I phoned my local building control dept.
I was posing as someone who 'wanted' to do the right thing.
Turns out after a conversation that whilst you can submit a notice
to your LABC and do the work yourself. However the fees are such that it
is financially very disadvantageous to do this.
Whilst it is true that the fee for the LABC is 100+VAT (for up to
£2000 quids worth of work) they are empowered in this matter to make
additional charges for the building notice. [Section 12 something or other ...]
The net result is that the LABC simply acts as an agency for sending
a registered sparky to inspect the work. There are five organisations
whose members may self certify. NICEIC, ECA, NAPIT ...
So effectively the law is use a registered sparky or pay for one through
the nose via the LABC.
This law is effectively unpoliceable until something goes wrong. If you
need to sell you might as well shell out a few hundred for a full test and
If there is other work that is notifiable taking place then it might well
be that a zealous LABC officer might be interested in Prat-P violations.
This year I'm too busy to sort out registration but I can see I'll have
to bite the bullet sooner or later.
DIY has now become a subversive activity...
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 16:21:12 +0000, Ed Sirett wrote:
I did the same, which I've mentioned in detail before, so I won't repeat
I wonder if that "Section 12" was what my Dad's LBA are
using to justify making me get my own Periodic Test doneas part of the BNA
completion and sign off?...
I'd reckoned on 100+VAT + periodic (at say 150-200 for 3 bed house). Which
is quite expensive. Unless you submit a single BNA for all the work you
can think of for the next 10 years. Did your council have a view on one
BNA covering many small jobs over a protracted period of time?
I agree. Someone is going to find a fault in their house, think "hmm, must
fix immediately, very trivial" and is going to just do it, notifiable or
I'd been worrying about the reverse. Let's say I put in a shed supply and
dutifully write up a BNA. I'm happy if the BCO or agent is exacting about
the quality of my electrical installation, it is outside work, after all.
However, what I don't want to happen is him starting to take different
angles such as "BTW, your shed is too close to house/fence/etc, get rid
of it". It's been where it is for years, there's nowhere else to put it
and the neighbour doesn't mind at all.
Or finding Part L or Part M non compliance, neither of which I consider
safety related and thus don't really give a damn about.
In another recent thread on Prat P someone asserted that if work is
more than (6 months?) old, the BCO can no longer require removal/change -
there is some sort of statute of limitations. Unfortunately there were no
replies, so I'm left wondering whether this was correct or wishful thinking.
Does anyone know whether a BCO's powers to request alteration of completed
work are time-limited in this way??
On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 20:19:12 +0000, timycelyn wrote:
That was possibly me. It's something I read in a recent edition of a book
on English building regs. I'll see if I can find the bit and look it up
and give you quote. Just need to locate the bit of furniture my baby
daughter hid the book under ;->
I could have the wrong end of the stick, or the rule could have been
Certainly one would expect a statuary limitation. I remember being
surprised that it was seemed a relatively short period.
A bit of googling later:
( http://tinyurl.com/oz4h )
Paragraph 6.3 states that it is a limit of the Magistrate's powers,
that they can't hear a case more than 6 months after the offence -
any fines from contravening the building regs has to come before a
The alternative (or addition) to fines being levied is an
Enforcement Notice - which would require you to make good any work,
and I assume refusing to do this would be a new offence for which
you could be fined.
If the work is good, I (who am not a lawyer) can't see how you can
be fined for failing to notify, once 6 months is up.
Not only can one now be fined for selling food accurately weighed and
marked in standard British units.
Now you can be found guilty of repairing your house to an excellant
standard of safety, beauty, function and reliability. And punished for
Wonderful. One of lifes lessons
People get the government and laws they deserve (but why do *I*, ..etc.)
and you'd be hard put to find many outside the regular posters here who
can see anything wrong with 'raising' electrical installation standards,
or reducing 'confusion' among purchasers.
People don't think critically about anything beyond what's familiar to
them. How can they? How many here would applaud e.g. higher standards of
food inspection? That's got to lead automatically to safer food, hasn't
Whatever the proponents of modern education say, children are *not*
being taught and encouraged to think for themselves. Above all, they're
not taught to think more than one move ahead. That's the last thing any
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that the Government really does not
want us to be able to think more than one move ahead. After all if we
all feel that we are unable to decide things for ourselves we are easier
to control and manipulate. There is already a sizeable minority (hey the
optimist is speaking now) who will believe whatever the Government tell
them without question (especially if it related to a "war" on terror).
As for Part P I am having a difficult time deciding whether it is a good
thing or a bad thing. There are quite a few people out there that will
try and tackle a job without a good grasp of what it entails and
potentially end up with dangerous or even deadly results.
Having seen some of the cowboy work done on my present house, for
instance exposed chocy blocks held in place with blu-tak, by
"professionals" there is a big part of me that welcomes the oversight of
an independent body.
As someone who intends to get properly trained before tackling any work
covered by part p I am annoyed as it means yet more expense - often for
relatively minor jobs. The idea situation I think would be certification
courses. Harry House Owner would go on a (night) course which is
examined at the end. If they pass they can do _some_ work without
| Having seen some of the cowboy work done on my present house,
| for instance exposed chocy blocks held in place with blu-tak,
| by "professionals" there is a big part of me that welcomes
| the oversight of an independent body.
But Part P does not provide any such oversight, let alone by an independent
body. All the certification bodies are financed by their members. There is
nothing to stop a cowboy business registering with another body after being
'struck off' (like that would ever happen) by the first.
| The idea situation I think would be certification courses.
| Harry House Owner would go on a (night) course which is
| examined at the end. If they pass they can do _some_ work
| without notification.
Rather better would be to return to teaching kids some common sense and not
to go running to nanny if they burn their fingers. And improve the quality
and status of so-called vocational training.
