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Created On: 01 December 2015 06:39 PM
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 01 December 2015 06:39 PM
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frspikeyhead

Posts: 830
Joined: 27 December 2004

Someone has probably already asked this question but I haven't been logged on for a considerable time. Now that the 3rd ammendment is finally upon us what happens with certification when adding a new circuit to a consumer unit that is insulated. How can one certify to the 3rd ammendment standard without changing the consumer unit to metal etc etc? And nobody is going to want to pay out for that.
 01 December 2015 06:56 PM
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RB1981

Posts: 485
Joined: 16 September 2007

Given that that Requirement does not come into force for another month it isn't an issue.

-------------------------
Walsh Electrical Services
http://www.walshelectrical.ie/
RECI REC & NICEIC Approved Contractor
 01 December 2015 08:09 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 8792
Joined: 23 April 2005

I note that in my Electrafix newspaper received today that they have a clearance sale.on combustible consumer units.

How upset would you be as a customer if you found out that an electrician you trusted installed in your family home something that was known to be unsafe?

Would you be upset if tyre manufactures were given a grace period to clear their stock of defective tyres and fitted them on your car?

A decent honest professional electrician would not fit combustible boards in any house or even in any other premises without waiting for an artificial date!

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 01 December 2015 08:27 PM
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JZN

Posts: 789
Joined: 16 November 2006

I think the OP means; what happens next year when you go to a job requiring you to add a new circuit, but the existing consumer unit is plastic?

My take on this is just add to the plastic unit if there is space. You are not required to change the whole unit or add another unit in metal to accommodate your work.

Regards
Jon
 01 December 2015 08:34 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 8792
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Your new circuit must comply with AMD3 and the earthing and bonding has to be up to standard and the installation has to be able to take the extra load. As for the combustible consumer unit it can stay but you need to point out the potential hazard in " Comments on the existing installation" box on your EIC.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 01 December 2015 08:53 PM
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Lozmic

Posts: 30
Joined: 27 July 2007

From my experience customers are reluctant to have an Amanda 3 CU fitted given the choice , until Jan. Their logic is they would prefer an insulated combustible CU in preference to non combustible metal CU. They fear the risk of the CU becoming live is greater than the risk of a fire In a CU.
Chris
 01 December 2015 09:11 PM
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Grumpy

Posts: 755
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I really have to take issue with you JP over your alarmist and inflammatory comments about the millions of plastic CU's
"a potential hazard"
What does that mean? My Stanley knife is a potential hazard but, to date, I still have all my fingers.
"How upset would you be as a customer if you found out that an electrician you trusted installed in your family home something that was known to be unsafe?"
Unsafe? To me that means dangerous. Are you really suggesting that these millions of CU's are dangerous?
Would you be upset if tyre manufactures were given a grace period to clear their stock of defective tyres and fitted them on your car?
I'm sorry, but this is the one that tipped me over the edge. You're, rightly, highly respected on this forum, but how can you possibly draw any parallel to dodgy tyres and conventional CU's??
A year ago these CU's weren't "defective" they were mainstream.
I'm appalled.

-------------------------
Only dead fish go with the flow. Be a salmon!
 01 December 2015 09:16 PM
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John Peckham

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Chris

I think what you have just said is complete B****cks! I would not think most customers would think that, where would they get that idea from? And even if they did I feel sure you would be able to explain why that is very unlikely? Do they have a complete Class 2 installation with Class 2 appliances?

The reason the new regulation went into AMD was at the request of the London Fire Brigade as they have been attending 5 fires a week where the ignition source is the consumer unit. That is the London FB only what quantity can be added to that from the rest of the country?

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 01 December 2015 09:27 PM
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Lozmic

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John - this was not what I said just the thoughts of mainly elderly customers. My post was anecdotal , nothing more. Will be fitting an amend the 3 unit next week and always promote the policy change but not always successfully.
Chris
 01 December 2015 09:34 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

Frspikey,

With regard to your question, been on my mind that, not for long though because unlike you I chose to ignore it. I'm going to watch for what everyone else is doing. I rub shoulders with some of the best so I shall wait until they are all telling me the same thing (everrr?).....and then I'll copy it and pretend it is mine . I am capable of original thought but on this one there are too many opportunities to sit on the fence. So I hide from any form of decision.

