow and red I think) were wrong, they were 6 instead of 10 or something like that.

Where do I go from here? If I call an electrician in, will they be able to do a full safety check around the house? It is old (late 70's) and I have no idea of any re-wiring done. There are very few plug sockets.

The agent has barked down the phone that we are not to do any work. I'm not that stupid! I just want to know that the home i'm living in is safe for me and my family!

We have an annual gas check, why is there not an electrical one!

Thanks in anticipation.
Lady P
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:55 pm

As I understand it. The regulations require the house to be checked every 10 years or change of occupants. But the report has to be given to person ordering the work. i.e. Landlord. There is very little to force him to do the work listed on the report. Any faults are put into 4 groups. Group 1 means there is some danger and it needs attention but group 4 presents no real danger but does not comply with latest regulations. So even if you viewed the inspection report it may not mean much to you and could make you worry for no reason.
To commission your own Periodic Inspection Report is only any good if it is explained to you. Hardly any houses have no comments and there is no pass or fail but a report and the house owner has to decide what work if any he wants doing. With rewires causing so much disruption often it will be ear marked for rewire on next tenant change where required and not done while people are in resident.
There should be a sticker on the consumer unit saying when and who did the last inspection but that does not mean any faults were corrected.
The good thing is after the 1st July there is a new set of regulations in force and once work is completed on sections of the installation these sections will need to comply with the new regulations. Unless you already have RCD's fitted they will need fitting and old consumer units (Fuse Boxes) will not take these new devices and in many cases have to be renewed if this is done then all the electrics in the house have to be checked so unless the work has already been inspected and planned then there is a good chance it will all have to be done where the ring main is extended and you will not have to do a thing. If any of the work involves new circuits i.e. extra way in consumer unit, work in kitchen, or work in bathroom or consumer unit change then the work has to be registered with Building Control at the Local Authority (LABC) in which case you can request to view the documents and will save you needing to commission any inspection yourself.
So may be best to wait and see what happens when the ring main is extended.
Your Eric

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