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Question about electrical regs

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Spectric

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There's a hierarchy in electrical quals. If your guys have the City & Guilds level 3 that allows them to do initial and periodic testing of installations without someone else signing off for them, then that's a good start.
Yes a sore subject, in my opinion an electrician should be an electrician who is fully qualified and not a cut down version known as a domestic installer.
 

Spectric

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You have not mentioned the make and model of these appliances, or their power ratings.

I will add that with a modern oven such as a Neff these require a 16 amp supply and you have no option but have a dedicated supply from the main board that only supplies that oven. You cannot use a FCU because you cannot get a 16 amp BS 1362 fuse, 13 being the max.
 

NetBlindPaul

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Hi,

Any electricians on this board?

Does anyone know where I can get a 100% definitive answer to an electrical regs question? Two electricians and two appliance installers have verbally told me that a particular setup is against the regulations and non-compliant, but according to NICEIC, they are saying there is only an advisory against the situation under the BS7671 regs, not a mandatory prohibition against it.

The situation is that a hob and cooker are sharing the same isolation switch and terminal block.

Thank you,
Woodspiral.
The electrical regs for employed parsons is the Electricity at Work Regulations
1989 (as amended).
BS 7671 is no more than a glorified industry guide.
Without knowing more details about the product and the installation it is not possible to state whether the design and construction falls foul of the law, nor BS 7671.
I'm not a big fan of what the NICEIC say, having been a PDH & QS as one of their Approved Contractors, and knowing the people that I do, I'm going to have to say the only time I ever had advice from them, it was definitely wrong, and, that was proven.
I'll not comment anymore about the "industry".

As far as the requirement for a hob and oven to be on separate circuits and means of isolation.

What does the OEM installation instructions state?
Does the circuit design meet the CCC requirements of BS 7671 (in which case it will likely meet the law (EAWR)).
Is it just the means of isolation for the individual appliances that are in doubt?
You mention legal action, now this is fraught with problems.
It depends on how you word the claim.
Having done expert witness work for the court on electrical issues it is quite complex and unfortunately very expensive.

I am limited to the advice I can give on here without seeing the installation.
I cannot advise officially as my PII would not cover me for this.
 

spiral

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Thanks everyone for the multitude of advice here. Looks like I've opened a proverbial can of worms.

- The oven is a Zanussi ZOP37982XK, rated at 16A
- The old hob is an Indesit very similar to PIM 604 IX which I believe is rated at 32A
- The breaker on the single circuit is 32A
- The new hob, which the installers refused to fit is a IKB64301FB which is rated at 32A and Currys say "Requires hardwiring to a dedicated cooker circuit"

This alone is a red flag to my mind that 32 hob + 16 oven > breaker of 32.

- A previous electrician signed off the electrics (with the old hob) and said it was fine.
- The isolation switch is in the heat zone above the hob
- According to the regs quoted above the isolation switch is an immediate fail on regs, since it's not away from the heat
- NICEIC are defending the electrical sign off, basically saying that it is compliant.
- NICEIC are refusing to take action
- I think they are wrong

Thanks,
Woodspiral
 

NetBlindPaul

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Thanks everyone for the multitude of advice here. Looks like I've opened a proverbial can of worms.

- The oven is a Zanussi ZOP37982XK, rated at 16A
- The old hob is an Indesit very similar to PIM 604 IX which I believe is rated at 32A
- The breaker on the single circuit is 32A
- The new hob, which the installers refused to fit is a IKB64301FB which is rated at 32A and Currys say "Requires hardwiring to a dedicated cooker circuit"

This alone is a red flag to my mind that 32 hob + 16 oven > breaker of 32.

- A previous electrician signed off the electrics (with the old hob) and said it was fine.
- The isolation switch is in the heat zone above the hob
- According to the regs quoted above the isolation switch is an immediate fail on regs, since it's not away from the heat
- NICEIC are defending the electrical sign off, basically saying that it is compliant.
- NICEIC are refusing to take action
- I think they are wrong

Thanks,
Woodspiral
Taking each point in turn.
Who at Curry’s is stating that the hob cannot be connected?
I would challenge their opinion first, and as them what is the reason for them stating this.
It could be argued that there is a dedicated cooker circuit at 32A, and that they have not stated that this circuit is restricted to the hob.

