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Bubbles 77

Smoke/heat detectors

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Bubbles 77

Hi there,

I'm wondering if I could get some advice? We've just had a two storey extension built on the side of our house. All the plastering is complete & walls are painted. Just the flooring to go down & we are ready to move in. The building inspector came last week to sign it off & pointed out that the electrician hasn't hardwired the smoke alarms or fitted a heat detector in the existing kitchen. He pointed out to me on the plans that this was written clearly in black & white.

Now the electrician is saying we need to have walls chiseled out in the existing bathroom & trunking down one of the bedroom walls in order to house the wiring. He is also expecting us to pay for the labour to do this. I understand that we will have to pay for materials but surely this should of been done four months ago, when the extension was a shell & the first fix was fitted. Am I within my rights to question this as I believe it is his error to have missed this rather important part in the first place.

Thanks in advance for any responses

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Sharpend

What was written in the original agreement/contract with your electrician? 

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Bubbles 77

Hi,

We didn't have one. We have a builder who is running the job so he got all the required tradesmen to come in. It wasn't mentioned by anyone until the building inspector pointed it out to me! We have the plans but aren't in the trade so didn't think to inspect everything first. Should we have had an agreement/contract? 

Thank you

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Murdoch

I’m a little surprised that the spark didn’t fit them .......

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Doc Hudson

Legally a contract does not have to be written down, Verbal contracts can be acceptable. But the more complex a project is, the harder it is a ensure a verbal agreement covers all relevant items. Any half decent builder and/or electrician should be aware of the current building regulations and realise a two storey extension is going to need smoke detectors fitted. The builder running the job should have raised the question with you in my opinion. However, he probably has reasonable grounds to claim he wasn't asked to do it therefore didn't.. This is where a formal written contract with a schedule of works to be done makes it very easy for everyone to know where they stand.  Do you not  even have a basic written estimate or quote saying, undertake extension as per drawings provided at £xxxx.yy. That would give you a bit more leverage.  I think the electrician is probably right to say he needs paying for the work as he has only been doing what was asked of him. But you shouldn't be the one paying him, it should come out of the builders pocket 

 

Doc H.   

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Rutts35

It's a bit weird that the sparks didn't question fitting them carrying out the wiring in the first place. Plus why can't he use radio bases rather than hard wired interlinked (i'm guessing that's why he's chasing walls and running trunking?).

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Bubbles 77

Thanks for your responses.

We have a price for the builder which covered everything except the plumbing & electrics. The builder asked us to use the guys he uses & we agreed as we wanted everything to run smoothly! They have been fair on their prices & we are happy with both the plumber & electricians work, except for this blunder. He did mention radio bases but said this would be more expensive?? Also, as the building inspector requested they be hardwired, we'd be happier if they were. It would of been so easy if the wiring had been put through in the first fix as all of the alarms need to be located on the side of the extension, although in the original house. When he came round to have a look at where he was going to position them now he said he didn't think we'd need them, which is why it wasn't done. I'm not an electrician but I have Google.... It's pretty clear that we did need them!

Thanks again

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ProDave

To rectify this without tearing the house top bits,. tell the electrician to use RF link bases to link to the kitchen heat detector.  then all he has to do is get a supply to the kitchen detector.

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Bubbles 77

Do you recommend the RF link ones? And does it have to be the kitchen/heat detector that's connected to the mains or can one of the smoke alarms be connected? The reason I ask is that the hallway hasn't been decorated yet & there is a light fitting nearby that he said he could spur off? This would mean the least disruption on our behalf. He said that we would be looking at about £200 - £300 for this type of alarm but obviously there would be much less on labour costs if we went down this route.

Any recommendations of makes/models would be greatly received.

Thanks again

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Murdoch

Bubbles, you should really seek written clarification from the building control officer.

 

they may accept 1 mains powered unit and interlinked RF battery units ..... but only the BCO can decide as he’s the one issuing the completion certificate.

