I don't doubt for a minute that many amateur installations will be as
good as a professional job. However even though a professional might
rush a job his experience of doing many similar jobs is likely to
compensate, and invariably his job, rushed or otherwise, will pass
The thing is that if a jury had to reach a conclusion then the amateur
would be laying everything on the line. His home, other possessions,
everything. That's because he's taken on a job which conceivably he
should not have done because he doesn't have the background and
I noticed that some of the twin and earth I have been using has the year
stamped on the insulation every meter or so with raised numbering, ie.it's
part of the insulation not printed in ink.I don't know what the purpose of
this is but it will certainly make it difficult to claim that the wiring was
installed before the year stamped on the cable.
I don't recall where I bought the reel, either Wickes or TLC. Maybe this
will be a requirement for all cable manufacturers?
Same here with Pirelli cable bought from Screwfix - though oddly only on
the 1mmsq. The 2.5 doesn't seem to have a year, though it does have
other information. Nothing at all on the 10mm, and I don't have the 6mm
to hand to check :-)
Martin Angove: http://www.tridwr.demon.co.uk /
Don't fight technology, live with it: http://www.livtech.co.uk /
"Adrian M." wrote
| I noticed that some of the twin and earth I have been using has
| the year stamped on the insulation every meter or so with raised
| numbering, ie.it's part of the insulation not printed in ink.I
| don't know what the purpose of this is but it will certainly make
| it difficult to claim that the wiring was installed before the
| year stamped on the cable.
| I don't recall where I bought the reel, either Wickes or TLC.
| Maybe this will be a requirement for all cable manufacturers?
I don't want to panic anyone, but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is
wanting to bring this scheme in for APPLIANCES. So you will need a NICEIC
electrician to plug in your table lamps. Or perhaps Sarah Wooller of the In
House Policy Consultancy is lacking some understanding in the subject. (My
www.odpm.gov.uk > Building Regulations > Competent persons
self-certification schemes under the Building Regulations > Existing
competent person schemes
Conclusion and Main Recommendations ...
It is likely to be worth extending the self-certification schemes to a
limited number of areas of the Building Regulations. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
is likely to be a good candidate as are other areas where work is common,
internal to the house, often undertaken as discrete projects, and where
companies have an incentive for joining the scheme.
<fx: knocks on open door>
Of course, the consultation paper shows that the chances of an
accident due to fixed wiring are slight - 576 injuries per year - and
of a fatality, negligible (5 per year). This is in the context of
30-odd million domestic properties in the UK.
I haven't seen any data about whether these accidents are caused by
old wiring or during the DIY or professional installation of new
wiring, or after new DIY or professional installations, so the figures
we are really dealing with for non-fatal and fatal injries could quite
easily be 0 per year and 0 per year respectively.
I think it will mainly involve new installations in new builds, to begin
with anyway, but as each property is sold and moves along the trail of new
owners, the regulations will eventually catch up with everyone.
These new requirements will mean that any house sold will have to have a
certificate issued to the vendor before anyone will be allowed to pass the
property on as being in a safe, as possible, condition when it was sold. So
any additional work that you've carried out in the house will then be tested
and documented and will show all the variations which you've carried out and
are not documented on a previously issued certificate that was given to you
when you bought the house.
So the new scheme does have a good workable scheme in this sense and should
eventually be able to show that the property has had changes done without
permissions or proper testing certifications when it comes to time of sale.
If you're living in it and it doesn't comply to these requirements, then I'd
imagine you'd be severely dealt with if the new additions which are not
covered by previous tests are found to be the cause of any loss or damage to
other properties around yours.
But if a certificate is issued after the system is tested, then means your
additions passed the test and comply with current standards. Different
matter altogether if your additions don't pass the tests.
... but (again!) you still can't really tell from the certificate what
has been tested unless it's a very small addition/change. A
certificate won't detail the position (or even number) of sockets,
lights and other appliances which have been tested will it?
Exactly, potentially you (or Council, or purchaser) could get it tested
whilst it was safe and then next day add new stuff and there's no way of
knowing (AFAIK) whether the new stuff was included in the test. The
paperwork would just state that on that date it was safe/okay.
And from what I recall, if you make any alterations to an existing
circuit then you are required to ensure that the complete circuit is
up to 16th edition regs even if it wasn't before.
So you can't add a spur and just test the spur.
I suppose that it could, but I was simply thinking about the
practicalities. If wiring were being done as part of work that was
otherwise being inspected for building regulations purposest then it
would perhaps be noticed by the building inspector.
Otherwise, how would building control departments ever know about it?
The only scenarios I can think of are if they did spot inspections on
people's property (not likely) or if a neighbourhood busybody cared
to report something. However, an addition of a circuit or even a
complete rewire is not going to be as externally visible as a new
brick built extension.
Who knows? I was simply remarking on the (lack of) enforceability
which makes the whole caper pointless anyway. Remember that the
whole thing was not based on sound evidence in the first place and the
RIA used information selectively to arrive at the desired political
conclusion. Therefore, trying to apply logic to the situation is
going to be difficult anyway.
There are not that many scenarios:
- The person who DIYs, doesn't have a clue, and makes a dangerous mess
of the job. It's doubtful that he would take any notice of any new
legislation, even if he became aware of it. This work would likely
be picked up at conveyancing time in a survey and corrections,
including ripping out and redoing the work requested by the buyer.
It may even involve a regularisation application for building
regulations purposes, but since a buyer might well specifiy that an
approved contractor is used, then that becomes a non-issue.
In the meantime, something bad could happen, resulting in loss of
property or life. There is little or no evidence that this happens
from fixed wiring issues, but from portable appliances.
If it does, non-compliance with building regulations is going to rank
rather lower in the person's problems than the other effects thereof.
- The person who DIYs and does a competent and conscientious job.
Three choices here. a) He submits a building notice, pays the charge
and gets it inspected. b) He waits and goes for regularisation at
some point in the future at virtually no extra cost. c) He waits
until conveyancing time.
- The person who employs a non-registered contractor to do the work.
If said contractor wears spurs, then he is not likely to advertise to
the customer that testing and certification is required. The
householder is likely to be blissfully unaware anyway.
- The person who employs the registered contractor and pays the
unregulated stealth tax.
Is there an official designation for new cable? For example, I believe that
the current standard for T&E is BS6004 - 6242Y. What are the equivalent
numbers for the new stuff - so we can all make sure we stock up with the
current stuff and don't buy the new stuff by accident?
This could be double edged. You need the old colours if you wish to pass
off new work as old work. However if you require building control
regularisation at some point in the future, this could be difficult if it
does not comply because the colours show (what may be then) non-compliant
cable has been used.
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