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Advice In Adding Extra Sockets


wuforn

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Hello,

 

i require some advice on adding additional sockets. I want to add 2 additional plug sockets in a bedroom but i am unsure if i would require a new consumer unit in order to have this done. I believe i have an old set up but I am not an electrician so i will try and explain my current set up. I have a white fuse box which has 3 wired fuses inside this is connected to a trip switch - CAT. WEM 80/20 100mA trip 80A LOAD.

 

If i have 2 additional sockets added will i need a new consumer unit or can i just have the 2 sockets added. I plan to have the house fully rewired next year.

 

I have had one quote and the electrician said that he can add the sockets without upgrading the consumer unit,  obviously updating the unit would be more work for him so he has no reason to say it does not have to be done, but as i have never had any electrical work done before i thought i would get some advice first.

 

Sorry if i am being over cautious but i want to make sure its done safely for my family.

 

Thank you for your anticipated advice.

 

Regards,

 

 

Lee 

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the new sockets and possibly the wiring will require RCD protection at 30mA, which you dont have. it can be done without changing the consumer unit by adding RCD spurs etc. earthing may also need upgrading

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If you are going to have the place rewired next year why bother? Do it all in one go, new consumer unit, all the sockets you want where you want them.

 

Use an extension lead from an existing socket until then.

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i have only one socket in the one room the other rooms bedrooms dont have any so managing with the extension lead is not possible as my daughter is moving into the room with no sockets. Its hard to know what to do i have had one quote for £ 160 for the work and another electrician said that he could not do the work without a installing a fused 30mA board first? he said he would not be able to issue certificates without doing that first. i have had 2 different views from qualified electricians?

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Well if you are going to have a full rewire eventually, get the consumer unit updated NOW to one large enough to take all the circuits when you have the full rewire.

 

And of you have one room with no sockets at all, wire the sockets you want in that room as a new radial circuit from the new CU. That can then later be extended to form part of a ring final when you get the rewire done.

 

To bodge anything  onto the old fuse box under these circumstances would be plain madness and a waste of money.

 

For there to be so few existing sockets can only mean it is a very old installation and well over due for a rewire.

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i have only one socket in the one room the other rooms bedrooms dont have any so managing with the extension lead is not possible as my daughter is moving into the room with no sockets. Its hard to know what to do i have had one quote for £ 160 for the work and another electrician said that he could not do the work without a installing a fused 30mA board first? he said he would not be able to issue certificates without doing that first. i have had 2 different views from qualified electricians?

You will need RCD protection for your sockets. If it is only temporary until the re-wire then he can run the cable in surface trunking thus doing away with RCD protection for the cable.

Surface trunking extending the existing socket circuit and RCD sockets is what I would recommend based on what you have said. However. They have seen the job. We have not.

There are many other things to consider but a reputable electrician should have advised you when he was there. My advice would be seek a third opinion and see if it backs up one of the other estimates you have had.

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whilst it may be a good idea to replace it, it doesnt have to be. if the spark says it does, forget about him, he clearly doesnt know regulation properly or just wants more unnecessary work

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Well if you are going to have a full rewire eventually, get the consumer unit updated NOW to one large enough to take all the circuits when you have the full rewire.

 

And of you have one room with no sockets at all, wire the sockets you want in that room as a new radial circuit from the new CU. That can then later be extended to form part of a ring final when you get the rewire done.

 

To bodge anything  onto the old fuse box under these circumstances would be plain madness and a waste of money.

 

For there to be so few existing sockets can only mean it is a very old installation and well over due for a rewire.

If the installation is in need of a re-wire then to just replace the board and then re-connect an unsatisfactory installation to it is not on in my eyes and would leave the guy re-connecting liable for the safety of the user. Also how could a certificate be issued for Part P compliance when all the outgoing circuits are unsatisfactory.

I would not be advising this route at all.

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whilst it may be a good idea to replace it, it doesnt have to be. if the spark says it does, forget about him, he clearly doesnt know regulation properly or just wants more unnecessary work

Or he his from the 'RCD everything' brigade.

