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Created On: 01 December 2015 06:39 PM
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 09 December 2015 10:29 AM
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Jaymack

Posts: 5359
Joined: 07 April 2004

Originally posted by: frspikeyhead
Someone has probably already asked this question

Topic titles should be searchable to forum rules, this one is a time waster when viewed, as in - "What was this one about again"?, (the polite version).

I'm surprised that nobody has already pointed this out.

Regards
 09 December 2015 07:16 PM
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lyledunn

Posts: 1107
Joined: 13 August 2003

Andy, tests may have been carried out on certain plastic consumer units and it may have been confirmed that the required ignitability characteristics have been met with some, perhaps including CED. The problem is that LFB did not record data on the manufacturers of the consumer units at fires they attended. I don't think that it is reasonable to extrapolate that consumer units that meet the required ignition standard have not been involved in these fires.
In any event joe public won't give a flying stuff about the minutiae of technical standards, plastic is likely to be plastic and plastic burns!

-------------------------
Regards,

Lyle Dunn
 10 December 2015 06:44 PM
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frspikeyhead

Posts: 830
Joined: 27 December 2004

Ooooppps looks like ive upset the forum policemen and broken the rules. Oh dear, a slap on the back of the wrist then. I wonder if these vigilant observers of forum rules drive 30mph in a 30mph zone.........mmmmmmmm???
 10 December 2015 08:55 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3814
Joined: 20 July 2006

One of our own is planning some independent testing. I expect a touch more scientific than my own when I took a blow-torch to a fire hood in order to see what it does.

I hope the results are going to be made available in the public domain?

Poo, that's a very good point about Australian DBs. They are all outside. I remember noticing that and indeed that some weren't even DBs but a group of fuses mounted quite randomly on a Copex board or the like.

Zs
 10 December 2015 11:46 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 9371
Joined: 22 July 2004

Well the Freedom of info request worked, after a fashion.

It appears that the DCLG never knew the makes of consumer unit in that report, but the report itself is now officially 'out there'


The BRE response is downloadable from here

Given the utterly unsearchable title of this thread, I will post this again with a meaningful title too.

edited to make link work properly..

-------------------------
regards Mike


Edited: 11 December 2015 at 11:33 AM by mapj1
 13 December 2015 11:29 AM
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paulskyrme

Posts: 1285
Joined: 12 February 2003

Well done & thank you Mike, some reading with a beer or two later I suspect.
 13 December 2015 04:52 PM
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michaelward

Posts: 62
Joined: 25 July 2008

A consumer unit does not cost much, it is the labour and possible moving to conform with regulation heights (in many cases) which is the biggest cost.

The legislation states that if a consumer unit is changed, then anything attached to that unit must conform to the latest regulations, however I have not seen anything to say the inverse is true ?

Therefore, when extending or altering an electrical installation , only the new work must meet current standards. There is no obligation to upgrade the existing installation unless either of the following applies. a. The new work adversely affects the safety of the existing installation. b. The state of the existing installation is such that the new work cannot be operated safely.


Edited: 13 December 2015 at 06:40 PM by michaelward
 14 December 2015 09:41 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 15849
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The legislation states that if a consumer unit is changed, then anything attached to that unit must conform to the latest regulations

Which legislation allegedly says that?
- Andy.
 14 December 2015 10:40 AM
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mapj1

Posts: 9371
Joined: 22 July 2004

I think we can be extremely sure that that is not true. It may be desirable, recommended etc etc, but not a legal requirement.


In a domestic setting its the building acts we need to look to, (nod to the occupier's liability act as well) in industrial settings its the Health and and safety at work, factories acts, and electricity at work act.

Broadly these all agree, that things should not be unreasonably dangerous, and when anything is done in the sense of repaired/changed it should be be no more dangerous than before.
However, you do not have to work to BS7671 - though you need to be sure what you are working to if you don't, and able to back it up. (I have some wiring I did to the German regs in my own house for example, that building control signed off after a brief discussion - the point being they were not sure what to do, not that there was any legal uncertainty. )

So, if you take out a wooden box of BS3036 fuses and fit a unit with MCBs, it behoves you to check that the installation is not utterly unfit for purpose (live wires hanging out of the bathroom wall might be unfit..).
You should also check that the MCBs are not more dangerous than the hot wire fuses they replace (less contentious, although with all these fire statistics and pics of modern DIN rail boards all melted I'm less sure than I was a few years ago) really this is a few PFC and loop impedance checks.

But you certainly can leave it non compliant with modern regs - for a common example, consider the millions with a pre 1970s non-earthed lighting circuit, so long as you take all reasonable steps to make it as safe as you can - ensuring no metal light switch bodies, and RCD protection.
And a big 'this is not earthed' warning .


Maybe not ideal, but certainly not illegal.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 12 January 2016 11:43 AM
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michaelward

Posts: 62
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Like many things within the regulations, they are of course subject to the safety standards at the time of testing. As work has to be tested for part P, then it is completely dependent upon the person testing and how they feel the work has been carried out.

In other words if they find that wiring into a consumer unit is old or unsafe, then it matters little how safe the unit is itself.

I have already come across a building inspector who has said that the change of just the consumer unit in a property is unacceptable, because in his opinion the wiring is old. Apparently no other reason has to be given and certainly no electrical breakdown test was performed.
 12 January 2016 02:51 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 9371
Joined: 22 July 2004

Then he needs to be challenged, as does anyone who asserts things they cannot explain. Behind the building inspector is his supervisor, and behind them the former ODPM, now the DCLG, and then of doubtful value, whoever the current minister is.
Now it may not be worth it, or he may be right, but he should be able to give a sound technical reason..

-------------------------
regards Mike


Edited: 12 January 2016 at 02:59 PM by mapj1
IET » Wiring and the regulations » ???????????????????

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