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Electrical installation in Scotland

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Halo Jones

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I guess I really need advice from the Scottish contingent here as I understand it is totally different in England and Wales...

Finished my workshop and for the past 6 months or so have just been running the an extension from the outside power oulet to the shop when needed. I realise this is not the safest way to do this but convenient and legal!

I now want to do something permanent and have worked out what I need and I'm confident I know how to do it. What I cannot figure out is if I can do it myself! As no building warrant was required to build the 'shop there is no completion certificate needed. I found the EIC certificate for Fife but this needs to be associated with the appropriate building warrant ref no, and it seems I could self approve if required. Very confused by the regulations themselves and what I can find on the net is pretty contradictory and is always confused with the differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Can someone point me to the relevant document that tells me what I am, and am not, allowed to do as a DIYer in Scotland with regards to electrical work?

Cheers,

H
 

twothumbs

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I would also be interested to hear the replies but my understanding is that you can still do DIY. You could always get it checked by a 'qualified' sparkie. If you move house it would need to be checked ...I believe. I also believe that current thinking is more about circuit protection rather than workmanship, if that makes sense. Connected appuratus is better switched and protected than it was years ago. It is a problem as some trades are so busy that do not do small things...I tried 4 gas fitters to cut a gas fire off. Not interested! I bet it is a different tune now with their work loads reducing. Not always going forward.
 

jack55

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In the interests of safety the rules still apply, and if you want to be covered by your insurance you would need it certified
 

Halo Jones

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Hadn't thought about the insurance aspect. But where does it begin and end? Can I add a spur to a ring main for an extra socket without getting it certified? Adding an extra ceiling rose for lighting? changing a light switch? Changing a light bulb?

I would just like to see it written down somewhere what I can and can't do!

H.
 

twothumbs

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Thank you from me. This is most interesting and I am happier knowing I am not doing wrong, even if my work is shown to be of good quality and testing safe!
 

Halo Jones

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Thanks for that link. It does help with any work I want to do in the house. Now, I know I'm dragging it out but that sheet does not specify extending power to an outbuilding that does not require a building warrant (and this seems to fall in between everything I have read)

If I've read this properly, because I live in a detached 2 storey house I can go ahead and fit my own electricity to the workshop because no warrant was required. The certification only applies to the occasions where a warrant would have been required to commence work?

Is there an emoticon for bashing yourself over the head? :? (hammer)

H.
 

twothumbs

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My view is that you can do electrical work on your own property here in rainy Scotland. In flats or communal property you may wish to be carefull depending upon the sub divides, etc. Only a 'Select' sparkie reguired to be used or do tests for Building Warrant Applications, though you may run into trouble if you killed the visiting minister or mother in law. I am not aware of insurance companies requiring such tests or required trades. The selling of houses may require a certificate but that may only be in England.....there was a lot of debate about this a few years ago. Rented properties require to be tested at intervals which is fair enough. Never been to sure of trades where quality varies enormously. In the case of electrical work I have seen, tisted wire connecrtions hanging below joists, reversed neg and positives, loose earths, wires not clip, and so on. I supose there is always poor quality work, so the testing and recording done using instruments must be a good thing. I will try and remember and speak to a chap tomorrow who has been doing his electrical exams over the past year.

Some plumbing is down right bad and missing any basic understanding, or is just not caring. I am not, and I stress not, criticising all the good people out there and there are some good,caring, and justly proud ones. Best wishes.
 

newbie777

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Like you I could not find any reference for building warrants covering outside work? If anyone knows better please let me know.

Thanks for posting your thoughts.
 

twothumbs

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Hi Newbie 777
It would seem that work needs to be by a competent person, who should follow 17th edition of the wiring regs. and there is a BS (don’t know the number for electrical works). It is not specifically stated (as far as I understand) that it must be an electrician. Electricians are now required to carry out tests on any new circuits, or alterations to circuits which they install with a signed form at the end. Put your money where your mouth is. If you follow the code and guide then so be it if you know your limitations, etc. If you can borrow or use a tester (which are largely plug and play I am told!) it would be a means of showing the work met the current requirements. It is really a personal decision.