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If the installation is in need of a re-wire then to just replace the board and then re-connect an unsatisfactory installation to it is not on in my eyes and would leave the guy re-connecting liable for the safety of the user. Also how could a certificate be issued for Part P compliance when all the outgoing circuits are unsatisfactory.

I would not be advising this route at all.

You don't know if the circuits are unsatisfactory or not, you have not tested them.

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You don't know if the circuits are unsatisfactory or not, you have not tested them.

Are you kidding? You were the one that said a re-wire was required! Haha.

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Are you kidding? You were the one that said a re-wire was required! Haha.

 

where did he say that?

the OP said he was having a full re-wire done next year.

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If the installation is in need of a re-wire then to just replace the board and then re-connect an unsatisfactory installation to it is not on in my eyes and would leave the guy re-connecting liable for the safety of the user. Also how could a certificate be issued for Part P compliance when all the outgoing circuits are unsatisfactory.

I would not be advising this route at all.

So rather than fit a new CU and make the whole installation safer, you would prefer just to bodge some surface trunking extension (post #6) just so you can avoid needing RCD protection, and so leave the customer with a less safe installation.

 

Each to his own I guess.

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Hi, thanks for all the replies, i think i will get another electrician out and see what they say. Are these regulations a matter of interpretation as i am confused on how one could issue a certificate and the other said not unless the consumer unit is changed?

 

Cost wise i am saving for the full rewire which i hope can be done early next year so i would rather not have to have the cost of a new consumer unit now. What i am more concerned about though is the safety of the installation. If it can be done safely without having to have a new consumer unit now then that would be better for me, but if it is not safe then i would rather have the consumer unit fitted now.  

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What you will have seen from this forum, and from the electricians that have visited, is the regulations are a bit open to interpretation, hence the different approaches offered.

 

While it is possible to contrive additional sockets on the old fuse box, i still maintain it is short sighted and some of the money spent will be wasted in the great scheme of things so I would always advise the option that gives the best value in the longer term. But I understand limited finances and the cheap fix now solution may be unavoidable.

 

Best of luck.

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NozSpark

I think it might be best if you have the new consumer unit fitted (along with earthing and bonding), wire a new circuit for the new sockets into it and then wire all the new circuits into it when you have the rewire done...

 

This way you're not paying for any materials that won't get used in the future

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Im actually in the process of a similar job atm,

been ongoing for over a year now,

the householders bought a new house, and being on a limited budget I installed a new CU and rewired their lounge for them, upgraded earthing/bonding etc,

and, as they do each room up that room is being rewired, all cables are being left under floors/above ceilings as we work through the house from front [where the CU is] to rear, so as each room is done and decorated it can be left untouched and no floorboards require to be lifted in it again.


oh, btw, a mixture of cotton, rubber, and lead sheath cable in existing installation,  :o

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Doc Hudson

Hi, thanks for all the replies, i think i will get another electrician out and see what they say. Are these regulations a matter of interpretation as i am confused on how one could issue a certificate and the other said not unless the consumer unit is changed?

 

Cost wise i am saving for the full rewire which i hope can be done early next year so i would rather not have to have the cost of a new consumer unit now. What i am more concerned about though is the safety of the installation. If it can be done safely without having to have a new consumer unit now then that would be better for me, but if it is not safe then i would rather have the consumer unit fitted now.  

 

 