32A hob + 16A Oven > 32A, whilst a circuit breaker is not to be used as a load limiting device, this is not explicit in BS 7671 (7671) and as long as the circuit breaker is adequate to protect the cable as installed, and clause 433.1 is met, requiring that small overloads of long duration are unlikely then you are down to Ib < In < Iz.
The lower case letters are subscripted in BS 7671, don’t know how to do this on here.
The sizing must allow the characteristics of the circuit protective device.
I would suggest that you refer to the current version of Approved Document P applicable to your part of the UK, to see what it says about this also. The IET guide does not specify any clauses.
The isolation switch being in the heat zone for the hob, may well be a building regulations issue, it, could be a 7671 issue, but, that would depend on the exact layout and specifications. Whilst it is unwise, as you would have to reach “through” a “danger zone” to reach it.
The IET On Site Guide (OSG) suggests that it is acceptable to have multiple appliances connected via a single means of isolation. Though no 7671 clause is quoted. The IET guide to Building Regulations states that the cooker control unit needs to be within 2m of the cooker, but not directly above it.
It goes on to say that they should be positioned such that one should not need to lean over the hob to reach them. It goes further to state that they should be at least 100mm past the edge of the appliance.

NICEIC - no comment.
 

AJB Temple

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Presumably the previous installation (ie the previous hob that you are replacing) may have been installed some time ago such that it was under previous regulations. This may be relevant.

Rather than going by what Currys say, presumably you either have, or can get online, the installation instructions supplied by the manufacturer. If there is a connection restriction (ie a separate circuit must be provided for example) then it would say so there. The absence of that would suggest that the installer should follow regulations and practices that are safe and will comply with building regulations in force at the time of installation.

I would be interested to know what you are proposing to litigate. If someone has had an electric shock or the property has caught fire, then one would expect police and insurance to be involved. Almost anything else is likely to be too minor for litigation to be worth the cost and risk I would think. (Ex lawyer - my stock advice to friends and relatives was always "don't". )
 

Doug B

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Am I right in believing your disagreement is with NICEIC ?
I only ask as I was having a conversation last week with an electrician who was saying that NICEIC are just basically a money making outfit & will take no action against their registered installers as it will mean them losing money.
I can’t say how true this is but it was certainly his view based on new work that didn’t meet regs that he’d been asked to put right even though it had been installed by NICEIC registered installers, he had complained to them about it but they would take no action so he said.
It would be interesting to hear what other electricians think about NICEIC.
 

flying haggis

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using the diversity factor for oven and hob combined I make it just under 22 A or 27A if there is a socket on the "cooker" switch
 

spiral

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Presumably the previous installation (ie the previous hob that you are replacing) may have been installed some time ago such that it was under previous regulations. This may be relevant.

Rather than going by what Currys say, presumably you either have, or can get online, the installation instructions supplied by the manufacturer. If there is a connection restriction (ie a separate circuit must be provided for example) then it would say so there. The absence of that would suggest that the installer should follow regulations and practices that are safe and will comply with building regulations in force at the time of installation.

I would be interested to know what you are proposing to litigate. If someone has had an electric shock or the property has caught fire, then one would expect police and insurance to be involved. Almost anything else is likely to be too minor for litigation to be worth the cost and risk I would think. (Ex lawyer - my stock advice to friends and relatives was always "don't". )
No accidents yet, but we can't get standard installers (John Lewis and Currys) to install goods. Plus we want to rent this property, and are concerned that the previous work to correct and sign off the installation is void.

