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Discuss MICC/Pyro wiring - new DB needed for EICR? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Hi,

Hope someone may be able to help with some advice.

I have a 2 bed flat From 1960s with MICC/Pyro wiring (see photos of distribution board).

The flat is now to be rented out as bought a house with wife so will need An EICR.

I haven't had the EICR completed yet (and am aware this will Obviously highlight any issues) as I am getting quotes for a variety of jobs which will need coordination but have spoken to a couple of electricians in advance for their view, one said they thought wiring is fine and can leave It as is, the other said they would definitely need to change the distribution board to a modern one with RCDs.

Question is: do I need to change the distribution board and have RCDs for it to pass the EICR? Or is this older style of board acceptable if tests safely?

Is it beneficial to change the distribution board from a safety perspective and is this possible when it is all MICC wiring? I.e. can you have MICC wiring going into a more modern board or would a compete rewire be needed?

Am I correct in thinking there is no earth wires on MICC circuits?

Appreciate any experienced views as getting very conflicting advice. Obviously want to avoid a rewire unless it needs it but want to ensure flat meets required safety standards. Also don’t want to do a half way house of changing DB if this then starts to cause a whole load of issues!
 

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SJD

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It is perfectly possible to replace the old board with a modern one, the last time I did this I picked a board that allowed me to carefully undo a row of MICC circuits along the bottom, and re-insert them into the new board in a set of new holes drilled to match the locations on the old board.

The sheath of the MICC is the earth, and it is vital to maintain the integrity of this at every socket or switch etc. There can be problems e.g. where someone has changed a socket & mounting box, and not appreciated this.
 

ChrisElectrical88

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Get the EICR done by a decent electrician prior to making any decisions. The board will likely need changing following the EICR and the electrician will be able to tell you what else is required.
See if there is a local member on this board or go for a recommended electrician, there will be a lot of have a go heroes coming out of the woodwork at the moment to do these EICRs. Would also suggest posting the EICR up here for review if you don’t go with a forum member.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Is it just the 1 cable that is MICC?
My understanding is that the whole flat (ex council flat) was wired with MICC throughout although I’m sure there have been additional sockets and lighting added since originally wired
Post automatically merged:

Thanks for the replies. Good to know it would be compatible. I think my main concern was the differing views.

What is the view on whether the DB should have RCDs? This would obviously be a requirement in a new installation, but am I correct in thinking that if it tested fine then it is not essential to change to a more modern board? I.e. not a legal requirement to rent out a property?

or in your experience is it better to just upgrade the board to one with RCDs to be on t he safe side (and so it looks more safe to anyone moving in?!) would anyone leave it as is?

thanks
 
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davesparks

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Am I correct in thinking there is no earth wires on MICC circuits?

Appreciate any experienced views as getting very conflicting advice.
Quite the opposite, MICC has a copper sheath and this is the earth so every cable has an earth. The connection to the cable sheath is via the special terminations used with the cable which must be fitted correctly.

You will get some very conflicting opinions from people working in the domestic electrical sector. At one end of the scale you will find many electricians who have no experience or knowledge of MICC and so will incorrectly tell you it is obsolete, illegal or impossible to connect to. At the opposite end of the scale you will come across electricians like myself who still work with this cable on a regular basis and will happily do the job with minimal comment.
You will also encounter those who want to charge an exorbitant amount because its 'specialist' work.

The EICR, if done properly, is unlikely to state that the board must be replaced (unless it is actually damaged or faulty). However it will identify the requirement for RCD protection of the circuits and the most sensible way to provide this is likely to be replacing the board.
I realise the end result is the same, but a report which states something like 'the board must be changed due to being obsolete' is not a correctly completed report and suggests that other parts of the report are likely to be incorrect too.
 

pc1966

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There are at least 2 good reasons for upgrading:
  • First is that RCD protection is expected on most circuits these days (though with MICC cable no worries about the 50mm distance from wall surface as the copper sheath protects against shock if penetrated).
  • Second is you will struggle to get spare parts for that board should anything need fixing in the future.

Get the EICR done first and see what it comes up with, as you probably will have other minor things to rectify anyway (related to switches/socket outlets/bathroom lights/etc). As said above, it is a good idea to share the results (with personal details of you and the electrician who did it blanked out) before simply accepting it when you have something a little unusual.