To try and put a few things into context for you. All work should have an electrical certificate issued, if just extending an existing circuit it would be a single page minor works certificate. If it is adding a new circuit or changing a fuse box it would be a multi-page electrical installation certificate plus a building regulation Part P compliance certificate. Your old fuse box will probably only have overload protection for each circuit. Current wiring regulations require items such as sockets, buried cables, and bathroom circuits to also have shock protection, this is done by a device called an RCD. Standalone RCDs can be fitted to older fuse boxes but it is normally more cost effective to have a fuse box with built in RCD protection for all relevant circuits. It is perfectly feasible and acceptable to do a rewire in stages, (not everyone can afford to do all the work at the same time) as such, in your case upgrading your fuse box first is a perfectly reasonable step to take. This would leave a safer installation overall that can be extended, modified, rewired as required at a later date, including your extra sockets that you need now. Some wiring called bonding to gas and water pipes may also need to be installed or upgraded depending upon what is or isn't there. An additional change to wiring regulations means all domestic fuse boxes installed after 2015 must be non combustible (e.g. metal). Plastic enclosed boxes can still be fitted for the rest of this year. These are some of the points that any electricians who quote for you will be considering and why different electricians may adopt a different approach to others. The cost of materials for a typical 10 or 12way plastic enclosed fuse box, plus some meter tails and earth bonding wire, plus connectors & fixings etc. would probably be somewhere around £150. The total cost of the work would depend upon the labour rates in your area.

 

Doc H.

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where did he say that?

the OP said he was having a full re-wire done next year.

Post #5. Last sentence.

So rather than fit a new CU and make the whole installation safer, you would prefer just to bodge some surface trunking extension (post #6) just so you can avoid needing RCD protection, and so leave the customer with a less safe installation.

 

Each to his own I guess.

No one should do a DB change without first ensuring the installation is safe to re-connect after. You cannot just go in and say just replace the board without first ascertaining what the condition of the installation is first.

Since when was surface mini trunking a bodge? Perfectly acceptable and economic given the fact a re-wire is a year away.

RCD protection is additional protection. If you don't need it don't fit it. RCDs are not the be all and end all of domestic installations. I did also say to fit RCD sockets as these would be required.

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but my take on rcd is an rcd could and may save a life alot quicker than a rewire fuse going :bang:

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It is there only for additional protection and shoukd not be used as a get out of jail card for a poorly designed installation. Yes most Circuits will require RCD protection in a domestic setting but to just say RCD everything is lazy IMO.

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Post #5. Last sentence.

No one should do a DB change without first ensuring the installation is safe to re-connect after. You cannot just go in and say just replace the board without first ascertaining what the condition of the installation is first.

Since when was surface mini trunking a bodge? Perfectly acceptable and economic given the fact a re-wire is a year away.

RCD protection is additional protection. If you don't need it don't fit it. RCDs are not the be all and end all of domestic installations. I did also say to fit RCD sockets as these would be required.

How does installing RCD protection make the installation safer? For all we know there could be vital medical equipment that put on an RCD may put someone's life in danger?

Part P has a 28 day notice period. How can any reputable electrician happily sign of an installation cert and notify LABC knowing full well what they have just re-connected is unsafe (because we are assuming a re-wire is required here)

If It needs to be done in stages then I recommend to start with the wiring first and leave the DB until last. This way LABC only needs to be notified once the DB is complete and all the corcuits are live.

Then you have the issue of non-combustible domestic CUs as of Jan 2016. If a new plastic one was fitted and the re-wire completed next year then the CU would not comply.

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Then you have the issue of non-combustible domestic CUs as of Jan 2016. If a new plastic one was fitted and the re-wire completed next year then the CU would not comply.

The CU has to comply at the time it is fitted. No even that is not true, it has to comply at the time the installation is designed.

 

If you later add circuits to a CU you do not have to change it for a non combustible one.

How does installing RCD protection make the installation safer? For all we know there could be vital medical equipment that put on an RCD may put someone's life in danger?

If you cannot figure out how adding an rcd makes an installation safer then perhaps you are in the wrong business?

If It needs to be done in stages then I recommend to start with the wiring first and leave the DB until last. This way LABC only needs to be notified once the DB is complete and all the corcuits are live.

So you would rewire in stages, connecting the new circuits that according to the regs need rcd protection to the old fuse box with no rcd?

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Sidewinder

How does installing RCD protection make the installation safer? For all we know there could be vital medical equipment that put on an RCD may put someone's life in danger?...

If, you look into it, a LOT of medical equipment requires RCD protection.

Certainly, that which you would likely find in a domestic dwelling house.

Which will also be unlikely to be life support equipment.

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Ok. So how do you notify a CU change with all the outgoing circuits unsatisfactory???

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