Fuseboard Confusion!

by Readers Question

14:13 PM, 27th February 2020
About a month ago

Fuseboard Confusion!

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Fuseboard Confusion!

I am just about to have the five year DEIC Report done on a block containing 4 one bed flats. We use the same electrician we have used for years, but even he is confused about the plastic board replacement to a metal one.

Does he HAVE to replace the plastic boards if he feels the rest of the system is safe? I am sure I read somewhere replacement isn’t mandatory.

Or is this only for domestic homes where you live yourself, rather than properties you let?

Many thanks

Reluctant landlord



Comments

AvenuesLandlord

15:07 PM, 27th February 2020
About a month ago

Hi,

It is a Code 3 which advisory not dangerous or unsafe.

I have changed mine to metal to avoid any potential problems in the future such as : " You were advised by the professsional electrician to replace it to metal but you did not act on their recommendations" kind of situation

paul robinson

9:21 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

Pretty sure it’s not compulsory, it’s only a requirement inline with the new wiring regs, but the full spec isn’t retrospective. Probably better to read up on the BS which should advise the scope of cats. For a periodic test

Arthur Allen

9:33 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

I've just been told by my son who is an electrician that if the fuse board is in an escape route or under the stairs then it has to be changed to metal. If it's not in those positions then it does not have to be changed.

Chris Sandeman

9:34 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

The short answer is plastic consumer units do not have to be replaced simply because the latest standard requires metal units.
You should read:
https://www.property118.com/new-electrical-checks-and-safety-standards-for-landlords/

Dylan Morris

9:44 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

Just had a 5 year EICR carried out on my 4 flats which were built by Barratt’s ten years ago. Plastic fuse boards installed but my electrician who is NICEIE registered didn’t even comment about it. When asked said they weren’t an issue and no replacement needed.

Arthur Allen

9:49 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Sandeman at 28/02/2020 - 09:34
That is quite true and landlords can't be made to change them to metal but it is noted on the electrical inspection report that it's not metal where it should be i.e. in escape routes or under the stairs. Something to bear in mind is that if you have a fire, the insurance company will want to have a look at the electrical inspection certificate and you probably won't be covered if you still have a plastic fuse board in those areas.

Arthur Allen

9:51 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 28/02/2020 - 09:44
Yes it's not an issue if it's not in an escape route.

Graham Landlord

10:11 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

Hi. I am an Electrical Engineer and a Landlord. You do not have to upgrade your electrical installation to meet the latest edition 18 regulations. Your electrical installation only has to be safe and in good condition. I recently had a block of flats inspected and passed with the old wire fuses!!! The old plastic cases were highly fire resistant and there is a counter argument that a metal case now presents an electrocution risk if the cables inside melt. Yes I know, the case should be earthed. What is far more important is to protect people and your property by having every circuit protected by an Earth Leakage Trip. (RCD or RCBO) This has been a requirement on all new installations for a number of years.

WP

12:21 PM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

thanks all - learning as I go along! Appreciate the responses 🙂

paul landlord

12:46 PM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

The comment 'Graham Landlord' made above is entirely correct. NO ARGUMENT. It is a 'pass' in (layman's terms) and there is no requirement at all to change it.

Bottom line is that your EICR will throw it up as a C3 fault comment (if your sparks knows his business) which means it is 'satisfactory for continued use' but a recommend improvement has been made.

C3s are thrown up all the time as the regs change all the time:-

2008 BS7671 17th edition
2011 Amm1
2013 Amm2
2015 Amm3
2018 BS7671 18th edition
Few weeks ago amm1 came out
2022 amm2 scheduled for release.

Im an registered electrician as well as a landlord and inspection, testing and reporting on installations is my job.

As a general rule any new regulations are not retrospective. As long as the installation was installed to the regulations of the day and its safety and integrity has not been impaired since, then any non compliance with the latest regs is a C3- not to the standard of today.

If you want to change it then good for you on your safety considerations but nobody can fail it.

And as for the rubbish of it depending on where its located- under stairs etc- then thats all it is rubbish.

If you read BS7671 2008:AMM 3 2015 which is where fireproof boards were made a requirement there is no mention of this at all. Well intentioned people are giving totally misleading information that is costing money and grief to many.

And for the record the 18th edition of BS7671 released in 2018 makes no further mention of the position either.

This was discussed and definitively sorted in a similar post last week at great length.

Not a bad idea to change it but not a requirement.

Hope this helps.

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