 

BTW I’ve done this for a client earlier this year

 

pS as these were on the plans, i’m Not convinced you should be paying anything

Edited by Murdoch

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ProDave
8 minutes ago, Bubbles 77 said:

Do you recommend the RF link ones? And does it have to be the kitchen/heat detector that's connected to the mains or can one of the smoke alarms be connected? The reason I ask is that the hallway hasn't been decorated yet & there is a light fitting nearby that he said he could spur off? This would mean the least disruption on our behalf. He said that we would be looking at about £200 - £300 for this type of alarm but obviously there would be much less on labour costs if we went down this route.

Any recommendations of makes/models would be greatly received.

Thanks again

Use Aico, and the modern variants of them have an RFmodule that clips in the detector rather than needing an RF base, but they are still available for the older types.

 

The Kitchen one will need a mains supply AND the other one(s) as well.  This just saves you chisseling down  a wall to get a link cable between them.

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Evans Electric
11 minutes ago, Bubbles 77 said:

Any recommendations of makes/models would be greatly received.

Aico   with no hesitation .      I thought everyone in the building trade knew that smoke alarms HAVE  to be fitted  on jobs like yours  , and as you say , there they are on the drawing .     If the builder didn't know , the sparks should have known  .   

I don't think you should be paying extra for them  ,  you builder's task was to organize the work and get it through building control  .

 

If they hard wire an RF detector on the top floor , wiring in the loft ,  the others can be radio triggered ,  but as Murdo says , find out what will be accepted .   Building control won't accept  the common battery powered alarms because they're not linked  and rely on  batteries being replaced. 

 

I'm sure RF  are acceptable.  

Edited by Evans Electric

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Sharpend

Personally I think you have a very good argument for not paying any extra, that will be between the builder and his spark. The fact that these items were on the plans/drawings suggests that it has been overlooked by the builder and his spark thus their problem, providing the drawings were not altered after the first fix was completed, it’s not often that a spark will ask if any alterations have been carried to spec or drawings when they return to second fix. 

In the event of any legal proceedings the judge will look at the ‘ probability of’ based upon the evidence presented, an original drawing from architect showing the requirement of smoke and heat detectors will present in your favour as they are the professionals or aka competent persons. 

 

Also so it will interesting to see if the builder or his spark mention the use of rf detectors, if not I’d suggest that they not know what they doing. :C or domestics isn’t really their field of expertise. 

Edited by Sharpend

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Bubbles 77

Thank you so much everyone for your much appreciated advice. The plans have remained the same throughout & there is a clear paragraph in the notes stating the need for hard wired heat & smoke detectors. I'm going to ring the building inspector in the morning to see if the RF link detectors will be suitable & then I will be firing off a fair but firm email to both the electrician & builder. I'm not good with confrontation but I'm wicked with a keyboard 😉. Hopefully this can be rectified to a satisfactory outcome without the need for legal intervention. I've had a really good relationship with all the tradesmen & don't want it to be tarnished by this. 

I will update this thread when I get some answers.

Thanks again 👍

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ProDave

RF linked is fine. What BC want is mains powered, i.e. not relying on batteries, and them being linked so one sounds, all sound.

 

Don't even tell them they are RF linked.

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SPECIAL LOCATION

Had to do some remedial work for a botched up extension last year...

also two storey, also builder & his cronies "forgot" about any smoke detectors...

 

The stipulation by the building control at this job was:-

 

1/ Must be Mains powered devices with Battery back-up.

2/ Must be linked so all sounders operate with any alarm trigger.

3/ The interlink could be hard-wired OR radio link.

 

e.g. bog standard mains & battery smoke detector;

https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/EI141RC.html

 

Radio Link base that can be fitted to the above unit; 

https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/EI168RC.html

 

You can mix & match hard-wire & radio..  I had to fit three devices.

 Two with access though loft void were hard-wired....

1x standard base 1x Radio base.

Plus 1x Radio base device downstairs where difficult to hard-wire interlink.

 

 

Guinness

 

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kerching

It is nothing to do with BC if they are wire linked OR radio linked.  All BC are bothered with is that they are

compliant

intrrconnected

mains powered with battery backup.......get the rechargeable ones

of the correct type

 

 

 

buy Aico....buy once!

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Bubbles 77

Thanks for that & the links too. I think that is what we could do as the hallway & top of the stairs are fairly easy to hard wire together 👍

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