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Wiring Regulation: What Cables Can I Hide In A Stud Wall And What Is Best Practice.


the_jams

Question

Hi there,

 

I have been looking on the internet to try and find the legal wiring requirements in the UK for running different types of cables through stud and plasterboard wall. I have an installation in mind and if anyone can add some light I would be most appreciative.

 

The wall in question is internal, not load bearing and separates a Lounge (side A) and a Dining Room (side B). The joists run from floor to ceiling. On the A side there is a light switch half way up the wall at the edge (wires go up) and a (300mm x 1600mm) radiator spanning the width of the wall (2200cm) at the base (pipes go up). On the B side there is a twin mains socket centrally mounted (wires go up).

 

In the lounge I wanted to have a shelf (150mm - 200mm) above the radiator the full width of the wall to support AV equipment (Soundbar, Freesat box, PS4 and either mount the TV on the wall or stand on another shelf just above the AV equipment. I wanted to get a sleek minimal look, no cables would be seen (nor fused socket spurs if required), all cables (in my head) would come out of the back of the devices disappear into the wall and go to where they are needed.

 

The T.V, PS4, Freesat and Soundbar all have transformer boxes in line between the mains supply and the device and of course the usual HDMI, optical, CAT5 (Sat & Ethernet cables) would also come in unnoticed. The signalling cables I am sure can be routed using trunking or brush openings to direct non power cables between devices. It is the hiding of the power cables which concern me the most.

 

I have read that flex cables provided with devices/appliances must be kept separate from low voltage cables, which in addition should be separate from signalling cables. I have also read that having flex power cables in walls may be against wiring regulations. There must be a way of legally wiring this kit up behind a wall as I have seen installations which I aspire to copy in commercial buildings and offices.

 

I would be happy to build some kind of cabinet on side B to house any required equipment to support this installation, or installing some hardcore trunking in the walls if required. I would like to prepare as much as I can channeling/routing wise then get a Sparky in to do all the connecting up and stuff.

 

Does anybody know what the legal practice is for hiding these cables within a stud wall in a domestic property without invalidating buildings and contents insurance policies or braking an UK wiring regulations.

 

I hope this all makes sense, thanks all and any in advance for your thoughts and ideas.

 

Kind regards

 

the_jams

 

 

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5 answers to this question

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flex cables can be used in walls & for other general fixed wiring. i use them often.

 

data / signal etc should be kept apart from mains cables, and crossed at 90 degrees if they need to cross each other

 

signal cables running between TV & DVD etc dont really come under wiring regulations anyway, and most of the decent ones are shielded so running close to mains wont effect them much but should still be kept apart

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If you are fitting new fixed sockets or switches you must observe safe zones for running the cables, which basically means horizontally or vertically from any accessory. 

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thanks for your responses, from what I understand and if I concentrate on the T.V power cable to simplify in my head. The in line transformer for the T.V converts I/P (from mains) 240v, 1.4A to O/P 9.5v 6.2A which goes from the other side of the transformer into the T.V. I could cut off the plug from the mains part of this union, wire this into a fused socket spur (taken from the from the dual mains socked on the B-side of the stud wall), tape up and fix the transformer to a joist within the wall and bring the T.V power end out of the A side neatly through the plasterboard on the A-side and into the T.V?

 

If I didn't want a single fused spur and wanted to add the other 3 x equipments' power supplies in the same way as the T.V above and bring them all into a centralised fuse box on the B-side (in effect 4 s fused spur switches) is there anything on the market to cater for this or would the ugly 4 x fused spur switches be the only solution?

 

A sub question regarding safe zones? The safe zone of the dual power socket on the B-side of the wall is vertically central. If I wanted to set up a fused spur for the T.V on the B-side, can I put this within the vertical safe zone of the existing dual socked or does this have to be offset to the safe zone, I became confused in reading?

 

google talks to me in American, I guess it confused my IP address ;-)

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For a typical thin stud wall the safe zone extends both sides of the wall.

 

I would want to do a test first to make sure enclosing the tv's power supply is okay.  Give it a try in a sealed box and run it for a while to see how hot it gets. I worry that enclosed in the wall with no ventilation it will overheat.

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