No, but part of the Part P self-certification process is that the
contractor has to provide a certificate stating what they've done
and that it complies and has been tested. If work is done and so
certified and you (or perhaps a subsequent owner) then need to take
action against the contractor they're hoisted by their own petard.
Outside Part P it would be very easy for them to claim that they
hadn't done that bit of work or you asked them to do a cheap job to
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser
It's not about receipts. I am also not really fussed about DIY
electrics as my instinct is that either the work will be done
properly (? tested though) or done by someone who will not take
notice of any regulations of any sort. But I do think it not
unreasonable that anyone who offers electrical installation by way
of business should be required to issue a simple certificate stating
what has been done and that it complies. The problems - as evidenced
by the current Part P self-certification debate and CORGI - is how
to do this so as to achieve a reasonable level of control without
being unnecessarily costly and bureaucratic.
For a nice picture of 'professional' electrics (Dolphin Bathrooms):
Should the person who did this be let loose on the public?
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser http://www.sda.co.uk/qsedbuk.htm
What you are essentially saying is that electrical work should be
completely unregulated because the current system is wrong. That's
bizzare. To use an analogy: everyone (ok not quite everyone but we'll
pretend) speeds on motorways. Ergo the current system of fines and
points isn't working. Should we therefore give up and say people should
drive whatever speed they like on motorways? I would say that it would
be better to modify the system so that it does work.
We have, I admit, fostered a nanny state attitude which I completely
agree is wrong however I am at a bit of a loss to know how to teach
common sense. To me common sense would be "don't touch the wiring of
your house unless you are confident you know what you are doing" because
after all you can end up with more than burnt fingers if you get it wrong.
I would like to see an increase in the amount of vocational teaching in
schools and a to see teachers stop portraying the attitude that if you
don't read English Lit at Oxford you've failed.
"Nanny state", a political propaganda term used by the Tory party. And they
all lap it up and use it, when it is not the case.
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| > | ... there is a big part of me that welcomes
| > | the oversight of an independent body.
| > But Part P does not provide any such oversight, let
| > alone by an independent body.
| What you are essentially saying is that electrical work should be
| completely unregulated because the current system is wrong.
No. I am pointing out that the current system does not provide any increase
in safety. Safety could have been far better served by making it a B Regs
requirement for all electrical work to be done in a safe manner (as is the
case in Scotland).
Greater regulation of tradespeople would drive out cowboys. Most American
states require electricians to be individually qualified before they can
work on wiring, and businesses have to get a licence from the state or
county authorities. Customers can complain to those authorities and too many
complaints do result in a loss of licence to carry on business. I wouldn't
say the system is perfect but it is miles better than the current British
system, where even in NICEIC registered companies there is no requirement
for the person who works on your wiring to be either competent or qualified.
| That's bizzare. To use an analogy: everyone (ok not quite everyone
| but we'll pretend) speeds on motorways. Ergo the current system of
| fines and points isn't working. Should we therefore give up and
| say people should drive whatever speed they like on motorways?
Why shouldn't they? It's not speed that kills people, it is driver error.
Most speed-related fatalities occur in 30mph areas anyway.
Now that sounds like a half way decent implementation. Perhaps we should
contact our MP and suggest a system along these lines (although I
doubt very much that will change anything). I don't particular like the
idea of having state registered x (where x is any trade) but it does
solve the problem in a way that a member sponsored body can't.
Perhaps I should have chosen an issue that isn't quite so contentious. I
was attempting to provide an example of a situation where the law is
being widely broken not begin a discussion about whether the current
speeding laws are correct. I could also have chosen copyright
infringement when downloading music or shop lifting for example.
Not just that, it will actually decrease safety as it increases the barriers to
and/or unsafe installations to current standards, and making unsafe practices like
use of trailing
sockets more attractive to the avarage man in the street..
No it woudn't - it would just drive them further underground.
Hopefully so deep that most people won't come across them. You are
always going to have some cowboys just as you are always going to have
some crime. What we have to do is decide what an acceptable maximum is
and work to reduce it to that level. Zero tolerance policies and other
ideas or that ilk scare me. They shout extremism which is never good.
When I first heard about Part P I dug out the consultation paper and had
a bit of a flick through it. One part sticks in my mind more than any
other. Something like ten times more people die from falling off chairs
changing light bulbs then do modifying their home electrics. Laugh, I
nearly fell off my chair!
True if new installs include more outdoor electrics than the old ones
being replaced. :)
Seriously though, dead on. Old installs are a far bigger risk than
non-part p new installs, I know from seeing some. They really show how
trivial some of the issues with new installs are by comparison.
Observed in old installs:
- Switches that lack spring action, and will sit arcing away happily.
- perished rubber wiring, sometimes with partially bare conductors
wrapped around each other but perchance not yet touching.
- In one case even the lack of any fusebox - though that was an
unusually ancient example.
- burnt out wires
- bare live wires
- bell wire and choc blocks on the surface at touch height.
- mains sockets hanging out of wall on wires
etc. These installs are more often owned by the poorest of people, and
Part P will provide the maximum delay in rewiring. Yes, such installs
are still in use. One of the neighbours had their perished bare rubber
wiring redone only last year.
It all depends what and how the regulation occurs. Part p has got it
wrote:> >Greater regulation of tradespeople would drive out cowboys.
Agreed. It is interesting to watch things like Grand Designs abroad and
Place in the Sun (?) where some people meet huge amounts of bureaucracy and
others obviously use cowboys.
On a related aside - can somebody explain how the NEICEI (sp?) monopoly fits
in with EU requirements for cross border harmonisation ? How does a German
electrician now work in the UK (to a much higher standard than any UK
electrician) installing those pre-fabricated Bauhaus houses ?
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