I am assuming that with all the proposed changes to planning regulations
part P for DIY will not be removed or watered down?
Am I right in thinking that Part P covers every thing to the power
outlet? If so is it legal to have a consumer box fitted with 30 amp
industrial connections one connected to each rcd. Then plug your house
wiring in to the 30 amp connections (possible via another consumer unit
with the correctly rated RCDs for the circuit)
Would this allow any changes to be made (to code) but bypassing Part P ?
How is 'fixed wiring' defined? I run audio-visual cables and power
supply cables to some equipment in buried plastic ducting to conceal
them. Obviously the signal cables would not be fixed wiring but if the
supply cables were at mains voltage, for example to a projector, is this
then fixed wiring? I run it from a switch in a standard metal flush box,
with the supply for that plugged into a socket strip. I'd have preferred
to use a permanent connection, but know that I am not now allowed to do
this. If I clip these cables to beams in the loft for neatness and
safety is this fixed wiring?
I'm not going to change what I do. Just intrigued.
Something that is a permanent install and not just an appliance flex.
Probably not. Even if it were I guess you are unlikely to erect a
projector in a bathroom so it would be unlikely to come under part P
Basically you can do what you like in many situations and have them come
under the remit or "minor works". Hence adding sockets to an existing
circuit, or new lighting points etc are fine. The limitations on this
are when those additions are in a "special location" (bathroom, sauna
etc), or a kitchen. There you are given less minor works freedom (you
can replace fittings like for like but that is about it).
Adding whole new circuits, replacing a consumer unit etc, would not be a
minor work and hence come into the scope of part P.
You can still do this major work yourself, but should do so after
application to building control etc.
Personally I would always go with the best technical solution to the
requirements regardless of the legal situation. If the law wishes to
make itself an ass then so be it. e.g. say the only financially viable
options are do the works correctly with a new circuit but without
appropriate fees or notification being paid to the LA, or to bodge a
solution as a number of minor works extensions to existing circuits. The
former has to be better even if not legal.
By the scope of the Wiring Regulations (BS7671), supporting
documentation (guidance notes, onsite guide, etc) and by custom and
I run audio-visual cables and power
Not so obvious. In fact the signal cables may well be part of a fixed
installation and if they were, they would be subject to Regulation 528
(segregation, separation, etc)
but if the
As to whether or not this consitutes "fixed wiring" is a moot point.
The confusion arises through the use of components (which are normally
associated with portable arrangements) in a scenario where the
"portability" aspect has been severely restricted or effectively removed.
The current consensus (in terms of the power cable) is that such an
arrangement is clearly not "portable" and, as the wiring regulations do
not recognise the concept of "temporary", such an arrangement must
therefore be defined as "fixed" and come under the scope of the Wiring Regs.
Therefore, many local authorities, universities and the MOD now
deprecate this practice (i.e. the implementation of "permanent power
extension cables") and insist that a local 13A socket outlet or fused
spur be affixed to the ceiling adjacent to the video projector as part
of the fixed wiring of the building and installed by an approved
electrical contractor, etc.
Signal cables may need to be segregated/separated in accordance with
Regulation 528 depending on the circumstances of the installation
although a common-sense approach is usually adopted.
I run it from a switch in a standard metal flush box,
Almost certainly it is fixed wiring.
Hmmm. Seems like yet another seemingly 'good idea' that got out of hand.
It cannot be sensible to make it necessary for people to fit a
portable cable which is liable to accident and failure just to avoid the
regs. I suppose this is what the online petition was trying to avoid?
The ceiling socket solution is not suitable as I wanted to isolate the
projector when not needed. Thus avoiding having it on standby as there
is no on-off switch and it's out of reach anyway. If I decide to
electrify the screen I guess a similar situation will apply.
God save us from politicians and their bright ideas. Especially when
being lobbied by the trade. I have long believed that insisting that
politicians should not be corrupt is the wrong approach. We should only
choose ones that are corrupt. Then they'll too busy lining their pockets
and they'll leave us alone. And when we want to be rid of them, there's
plenty to impeach them with.
Yes I have segregated the signal cables, to avoid interference as well.
I meant to add that I had to do a lot of research for the install. I
always find it best to write down what I find out. Just in case anyone
else is thinking of doing an AV system and might find it useful I have
published a first draft of the document on my website. It covers
standards, connectors, cables and a bit more. If you feel like it, take
a look on:
I'd welcome opinions, corrections etc, before I connect it to my site
Hmm. I thought that a removable plug and socket were acceptable
isolators. If you unplug the plug and see the air gap between the
plug and socket, and have a visible cable run from plug to projector,
you can be reasonably certain the projector is isolated.
