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Topic Title: Wooden Back Boxes
Topic Summary: Are these acceptable ref BS7671
Created On: 16 January 2013 07:35 PM
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 19 January 2013 12:25 PM
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rocknroll

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electrical fittings were supplied with chromed wood screws.


And they are still available, a friend who has an old property in the village where there still are boxes of that nature and plenty of wood panelling purchased some from Edmondsons of Torquay, the only drawback was they came in packs of 100.

regards

-------------------------
"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
-------------------------
"Oh! The drama of it all."
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"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
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 19 January 2013 02:14 PM
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kj scott

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Wooden back boxes must be treated as combustible, unless you have evidence to the contrary, specific to the installation.

Wooden boxes will date back to the 1920's; are often soft wood and it is doubtful that they would have been treated with a fire retardant finish.

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 19 January 2013 04:32 PM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: kj scott
Wooden boxes will date back to the 1920's; are often soft wood and it is doubtful that they would have been treated with a fire retardant finish.

And before then, but the quality would have been dependent on the affluence of the incumbent, and may have been optimistically made fire retardant.

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 19 January 2013 10:29 PM
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kj scott

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Exactly my point, 90/100 years down the line how are you to know, they are hardly marked with a symbol.

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 20 January 2013 01:02 PM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: kj scott

Exactly my point, 90/100 years down the line how are you to know, they are hardly marked with a symbol.

Such as the sanatic symbol ............

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 20 January 2013 01:21 PM
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OMS

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I've used (or re-used) wooden back boxes when they've been an integral part of the panelling system or the old capping and casing is retained/reused for aesthetics.

we used to give them several liberal coats of duPont flame retarder sprays (I forget the brand name) before fitting the acessories and then mark the EIC acordingly in accordance with 120.3

regards

OMS

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 21 January 2013 10:33 PM
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Thripster

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KJ - The house was built in 1962 as in OP. Regards
 23 January 2013 10:23 AM
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kj scott

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You have three options Thripster;

RnR
Ignore it and hope that it will be ok.

OMS
Use a fire retardant coating; which will result in a deviation to the regulations, 120.3: making you responsible for ensuring full equivalent performance.

BS 7671
Use appropriately tested enclosures.

Since the property is 1962 with economy wall construction; I would anticipate that the switch boxes are of softwood, untreated with regards fire. My recommendation would be to replace them.

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 23 January 2013 12:22 PM
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spinlondon

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I do hate it when people refer to deviations from the Regulations.
I'm also a bit supprised to see someone who professes to be a tutor using such a word.
Are you suggesting that re-using the back boxes would be a defect or non-compliance, and as such should be recorded under "comments on the existing installation"?
Or are you suggesting that such would be a departure, and the designer/installer would have to attest that the departure would afford the same degree of safety as would be achieved by compliance with the Regulations?

Any chance of clarification?
 23 January 2013 05:02 PM
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kj scott

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Originally posted by: spinlondon
I do hate it when people refer to deviations from the Regulations.

That is your prerogative, as it is simply an alternative term for departure, as in deviation from the standard.

I'm also a bit supprised to see someone who professes to be a tutor using such a word.

Since I earn a percentage of my living from delivering training; I believe I can claim to be a tutor, and I have just used the term.

Are you suggesting that re-using the back boxes would be a defect or non-compliance, and as such should be recorded under "comments on the existing installation"?

No I suggested that they are removed.

Or are you suggesting that such would be a departure, and the designer/installer would have to attest that the departure would afford the same degree of safety as would be achieved by compliance with the Regulations?

I suggest that you read 120.3

Any chance of clarification?


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 23 January 2013 05:35 PM
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spinlondon

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The problem I find with you Keith, is that you often avoid answering questions. In fact I can probably safely say that the majority of questions put to you, you avoid.
Are you sure you are a tutor, and not in fact a politician?
I'm not certain whether you are aware of the title of this forum, but just in case, I'll remind you.
It's "Wiring and the Regulations".
As far as I'm aware, there is no reference in BS7671 to deviations.
Using such an ill or un defined term is not very helpfull.
It does not clarify whether you are refering to departures, defects or non-compliances.

Of course your evasive answer does little to clarify.
If you were my tutor, I would not be happy with you.

As for your suggestion that I read 120.3, could I suggest that you read Titus Groan?
 23 January 2013 06:26 PM
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kj scott

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Originally posted by: spinlondon

The problem I find with you Keith, is that you often avoid answering questions. In fact I can probably safely say that the majority of questions put to you, you avoid.

I don't recall ever avoiding answering any questions, could you direct me to some examples.

Are you sure you are a tutor, and not in fact a politician?

I wish that I were; I would certainly be earning more for less.

I'm not certain whether you are aware of the title of this forum, but just in case, I'll remind you.
It's "Wiring and the Regulations".

Could you explain the point of this?

As far as I'm aware, there is no reference in BS7671 to deviations.

The word is in the English language, and as such is not excluded from use.

Using such an ill or un defined term is not very helpfull.

This is your own opinion; which is purely subjective.

It does not clarify whether you are refering to departures, defects or non-compliances.