Lozmic, your reply is interesting because I've tested that. I'm installing both at the moment. It depends on how you explain it to the client. That means that we are not only electricians but that we are salesmen as well. Our clients trust us and take our advice. I have views on why each is suitable and I offer them my views.

In passing, it is great to be back on the tools for more days and in a position to talk to clients about things like this. I realise how much of a role the client-facing electrician plays....I'll expand on that one day when all this stupid flooded house and sleeping on the floor is over (yep, still on the floor and still a bit out of sorts) .

Wayyy back, I remember chuckling at one of ours who posted a question about the neutrals touching the plastic in a DB and whether or not he should go to prison for so doing. You know how we can shove them right through the bar until they touch the top? Well, I've been a bit careful of that since that was discussed. However, if it is a TT I still have my doubts about the metal boards. Personally, I think they forgot about TT when this was being discussed and also personally, I think the TT thing on Metal boards will change back. No gossip or suspicion there, that's just what I think....the intuition of a woman, when was it ever wrong?

My intuition tells me that Paolo Nutini will come round my house for tea and a guitar jam..... Oh, OK.

Am I right, (from the previously mentioned 'best') that this is about the hot melted plastic not actually catching fire but dripping onto the carpet or curtains and setting fire to them?

Anyway, for the time being I'll write something which has a suitable mumble-swerve in the wording, on my certs that covers me and I will wait for instruction from Napit or of course the NICEIC if I am writing on behalf of one of their members.

Zs
 01 December 2015 09:36 PM
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Grumpy

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Originally posted by: John Peckham

Chris



I think what you have just said is complete B****cks! I would not think most customers would think that, where would they get that idea from? And even if they did I feel sure you would be able to explain why that is very unlikely? Do they have a complete Class 2 installation with Class 2 appliances?



The reason the new regulation went into AMD was at the request of the London Fire Brigade as they have been attending 5 fires a week where the ignition source is the consumer unit. That is the London FB only what quantity can be added to that from the rest of the country?


Well what quantity indeed?
BTW did LFB correlate CU fires with meter changes, just out of interest?
And if we're now resorting to barracks room languange then I find you stance on this utter b***cks

-------------------------
Only dead fish go with the flow. Be a salmon!
 01 December 2015 09:59 PM
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mapj1

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Well, its very clearly not as simple as some would like. If it was overwhelmingly obvious, then it would not be a UK only thing, and even in the UK lets not forget it is just a domestic only thing.
The only way to eliminate the dangers from electricity all together, is not to allow it in the building. Otherwise there is a balance of shock risk verus a fire risk to be made. Both are very small.
More like winter tyres in summer or vice versa, than like selling old stock I think - in the sense that there are cases where one or the other is better.
Lets not forget that steel rusts and that maintainance in a domestic setting is not as clear cut as industrial - and een in TNCs lands there are several cases where rotting ConSac cables have livened up the neutral.
Could be fun.

Personally I do not consider the London Fire brigade as the highest authority on electrocution or earthing faults, fires yes, electrons no .
Lets see what the accident figures do over the next decade..

-------------------------
regards Mike
 01 December 2015 10:02 PM
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RB1981

Posts: 485
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I completely agree John and would strongly recommend that distribution boards which will remain compliant in the New Year are used now. My point is that it cannot be classed as a defect before the Requirement actually comes into force. Why something which is dangerous has a grace period is indeed strange.

It is also difficult to reconcile the advice that new circuits next year could be installed into such an enclosure.

Originally posted by: John Peckham

I note that in my Electrafix newspaper received today that they have a clearance sale.on combustible consumer units.



How upset would you be as a customer if you found out that an electrician you trusted installed in your family home something that was known to be unsafe?



Would you be upset if tyre manufactures were given a grace period to clear their stock of defective tyres and fitted them on your car?



A decent honest professional electrician would not fit combustible boards in any house or even in any other premises without waiting for an artificial date!


-------------------------
Walsh Electrical Services
http://www.walshelectrical.ie/
RECI REC & NICEIC Approved Contractor
 01 December 2015 10:25 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

Well, this is going to be a long thread. Good question Spikey.

