Part P - Ensuring Electrical Safety


Before we applied for PP for our garage conversion, I must admit, I thought that all major electrical work apart from bathrooms etc, could be done by amateurs, so long as it was inspected by a professional, and then duly certified. As the other half's brother-in-law's brother is a sparky, I thought that would be a piece of cake.
However, along with our PP consent, we received details of Part P. Which now sounds as though I cannot touch it at all, or I will be damned.
One part of the regs reads: "Electrical work in dwellings will need to comply with Part P of the Building Regulations and be carried out by persons who are competent to do the work."
Whereas further down, it reads "Any notifiable works carried out by non-competent persons will be required to submit a Building Regs application and then have the works inspected for compliance. Any defective work will require removal and rectification at the owner's expense."
These two statements seem contradictory to me - the first says that I, as a 'non-competent' person cannot do the work. The other says that if I, as a 'non-competent' person do the work, it just needs inspection.
I'm confused. What is the score really here?
Thanks
John
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I'm no expert on this John but I would read it that the work should be carried out by person(s) who are competent to do the work (i.e. qualified electrician who can certify their work) but if the person isn't qualified then they can still do the work provided it is checked by a competent (qualified) person by submitting the Building Regs application. So if you feel upto it you can have a go provided it is checked.
Ash.
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Almost.
Anyone can be a competent person as long as they pass the part p course, buy the required test gear and join ie.pay one of the (11?) groups running competent person schemes.
These people can self certify their work.
A qualified electrician cannot self certify if he is not a member of one of these groups.
You can DIY electrics if you put a Building Control Notice in to your local council. There is a charge for this.
However, I suspect that you have already applied for building control. In which case you can have the Part P issued by the BCO at no extra charge. You only have to pay for one BCO charge for a job.
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Tiny url is off line at the moment!
Adam
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Great - thanks Adam. Yes, we have already applied for BCO, and got approval on the structural parts.
I will read in a bit more depth tomorrow.
Cheers
John
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On Sat, 30 May 2009 15:08:13 +0100, a certain chimpanzee, "John
and produced:

There's "Competent Persons" and competent persons.
A "Competent Person" is a company (or sometimes a sole trader) who is registered with one of the trade bodies (NICEIC, ELECSA, ECA, etc) to carry out notifiable work, but is not required to submit a notice directly to the local authority but can 'self-certify' via their trade body.
A competent person is someone who knows what they're doing (or should do), but is not a member of a "Competent Person" scheme; for example an electrician who works for someone else, or works outside the domestic sphere. They may well be fully-versed in the 17th edition, but don't do enough domestic work to justify registering as a "Competent Person". Any notifiable work they do should be accompanied by a Notice to the local authority, who should inspect the work as it progresses, seeing first fix, etc, before it is covered over. This person should also fill in an installation certificate at the end of the job and give a copy to the local authority.
Then there's non-competent persons. If you're lucky, your local authority may accept their work and be prepared to sign it off, but don't rely on it. And, yes, I know it says in Approved Document P that they should without any additional cost, but many local authorities have chosen to ignore it.
I hope that clears things up :-)
--
Hugo Nebula
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Hmmm...it's certainly removed the certainty implied by Adam's post! :-D
I think that perhaps a call to my BCO might be wise. Need to speak to him anyway, re: the commencement of the exterior works.
Thanks
John
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OP, go read it again...
There is DIY NON-NOTIFIABLE and NOTIFIABLE work.
You can DIY all Non-Notifiable works - just ensure they comply with BS7671. Table 1 p8 2006
1 - Replacing any fixed electrical equipment which does not include the provision of any new fixed cabling
That means you can actually move a broken socket 1" up/down the wall even in a kitchen if the cable is too short, but you can't move it 1" down/up the wall if it means extending the cable.
2 - Replacing the cable for a single circuit only, where damaged (fire, rodent or impact) -- or UV, heat, age re BS7671
Single is obvious. BS7671 defines a circuit as "an assembly of electrical equipment supplied from the same origin and protected agains overcurrent by the same protective devices(s).
3 - Re-fixing or replacing the enclosure of existing installation components.
That means you can replace a damaged CU enclosure (thankfully considering many do crack after a decade). However note the footnote "if the circuit protective measures are unaffected" which means you can't add new circuits, new circuit breakers and indeed "Additional notes c. Consumer unit replaces are, however notifiable".
4 - Providing mechanical protection to existing fixed installations.
That means if redecorating and your existing cables lack capping/ conduit you can add such to permit easier future replacement. Obviously it would be wise to comply with BS7671 zones which may get interesting (for light drops, the key area here, it generally requires just a tweak to make things vertical).
5 - Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding.
The most important thing, particularly as far as DNO are concerned re potential decline in TN-C-S / PME network quality.
Work that is NOT in a kitchen or special location or does not involve a special location... - Adding a lighting point (light & switches) to an EXISTING circuit - Adding socket outlets and fused-spurs to an EXISTING ring or radial circuit
So basically you can do a lot EXCEPT add new final circuits.
You CAN also maintain EXISTING equipment, cables etc, in Special Locations "Replacement, repair and maintenance jobs are generally not notifiable, EVEN if carried out in a kitchen or special location or associated with a special installation".
Thus if your 32yr old 2-core PVC SWA is knackered crossing the garden (armour has no continuity), SWA corroded in CW glands, whatever, you CAN replace it (and should do!). However you can NOT install a new one without notifying.
Note "Additional Notes e & f" conservatories , attached garages, detached garages and sheds are NOT special locations. Work within them is notifable ONLY if it involves NEW outdoor wiring. You CAN replace existing damaged, you can NOT significantly change the route, you can NOT add new sockets etc - without notifying.
Thus you can change your broken cooker hood or worn out kitchen extractor fan, but you can't install a new kitchen extractor fan. Some argue you CAN fit a new kitchen extractor if it is fitted with a 13A plug, since by virtue of that it is removeable. This gets a little grey, if you ARE competent then its just do it right.
Note also "no exposed connections" on outdoor equipment - eg, you can fit a light or HVAC to your wall, but you can't fit a socket. That seems bonkers but realise a socket is to feed power in a garden, a light isn't.
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Thanks - this is all notifiable work, as the current power in the garage is basically an extension of the main ring circuit (garage is connected to house). I want to get rid of all that, and put some quite serious capacity out there - i.e. to run 2kw heater, tumble dryer, two PCs, iron etc, which at full whack is pretty hefty. Therefore I plan to run a 10mm T&E to a new CU in the garage.
I shall read all the responses in more depth tomorrow. Feeling a bit on the tired side now - won't manage to take much in! :-)
Thanks
John
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