I think that it is clear that if used in reference to new work, as I have, it would relate to a departure, but it could also mean a defect or a non-compliance; since all could be viewed as deviating from the standard.

Of course your evasive answer does little to clarify.

That is your opinion; if you want clarification; you can always sign up for a course.

If you were my tutor, I would not be happy with you.

You base this judgement on what?
As you have never attended any course of training with me, you have no basis for this statement.


As for your suggestion that I read 120.3, could I suggest that you read Titus Groan?

You can, but it has no relevance; whereas 120.3 makes clear the requirement referenced.

I was suggesting that you read 120.3 which clearly states the requirement when deviating or departing from the regulations.


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Edited: 23 January 2013 at 06:50 PM by kj scott
 23 January 2013 08:13 PM
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spinlondon

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I base it on the fact that when asked a question, you are either unwilling or unable to give a straight answer.
You've used a word that is not to be found in the Regulations, I'm assuming that you have used it in place of a word that is to be found in the Regulations.
It would be nice if you could clarify as to which word you are using it for instead of the one used in the Regulations.
Then we might be able to understand what point it is that you are attempting to put across.
It's now taken you 3 posts to explain that you were using the word instead of departure.
I think perhaps that you should read 120.3, then perhaps you would realise that there is no mention of deviation.

Back to your original point.
As I understand it, the wooden back boxes were not being installed, they were existing equipment.
As such a departure would not be applicable.
If the wooden back boxes were to be retained, and there was some issue over their suitability, then such would have to be recorded in the appropriate space.
To wit 'comments on existing installation'.
 23 January 2013 11:18 PM
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kj scott

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Originally posted by: spinlondon

I base it on the fact that when asked a question, you are either unwilling or unable to give a straight answer.

What fact? I still await an example of me failing to answer a question.

I would appear that it is only yourself that has chosen to misunderstand my answer, which was straight forward enough in my first post; if you are rewiring, replace the boxes.


You've used a word that is not to be found in the Regulations, I'm assuming that you have used it in place of a word that is to be found in the Regulations.

No I have chosen to use a valid word from the English language, and you have chosen to question the word.
Why do you find an alternative word such a problem?
Deviation from the regulations is a regularly used term within the industry.


It would be nice if you could clarify as to which word you are using it for instead of the one used in the Regulations.

It was clear; deviation is commonly used as an alternative to departure.

Then we might be able to understand what point it is that you are attempting to put across.

Who are we, it is only yourself posting with an issue here?

It's now taken you 3 posts to explain that you were using the word instead of departure.

No, I have responded to your questions, my answer was clear enough.

I think perhaps that you should read 120.3, then perhaps you would realise that there is no mention of deviation.

Since deviation is a regularly used word within the industry, I would doubt that you have neither heard of or fail to understand its meaning.

Back to your original point.

As I understand it, the wooden back boxes were not being installed, they were existing equipment.

It's now a new installation, a rewire; it would seem reasonable to me to bring the installation up to current requirements, for such a small item as the accessory boxes for the lighting.

As such a departure would not be applicable.

It is still a departure/deviation, since the new design has incorporated existing equipment that departs from the current requirements of BS 7671.

If the wooden back boxes were to be retained, and there was some issue over their suitability, then such would have to be recorded in the appropriate space.

There is an issue with regards the use of softwood enclosures for electrical connections, their combustibility. Reference 526.5

To wit 'comments on existing installation'

Which is not applicable in this instance as it is a rewire, new installation, see the OP..


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Edited: 24 January 2013 at 01:54 AM by kj scott
 24 January 2013 06:44 AM
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normcall

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Now now girls.

Being my usual practical self, I've yet to see a wooden socket/switch box fitted as original equipment (or reused for whatever reason) actually in flames.
Obviously, I've just been lucky during my few months in the job.

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Norman
 24 January 2013 08:32 AM
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kj scott

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Neither have I Norm; but you could say the same for many regulations, let's try; blanks missing from distribution boards leaving exposed live parts; I have never yet found a dead body below the DB; or absence of main bonding, with potential difference everywhere.

The regulations provide guidance in design and construction of installations, to prevent danger.

Just because we personally have not seen evidence to support the requirement does not mean that it is not valid.

Why take unnecessary risks in design or construction of an installation?

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 24 January 2013 04:56 PM
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normcall

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"The regulations provide guidance in design and construction of installations, to prevent danger. "

There ya go!

OTOH, sticking your finger/hand onto a live part which is not protected rarely results in a dead body - more likely a child etc. being curious, so yes, needs resolving but a piece of wood generally enclosed in brick/plaster with an insulated cover is many degrees less dangerous to life or limb.

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Norman
 24 January 2013 05:08 PM
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AJJewsbury

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 24 January 2013 07:15 PM
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Paradigm

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I haven't seen those particular ones Andy, but the ones I did fit for someone had a metal plate on the inside that covered the back of the wood.


Nick

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 24 January 2013 08:55 PM
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rocknroll

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The saga continues;

Or these;

http://www.periodpattresses.com/

regards

-------------------------
"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
-------------------------
"Oh! The drama of it all."
-------------------------
"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
-------------------------
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Wooden Back Boxes

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