But domestic installation (as opposed to testing) work by someone who is
'at work' is illegal under the Electricity at Work regulations 1989,
Work on or near live conductors
14. No person shall be engaged in any work activity on or so near any
live conductor (other than one suitably covered with insulating material
so as to prevent danger) that danger may arise unless–
(a)it is unreasonable in all the circumstances for it to be dead; and
(b)it is reasonable in all the circumstances for him to be at work on or
near it while it is live; and
(c)suitable precautions (including where necessary the provision of
suitable protective equipment) are taken to prevent injury.
What could make it unreasonable for a domestic final circuit to be made
dead in order to work on it?
On Monday, March 3, 2014 4:05:59 PM UTC, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
ridge fuses to RCBOs.
ng the dishwasher, I was leaning on the worktop with my hand on the stainle
ss steel sink. On touching the inside of the diskwasher, I got a tingle.
ink is approximately 55 to 60 VAC.
PD of about 55-60 VAC with the sink.
trical earth in the socket service the d/w and the radiators is alos approx
I checked other kitchen sockets, and yes, you've guessed it, PD of about 5
5-60 VAC between electrical earth presented at the socket and the water pip
es. And the same with stuff on yet another way in the consumer unit.
ect not, but it would be nice to have this confirmed).
professional electrician back who installed the new consumer unit, but I w
ant to make sure I ask the right questions. Is it possible to simply forget
to connect the protective earth through the consumer unit, so the 'downstr
eam' side simply has a floating earth? So it could be a simple 'forgot to c
onnect up a final wire'? That is, a could a missing single connection affec
t all ways?
xt to each other in the common corridor outside the flats - one consumer un
it per cupboard. The neighbours have not replaced their cartridge fuse cons
umer units, so still have an exposed earth terminal in their cupboards, and
I was able to confirm that the all the metal cupboards (including mine) ar
e connected to a protective earth which has zero PD with respect to the wat
dication of the leakage current it sees by flashing a multicoloured LED in
a code in 'test mode'. On testing this, it gives a suspicious (to me) readi
ng of 0 mA leakage; as does the RCBO covering the other kitchen equipment.
To me, this seems to good to be true.
I should have snipped some/all.
who did the job is being pulled off other work to 'come in for an interview
', and a different electrician is coming out 'first thing' tomorrow to look
at the issue.
not a heisenbug.
was done, and I was told I would get the necessary documentation later: of
course, I got the bill, but I don't seem to have a copy of any testing docu
ments. I will be very interested to see what the outcome is tomorrow.
to come back to the flat briefly while he was adding a new wall-mounted soc
ket, and he was working alone, live - that is, he had not isolated the circ
uit he was working on. I was a tad surprised at this.
Electrician been and gone. Turned out to be the same chap as did the instal
lation first time round. He didn't even check the symptoms, but had the fro
nt of the consumer unit off two miutes after coming through the door, expos
ing the DIN rail the RCBOs were mounted on, and wired in a single earth cab
le from what I presume was a common or supplier earth point to <somewhere.
behind the RCBOs. I didn't get to see precisely.
Result of that was there is now negligiable potential difference between th
e water supply piping and sink and the electrical earth, both on the way th
e dishwasher is attached to and also for the electrical earths on the other
'ways'. I have checked.
He mumbled something about some installations needing additional earth conn
ections, and was off. It was only afer he left I thought of test results.
Can't say I'm impressed - at least I'm not going to get a 'tingle' leaning
on the edge of the sink while loading (or unloading) the dishwasher, so the
problem is solved.
Thanks all for your advice. The main thing is that you confirmed to me that
what I was experiencing was not normal, so I should get in contact with th
e electrical firm that did the work.
No admission of an error and no apology then.
I think you're right to be unimpressed.
Can you see the size of the earth wire he connected into the consumer
unit? It should be quite beefy as it provides the path for fault current
to trip breakers should a fault to earth develop.
My earth wire here is 10mm2 (the cross sectional area of the copper) and
that is just over 6mm in diameter, yours should be no less.
I'd be asking the firm for an inspection by a different electrician, at
their cost of course.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.