Long term a new board is also going to make a property more easy to sell, etc, should you want to.
 

telectrix

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MICC cable complies with current regs. if installed correctly and will also probably outlive the property.
 

pc1966

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Just to add the tails from your meter to the board look a little dodgy. That might be something to get replaced as well if a new board is considered (and ideally before you think about a smart meter, etc).
 
if The micc in the flat has been left untouched / unaltered from new then it will be fine

if it has been butchered by badger sparks and Dave the kitchen ripper in years gone by then it might need rewiring
 

davesparks

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What is the view on whether the DB should have RCDs? This would obviously be a requirement in a new installation, but am I correct in thinking that if it tested fine then it is not essential to change to a more modern board? I.e. not a legal requirement to rent out a property?
The lack of RCD protection for circuits in a bathroom is likely to be coded C2 and the lack of RCD protection on other circuits is likely to be coded C3.
Overall, due to the C2 code, this means that the result of the EICR will automatically be 'unsatisfactory' (the only options are satisfactory or unsatisfactory not pass, fail or anything else)

I believe the law requires you as a landlord to attend to C2 items within 28 days, but you should check this for yourself.

Ultimately it will make the installation safer for all concerned if all of the required RCD protection is installed.
 

Pete999

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Hi,

Hope someone may be able to help with some advice.

I have a 2 bed flat From 1960s with MICC/Pyro wiring (see photos of distribution board).

The flat is now to be rented out as bought a house with wife so will need An EICR.

I haven't had the EICR completed yet (and am aware this will Obviously highlight any issues) as I am getting quotes for a variety of jobs which will need coordination but have spoken to a couple of electricians in advance for their view, one said they thought wiring is fine and can leave It as is, the other said they would definitely need to change the distribution board to a modern one with RCDs.

Question is: do I need to change the distribution board and have RCDs for it to pass the EICR? Or is this older style of board acceptable if tests safely?

Is it beneficial to change the distribution board from a safety perspective and is this possible when it is all MICC wiring? I.e. can you have MICC wiring going into a more modern board or would a compete rewire be needed?

Am I correct in thinking there is no earth wires on MICC circuits?

Appreciate any experienced views as getting very conflicting advice. Obviously want to avoid a rewire unless it needs it but want to ensure flat meets required safety standards. Also don’t want to do a half way house of changing DB if this then starts to cause a whole load of issues!
Yes you can include the MICC into a new CU proving it's of a metal construction.
No the MICC does not have an Earthwire, (cpc) The earth is provided by the Copper sheath of the MICC (Caveat provided it is terminated correctly)
MICC is a wonderful, safe method of installing wiring if done properly, and can and does last a lifetime, providing the installation sound, and tests are satisfactory.
No a rewire is not required, other than any extras that are required.
The use of MICC/PYRO have sadly declined due to costings, and the lack of the training in the install methods, many of the Electricians today have limited experience of MICC/PYRO and will shy away as the have no experience of it.
 

hasel5

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Only problem replacing would be a possibility of the MICC at the top being to short to long to slot in to a new db but that could be easily addressed
 

littlespark

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Agree with all above... getting a new rcd/rcbo board roughly the same height will be an easy enough change. Looks like all the MICC is surface clipped, so can get a bit of play on the cables.
Doesnt even need the ends reterminated, if care is taken removing the old board.

Other option, although might look rough... is to use this old board as a joint box and mount the new board directly on top, passing the cables through the rear of the new board.
 

Lucien Nunes

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One unlikely but technically possible scenario that should be mentioned: If the original installation work was done hastily, and has not since been tested, there is a small possibility of finding leaky seals on the MICC that have allowed moisture to enter the cable over time. In some cases that can be remedied, but would depend on a lot of specifics that are hard to judge at a distance. In principle, MICC is a very reliable and durable cable system, but I have been caught out once with a system that had a large number of breathing seals, perhaps because one member of the installation team was inexpert or slipshod. The system worked perfectly for many decades but I could not give it a satisfactory EICR due to the compromised insulation resistance.
 

7029 dave

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I noticed the termination is bushed straight onto the CU nothing wrong with that, I just always preferred to also use coupler and bush less strain on the pot for all of my terms.
 

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