Legal or not?

I probably should know the answer to this, but here goes.
I've come across a 13A double socket installed in a loft that looks as though it has been jury-rigged from the upstairs lighting circuit. The socket is feeding several appliances from loft light to TV ariel amplifier - nothing too sinister in terms of the power being drawn.
I need a convincing argument to convince the householder that it isn't safe, if indeed it isn't.
Anyone?
Andrew
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Andrew McKay wrote:

Hmmm - I know what you mean - it sounds "wrong" but I am having difficulty thinking of exactly why!
While not exactly a "recommended" solution, I suppose you could argue that so long as the circuit is suitably protected at the CU, then it is not dangerous in itself. Any overload via the socket would simply trip the protection device at the CU. The 1.00mm sq cable has more than enough capacity to cope with anything you will be able to draw from a 6A MCB.
An overload on the socket that caused a trip, would however take out the loft light - this may not be that good an idea, especially if that leaves you hoping from rafter to rafter in the dark!
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Cheers,

John.

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Tell him that any surveyor who spots it will call into question the integrety of the entire wiring system. Also, should he have an electrical fire as a result his house insurance will be invalid.
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Why should it be invalid? When we sold our old place, the previous people had installed a socket for their fish tank electrics which had been wired off the lighting circuit by orange flex. Our purchasers requested an electrical installation inspection (not because of this) and when the guy came to inspect it he noticed this but explained that as it was protected by a suitable fuse at the CU, there was technically no problem with it. Of course, ideally it shouldn't be like that - however ideals and requirements are very different.
I cannot see why an insurer would be able to successfully invalidate insurance when an NICEIC (?) certificate says the installation is okay and safe?
D
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Andrew McKay wrote:

If its earthed is reasonably safe. Nonetheless it isn't good practice, as some unsuspecting eejut might try and run an electric fire off it and start a real one :)
If it were me, I would replace the SOCKET with - say - a 5A one and mark it 'light duty only' (har har) to enbsure that no one tries to pull 13A off it.
Irts probably against regs too, but regs are there for eejuts, and wise men can use common sense.

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Depends on the fuse. Old rewireable types can take an age to go for slight overloads - the tables in the back of the regs imply that a current draw of 13A will take 5 seconds to blow one of these (perfectly safe), and 10A (2 bar fire) will take 100 seconds - over a minute and a half (fig 3.2A, appendix 3).
Having said that, 1mm cable is good for 11.5A continuous even when in conduit and partly enclosed in insulation (table 4D5A) so starting fires may not be easy.
The biggest problems are likely to be, as stated, possible lack of earthing on an older lighting circuit (and thus no earth at the plug), having a fuse blow and taking out the lights at the same time, and the fact that an installation with this kind of modification suggests that other "non-ideal" work may also have been done.
Hwyl!
M.
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Think the easy answer would be to feed it via an FCU with a suitable low value fuse, or change it for a couple of 2 amp types.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Hi
Whilst it may be electrically safe if the protection is correct on that circuit it is potentially unsafe in its consequential effects. If someone was in the loft and plugged in a higher current device then the lighting circuit would be lost, leaving them in darkness in what is typically a hazardous area.
Swapping the sockets for round pin 5A ones would probably regularise the lighting aspect. Not sure if fitting the other applicances also via 5A outlets or FCUs with 1A fuse (or upto 5A...) would be OK. It would certainly be safer though.
HTH IanC
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Not since I was 12, no.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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S.M.Taylor wrote:

Most of us have done it ONCE....:-)

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