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I have been asked to give a quote to install some downlights in a kitchen, but there is no cpc in the light circuit. I appreciate the response by some is the world would end if I did that, but the circuit is RCD protected and the last IR readings on the ciruit were good when the board was changed a few years back.

I am debating whether to do the job, because I would use intergrated downlights not requiring a CPC, and I would check the IR again to ensure it's still healthy before proceeding.

Any thoughts welcome.
 
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Midwest

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I would not. Guidance and regs say cpc should be taken to each point on the circuit.

You take on board the installation by altering or adding. If the present owner moves, and the new owner installs Class 1 fittings to your cpc, that wouldn’t be good.

Your not doing anyone any favours, it’s work, not a charity. Install a new supply, with cpc or decline the work, IMO.
 
The rcd offers additional protection, it should not be relied upon in the absence of a cpc.
 

telectrix

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push comes to shove, you could take a 4mm cpc from a local circuit, e.g. sockets, that has one. not the ideal solution, but I can't see a problem with it. some may disagree.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks guys, I know you are technically right and I'm not at all desperate for the work, but I don't believe it's making anything any less safe, and in fact by me doing it, it's going to made safer than Fred down the pub hacking it for some cash.

I get the point about taking an earth from a socket above, but even that isn't deemed acceptable, even if the consumer unit clearly highlights it. So I don't think this is necessarily a bad idea despite the downlights I would install not requiring a cpc. The consumer unit already clearly indicates the absence of cpcs in the light circuits.
 

Midwest

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Wold you class your new wiring as fixed wiring, e.g. not flexible cable like supplying a table lamp?
 

Spoon

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Hi @peterhyper .
3 knowledgeable people have said it's not a good idea.
I'm Industrial, not Domestic but I wouldn't do it either.
As @telectrix says, replace cable or add 4mm earth.
 
Interesting discussion, I have thought about this a few times. It's hard for me to see the value in rewiring a circuit just to bring a cpc to lighting that doesn't use it, other than to tick the reg box. IMO, if wired in 2 core (so there can be no doubt the CPC is absent), I think this would be an acceptable departure.

That said, the wiring has to be 50 years(?) old now, getting on a bit.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Replacing lights or socket faceplates etc, no cert required
I have always understood that each circuit must have it's own cpc and you can't use/share one from another circuit.

I am going to suggest to the customer that I will only do it if I come off a socket in the room above into an FCU and then connect a quintec receiver to the downlights, and replace the light switch with a quintec one. That way she can have any downlights she wants requiring a cpc, and her lovely kitchen will still look lovely with no disruption to it.
Post automatically merged:

Wold you class your new wiring as fixed wiring, e.g. not flexible cable like supplying a table lamp?
The wiring would definitely be fixed regardless of whether I use twin/earth or flexible cable.
 
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If it’s orig lighting cable,& your not rewiring that circuit,then I would say if it’s class 2 fittings it’s ok.
Make a note on cert,exactly what you done.
Its no different from recommendations,given by Niceic,it that situation.
 

suffolkspark

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I'd do it tbh, if the lights your fitting dont require it. I once did it and used click inceptor micro downlights I think they were
 

Midwest

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The wiring would definitely be fixed regardless of whether I use twin/earth or flexible cable.
I was trying to make the point, the wiring is not temporary, and forms part of the infrastructure of the property. So anyone who comes along at a later date, would expect it to have been installed correctly, and to then regulations.

Reg 412.2.3.2 (BYB) Except where 412.1.3 applies (effective supervision), a circuit supplying one or more items of Class II equipment shall have a cpc run to & terminated at each point in wiring and at each accessory. There is a note there as well, about replacement of Class II to Class I accessories.
 

Andy78

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I wouldn't do it as I don't do non compliant work. There's plenty already that have cornered that niche. I would fully advise the customer of the safety and compliance aspects and quote to do the job properly. Not my problem if they choose another way forward.

I have never understood the "Ill bodge it cos I'll do a safe bodge whereas a handyman might do a dangerous bodge" argument.
People accept bodge jobs because people offer to do them, it's that simple. If enough professional tradesmen stand up for things being done the right way then customers would get the message.

I have worked on plenty of installations with no cpc and managed a compliant job. I usually separate the room to be worked on and create a new circuit for my alterations, wiring back to the board. My work is then nothing to do with the existing installation.

