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Metal Consumer Units ?


Evans Electric

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Just looking at Reg ;  421.1.201  which says  ...............  Consumer units in domestic ( Household) premises have to be metal .

 

So , plastic ones can still be used in premises other than domestic (Household) .   I assume . :C

 Changing one in a solicitor's office shortly , which is a commercial premises ..I'm using plastic anyway but after 2016  it would still be plastic as its not a domestic household.

 

There are many premises which are not domestic (Household)   Reg. states it quite clearly.

 

Also just thinking ...why the hell didn't they tackle the cause of the overheating  , as in loose terminals by inadequatly trained operatives ,  consumer units do not burst into flames just because they are made of plastic .....they used to be made of wood FFS !!!!    at one time .  

 

Fires in consumers are caused by overloading & loose terminal screws  ...oh and respected manufacturers having their products made cheaply by people who produce inferior goods by using cheapo materials & parts.

 

The fact that the case is made of plastic has no bearing on the matter whatsoever .

 

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Yes Deke, all of your arguments have been put to the "powers that be", and were ignored.

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And dave from the pub will still buy a plastic cu from the big shed and install it in a house at the weekend for cash.

This reg IS a farce and we sparks need to continue to voice our views until the 31st Dec '15

The regs should recommend better built cu's and/or smoke alarms in the same room as the cu. A metal CU is nothing more than a sticky plaster over a bigger problem

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Just looking at Reg ;  421.1.201  which says  ...............  Consumer units in domestic ( Household) premises have to be metal .

 

So , plastic ones can still be used in premises other than domestic (Household) .   I assume . :C

 Changing one in a solicitor's office shortly , which is a commercial premises ..I'm using plastic anyway but after 2016  it would still be plastic as its not a domestic household.

 

There are many premises which are not domestic (Household)   Reg. states it quite clearly.

 

Also just thinking ...why the hell didn't they tackle the cause of the overheating  , as in loose terminals by inadequatly trained operatives ,  consumer units do not burst into flames just because they are made of plastic .....they used to be made of wood FFS !!!!    at one time .  

 

Fires in consumers are caused by overloading & loose terminal screws  ...oh and respected manufacturers having their products made cheaply by people who produce inferior goods by using cheapo materials & parts.

 

The fact that the case is made of plastic has no bearing on the matter whatsoever .

I have said the same on this forum a few times

I also asked the same questions on the Webinar....all questions were ignored

"Why not eliminate the cause of the fires ....shite workmanship,,shite training, shite products...instead of keeping it in a metal box"

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Okay, devil's advocate.

 

BS7671 is not a legally binging set of "requirements"

 

So what would be the penalty of fitting a plastic CU after 1st Jan 2016?

 

I guess nothing....... Until it catches fire?

 

I still don't see many metal ones for sale yet. My guess is there will still be big stocks and platic ones will still be widely on sale after Jan 1st.

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I like that PD,

I suppose your deviation would state,

A plastic CU has been used as it has been fitted by a competent person

:D

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I am fitting one of SBS Dave,s in a couple of weeks time

14 way with RHS incomer

Pics and review to follow

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I've fitted a couple of metal CU's in the last week or so,,, Schnider ones, they're not too bad however they are much heavier than the plastic ones and the knockouts to the rear are a little small.... I think I'm going to have to buy a pair of nibblers

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Yesterday, I posted the comments below on the NAPIT Forum, in response to opinions about EICR coding of plastic boxes after 01/01/2016.

Quite a few people agree with my point on screw torques, judging by the good sales of my Torque Screwdrivers. Thanks guys!!

 

 

 

"IMHO, if the original plastic CU, as installed, complied with BSEN60439-3 or BSEN61439-3 and was installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and is still in good serviceable condition, then the only issue is compliance with 421.2.201, with regard to "non-combustible material"
Since this will not be the case, OSG G3.5 advises us to check for correct torque settings of terminal screws, check for evidence of overheating and check that all original components of the CU are in place, to safeguard its ongoing use.
This surely means FURTHER INVESTIGATION, which is code F1.
This would be recorded on an EICR and this investigative and possibly remedial work would have been undertaken for an EIC.
The key issue, IMO and the opinion of LFB and others is correct torque settings for the screws. This would minimise connection overheating and provide a measure of defence within the EAW Regs, in the event of litigation."

DaveS on NAPIT Forum

aka SBS Dave

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I admit to picking up on Kerch's previous posts, just adding my threepen'th. :Salute

 

On a similar vein , I emailed NICEIC/ELECSA  a week ago ,commenting on an article in their "Connections"  magazine which seemed to infer that " Legal action would be taken against members who are found not to be applying the new Regs. "

 

I felt that "The Electric Police"  had finaly been issued uniforms & batons & would be hitting the streets shortly.

 

I phoned to ask about my unanswered email ... spoke to a nice lady there who assured me that it was an unfortunate turn of phrase in the article and referred to  possible , third parties taking action but not NICEIC/ELECSA.

 

I was also pleased to hear that I was not alone with the complaint ,  others from the brotherhood had risen to voice their concern.

