Re: Forthcoming Building Regulations on electrical work (Part P)

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On 27 Jul 2003 13:47:59 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

Are Scottish BCOs qualified in electrical inspection, Andrew?
.andy
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No idea, but I would doubt it. My impression was that it was a visual inspection only and not a full inspection and test, but I wasn't there and I can't recall if the person who told me was explicit about it. I know from talking with a number of BCO's when I did my response to the original consultation that most English council Building Control departments would not have anyone qualified in full electrical inspection and test.
A quick visual inspection is not really unreasonable as you can get a very good idea if the installer knew what they were doing just by looking at the quality of the workmanship and some obvious things like service bonding correct, etc. Whenever I've done any work which required the electricity supplier to visit and change the supply afterwards, I've never been asked for any test certificates or similar. Again, I assume this is because the workmanship they see is to professional standards. However, I have heard of a number of other cases where they have asked for certificates or similar (some in this newsgroup), and I suspect that's what happens when they arrive and see something which doesn't look like a job to a professional quality level. Training BCO staff to perform a quick visual inspection on an installation would be easy to do given their background, and very effective in practice.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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Andy Hall wrote:

All this sounds bad but in practice won't alter anything.
The crunch for me would come if small works certificates for domestic stuff are needed and/or professional work could only be done by registered people. In which case I'll be a couple of grand down (test equipment, exams , subscriptions) untilI've recouped the cost on the bills <wry smile>.
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter. The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html
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installations. I don't have any specific 'trade' type qualifications but I am a C.Eng. and Eur.Ing. (with my original degree in Electrical Engineering). It probably turns out that I'm allowed to set and examine the 'trade' qualifications but I'm not allowed to do it.
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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     snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk writes:

Trade qualifications in the form of C&G exams have existed for ages. However, this isn't about improving the quality of electrical installations, so they aren't in the picture. It's about the trade bodies boosting their membership, so that's the 'qualification' required.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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And that's about it - the cost of (legal) electrical work will surely go up as a result of a restricted supply (as if it's easy to get decent sparks at the moment!) due to barriers to entry and higher operating costs.
This will make it less likely that electrical maintenance work will actually be done, and that DIY work that is allowed will probably stray into the bounds of less safe practise as a result of the regulations (e.g. simply extending a ring from an old fused CU rather than a nice new ring on a new split CU). I suspect that the situation will actually worsen as a result of this.
Of course, if you're sat in your Islington house, a government residence, or a rented London flat whilst you're creating these rules and regs, none of this cost stuff has any relevance to you at all, and you'd never dream of lifting a screwdriver and doing it yourself. Talk about detatched from reality - this lot make the Tories seem down to earth...
As for the poster that suspected that 90% of the accidents that did happen were due to DIY work on FIXED electrical installations - I'd defy you to produce any evidence to back that up. Even the cost/benefit in the proposal was very vague in this area - neatly ignoring that glaring question completely. Ban non-licensed use of ladders - that'll save some lives.
Time for more action methinks. Emailing MP and opposition members today......
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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No "decent spark" would leave an installation without testing it to the required standard anyway. The legislation for this already exists. Guidance note 3 to BS 7671. The work you describe would require a full electrical inspestion certificate which would only be valid if a "schedule of test results" along with a "schedule of inspections" were to be appended to it.
The written part of this exam is "closed book" with a nationwide practical exam to complete if you are succesful in the written part. The written part really is written this time as distinct from BS 7671 which is "open book" and multiple choice.

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Donald MacLennan wrote:

I already have and use test equipment. I would have to purchase certified/calibrated equipment were I requird to fill in certificates.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
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So does this make it illegal to do your own electrics or not, forgetting the problem of selling your house.
John

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On 23 Jul 2003 13:36:22 -0700, northern snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (northern_relayer) wrote:

We could probably save 93m over ten years by abolishing the "Office of the Deputy Prime Minister", whatever the f that is. To think we used to consider the admittedly barking Mrs T to be hectoring and nannyish. She was an amateur compared with the bunch in power now.
--
John

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scope of building control (eg extension or loft conversion) this may be included (at a marginal cost) with the building control application and anyone can then do the work. It will then be the responsibility of building control to certify the work.
It will be interesting to see what they do. They are unlikely to have the necessary "in house" skills, so will presumably employ an electrician for the task. Will they have problems finding someone within the required timescales, at the rates they will be prepared to pay? Will the person employed be motivated to properly check the work - or will they just regard it as a burocratic form filling exercise to be completed as quickly as possible? It would be interesting to know what currently happens when someone deposits a building control notice for a controlled fuel burning appliance.
--
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On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 08:11:17 +0100, "James"

Precisely. I can see the smart move becoming accumulating a number of DIY activities over a period of time, and submitting a building notice for them.
This of course, is not what the government intends. The series of legislation and the stated policy in a number of building areas is to steer people to using professionals from trade associations. The real motivation for that, one can theorise about.
If people were to start submitting building notices for these areas which have been "subcontracted" out of BC expertise on a wide scale, then it would cause considerable problems of expertise and funding and hopefully there would start to be complaints to central government (not that that would do anything).
Regarding availability of materials, do I think that electrical fittings would disappear from the shelves of B&Q? Not really, although they may scale it down a bit. At least it would mean that the intrusive "helpers" that they have who come and poke their noses into what you are buying would be redeployed.
If you think about it, B&Q still sells gas fittings, fires and windows.
In the studies relating to gas safety run by the HSE, limiting availability of materials to trade outlets and selling only to card carrying professionals was discussed. Very few "stakeholders" thought it was a good idea or even practical.
On this one, because it has been common practice forever for people to do their own electrical work, if legislation were to be introduced I think that it would, quite rightly, be largely ignored.
.andy
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wrote:

A couple of years ago when I was refitting the kitchen the local B&Q didn't have any gas fittings (plenty of fires / boilers etc.). The assistant I spoke to said it was because of the "regulations". Went last week for some bits for the bathroom and lo and behold all the gas fittings had re-appeared! Perhaps they found out that people still wanted to buy these bits to make interesting wall hangings or something? Richard
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wrote:

IME there are two reasons that assistants, assistant managers and managers always give for not providing customer service:
1) Regulations 2) Insurance
Officious application of (1) once prevented me from taking safety razors on board a SleazyJet flight, even though said items had been bought air-side at Heathrow T4 the week before (and well after US attacks).
(2) prevented me from being able to get a long board cut down at one of the sheds so that it would fit in the car. They wouldn't lend me one of their saws, and wouldn't even let me cut it in the car park if I bought a cheap saw. I got a refund immediately, and the next day was allowed to do exactly what I wanted to do at a local timber yard.
My local electrical warehouse say they're not unduly worried about the effects of the new regs, and will continue to sell anything to anyone unless they are specifically prohibited from doing so by law.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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How were they going to manage that? Bigger saw? More saws? I don't believe there would be enough hands in the shed. Couldn't you relocate to the next store's parking area? And if the worst came to the worst it would still need to be cut down to fit in the police car. Otherwise no evidence.
Alan
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perhaps I wasn't too clear in that sentence.
Couple of years ago bought a long board. got out to car park, discovered couldn't fit it in car.
went back in store... Me: "Is there anyone that can cut this down for me?" Them: "no - insurance and health & safety". Me: "can I borrow a saw and cut it myself?" Them: "no - insurance and health & safety". Me: "ok, I'll buy a cheap saw and cut it myself in the car park." Them: "no - insurance and health & safety". Me: "here's the board back. I'll have a refund please."
quite frankly the officious person that I was arguing with would have probably followed me out if I'd bought a saw. However, I wasn't about to waste time, expense and effort in finding out at the time.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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RichardS wrote:

Like those hand-pumped hydraulic shears they have for cutting chain. The blades are surrounded by a perspex shield (so you can only just get the chain in) and a big sign saying that it is a dangerous machine and it is only to be operated by staff.
When I wanted some chain I couldn't see any staff around (no surprise there) so set about doing it myself. A memeber of staff appeared then (how do they do that?) and told me I couldn't do it myself (so why are they called DIY stores?). I pointed out that I have setup 100-ton power presses and 3-metre long shears capable of cutting 6mm plate so I reckon I can handle these glorified tin-snips. But no, he had to do it. OK then. Could he work out how to use the machine? Could he fck. Whilst he went off to find someone who knew, I did it myself and by the time he returned I was at the checkout.
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On 23 Jul 2003 13:36:22 -0700, northern snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (northern_relayer) wrote:

For what it's worth I printed that web document and have just written to my MP, making a few salient points about the probabilities relating to electrical casualties which take place:
* Consumers who insist on using adaptors, allowing multiple appliances to be plugged into a single socket, thus overloading the circuit.
* Damaged or badly maintained appliance cabling.
* Consumers who jury-rig their electrical installations without having a clue nor caring about 'the wiring regulations'.
* Consumers who use improperly protected or unsuitable equipment in the garden.
I made several other points as well, for good measure offering the following:
* The chancellor is going to be pleased to find that I can no longer pay as much tax to him, due to being prevented from working on simple electrical enhancements (add a new light fitting, add a spur, etc).
* Consumers are going to have to wait a lot longer to get hold of an electrician.
* Consumers are going to have to pay a lot more in order to take advantage of this charter for registered electricians to charge more.
I would encourage others to write to their MP. It will almost certainly achieve very little, but like a trained dog the more times an MP hears something the more obedient he becomes towards sorting something out. Don't forget that MP's aren't persuaded so much by the quality of the mail they receive, but by the weight of the postal sack containing the same message over and over again.
Andrew
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Only if they make "trees" with unfused 2-way adaptors. All three-ways (since I can remember) and trailing gangs are protected by a 13A max fuse.

This regs change won't make a blind bit of difference to that. In fact, it could exacerbate the problem as (as I read the proposal) DIYers are specifically prohibited from circuit modifications that involve RCDs or similar protective devices. This prohibits a DIYer from adding an RCD-protected spur to a non-RCD downstairs ring feeding an external socket with the purpose of discouraging outside use of non-protected inside sockets.

Eh? Don't quite follow the logic or relevance here. You'll still be able to add new sockets and spurs to the ring, and you'll still be able to change/add light fittings.
If you have to pay a spark to do this then your payment to him/her will come out of already taxed income. The spark will have to pay tax on the profits of this work, so the Chancellor will probably be quids in. Oh, and if you have to go to a larger firm (as a result of the certification requirements & expense) then you'll be paying VAT on the transaction as well.

However, glad you've written to your MP though.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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I wrote to mine again a couple of days ago. (I wrote originally during the consultation last year.)
--
Andrew Gabriel

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