Having a switch of unknown reliability and hidden (fixed) cables to
the projector make it considerably less certain that you will have
achieved isolation when the switch is thrown. Was it the right switch
(it should be labelled, but if so, is it labelled correctly?)?. Is
the projector actually fed by the circuit isolated by the switch (you
can't tell because the wiring is hidden)? Does the switch work
properly? In comparison, a plug, socket and air-gap are pretty
Also - if you work in an international organisation, it is not beyond
the bounds of possibility that the person attempting to operate the
projector may not speak English, so having an English label on a
switch not directly associated with the projector will not be
I really don't know why trunking with removable covers is not more
popular - chasing channels through plaster then re-covering and
redecorating is such a pain.
They are, but this is more a case of 'functional switching' than
isolation for maintenance.
We seem to cope with isolation by switch with concealed wiring fairly well.
If it's an international organisation then anyone should have English as
a second, third or fourth language. Anyway, that's what pictograms are for.
Because it looks unbelievably *naff*, especially when the various bits
are made from slightly different plastics and yellow/fade at different
Well, the OP did say "as I wanted to isolate the projector when not
needed", but you are probably correct. Many people do not distinguish
between functional switching and isolation.
In fairly limited and well defined environments. I will not work on a
circuit that is claimed to be isolated without testing it first. On
more than one occasion, I have found the wrong isolation switch to
have been thrown (sometimes due to mislabelling or lack of labels);
and I have also found incorrectly (dangerously) wired circuits - for
example, a ground floor socket wired as a spur from a first floor
ring. I am a great believer in air gaps! I do admit that I have not
found an isolation switch that has failed to do its job - the problem
has generally been that what I think its job is, and what it actually
does could be different.
Having English is practical, admittedly, but not always true.
I'm not sure what the pictogram is for "This switch isolates the
projector over there", as opposed to "This switch operates the motor
to lower the screen" or "This switch operates the blinds". Is there an
international standard for such things? The pictograms on most
laptops/PCs defeat most non-expert people, of which there seems to be
a large supply.
I wholeheartedly agree that current implementations look unbelievably
naff. Which means, I think, that there is a gap in the market for non-
naff trunking. On the other hand, if you are going to chase a channel
into a wall, why not put a U-shaped metal lining in, and have screw on
covers - which could be painted, veneered of left as 'brushed
steel' (the current craze). Designed well, it could make addition of
sockets and upgrade/replacement of wiring a doddle.
I should have said to highlight and copy the whole address then paste
into your browser. There is a space that is not underlined so isn't
automatically included in the URL. I've just checked it and it does work
if you do that. Sorry. I'll put in an underscore next time I edit.
In different circs to mine that seems like a very good idea. However I
did want totally to conceal the wiring for style reasons so used round
or oval plastic concealed in the plaster. Yes its a pain, but I think it
was worth it. Just one more cloud of dust in the history of my house. I
can always pull new cables through when there's a change needed.
There are now oval, coloured plastic surface cable ducts that should
look good though I've never seen them 'in the flesh'.
Perhaps I used the word isolate wrongly. What I mean is that the
projector has no on-off switch and in any case is not within reach of
members of the family not having my prehensile arms. Therefore I had to
have a separate switch. The socket is in the loft above the viewing room
so again to unplug or switch using that was not practicable. So, no
doubt breaking all the rules, I plugged into the loft socket then ran
cables down to single pole switches flush in the walls. There's one for
the proj, and another for the screen, currently unused. All connected by
standard junction boxes to one of which the projector's power lead is
connected. This is the only part with no earth because it's a figure of
eight two core. If I could get switches of a different appearance I
would use them for clarity. There is no question over safety. If I sold
the house I would of course disconnect if I thought the new owners would
not understand. To truly isolate I would unplug the feed plug.
Other posters have talked about providing information. I am not an
installer and have done this for my own use. I can see that someone
installing professionally might need to do it differently and get it
tested and certificated. I have been musing over how though. Could a
130W projector and a screen motor of lower power be supplied from a
lighting circuit according to the rules? I know that ventilation fans
are. If people wanted to use a ring main presumably they would use a
double-pole isolating switch, but these are very clunky.
In message , Peter
Including it within the angled brackets delimiters < > would have meant
that any decent newsreader could have extracted the url with space.
But yes, spaces in urls are a bad idea.