Electric safety certificate/CCU/fuse board

by Readers Question

9:57 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

Electric safety certificate/CCU/fuse board

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Electric safety certificate/CCU/fuse board

Hello,  I have a number of properties where the fuse board/CCU is not in a metal cabinet or metal frame. In fact on some certified electricians have over the years replaced the old board with plastic boards to include circuit breakers etc.

I not convinced that in any circumstances – or particularly plastic boxes need to be changed. Yes, the wiring glands should be tight and no unprotected live wires. The reason to change is the risk of fire but the plastic housing is not the risk or cause of a fire it is the wing installation itself! Further, the plastic is a non-conductor so if there was a wiring/poor earthing issue touching the box would be safer than a metal one poorly earthed say (I assume metal boxes have to be earthed).

So the plastic box has a risk of fire. A metal box has a risk of electric shock. Neither is a risk if properly insulated and maintained.

To me, it should be a C3, not a C1?

Blair


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Comments

Jon Sear

10:39 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

I've got a few like this which have been marked as C3 by two different electricians

AdrianB

10:46 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

I've had some marked as C2 and some as C3 (depends on the electrician) never had any as a C1 - this is immediate risk to safety (like a bare live wire) with no other mitigators to prevent an accident. A plastic box would also require a fire for the risk to materialise and should be a C2 at worst.

Andrew

10:49 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

This article covers exactly your query. It seems your electrician is trying to bill you for unnecessary work - See the video from Bill Stiles qualified and competenant electrician and comments in the thread too which cover your exact question - https://www.property118.com/myth-busting-electrical-safety-installations-act-2020/

Hope thats helpful

Leonardo de Cristofano

10:53 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

A very recent EICR check on the plastic CCU's in our properties came back as a C3 item. If the plastic is cover is melting away you've got a far bigger problem! The coding works like this according the .gov site.

Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. The electrical inspector may make any C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.

Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay.

Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Further remedial work is not required for the report to be deemed satisfactory.

Dave S

11:02 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

I am an electrician by trade as well as a Landlord and although I don’t have time these days to do my own work (to much golf 😀) I am fully qualified with 18th edition and 236 test and inspection. I can tell you that unless there is any damage to the plastic Consumer Unit it is a C3 advisory I have also had electricians try to tell me that no RCD , or plastic CU etc are C2 or C1 before and when they have realised I am a sparks they resubmit the correct cert to C3. Your electrician is either trying to generate some work or he is trying to say that the installation needs to be updated to 18th edition regs WHICH IT DOES NOT as long as the installation is in accordance with the regs it was installed to and is safe then you should be ok. It is of course advisable to update the installation with metal cu and RCDs etc perhaps during a refurb - hope this helps

GraemeG

11:09 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

I also recently had this. I built the property from new less than 2 years ago and it has all the building regulations certificates. It was an advisory only "C3" to upgrade the boxes to a higher rating. The electrician was trying to convince me that it was a necessity and it isn't.

Darren Peters

11:18 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

Apologies in advance for the vague reply. We recently went through this with some plastic consumer units. The electrician showed me two sets of legislation which appeared to be contradictory and asked what I wanted to do. One said that if it was to spec (plastic) when installed it would be fine. The other said it should be metal.

In the current climate of 'private landlord bad' we are taking no chances so went with metal.

Pete27car8vno

11:53 AM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

The danger is a loose connection which can arc over under a heavy load and catch fire depending what it's next to! Go for metal - make sure it's earthed. I haven't got E18 otherwise I'd do it myself! Had 2 flats done at £500 each = £1000!!! Another electrician wanted £700 for laying a piece of wire provided boards were already up! Errrr

Paul Shears

13:58 PM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 14/09/2020 - 11:18
The "electrician" is either stupid or is trying to mislead you.

R S

14:10 PM, 14th September 2020
About A week ago

I have a similar problem as the EICR report for my metal box came back as "unsatisfactory" having been marked as C2 because there are no RCD's and the electrician insists that a new replacement box is required which complies with the latest regulations.
Other electricians however have told me that this should have been marked as C3 as recommended work only and passed as satisfactory.
There are definitely electricians making money from unnecessary work at the moment but it isn't easy to find an honest electrician who is actually available with the current high demand from landlords for reports.
I totally agree that installations should be safe but this just seems to be yet another excuse for making money at landlords' expense.

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