Gas work is similar or the same in that it is stated somewhere (?) work must be done by a ‘competent’ person. I again understand it does not say the person must be Select or gas registered. But of course if it were to be questioned, the debate would be that ‘competence’ equals registered (trained) which is not necessarily the same of course It is an interesting question. During the previous bad winter, gas board installed combi boilers were failing on a big scale as the external condensate pipes were freezing up and people were left without heating for a period of days (over Christmas around here). The solution was to go outside and cut the plastic drip pipe above the blockage with a hacksaw or even if desperate measures were required by pulling it off the wall (Christmas morning!).. Gas fitters do not necessarily mean plumbers and so the basics of plumbing ie dripping pipe is a freeze risk seems to have been ignored or not bothered with. So it would seem the gas was safe, but the plumbing poor which is a bit of confused thinking.

I do not wish to upset anyone or criticise anyone but it is interesting. My own feeling is the standards have increased the quality of electricians work and not necessarily restricted the knowledgeable householder doing a bit for themselves. If trades are looking to ring fence all the work associated with their trade for themselves (understandable) then they must be prepared to attend to all work and not scoff ‘too small to bother me’ attitude which was so prevalent during the ‘good years’ for plumbers and gas fitters around here. The next job can come from the most unexpected direction and the small job today can be a big one in the future. Four gas fitters and two plumbers in this area did not grasp that, but life goes on.

Best wishes and I hope it all goes well for you.
 

twothumbs

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Hi Newbie 777
It would seem that work needs to be by a competent person, who should follow 17th edition of the wiring regs. and there is a BS (don’t know the number for electrical works). It is not specifically stated (as far as I understand) that it must be an electrician. Electricians are now required to carry out tests on any new circuits, or alterations to circuits which they install with a signed form at the end. Put your money where your mouth is. If you follow the code and guide then so be it if you know your limitations, etc. If you can borrow or use a tester (which are largely plug and play I am told!) it would be a means of showing the work met the current requirements. It is really a personal decision.

Gas work is similar or the same in that it is stated somewhere (?) work must be done by a ‘competent’ person. I again understand it does not say the person must be Select or gas registered. But of course if it were to be questioned, the debate would be that ‘competence’ equals registered (trained) which is not necessarily the same of course It is an interesting question. During the previous bad winter, gas board installed combi boilers were failing on a big scale as the external condensate pipes were freezing up and people were left without heating for a period of days (over Christmas around here). The solution was to go outside and cut the plastic drip pipe above the blockage with a hacksaw or even if desperate measures were required by pulling it off the wall (Christmas morning!).. Gas fitters do not necessarily mean plumbers and so the basics of plumbing ie dripping pipe is a freeze risk seems to have been ignored or not bothered with. So it would seem the gas was safe, but the plumbing poor which is a bit of confused thinking.

I do not wish to upset anyone or criticise anyone but it is interesting. My own feeling is the standards have increased the quality of electricians work and not necessarily restricted the knowledgeable householder doing a bit for themselves. If trades are looking to ring fence all the work associated with their trade for themselves (understandable) then they must be prepared to attend to all work and not scoff ‘too small to bother me’ attitude which was so prevalent during the ‘good years’ for plumbers and gas fitters around here. The next job can come from the most unexpected direction and the small job today can be a big one in the future. Four gas fitters and two plumbers in this area did not grasp that, but life goes on.

Best wishes and I hope it all goes well for you.
 

Halo Jones

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Been on holiday so only just noticed this.

The conclusion I came to was that I was going to do it myself (as I know I am "competent" enough), then if I ever sell my house I will disconnect it from the mains and sell the property without power to the building but with the nod and a wink that they can connect it themselves if they wish.

My approach. As I know my earth comes from the electrical supplier a 40 A MCB on the non-RCD side of the consumer unit in the house. Link that to a 40 A RCD close to the consumer unit. 6 mm armoured to the shed (calculations give ~9kW to the shed, more than enough for 1 machine plus heating and lighting). Another consumer unit in the shed, likely with enough room for lights and 2 rings.

HTH,

H
 

twothumbs

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Rather than disconnect the supply to sell, you could have it tested.......and pass! I think I had to pay about £100, or slightly less, for about an hours work for two sparkies. It was to test a fan circuit in a kitchen I had installled as warrant work, but not in my house. New switching, spur, wiring and fan. It passed without any comments. I suspect the building inspector would have preferred to see it failed. Best wishes.
 

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