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timhoward

timhoward

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As a secondary board does it need a main switch, if all the circuits are protected by an RCD?
You'd want one isolation point on the board for the whole thing. At present not everything is hanging off the RCD.

I agree Legrand is decent kit, though can be pricey to get parts for.
I guess you could shove it all along and fit the correct isolator, and reconfigure it correctly. But in the case the board is probably the last thing to consider, as I'd have inquisitive questions about some of the final circuits first which may require a different selection of MCB's / RCBO's to solve, leading to new CU for other reasons.
 
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Simon47

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Very good standard of work there
Thanks, I try (or as I said, used to try). Used to get people saying I'm very trying 🤣
One thing that always puzzled me about data cables was multicompartment pvc trunking
It's functional but it's designed to parallel mains and data cabling which isn't really what you want to be doing
It's quite common for dado trunking etc. TBH it's not that big of a problem as many uses (ethernet, phone) is designed to be interference tolerant - twisted pairs using differential signalling. The main thing is the physical segregation for electrical safety which was certainly part of the rules for phone cabling when that side of things started getting deregulated.

My biggest bugbear is where the sparkies do all the containment but simply don't care and don't think about the space needed. One job I recall, the guy's work was very good - nice and neat. But he was clueless about a few things which showed that he was really just doing it by the numbers. And he had the cheek to say it must be nice when someone else does all the hard work for you !
Run down the wall of a smallish office, total of 24 points, Rehau trunking which is nice as the lower section is part of the main structure and forms a trough that cables will sit in - as compared with most makes where you have to persuade cables to hang uphill while you get the lower cover on 🤪 But the guy had taken the big space for a couple of RFCs and a bonding conductor, leaving me only the small top section to fit in the 24 network cables and a multi-pair phone cable. Had to give up and route the phone cable elsewhere. The guy was adamant that a) there was no separator available to make the lower section into a third compartment (I looked it up later, there was), and b) that only the larger middle section could be used for power because otherwise the insulation wouldn't work 🤣 Seriously there are sparkies out there who believe that an insulating barrier in such trunking is directional.
The only time I've seen an issue using the middle section for other than power is that some trunking has open-backed mounting frames for sockets - so the back of power sockets would be open to whatever cables run behind. But even those (from memory) had the option of closed boxes.

The other bugbear was where the sparkies ran the cables, and as illustrated, DGAS about keeping them organised, labelling them, or even making them long enough. I had one job where there was a cable that was just 6 inch sticking out of the wall and I had to extend about 10% of them to reach the rack. It's the "I'll be gone and been paid before the next guy comes along" attitude.
I have it on good authority from both Legrand and Hager that their MCB's can be used in both directions.
That was my thought as well - it's AC, the current goes both ways by definition. It's hard to imagine how you could built a device like this that didn't work either way round.
 
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brianmoooore

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That was my thought as well - it's AC, the current goes both ways by definition. It's hard to imagine how you could built a device like this that didn't work either way round.
The electrical characteristics of the device don't care, but the mechanical ones might. The top terminal will need to be capable of accepting a busbar, and the bottom, a cable.
 
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CamoElectric

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It has been modified outside of the manufacturers recommendations and I would not be interested in reinstating it.
What the actual board/MCB's have? Where?

I'm not trying to be argumentative i genuinely can't see how there's anything wrong with the board. You'll be stripping everything out to change the board anyway, so just strip it out and then put it back correctly. No difference, less cost, less work. 🤷‍♂️
 
westward10

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What the actual board/MCB's have? Where?

I'm not trying to be argumentative i genuinely can't see how there's anything wrong with the board. You'll be stripping everything out to change the board anyway, so just strip it out and then put it back correctly. No difference, less cost, less work. 🤷‍♂️
Do you what it's original configuration was from that picture.
 
westward10

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If you strip everything out you just have an RCD, MCB's, earth and neutral bars. Could you explain more what the problem is because i'm not getting it. I'm a soon-to-be trainee and eager to learn.
There may well never be an issue if you reconfigure it but for my professional integrity I want something, that if it goes wrong then I hopefully have the manufacturer to fall back on.
If I was asked to fit a consumer unit and someone produced that from the back of a van then I would walk away.
 
timhoward

timhoward

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Could you explain more what the problem is because i'm not getting it. I'm a soon-to-be trainee and eager to learn.

In more detail the argument goes something like this:
There's a reg that's new in 18th edition (536.4.203) which refers to components that are used in consumer units and says they must only be those that have been declared suitable for that purpose by the manufacturer of the assembly. It goes on to say in a note that you can do what you like but you assume responsibilities of the manufacturer by doing so. (paraphrased, don't have BS7671 here)
So any time you introduce a component into a consumer unit, whether the manufacturer intended it to be there comes into play.
Furthermore in this case, while it looks as though the breakers and RCD are all friendly co-operative parts, we can't say the bus bar is definitely original and can't say that the link cables are. We can't say how the manufacturer intended the components to be arranged. For example it might be that the RCD is designed to sit at the RH end and gets warm by design on the RH side. Having it at LH end might unduly heat up an MCB. Who knows?!
CEF do sell a modern Legrand main switch which may or may not be approved and tested by Legrand to sit next to the older design breakers, one end or other.

Bottom line, there isn't a black and white answer here in my view. Some would be happy to throw it together and quantify and accept the risk. Others would understandably prefer to replace the CU with an approved configuration of certified parts according to the manufacturers instructions and have some comeback from them if it catches fire.
 
