Hi, we in the middle of a new extension to our old house & wondered if we can put the sockets & switches to match the existing as we don't want the new switches lower & the sockets higher as per regs. Do you think the local DS would have a problem with this.
I would put the light switches and sockets to match your existing. The building inspector from the council should have no problem with this. They are only really fussy about socket and switch positions on new builds.
In the main socket heights are only enforced in new property. But much depends on the inspector. I had a house where the bed was on legs and I wanted to fit two sockets behind the bed for bed side lamps which would likely never be unplugged.
I carefully measured the bed and positioned the sockets where there was nothing on the bed which if bed was moved would hit socket or anything plugged in.
The LABC inspector told me they were too low. I quoted "522.6.1 Wiring systems shall be selected and erected so as to minimize the damage arising from mechanical stress, e.g. by impact abrasion, penetration, tension or compression during installation, use or maintenance." and claimed to install at 450 mm would be against regulations. He accepted this and the sockets remained at that hight.
The point is with my house there is no wheel chair assess so why have sockets at a hight for wheel chair uses? My mother is in a wheel chair and again the LABC inspector said my light switches and thermostat were too low. But when explained set low for mother again accepted.
So what ever the building regulations say the LABC inspector will bend to common sense and if you give good reasons why not to regulation height then they are normally OK with it.
My mother can reach down to around 100 mm from floor without a problem it was my dad who was not in a wheel chair who found low sockets a problem. But most of the sockets in my mothers house don't comply as too close to corners.
Remember it say the sockets should be easy to reach and a way of satisfying this to mount 450 - 1200 mm from floor it does not say must be at these heights. Opening lids on sockets mounted in the floor are still permitted.
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