Changing shower pull switch

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John Brown

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My wife owns a rental property, and the tenant reported the electric shower has stopped working. We went to take a look, and he said the pull switch had been "stuck" for some time, but now the shower had ceased working as well.
I unscrewed the switch, and did a quick check with a non-contact voltage tester, and there's volts. But also there's a lot of blue corrosion (copper sulphate?). So I'm thinking a replacement switch unit from Screwfix for 7 or 8 quid would probably fix it. My question is, am I allowed to do this?
 

flying haggis

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Buy this one as it is one of the best rather than a cheaper one

 

Old.bodger

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Sorry. Get an electrician. It’s a shower, high risk. Simple job but you want the documentation of a circuit values test. If you get it wrong and your tenant gets harmed, could you explain it to the coroner ? I’m not normally one to give in this easily but you risk your insurance cover and much more for a low cost job from an electrician who is (should be) qualified and insured to do the job.
 

John Brown

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Buy this one as it is one of the best rather than a cheaper one

Maybe, but the existing one is square...
 

John Brown

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Sorry. Get an electrician. It’s a shower, high risk. Simple job but you want the documentation of a circuit values test. If you get it wrong and your tenant gets harmed, could you explain it to the coroner ? I’m not normally one to give in this easily but you risk your insurance cover and much more for a low cost job from an electrician who is (should be) qualified and insured to do the job.
That's the way I'm leaning. The problem is that good electricians round here seem to have longer waiting lists than the NHS.
 

TomTheToolMan

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I assume that as a rented property it is subject to an electrical inspection and condition report at a max of every 5 years. If you had done recently then you would know that the circuits have been tested. On that basis, if you were "competent" to change the switch over you would be able to under the regs as you are not modifying a circuit. If you don't feel confident or competent get an electrician to do it. Worth it for the peace of mind.
 

John Brown

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I assume that as a rented property it is subject to an electrical inspection and condition report at a max of every 5 years. If you had done recently then you would know that the circuits have been tested. On that basis, if you were "competent" to change the switch over you would be able to under the regs as you are not modifying a circuit. If you don't feel confident or competent get an electrician to do it. Worth it for the peace of mind.
I tend to agree with you. The talk of borrowed neutrals and the like is largely irrelevant, IMO, it's just a failed switch in a flat with a recent test certificate. However, my favourite electrician has agreed to handle it. If it was my own home I'd do it myself. Make what you will of that...
 

Bingy man

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100 % NO !!!! It needs a minor works certificate and only an electrician can do this . You may also have issues with the whole installation-consumer unit rcd, cable size , position of pull switch etc . Last thing you want to do is god forbid is to electrocute your tenants leaving you and your wife liable for prosecution. Listen to all members who are saying no -get a sparky and check he’s registered 17/18th edition. Stay safe …
 

John Brown

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100 % NO !!!! It needs a minor works certificate and only an electrician can do this . You may also have issues with the whole installation-consumer unit rcd, cable size , position of pull switch etc . Last thing you want to do is god forbid is to electrocute your tenants leaving you and your wife liable for prosecution. Listen to all members who are saying no -get a sparky and check he’s registered 17/18th edition. Stay safe …
See my post immediately preceding yours....
 

Bingy man

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I tend to agree with you. The talk of borrowed neutrals and the like is largely irrelevant, IMO, it's just a failed switch in a flat with a recent test certificate. However, my favourite electrician has agreed to handle it. If it was my own home I'd do it myself. Make what you will of that...
If by any chance you are faced with an enormous bill due to the installation/ shower also being at fault then consider a thermostatic mixer valve . If the property has a combi boiler then this is a lot cheaper as no electricity involved and much safer . a long time cust of mine was in this situation as her shower supply was a mix of 6mm and 10 mm t/earth , incorrect supplementary bonding etc - cost to replace was approx £1400 + the cost of new shower 🤑🤑🤑
 

Spectric

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As said rented or not a bathroom is classed as a special location under the regs and any electrical work should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician, not because the average joe cannot change the switch but because they do not have the test equipment to verify the job is safe and provide the data needed on the certificate, it could be more than just the switch!
 

Sideways

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So if there's a whole lot of blue corrosion, where's the damp coming from ?
It might be wise to let him / her to check the bathroom extractor fan to make sure it's working OK.
Then, just to be safe, they should check the cross sectional area of the cable and the circuit breaker in the fuse box are appropriate to the rating of the shower. Why, just in case it ever got upgraded from say an old 6kw to a new 9 or 10kW and they didn't rewire it in 6mm cable. Would I trust an electrical inspection to catch that detail - nope !
Remember too, a non contact volt stick is a dangerous test tool. All it tells you is that voltage may be present. It absolutely doesn't tell you that there isn't any.
 

Bingy man

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So if there's a whole lot of blue corrosion, where's the damp coming from ?
It might be wise to let him / her to check the bathroom extractor fan to make sure it's working OK.
Then, just to be safe, they should check the cross sectional area of the cable and the circuit breaker in the fuse box are appropriate to the rating of the shower. Why, just in case it ever got upgraded from say an old 6kw to a new 9 or 10kW and they didn't rewire it in 6mm cable. Would I trust an electrical inspection to catch that detail - nope !
Remember too, a non contact volt stick is a dangerous test tool. All it tells you is that voltage may be present. It absolutely doesn't tell you that there isn't any.
Above 6 kw is 10 mm above 11 is 16mm if memory is working correctly, most showers I’ve had dealings with are 6 mm . I personally no longer fit showers because of the new regs and the risk if something went wrong. If I’m asked to then as per my 2nd post just switch em to a mixer valve if they have a combi boiler.
 

deema

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An electrical inspection should catch that detail, that’s whole point and what your paying for. If they miss it there problem. A good long stay in the metal hotel will give them a chance to reflect on their slip shod pathetic attempt at professionalism.
The last company I had around to do the safety checks knew only how to lie and cheat, he tried to condemn electrics that were compliant and charge me £2500 to correct it. Funny, I helped write the explanatory note on that bit of the requirement he condemned the wiring for!! Wrong guy to try and cheat. However try as I might, I couldn’t even get him struck off / suspended or his certificate revoked. I’ve come to the view that the controlling boddies really don’t care about compliance, just about the annual fee. Very jaundiced I know.
The morale? Be very careful who you ask to carry out your checks.
 
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