Problems with new build electrics - what to do?

My son has moved into a newly developed flat in London. Some weeks ago I
helped him move two wall sockets, on two different ring circuits, and
found that in both cases there was no continuity on the earth.
The developer was informed but is being less than helpful, and as yet
has done nothing.
A few days ago whilst moving another socket I found one of the problems.
See pic at...
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earth wires broken off..
Also, I'm very concerned that one of the light switches gets very, very
hot. It's a GET multi dimmer switch - like this...
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has a metal front plate and gets so hot that it's difficult to use
the dimmer functions as it is too hot to hold your finger on.
One other point - there are two CUs.
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it ok for them to be independent? I sort of expected that the regs
would say (but I can?t see where it?s covered) that the second CU would
be behind the first, so that there was only one switch to power off the
whole system. The way it's wired requires both switches to be thrown to
turn off all power.
Given the developer is being less than helpful, and that my son has
little confidence in him anyway, what is his best course of action.
Thanks,
Roy
Reply to
RzzB
Does sound nasty - but presumably as this was a developed property and not a new-build, then isn't it the same as if you'd just bought a 'used' house? ie, no NHBC guarantee or the like, and it would be a case of Caveat Emptor where the buyer should pay to have an electrical inspection done before exchanging contracts?
What does/did the contract say, anyway? Was there any other paperwork (eg electrical report) handed over before or when he bought the property?
David
Reply to
Lobster
David,
Many thanks for your response.
It's a new block of flats, so it is a new build. I think there is an NHBC guarantee. My son doesn't have an electrical report. I have told him to ask for one. My guess is that all the boxes will have been ticked for what it's worth.
Roy
Reply to
RzzB
On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 10:24:29 +0000 someone who may be RzzB wrote this:-
Not only that, the box appears to be fastened, assuming it is fastened, too deeply and they have used thread extenders to bodge it. The box and accessory should form a whole, with no large gaps.
The box for the data cable might be in about the right position. What is that fastened to?
ISTM that plasterboard boxes would have been a better option.
Presumably somewhere there is a Henley Block which splits the meter tails into two sets of cables, one of which goes to each consumer unit. This can be seen in many houses and was particularly common in Ye Olden Days when different types of circuit had their own fuse box. It is permitted, though it is advisable to have suitable labels. At least the two consumer units are touching each other so it fairly obvious that the appropriate one or both should be turned off depending on circumstances.
Reply to
David Hansen
Looks like a classic case of over tightening the screws on the terminal. The wire ends look compressed and flattened. Not good, but it can happen. It should have been found during testing though - because not only would the socket fail its test, so would the ring CPC continuity.
A query to GET tech support would give you a definitive answer. Might be worth checking for loose connections to the back of it.
It is acceptable to have them independently switched, although the label of "main switch" on the bottom CU is a little misleading. My preference is to have a separate enclosure with a real main switch in it before any splitting of the feeds to multiple CUs.
Arm yourself with some information first, and then if needs be you can show him comments from GET about the light switch etc. Things like the socket might be a one off, but I am concerned that at least some of these circuits have obviously not been tested properly. Ideally a full inspection and test needs to be done, and ultimately at the builders expense.
Reply to
John Rumm
On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 14:46:53 +0000, a particular chimpanzee, The Natural Philosopher randomly hit the keyboard and produced:
Or local (or not so local) Approved Inspector as the case may be. If the electrician is a "competent person", the BCO/AIs involvement may be no more than checking that his name's on the relevant body's list.
Reply to
Hugo Nebula
certainly fails the uk-d-i-y test - all these MCBs but no non-RCD way for the freezer. Neither would I put outside lights on the house RCD, but that's a mere detail.
Jim A
Reply to
Jim Alexander
With this deplorable attention to detail and/or lack if testing I think the certification body (guild) would be very interested in this fraudster whos letting them down.
Reply to
Ed Sirett
Roy,
You can pursue the bureaucracy route and (perhaps) get someone a bollocking. They won't get fired, though, which is actually what should happen.
Given this situation, I would stack up the case, complete with photos. Then go to the developer and lay out the store.
They will be pleased to settle for aout £250 or some equivalent thing that your son would appreciate. I would go for that rather than the point of principle.
Reply to
Andy Hall
In article ,
Judging by the number of circuits in what is said to be a new build, I'd imagine 250 quid to be mere loose change to him...
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 00:23:37 +0000 (GMT) someone who may be "Dave Plowman (News)" wrote this:-
Indeed. It would seem that the price of copper is still too low.
Reply to
David Hansen
Thanks to all that responded on this one.
I think we will check out the continuity on each ring ourselves, and stick a test plug in each socket.
I'm also waiting for a call back from GET technical support re the dimmers.
The only thing we are going to get out of the developer is hassle!
Many thanks, Roy
Reply to
RzzB
In article ,
A test plug isn't any use for this. If you suspect the same fault elsewhere get a proper test done.
> I'm also waiting for a call back from GET technical support re the > dimmers. > The only thing we are going to get out of the developer is hassle!
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
That's probably a little harsh... along with ring continuity tests it is well worth doing basic socket tester tests since it will also highlight faults where for example the wires are twisted together but not connected to the socket.
Reply to
John Rumm
In article ,
Maybe. But with this as an example you can bet your bottom dollar there are others as bad. And I reckon the standard plug tester just gives a false sense of security. For example you could have a complete break somewhere in a ring - but the tester will show ok on every socket. I'd be inclined to physically examine every single socket and switch, etc.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
My thinking is that I would check continuity of earth, live and neutral back at the CU. I'm a bit worried about what I'll find when I open up the CUs!
The socket tester would show me if the live and neutral were connected round the wrong way - yes/no?
I agree that an inspection of each socket is probably a good idea but it's a bit of a pain. Without doubt I have to go round all the sockets of one ring to find the fault that exists. I'll make a judgement after that about doing the whole lot!
BTW - I spoke to GET about the dimmers. Evidently the rating for each switch is 300W. However the max rating for the box with 4 switches installed is 480W. Looks like that rating is being exceeded. My son is checking this out. GET said it won't burst into flames but will seriously shorten the life of the switches. Not sure how we are going to fix this one...
Thanks for your thoughts, Roy
Reply to
RzzB
In article ,
That doesn't sound right to me - you can get 1000W ones which fit a one gang box with a metal plate - and two gang with metal plate *should* be ok for the 1200 total. But certainly a deal more than 480W.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
I think you are missing my point. I was not suggesting a plug tester as an alternative to other tests, but in addition. Once you have established the ring round trip resistance at the CU, the plug tester then verifies the connections to the sockets without needing to remove all of them for inspection.
Reply to
John Rumm

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