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Topic Title: CU location
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Created On: 17 February 2014 07:55 AM
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 17 February 2014 07:55 AM
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mrlondon

Posts: 241
Joined: 20 July 2006

Been handed a EICR for an installation its been failed on:
"Consumer unit located in poor location and not freely accessible: Cover to consumer unit cannot be removed without damage to surroundings"

Its in a kitchen corner base unit, yes its not the best position, but it is accessible, could do with being dropped a bit so cover can removed easier.

Yes its location should be noted on paperwork but a fail?

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Mr_London

 17 February 2014 09:19 AM
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leckie

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When you say fail, I take it you mean unsatisfactory ?

Well I think that as long as you can access the main switch to isolate, and mcb's/rcd's to reset that a C3 and an observation would be in order, not a C1 or C2. But then it's up to the person carrying out the inspection to make there own judgement.
 17 February 2014 03:56 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1052
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Its not a certain nationally named gas company that has made the recommendation is it by chance
 17 February 2014 06:16 PM
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aligarjon

Posts: 2817
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I would be interested in others views, however my take is the CU itself is probably safe but could potentially be dangerous for somebody trying to work on their hands and knees with their face in there should there be a problem. I would be tempted to give it a C2 myself.


Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 17 February 2014 06:54 PM
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mikejumper

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Originally posted by: aligarjon
.....but could potentially be dangerous for somebody trying to work on their hands and knees with their face in there should there be a problem......
Gary

I agree.
Lack of recoil space.
 17 February 2014 08:51 PM
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leckie

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Well a person working on it should isolate it.

On that basis just think how many houses have the supply and consumer units fitted under stairs in cupboards. Are you going to C2 all of them?
 17 February 2014 09:41 PM
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KFH

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I am moving a CU at the moment, the stairs have been built around it with the CU under the first turn of the staircase, about two feet off the ground and one of the stair supports about 4" in front of the CU.

I am having to remove the steps to get access although by lying on my back under the stairs I can reach to turn the supply off and pull the fuses but all my electrical screwdrivres are too long to do anything in the CU due to the wooden support in front of it. I just hope I can put the stairs back together without them creaking.

I would have said C2 as we are meant to have adequate space to work on them safely but would anyone try to work on it is this position or would they damage the surroundings to make it safe, so possibly a C3? It is difficult to say without seeing it.
 17 February 2014 10:12 PM
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leckie

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As I said, there are many thousands of houses, 1930's semi, etc, that have consumer units under the stairs where the electricity comes in. I don't think you can put a C2 on that. If you move the board you would still need a switch fuse in most instances to avoid over extending the length of the meter tails. So that would also need a C2! You need to be able to gain access for isolation etc, if not C2. To work on it you need access, but we are supposed to be competent so we isolate and not put ourselves in danger. So I would still think C3. But it's up to the inspector to decide I would think.
 18 February 2014 07:04 PM
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aligarjon

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i think there would be a danger that i would put my back out trying to stretch into the back of a 600mm at most wide kitchen cupboard as well as not having room to light it to make sure that i can make sure everything is satisfactory. The OP doesn't say whether there was an isolator at the meter position to isolate the board. Its down to the inspectors experience and judgement at the end of the day like many codes.
I have also had to dimantle the under side of some stairs to get to a CU. but generally they are not too bad although would not be permitted today.
C2 potentially dangerous, is that potentially electrically dangerous or in a position that could potentially cause injury? ( not neccesarily by shock or burns etc )
I am not quite as flexible now as i was in my 20's or 30's.

Gary

Gary

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Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 18 February 2014 08:09 PM
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mrlondon

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There is isolator at the meter position, the CU is in a corner unit so its quite wide, i managed to get in there for testing and I'm in my 40's

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Mr_London

 18 February 2014 08:48 PM
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Grumpy

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Originally posted by: mrlondon

There is isolator at the meter position, the CU is in a corner unit so its quite wide, i managed to get in there for testing and I'm in my 40's


Hmmm, you look older than that in your photo. You're not fibbin to pull the chicks are you man?
 19 February 2014 11:26 AM
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Zs

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d'you mind... I feel my USP slipping away here.

I make good money by being small enough to get to some of these DBs while the XXL sparky is off having a full English breakfast. Please don't move them

Generally though, I wouldn't code that at all but I often make a note that the cupboard under the stairs is too full of stuff to be able switch off in a hurry. It happens in commercial as well, only in commercial it's usually the cupboard shared by wet mops, buckets and cleaning chemicals instead of shoes and school bags.

Zs
 19 February 2014 12:22 PM
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OMS

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Joined: 23 March 2004

Perhaps a look at Regs 132.12, 513.1 and 537.4.2.5 and then at 537.1.4.

Then the debate as to whether the purpose of the linked main switch or circuit breaker is to act (in part) as a device for emergency switching ?

Yes its location should be noted on paperwork but a fail?


If it's worthy of noting, then it's probably worthy of coding

BS 7671 actually highlights adequacy of working space/accessibility of equipment as a point to be covered on the EICR - I think I'd wobble between a C2 and C3 depending on just where the con unit was located - and in this particular case, the presense of a suitable isolator at the intake position.


Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 19 February 2014 02:33 PM
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perspicacious

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"the XXL sparky is off having a full English breakfast."

Have you been spying on me today Zs?

Regards

BODDD
 19 February 2014 08:36 PM
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mikejumper

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Originally posted by: perspicacious
"the XXL sparky is off having a full English breakfast."
BODDD

I think the XXL sparky only appeared after caffs introduced the all day breakfast, before that it was just the XL sparky.
Some sparks must be having more than one full English a day.
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