Am I right in believing your disagreement is with NICEIC ?
I only ask as I was having a conversation last week with an electrician who was saying that NICEIC are just basically a money making outfit & will take no action against their registered installers as it will mean them losing money.
I can’t say how true this is but it was certainly his view based on new work that didn’t meet regs that he’d been asked to put right even though it had been installed by NICEIC registered installers, he had complained to them about it but they would take no action so he said.
It would be interesting to hear what other electricians think about NICEIC.
That's the basic situation. They are refusing to put right previous work/signoffs. They did send around someone 'as a gesture of goodwill' to install a new oven (the original oven installers also refused to install it). The electrician that NICEIC sent around to check the install told me that was non-compliant, but NICEIC's written response to the situation is that it is compliant. Under their platinum promise, they should put the situation right, but they are not admitting any responsibility.
 

NetBlindPaul

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You are entering a minefield.

I strongly suggest that you heed what the ex-lawyer has said above, and if you are determined take your own legal counsel on this.
To get an expert witness you are looking at circa £1k per day to win this, that would be split if the expert is joint, else each party would be looking at their own, so £2k/day, probably 5 days, so between £5 & £10k for experts plus solicitors and barristers, plus expenses.
It is unlikely you will find an expert to take on the NICEIC close by.
Not many would have the experience and knowledge.

You might be on a hiding to nothing.

It might be better to lick your wounds and just pay to have it put right by someone who knows what they are doing.
Ironically Certsure is based in Dunstable.
It seems the OP is in Bedford so not that far away.

I have to be careful what I write, with regard to competencies & schemes.

Without seeing and inspecting the installation, I can't really comment further.
To comment on the EIC/EICR documents, I would need them in full to analyse them.
 

HappyHacker

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I have installed a few cookers where the suppliers installer has said NO. None of them were unsafe installations just not bog standard. One required a washing machine to be pulled out to connect the oven 13A plug to the 13A socket behind the washing machine.

A switch above a hob is not that uncommon, it can be argued that the MCB is adequate isolation under 7671 and that the switch is unnecessary. I have seen long threads about this on other forums.

My solicitors advice to me in a not too dissimilar situation was not to go to court as it would cost a lot of money with no guarantee of success and take a long time with resultant lost opportunity costs.

Good luck.
 

spiral

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You are entering a minefield.

I strongly suggest that you heed what the ex-lawyer has said above, and if you are determined take your own legal counsel on this.
To get an expert witness you are looking at circa £1k per day to win this, that would be split if the expert is joint, else each party would be looking at their own, so £2k/day, probably 5 days, so between £5 & £10k for experts plus solicitors and barristers, plus expenses.
It is unlikely you will find an expert to take on the NICEIC close by.
Not many would have the experience and knowledge.

You might be on a hiding to nothing.

It might be better to lick your wounds and just pay to have it put right by someone who knows what they are doing.
Ironically Certsure is based in Dunstable.
It seems the OP is in Bedford so not that far away.

I have to be careful what I write, with regard to competencies & schemes.

Without seeing and inspecting the installation, I can't really comment further.
To comment on the EIC/EICR documents, I would need them in full to analyse them.
Thank you for your thoughts on this, but there's something VERY wrong with the picture you have painted:

- Money was paid to correct faults for non-compliance and a compliance certificate was issued by the electrician under the aegis of NICEIC
- Four people have told me that the situation is non-compliant: two installers and two senior electricians
- Having an isolation switch in a heat zone is written in plain English as being non-compliant in the regulations
- You are telling me to pay more money to get another electrician who will repeat this nonsense

Ovens and hobs are installed in MILLIONS of homes in the UK. There should be little interpretation of the rules and regulations - an install should either be compliant or non-compliant.

NICEIC are saying something is compliant when it clearly is not, and I am expected to accept this because it would be too expensive to argue the case? If that was true, which I don't believe it is, what does that say about our society and our morals around acceptance of failure?

I think there are other ways to fight and win here, without spending a single £.

'Spiral.
 

RobinBHM

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Thanks.

Pete
Building regulations in the UKmare the same throughout England. There are slight variations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as they have devolved govts

Whilst building regulations do not specify the detailed standards domestic electrical installation, they require notifiable work to be done by a "competent person" who has to work to BS7671.

