Isolator & new meter tails

I'm looking for help on getting an isolator and new meter tails fitted without having to pay for a complete inspection and work to bring the house up to current safety requirements. Sorry about the long list of questions but I thought I'd try to get it all down in one go.
I ask because I need some rewiring, including a new CU; and, despite the horrors of Part P, I was inclined to DIY so as to spread the disruption over a longer period in a more manageable way. (It is only a small Victorian terrace but with no trunking/conduits I'd rather improve things as I get around to redecorating each room.)
I accepted I would have to pay for inspections (although another story is that my LA flatly refuse to do inspect anything electrical, no matter what the legislation requires). But it is a fairly old installation with a plastic Wylex CU with wired fuses, thin meter tails and no isolator. And an incomer which looks as if it has not been touched for many years. I don't really fancy cutting the seals on *both* the incomer *and* the cover for the tails on the meter in order to pull the fuses and fit new tails to an isolator. I read previous threads about suppliers fitting isolators or getting them fitted. But our supplier (Scottish Power) won't do this. Nor will EDF (the distribution company). Scottish Power will provide (free) a disconnect and reconnect morning/afternoon to allow time to fit an isolator. But they will only reconnect if there is a safety certificate. I can't get a safety certificate if I DIY the isolator (because the LA won't play). So it looks as if I have to pay for one to be installed professionally by someone who can issue a certificate . Right, please?
But will I get the safety certificate given the installation itself is not up to scratch? I can see several faults which is why I want to improve it. So I can't see how a professional can certify it.
If not (as I fear) am I left with a choice between (a) doing nothing, (b) paying '000s for a complete rewire in one (with all the knock-on effects - including the risk to my blood pressure) and (c) pulling the incomer fuses - despite my reservations?
-- Robin
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On 2007-09-11 12:20:07 +0100, "Robin"

How about the following:
- Pull the supply fuse leaving the meter alone.
- Disconnect the old tails from the CU and for the time being connect them to an isolator.
- Run new tails from isolator to Henley block and from there to the old CU and the new one ~(assuming you have the space.
This will allow you to migrate everything in an orderly and leisurely way.
You can submit a Building Notice to the LA. They don't have to inspect it themselves and may not have people qualified to do so, but may well sub out the work to an electrician. Check the fees. These are based on the commercial value of the work. They are not permitted to charge extra because the electrician charges them some fee that suits him.
Once that's all done, you can contact the electricity supplier to get the tails cleaned up.
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<snip>
Thanks. That is pretty much what I had in mind as my option (c) - except that while I can submit a Notice my LA won't inspect, test and certify it. They say they simply cannot afford to do so. (A perfectly amicable discussion with BCO established that I have only one route to compliance: employ an electrician who can self-certify. So I'd still not be able to get the tails updated to 25mm. Well, I suppose I could seek a Court Order requiring the LA to carry out their duties but that does not strike me as a sensible route given I need to live here.)
--
Robin




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On 2007-09-11 14:03:23 +0100, "Robin"

Personally I'd make them do it, but I can understand that not everybody would want to tackle the bureaucrats. At least he's been honest enough to admit that it's a money issue..
I suppose that the other option would be to simply have an electrician test the final work and issue a certificate. You could do this on the basis that you were going to let the house or something like that so the job comprises the test and nothing else.
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Thanks. And I was *very* tempted. But as a former bureaucrat (of a different flavour) I naturally carried out a full risk assessment and that showed rather a lot of ways in which the LA could in turn make life difficult for me.
--
Robin



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Robin wrote:

> ... Scottish Power will provide (free) a disconnect and reconnect

The answer is easy.
You get the electrician to fit the isolator to the tails. BUT ONLY THE ISOLATOR. You might need to update the earth bonding, as the isolator is part of the customer installation.
And you get a certificate for the ISOLATOR ONLY.
Then the electricity is connected. The installation, comprising one isolator, is at this point compliant.
It is *your* responsibility what you then connect to the load terminals of the isolator when the electricians have gone home....
Owain
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Thanks. I'll see if I can find a self-certifying sparks willing to play ball.
(Any reading who do work in London E5? If so please mail me: the reply-to address is munged: remove the obviously invalid bits.)
--
Robin



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Robin wrote:

I seem to remember you telling us that this work was done a couple of years ago ;-) hint hint
Dave
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Thanks Dave. While I'm grateful for the offer of a witness statement (?) after reading accounts of people getting isolators fitted for free (or the ones they DIY'd connected for free) I have already spoken to the supplier and they have spoken to the meter operator. They have noted that. So it could be a bit difficult if an isolator just appeared (and fuse seal disappeared).
Then again, I suppose my late-50s make it credible for me to claim I just had a "senior moment" today;)
--
Robin



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Tell them to get their arse into gear and provide you with a means of isolation so you can work on your equipment without being forced to interfere with theirs.
If they fob you off, contact Energywatch.
I *do* work for a REC, but not in that area. We fit isolators for free, and it's down to the meter operator to do it.
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Thanks but, for the sake of anyone reading this thread in the future, EnergyWatch say these issues do not fall within their remit. (I shall go back to them on that but it won't be for a few weeks as I want first to try to find out who pulls their strings. I suspect though that nothing DIY will play well with the Council - for fear their backsides will be exposed.)

I am not at all surprised that EDF are less generous than some others.
--
Robin



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Just cut the seals on the fuse and tails covers. Meter fitters sometimes forget to put them on anyway. Missing seals are not of themselves considered a sign of theft of electricity. Of course, if the next meter reader/fitter makes a note that they are missing when he replaces them, you might not want to cut them again!
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