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It boils down too, it's easier to implement something new than to admit that the training is inadequate, as that's an admission that they got it wrong whereas if we fail to follow the new introduction then we got it wrong!!

Laymans english: pass the buck!

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It boils down too, it's easier to implement something new than to admit that the training is inadequate, as that's an admission that they got it wrong whereas if we fail to follow the new introduction then we got it wrong!!

Laymans english: pass the buck!

 

But thats not all of it. Its RUBBISH parts and poor workman ship - often installed by un trained people!

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how many loose burnt out terminals have you seen on an old wylex wooden board with 2 proper screws on the cable compared to newer stuff?

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Not many Andy ,  and still thousands still in use .     

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how many loose burnt out terminals have you seen on an old wylex wooden board with 2 proper screws on the cable compared to newer stuff?

 

None and it breaks my heart ripping them out. Decent qualilty, well built and have lasted for decades - unlike the shyte produced these days.

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how many loose burnt out terminals have you seen on an old wylex wooden board with 2 proper screws on the cable compared to newer stuff?

2 screws per connection was a bloody good idea. So simple.

 

How long before we are not allowed to screw CU's to a wooden back board?  The fire contained inside a tin box could get so hot as to ignite the wooden back board.....

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2 screws per connection was a bloody good idea. So simple.

 

How long before we are not allowed to screw CU's to a wooden back board?  The fire contained inside a tin box could get so hot as to ignite the wooden back board.....

 

 

and what about the big hole the cables go through into the cavity???

 

This reg change is such an ill thought it shambles!

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See post #4

And then make a coherent semtence using some or all of the following words/phrases

Horse

Bolted

Stable door

Bunch of tw@s

Sort out the fecking problem FIRST, don,t just cover it in tin

After

No offence

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Erm....ummm....  OK  Sort out the stable door before the bunch of tw@ts have bolted on horseback ......  :C


I shall be fitting plastic consumers until  ...allowing 4 hrs on average for a domestic board ..... 8 pm on Dec 31st  but won't switch it on until 1 minute past midnight .just for the hell of it .     The Electric Police will be too busy celebrating New Year's Eve to catch me .     That'll teach 'em .

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In my mind torque settings are only really useful if everything else is a known constant, therefore they make sense for the head on your car engine, or an MCCB into a panel board. But for a cage clamp which could be tightening down on varying numbers of stranded or non stranded conductors, I cant see how a set figure can be best for all situations.

 

I reckon if I got a main switch from one of the major names, a piece of 25mm tail, stripped it and terminated to recommended torque. With a bit of wiggling it would pull out! I could then get another bit of 25mm, strip it, flatten out the strands, terminate with large flat driver until I think its tight, give it a wiggle and re-tighten. Then go back to it after testing before putting cover on and give it another tweak and it'll be sound.

 

A torque driver is no guarentee of a good connection especially where cage clamps and 7 strand tails are concerned!

 

I'm not berating SBS dave, he is after-all only supplying what the market has come to demand but I cant help but feel the whole idea of torquing terminals up to a given figure is funamentally flawed

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After reading this thread, i'll stick my 'ore' in. 

 

I see what everyone's saying, and i agree the reg is a farce and needs changing. Whats point in one rule for one thing and another for another. 

 

From the IET's point of view, i imagine, it's that DIY is more likely to occur in domestic than it is in commercial or industrial - and plastic burns, metal doesn't and will contain the fire (better) ... that's the only reason i can see that they highlight the word domestic in the regulation.

 

...which then goes on to everyone elses point - they're covering up shoddy workmanship in the form of a regulation.

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The NICEIC have stated on the Webinar...."...MCBs are made of a type of plastic that does not burn...but if it does it extinguishes itself"

I asked them why then cannot the boards be made of the same plastic?

This was ANOTHER of my questions that they 'did not have time to answer'

If you want a laugh aske them about REC2s in plastic housings.....

There are two official answers......

A) if the DNO fitted it then it is ok as it is for their use and NOT the use of the consumer so BS 7671 AMD3 yahda yhas does not apply

B) if the customer has had it fitted then it is for the CUSTOMERS use. And BS7671 DOES apply

I know what I will ( or will not ) be doing

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Torquing terminals is fine if you have controlled all of the variables and allowed for these in your design.

This has not been done.

It cannot be done.

Thus, another ill thought out requirement.

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i have a torque screwdriver but never use it, simply becuase when i did, it was correct to require specifications, yet the cables fell out with very little movement...

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The NICEIC have stated on the Webinar...."...MCBs are made of a type of plastic that does not burn...but if it does it extinguishes itself"

I asked them why then cannot the boards be made of the same plastic?

This was ANOTHER of my questions that they 'did not have time to answer'

If you want a laugh aske them about REC2s in plastic housings.....

There are two official answers......

A) if the DNO fitted it then it is ok as it is for their use and NOT the use of the consumer so BS 7671 AMD3 yahda yhas does not apply

B) if the customer has had it fitted then it is for the CUSTOMERS use. And BS7671 DOES apply

I know what I will ( or will not ) be doing

I like that about the REC2's     but don't stop there ...those plastic meters could burst into flames at any moment ...AND  DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE PLASTIC CUT-OUTS  !!! 

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