I then add the customer to the list that are going to get back to me when they are ready to have their rewire work done. The list is growing, but that's not my issue.
 
I can see where your coming from,it’s an existing circuit,no cpc,class 2 fittings,in my eyes it’s ok.
Pretty obvious,cpc’s are required in new cabling.
 

suffolkspark

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Any way of setting a poll on this? We seem pretty split, it's not a new circuit nor is it an alteration to the wiring it's just replacement fittings aka maintenance and suitable ones can be fitted?
 

davesparks

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I can almost see the point about making it safer when people replace a CU without rewiring these lighting circuits, but I cannot see any justification for extending or otherwise altering an existing circuit without rewiring.
Obvious exceptions to this would be emergency repairs or removing parts of the circuit if it is being rewired room by room
 

Andy78

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Any way of setting a poll on this? We seem pretty split, it's not a new circuit nor is it an alteration to the wiring it's just replacement fittings aka maintenance and suitable ones can be fitted?
We don't know this. The op has said they have been asked to install some downlights. No mention of existing downlights so we must assume a circuit alteration.
 

suffolkspark

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We don't know this. The op has said they have been asked to install some downlights. No mention of existing downlights so we must assume a circuit alteration.
Ooooo, I had assumed it was installing replacements as it's obvious extending a circuit like this would be a no go... or perhaps not then 🤣
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #22
There are no existing downlights there, and if there were I would replace standard (metal) downlights requiring a CPC with intergrated downlights not requiring a CPC (as I've previously done), just as I would replace a metal ceiling light for a class 2 fitting without a second thought if no cpc was present.

I also thought you couldn't borrow a conductor from another circuit, whether this be L, N or a CPC.
 

davesparks

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I also thought you couldn't borrow a conductor from another circuit, whether this be L, N or a CPC.
You cannot borrow a live conductor from another circuit, but the cpc isn't a live conductor.

The use of a single CPC for multiple circuits is permitted, steel trunking/conduit installations would be impossible if this wasn't the case.
 

happyhippydad

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There are no existing downlights there, and if there were I would replace standard (metal) downlights requiring a CPC with intergrated downlights not requiring a CPC (as I've previously done), just as I would replace a metal ceiling light for a class 2 fitting without a second thought if no cpc was present.

I also thought you couldn't borrow a conductor from another circuit, whether this be L, N or a CPC.
If there are no Down lights in place (so I’m guessing just one or 2 ceiling pendants) then I wouldn’t be putting a whole ceiling full of downlights up even if they were class 2. The cable linking them all would be fixed wiring and would require an earth. I really cant see any argument against this. The only reason you would do that is if you didn’t have knowledge of BS7671 and that what you were doing was potentially unsafe (by today’s standards) or if earning money was your only real concern.
 
The only reason you would do that is if you didn’t have knowledge of BS7671 and that what you were doing was potentially unsafe (by today’s standards) or if earning money was your only real concern.
I think all of us here would agree that it would be against the regs, but unsafe? No. It may become potentially unsafe in the future should the incompetent get involved by installing class 1s (in spite of the warning on the consumer unit), but the incompetent could make pretty much anything unsafe. Our concern here is liability, if someone was to do the above, a fault occurred, and someone was injured, would you be to blame or the person that fitted the class 1? Or both?

There aren't many situations I can think of where I would consider it. Little old lady wants some downlights in her kitchen but doesn't want her house carved up, perhaps. But then, could get around the issue by using SELV. Loft light, possibly.
 
Is there no way to rewire the circuit or even part of the circuit ?

2 core lighting dates back the 1960s so the place is probably due a rewire soon anyways..
 

Ian1981

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If there are no Down lights in place (so I’m guessing just one or 2 ceiling pendants) then I wouldn’t be putting a whole ceiling full of downlights up even if they were class 2. The cable linking them all would be fixed wiring and would require an earth. I really cant see any argument against this. The only reason you would do that is if you didn’t have knowledge of BS7671 and that what you were doing was potentially unsafe (by today’s standards) or if earning money was your only real concern.
The cable does not require an earth Rather the circuit does if relying on ADS as the means of fault protection
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Electrical safety first produce good guide covering this.
As long as the lights are class 2 i dont see the issue? As suggested run a seperate cpc from a close circuit.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
Thanks again all for the replies. Providing the IR is still good on the conductors I don't consider it to be 'unsafe' to install class 2 downlights. I have often replaced rusty old metal class 1 downlights in a bathroom that weren't suitable for the area, and where no cpc was present, with intergrated downlights suitable for a bathroom (not requiring a cpc), and I will continue to do this should the situation arise as I have clearly improved the safety of the installation, but it appears some sparks would refuse to do this which frankly surprises me.

