Does it have to be a metal fuse box now?

by david porter

13:15 PM, 16th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Does it have to be a metal fuse box now?

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Does it have to be a metal fuse box now?

I am being told that to comply with new electrical regulations we need a certificate of fitness. I am also being told that the plastic fuse box/consumer unit needs to be replaced with something of non-combustible construction?

This means made of metal!

We have spent the last 50 years taking out metal fuse boxes because they are conductors of electricity. They have been replaced with plastic.
Now we are to take the plastic ones out and replace them with metal?

I am wondering if I am being told a load of nonsense?

Please can you assist?

David



Comments

Eppingelec

15:45 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 17/07/2020 - 11:44
If that's the sole route of escape it should be mentioned. The regulation came about as fire investigators from the London fire brigade found many fires started in plastic consumer units. It's more of an issue if its located in the sole route of escape or under a wooden staircase. If it were in a detached garage it could be ommited.

Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

15:51 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 17/07/2020 - 11:49
And that’s why landlords get prosecuted by Councils. Electricians are not trained Fire Risk Assessors and the EICR is about ELECTRICAL CONDITION not whether it is in a high risk location from a fire safety perspective.
#CertifiedFireRiskAssessor #CertifiedHousingHealthandSafetyPractitioner giving you free professional advice

Eppingelec

15:56 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence at 17/07/2020 - 15:51
If you've a halogen downlight resting on your ceiling its down to the electrician to say something the commissioner of the london fire brigade has openly welcomed these checks. Electrical fires are up there with the top causes of fire. Arc fault detection devices fitted by electricians are new regulation that will also greatly fires.

Mark Leach

17:14 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

NOT TRUE, he either needs to read the regs again properly or he's taking the piss. I have 80 of these certificates to do before next April and my Fully Qualified electrician is quite happy with plastic boxes in good condition!!!

Gary Nock

17:35 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Good Electrician. 😀

Ian Morgan

19:30 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence at 16/07/2020 - 13:57
No, C3 unless signs of thermal damage as said by someone else here too.

You can advise less than 5 years if it seems the installation is nearing the end of its life, typically the insulation resistance (how well the wires are insulated from each other) is low or dropping at a rate that raises concerns i.e. when you have other EICRs to compare with.

There are many layers of detail to the EICRs, but I agree there are other electricians wanting to make a few quid!

The regulations are not retrospective.....

Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

19:46 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Morgan at 17/07/2020 - 19:30
You're absolutely right the ELECTRICAL regulations are not retrospective.

However Fire Risk Assessment is based on CURRENT best safety practice and Fire Safety Guidance is that plastic consumer units are a significant fire risk and cannot be permitted in the fire exit route or under the stairs unless they are enclosed in a 30 minute fire containment compartment.

This is a decision for the Responsible Person as defined by the Fire Safety Order and usually based on a Fire Risk Assessment which will be as above if undertaken by a professional Fire Risk Assessor.

Usually the cheaper and better long term solution is to replace with a metal enclosed unit to the current standards.

I hope this is clearer - I'm talking about fire safety requirements not electrical condition requirements.

Ian Morgan

19:46 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Eppingelec at 17/07/2020 - 15:56
AFDD, arc fault detection devices, these are welcomed by us electricians. However, an all in one device costs about 100 pounds...... Per circuit. 10 circuits for a moderate size house, that's 1000 pounds before you start! Who is going to swallow that when another electrician will fit a board without them from about 350 pounds?
Yes Grenfell would have been avoided, but that was a perfect storm of circumstances.

London fire brigade drive a lot of these new regulations. In Wales sprinklers have to be fitted in new builds, or change of use. I read these costs will equate to 1 million pounds per life saved. Personally, we should force high standard smoke detection systems to be installed. Cost much less and will be more beneficial.

Bill Cooper

20:58 PM, 17th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I am an agent and a fully qualified and full scope approved electrician Napit are trying to get plastic consumer units back in as they are made from self extinguishing material Metal is only required if under stairs where fire can spread if it complies with previous editions of BS7671 and there are no dangers then its fine if anyone requires any help or advise please message me.
Regards Billy Cooper.

Rennie

10:36 AM, 18th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence at 17/07/2020 - 15:51
Thank you

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