Electricians are required to be registered with a certification scheme and every job they do gets submitted - and will end up on the local authority portal which can be viewed by the public.


I think in America and maybe Canada building regulations are known as "code"
 

NetBlindPaul

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Electricians are required to be registered with a certification scheme and every job they do gets submitted - and will end up on the local authority portal which can be viewed by the public.

Not quite true.
They only have to be registered for self certification of works.
Anyone else needs to go through building control, or, a 3rd party certification scheme.
 

NetBlindPaul

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Thank you for your thoughts on this, but there's something VERY wrong with the picture you have painted:

- Money was paid to correct faults for non-compliance and a compliance certificate was issued by the electrician under the aegis of NICEIC
- Four people have told me that the situation is non-compliant: two installers and two senior electricians
- Having an isolation switch in a heat zone is written in plain English as being non-compliant in the regulations
- You are telling me to pay more money to get another electrician who will repeat this nonsense

Ovens and hobs are installed in MILLIONS of homes in the UK. There should be little interpretation of the rules and regulations - an install should either be compliant or non-compliant.

NICEIC are saying something is compliant when it clearly is not, and I am expected to accept this because it would be too expensive to argue the case? If that was true, which I don't believe it is, what does that say about our society and our morals around acceptance of failure?

I think there are other ways to fight and win here, without spending a single £.

'Spiral.
I fully agree that it is wrong.
The trouble is that you are trying to take on a broken industry.
Not enough people within the electrical industry (BS7671 side) want changes, and there are not enough competent operatives in the industry to pick up the pieces.
Hence why you are on a hiding to nothing.
It’s appalling and the NICEIC are part of the problem, with their DI scheme snd the AC scheme only requires one qualified person within the organisation.
The other schemes have also played their part in the deterioration of the industry.
 
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PeterSH

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I could almost think this thread had been written by a friend of mine! He has half a dozen flats and has just been through the electrical certification process.

He's of no doubt that he was being ripped off. Failure for not having a sticker at each site and the sparkie wanting to re-inspect (he took the view that by applying the sticker there was no need to re- certify).

Anyhow, the Biggie was a failed hob and sparkie stated the law was separate circuits for hob and cooker. It isn't. If both are served by a 32a MCB so long as all the individual wiring is all rated for those amps there isn't an issue.

The electrician finally stated that it's just best practice and that all new builds are built that way.

So moving on a bit more specifically. Currys or John Lewis can state in their terms of business they will not connect this up. It's their prerogative to avoid being sued down the line.

The isolation switch in a heat zone again is allowable if it's pre-existing. Not best practice.

It might be possible to move the isolation switch to a cupboard under the hob or next to the cooker, replacing the one in the heat zone with a blank plate. That's often done and Currys / John Lewis would have no issue.

I didn't quite figure out though who you believe is misleading you. Currys or John Lewis or the sparkie or the electrical certification board??
 
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Spectric

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- The oven is a Zanussi ZOP37982XK, rated at 16A
The old hob is an Indesit very similar to PIM 604 IX which I believe is rated at 32A
You have answered your own question, if this was my job then I would approach it as if fitting two appliances and provide each with a supply capable of supplying the required current whilst ensuring volt drops are within limits and then use a suitable protective device for each appliance. Now from the manufacturers aspect, I was told by Neff that their ovens rated at 16 amps must be supplied from a 16 amp protective device, now in the UK we are taught that the protective device protects the downstream cable and not the load attached, ie the installation but how they do things in European countries I have no idea, they may have 16 amp FCU's who knows, but we don't. I believe that the internal wiring of these ovens is capable of handling a fault current that would disconnect a 16 amp type B MCB, but not a 32 amp device.

As @NetBlindPaul has said the cost of legal action is going to cost more than getting a sparks in to sort it out, and yes I fully agree there are to many aspects of the regs open to interpretation, I have always gone that extra mile to make sure I always cover everything and don't leave myself open to comebacks, if in any doubt about a job then there are ways to solve, often just by taking a bit more time to think, plan and then do it even if it incurrs an oncost that you have to swallow.
 
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