I find it slightly bizarre that it's acceptable for a circuit to borrow a cpc from a completely seperate circuit.

As already mentioned, I shall offer the particular customer I referred to, the quinetic solution.
 

davesparks

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Thanks again all for the replies. Providing the IR is still good on the conductors I don't consider it to be 'unsafe' to install class 2 downlights. I have often replaced rusty old metal class 1 downlights in a bathroom that weren't suitable for the area, and where no cpc was present, with intergrated downlights suitable for a bathroom (not requiring a cpc), and I will continue to do this should the situation arise as I have clearly improved the safety of the installation, but it appears some sparks would refuse to do this which frankly surprises me.

I find it slightly bizarre that it's acceptable for a circuit to borrow a cpc from a completely seperate circuit.

As already mentioned, I shall offer the particular customer I referred to, the quinetic solution.
Replacing damaged or otherwise unsuitable equipment on the circuit is different to altering and extending the circuit.

The new work you install must comply with bs7671, this is effectively made a legal requirement by part P.
Altering the circuit to install downlights without providing a suitable cpc does not comply.
It doesn't matter how much you feel it is no unsafe, makes it safer, or is making the best of a bad job, it simply does not comply. And it is not a justifiable departure from bs7671 because changing a single light for downlights is not an urgent or necessary repair.

Why do you find 'borrowing a cpc' bizarre? This has, as far as I know, been a part of the regulations for decades.
 
Replacing damaged or otherwise unsuitable equipment on the circuit is different to altering and extending the circuit.

The new work you install must comply with bs7671, this is effectively made a legal requirement by part P.
Altering the circuit to install downlights without providing a suitable cpc does not comply.
It doesn't matter how much you feel it is no unsafe, makes it safer, or is making the best of a bad job, it simply does not comply. And it is not a justifiable departure from bs7671 because changing a single light for downlights is not an urgent or necessary repair.

Why do you find 'borrowing a cpc' bizarre? This has, as far as I know, been a part of the regulations for decades.
I think some people consider borrowing a cpc from another circuit to be bad practice (I don't, whatever gets the job done) - if decommissioning the 'lender' circuit, you could also inadvertently lose the cpc to the 'borrower', if you weren't careful.

I was unaware there was a need to justify a reason for a departure from the regs, I can't find anything in the BBB or OSG on the matter. Is it in one of the guidance notes?
 
A cpc which serves more than one circuit is not a departure. This may hark back to the days when containment served multiple circuits as a cpc but nevertheless this is not stipulated.
 

davesparks

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I think some people consider borrowing a cpc from another circuit to be bad practice (I don't, whatever gets the job done) - if decommissioning the 'lender' circuit, you could also inadvertently lose the cpc to the 'borrower', if you weren't careful.

I was unaware there was a need to justify a reason for a departure from the regs, I can't find anything in the BBB or OSG on the matter. Is it in one of the guidance notes?
I too consider cpc connections from other circuits which are not obvious or easily identifiable to be a bad idea, but that doesn't stop it being permitted.

There is an implied need for justification for a departure from the regs when they require any departure to leave the installation no less safe than if the regulations were complied with. If there was no need to justify a departure then what is the point in having regulations at all?
Although ultimately the only 'need' to justify a departure is if and when something has gone wrong as a result of that departure.
 

davesparks

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A cpc which serves more than one circuit is not a departure. This may hark back to the days when containment served multiple circuits as a cpc but nevertheless this is not stipulated.
Hark back? Containment, armour etc still do serve multiple circuits as a cpc, whether the designer likes it or not.
 
There is an implied need for justification for a departure from the regs when they require any departure to leave the installation no less safe than if the regulations were complied with. If there was no need to justify a departure then what is the point in having regulations at all?
The regs say if departing, safety must not be less, but doesn't say that it has to be in answer to essential repair work, or indeed any sort of reason at all, that I can find. It does mention new materials or inventions might be a reason to depart.
 

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