I apologise in advance JP but I see where Grumpy is coming from and I do think that you are scaremongering a bit. So sorry to challenge you my friend. I appreciate the concerns and validity of the FB submissions which caused this change in 'Amanda' 3.

However, a DB installed in June of this year, or indeed until January 2016 must not be declared as a hazard. All of us were working to a standard and purchasing compliant Distribution Boards. Hazard is too strong a word. If I agreed with that I'd be changing my own and nothing is further from my thoughts than my own, or more importantly, my Mum's TT distribution board.

Non- Compliant because of this amendment maybe, but IMVHO that is as far as it goes. We see one, we check the tightness of the terminals and indeed that the neutrals are not snuggling up to the top of the board.

What code will you be issuing for a DB in plastic which was installed to 17th Ed 0, 1 or 2 JP? A hazard means a code 2 at least.

50p that you will go for a 3; requires improvement.

I do love you, but I think you are wrong on this JP.

Zs
 01 December 2015 10:32 PM
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normcall

Posts: 8521
Joined: 15 January 2005

I've just found out that the London Fire Brigade haven't found any fires solely caused by plastic fuseboxes in my area.
Does this mean that they have been using different materials in the London area or different installation standards?

What will be the excuse in a few years time when these new non-combustible enclosures also have a similar problem?

Sorry boys and girls, the argument really does not hold water and seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. I had a fusebox go off with a bang a few years ago due to a disable lady overfilling the bath - which happened to be above the supply intake. I'm sure many can think of similar events.

-------------------------
Norman
 01 December 2015 10:49 PM
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rocknroll

Posts: 9549
Joined: 03 October 2005

I think you will find that the original statement by the chief fire officer at last years meeting started off quite tamely, he commented that there seemed to be an increase in the number of fires at the cut out / consumer unit area, whilst they were not able to determine the probable cause which could be loose connections or even the increase in associated energy theft, analysis eventually showed that the thermoplastic used in some of the enclosures was of poor quality and readily ignited under test and then the fun began, or should I say in festive spirit the snowball started rolling:

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!"
-------------------------

Edited: 01 December 2015 at 11:00 PM by rocknroll
 01 December 2015 10:50 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 8792
Joined: 23 April 2005

Zs


I am saying C3 for a combustible CU anywhere in a dwelling. The NICEIC are saying C3 if it is in an escape route or under the stairs if not just ensure you note it on the EICR.


We both agree that if you find any trace of thermal damage then C2 or maybe C1.

Norm

I assume the LFB have not found any consumer unit fires in your area as they don't cover your area?


Perhaps my views are based on evidence I have seen that is not in the public domain?

I will summon up my forum friend Zoro to support my view.

You might want to ask your favorite manufacture when and why they removed the fire retardant from their consumer unit plastic.

I think a lot of older plastic consumer units are perfectly safe it is the newer ones I have a problem with.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/

Edited: 01 December 2015 at 11:16 PM by John Peckham
 01 December 2015 11:00 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 9676
Joined: 22 July 2004

then maybe we want to also consider "back to the future" plastic compositions, rather than the current one track 'steel is king in all situations' mania.
I'm sure we will soon find that it is quite possible to install a metal board so it fails dangerously too, and unless you insist on fire stopping it, and precede it by some form of ADS that does not itself pose a fire risk under overload, then much of any potential advantage is lost.
And electricity is not the dominant cause of fires. Banning home cooking would save more lives in the short term.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 01 December 2015 11:15 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

'You might want to ask your favorite manufacture when and why the removed the fire retardant from their consumer unit plastic'.

No JP, I don't want to ask them, I am a busy lady who has no voice on JPEL or other panels. You do though, and at the moment that worries me because at least two of us in a very short IET thread think that you are barking up the wrong tree. I want you to tell us about the fire retardant removal for Hager boards ( my favourite mfr) on here and not play games hiding anything you know that might be important to all of us and our clients.

Stop messing around and cut to the chase JP.

Zs
 01 December 2015 11:19 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 8792
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Zs

Check your emails and I owe you 50p.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
IET » Wiring and the regulations » ???????????????????

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