Pull Switch Madness

Apologies in advance for this rather lengthy story.
Before moving into our large bungalow just over a year ago I insisted that the vendor had a full electrical safety test carried out based on our surveyor's comments that the wiring in the attic was very untidy and looked as if circuits had been added without care.
Suffice to say that I found out it had cost the vendor £700 for the full test plus £300 for the bathroom and adjacent en-suite circuits to be made 'safe'. To achieve his perceived required level of safety he added pull switches for every appliance wherever they did not already exist (except for the 2kW occasional use down-heaters which already had FCUs). The result was something akin to a church belfry with pull switches for mirror light, heated towel rail, room light, extractor fan and pumped shower.
I want to get rid of this ugly (and confusing!) madness into a combined switch unit outside and above the bathroom door. Plus have proper wall switches for the lights (pull switches do sound through the ceiling and are rather ugly).
The power feed for this muddle gets worse when looking at the Consumer Units. There are two 1970s twelve-way Wylex units in the garage which is not accessible from within the house; one has a 30mA RCD and the other just a 100 MCB . The whole property is wired using multiple radials for the sockets and all circuits are in the attic.
The various appliances in the two rooms in question are powered from a multiplicity of RCDs spread across both CUs but one of the shower pumps is fed from a 40A MCB in the CU with the RCD and this is its only load! It is my plan for this MCB to be used to power everything (except the lights) via the combined switch unit mentioned above. Now to my actual questions:
1. Should the intended switch unit have its own RCD even though fed from a CU with one fitted?
2. Is there a consumer unit range that has a more pleasing appearance than the usual for use in view (there is no cupboard or space to hide it)?
3. Hiding two three-pole fan isolators is a challenge; any reason these should not be in the attic adjacent to each of the fans?
4. Short of a total rewire and updating of the consumer units are there any general helpful suggestions please? I have managed to future proof by sourcing multiple spares of all the circuit breakers and RCD.
Mike
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On Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 6:12:41 PM UTC, snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com wro te:

no

yes, they wont get used

Is the CU reorganise really needed?
NT
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On 17/01/2015 19:42, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

I wonder about the wisdom of getting a seller to do the work before the sale goes through. The seller is likely to go for the cheapest/fastest option which may not always be the cosmetic option.
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On 17/01/2015 19:42, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

I wasn't quite sure how to interpret that.
Do you mean that not being able to use them easily is BAD, so this is a reason for not putting them in the attic
OR
They're unlikely to be used/needed anyway, so its ok to put them out of the way?
--
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Roger
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On Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 11:11:43 PM UTC, Roger Mills wrote:

they'll not be seen, be overlooked, and not be used as a result. Not ideal.
NT
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On Sat, 17 Jan 2015 18:12:42 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com wrote:

I have a (probably irrational) hatred of pull switches, so when we refurbed our bathroom I installed a double 10A switch in the hallway immediately adjacent to the bathroom door. One switch controls the lighting and the other the ventillation via an isolator in the loft.
--
rbel

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On Sat, 17 Jan 2015 15:52:16 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Surely the only reson for using fan isolators is to work on the fan and the only access to the fan is in the loft so does it not make sense to have the isolator alongside it?
Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com wrote:

Exaccerly, Isolating switches are usually for the sole purpose of isolating and therefore hardly ever get used.
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wrote:

Having carried out his test and inspection the electrician effectively put a fail marker on the existing installlation of either no isolators or FCUs within Zone 2. Having the work done was not my choice but I am glad the vendor had to pay the total of £1000 and not me. Mike
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On 17/01/15 18:12, snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com wrote:

Did you buy a mansion?
An EICR IME is more like 150-250 depending in the SE.
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     snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com writes:

If isolator is sufficiently distant not to be under the direct control of a person working on the fan, then the isolator has to be of a type which can be locked in the off position. Some of the 3-pole fan isolators can be locked off (using two tiny holes in the side of the rocker switch which you probably haven't noticed, to attach a lockout clip).
--
Andrew Gabriel
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On Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 10:35:31 AM UTC, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Indeed, and this can cause some confusing instructions.
Some instructions mandate 3 pole isolator even for 2 pole (L-N) fans - bec ause they assume the bathroom size re Zones forces the isolator to be outsi de and outside the 2m / eyesight rule of any maintainer.
This can result in the error of putting L-N-E through a 3 pole switch which is wrong, the CPC should not be switched, but I have often seen it.
Nothing wrong with a Grid switch outside Zones controlling everything in it - for most people that does mean outside. However the other side of a door , beyond 2m / eyesight you ALSO need a lockable 3P switch even for a 2P fan . Caught out quite a few developers in London who had to dig up posh apartm ents.
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On 18/01/15 11:48, snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com wrote:

Are you able to point me at the reg saying the isolator has to be lockable? Because I cannot find it - just been through section 701 which is the first place I thought it might be.
The other is 537.3.1.2:
"suitable means shall be provided to prevent electrically powered equipment from becoming unintentionally reactivated during mechanical maintenance, unless the means of switching off is continuously under the control of any person performing such maintenance."
However that could just as easily be satisfied by locking off the MCB/RCBO - same as working on any other item of fixed equipment.
I'm starting to detect urban myth - but I'm happy to be corrected.
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On Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 12:14:32 PM UTC, Tim Watts wrote:

That is generally what people read...

Correct, except...

Manufacturers Instructions :-)
LABC have a habit of creating fake regulations out of thin air too, you just ask them for the BS7671 since that is the Named Standard and let them have a cissy fit. Not OSG, not whatever-scheme, BS7671. That is it.
MI *can* be disregarded where they are appear to be contrary bluntly to common sense. I still find it
Like the clause in Xpelair saying to be cleaned every month by a qualified electrician. Oddly enough I fit someone else's now...
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Follow them to the letter and you do not have to switch the neutral.
--
Adam


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On 18/01/15 12:43, snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com wrote:

I see...
OK - that goes on my ignore list.
AFAIAC, DP (or TP for lighting triggered) isolator is sensible as you must be able to isolate a noisy or duff fan.
But this locking out is nonsense -especially as not every CU even sports devices that can have lock off tabs/locks fitted.
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On 18/01/15 10:34, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I never really understood that...
Working on a fan as an installed piece of equipment is so rare, turning off at the CU would seem perfectly reasonable (as you would if you replaced a dimmer switch).
Having an isolator *near* the point of use makes more sense in case the user needs to turn it off.
Is there any deeply interesting logic behind the IET's stance?
Mine will be humidistat controlled and therefore a 2 pole isolator will be sufficient (no connection to lights other than supply).
I'm planning to used a fused DP isolator seeing as fans invariably want a 3A fuse even on a 6A lighting circuit (another stupidity). My view is removing the fuse is good enough like most other fixed bit of equipment.
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On Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 12:05:26 PM UTC, Tim Watts wrote:

I believe DP isolation came about for 3 reasons... #1 - It may be a TT supply :-) #2 - Someone may be servicing the fan on a metal ladder from outside #3 - People are applying regs meant for industrial motors to domestic fans!
We need the IET to break apart BS7671 into industrial & domestic. Domestic being a code, with any deviations signed by a C&G spark, cheap inspections by a C&G spark to building code. The OSG is an attempt at a domestic building code, so why not do it properly.
All competent schemes abolished, get rid of that hysterical bunch of thieves. They are not necessary when people have C&G, it is a NONSENSE.
There would be fewer deaths, fewer fires, better education particularly re portable appliances which are still treated laissez faire (before we even think of electric chainsaws and no protective equipment, watched that panto before xmas cutting logs up).
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On 18/01/15 12:53, snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com wrote:

And yet TT supplies usually do not have DP MCBs and exactly the same applies to someone who is working off a metal ladder on an external lamp.

I agree with all of those.
And I'm not afraid to deviate from the regs if something is clearly not applicable in a certain situation - though I do like to check I have not overlooked a possible good reason (like now!).
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Why? You would have to train electrons know the difference.
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