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CamoElectric

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In more detail the argument goes something like this:
There's a reg that's new in 18th edition (536.4.203) which refers to components that are used in consumer units and says they must only be those that have been declared suitable for that purpose by the manufacturer of the assembly. It goes on to say in a note that you can do what you like but you assume responsibilities of the manufacturer by doing so. (paraphrased, don't have BS7671 here)
So any time you introduce a component into a consumer unit, whether the manufacturer intended it to be there comes into play.
Furthermore in this case, while it looks as though the breakers and RCD are all friendly co-operative parts, we can't say the bus bar is definitely original and can't say that the link cables are. We can't say how the manufacturer intended the components to be arranged. For example it might be that the RCD is designed to sit at the RH end and gets warm by design on the RH side. Having it at LH end might unduly heat up an MCB. Who knows?!
CEF do sell a modern Legrand main switch which may or may not be approved and tested by Legrand to sit next to the older design breakers, one end or other.

Bottom line, there isn't a black and white answer here in my view. Some would be happy to throw it together and quantify and accept the risk. Others would understandably prefer to replace the CU with an approved configuration of certified parts according to the manufacturers instructions and have some comeback from them if it catches fire.
Ah right the explanation about the parts maybe malfunctioning or having undergone stress due to the current config makes sense to me. Thanks for the explanation.
 
GBDamo

GBDamo

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While I can agree with some, most of the rest - I think taking offence that a piece of copper cable isn't original is taking things a bit too far.
The key is what do you stand to gain?

Saving the customer the cost of a new CU and components, sure, but what do you gain? It's all downside risk, however small.

Now if it was a close friend or family member I may put the effort in to put it right.

But for a paying customer, who'll throw you under the bus the minute something goes wrong, then nah, stick new in.
 
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Mikegh

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There's the assembled parts being suitable individually and as a unit

And then there's the design of the assembly ,so a bad design here
 
telectrix

telectrix

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if you insure with direct line, they can get you an electricain, a plumber, and a "drainage engineer". since when did a shyte shifter deserve such a title?
 
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Mikegh

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I think I've got it...it only makes sense if there's a break in the bus bar behind the mortar though.
Otherwise the RCD would trip if the far right breaker that reverse feeds the non-protected half was on.
Special!

View attachment 89132

Theres a gap ,i think u have it right on the busbar

That's the feed terminated in bottom of 32amp mcb and looped across to RCD ?

32amp mcb feeds lighting ways and RCD is direct off supply, daft arrangement if that's it
 
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pc1966

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In more detail the argument goes something like this:
There's a reg that's new in 18th edition (536.4.203) which refers to components that are used in consumer units and
The regs are more general, it is really a reference to any assembly of electrical parts. In the domestic world that really comes down to the CU, but beyond that it really applies to anything to put together to do a job in an installation.

Some aspects of the standards cited are only applicable to big systems (forget the details but over 100A at least) where it covers aspects like would busbars bend under huge fault currents, etc, etc. But generally the way it is interpreted is as @timhoward say - stick to a supplier's pre-assembled CU or at least the list of parts they declare as compatible.

While I am normally happy with sane and reasoned attempts to replace difficult parts instead of ripping the whole lot out, when presented with something like that I would agree with @westward10 and feel very uneasy at re-using something obviously bodged and of unknown provenance. Especailly as the cost of fixing it properly would be dominated by the skilled time, not by the likes of a budget Fusebox (or similar) CU where it is known to be as specified..
 
James

James

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Hey my old man was a 'glass maintenance technician'.
in my younger days, I used to maintain glasses, plates and cutlery in our local pub.
i don't recall many of my colleagues referring to me as an engineer or technician!!!!
 
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CamoElectric

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in my younger days, I used to maintain glasses, plates and cutlery in our local pub.
i don't recall many of my colleagues referring to me as an engineer or technician!!!!

If I listed them, most of the would look like this f*ing **
My old man had to buy hundreds of pennies worth of equipment too. He only needed 3 tools though. One was a large volume moisture retaining vessel, one was the rubber-tipped water vapour scraper and the most important tool was the multicellular water dispensing unit which could be used to effectively maintain the glass. Technical stuff.
 
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CamoElectric

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The regs are more general, it is really a reference to any assembly of electrical parts. In the domestic world that really comes down to the CU, but beyond that it really applies to anything to put together to do a job in an installation.

Some aspects of the standards cited are only applicable to big systems (forget the details but over 100A at least) where it covers aspects like would busbars bend under huge fault currents, etc, etc. But generally the way it is interpreted is as @timhoward say - stick to a supplier's pre-assembled CU or at least the list of parts they declare as compatible.

While I am normally happy with sane and reasoned attempts to replace difficult parts instead of ripping the whole lot out, when presented with something like that I would agree with @westward10 and feel very uneasy at re-using something obviously bodged and of unknown provenance. Especailly as the cost of fixing it properly would be dominated by the skilled time, not by the likes of a budget Fusebox (or similar) CU where it is known to be as specified..
I didn't take any of this into account. An important lesson for me going forward so thanks guys for explaining it.
 
telectrix

telectrix

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My old man had to buy hundreds of pennies worth of equipment too. He only needed 3 tools though. One was a large volume moisture retaining vessel, one was the rubber-tipped water vapour scraper and the most important tool was the multicellular water dispensing unit which could be used to effectively maintain the glass. Technical stuff.
 
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pc1966

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I didn't take any of this into account. An important lesson for me going forward so thanks guys for explaining it.
No worries.

Though looking at that example it is not the 'modified CU' aspect that bothers me most, it is the obvious lack of knowledge/care in installing it that rings alarm bells. There are a lot of circuits coming off what looks like 4mm T&E and even without totalling up loads, etc, you start to wonder "was this actually designed at all?" from the point of view of total load and any requirements for selectivity so faults have a reasonable chance of being isolated to the circuit responsible.

So it is more than changing the CU, it is looking at the whole installation and trying to figure out what is needed and how best to do it for the client.
 

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