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Hi guys wondering if you could help?

I have just installed a new fuseboard with rcbos and spd.

During the install I noticed that the lighting circuits have no earth. I have informed the customer but she doesn't want me to change lights to class 2 fittings as she is happy with her current lighting fixtures. What do I do?

Thanks in advanced
 
Agree it should have been noticed before changing… but too late now.

Has it been noted on the certificate?
Has it been noted at the consumer unit for any future electrician?

Arguably, you’ve left it in safer condition than it was, but the new fancy rcbo’s won’t work under certain faults..
 
Agree it should have been noticed before changing… but too late now.

Has it been noted on the certificate?
Has it been noted at the consumer unit for any future electrician?

Arguably, you’ve left it in safer condition than it was, but the new fancy rcbo’s won’t work under certain faults..
It can't be certified though as it is non-compliant, and indeed potentially hazardous.
 
There is some guidance in BPG1 for this sort of situation:

If I was in your shoes , and she absolutely refuses to have them changed, then I would make sure there are no immediately dangerous faults, ie good IR between the exposed metal parts of the lights/switches, and the live conductors of the installation. Then make appropriate notes on the cert, and cover it with a letter/email explaining the potential for danger with their lights, and advising her to get them rectified ASAP.

Not ideal, but too late to go back now.
 
You've installed the CU?
I would have thought the lack of circuit earths would be one of the first things to be noticed whilst in the process of removal of the old unit. Why not notify the owner at that point rather than complete the change over?

As it is, rubber gloves would be useful for her whilst lamp changing. 🤨 ☹️
 
I would be emailing the lady explaining it is being left in a potentially dangerous condition and needs rectifying asap. She won't do it, but at least you have some proof that you tried.

I have been caught out like this before, but luckily the owner was more receptive to my suggestions.

I used to have a checklist I would go through during a pre works visit for a CU change. This included checking if the lights are earthed. I find I have become a little more relaxed in my attitude towards CU changes, which is not a good thing!
 
I would be emailing the lady explaining it is being left in a potentially dangerous condition and needs rectifying asap. She won't do it, but at least you have some proof that you tried.

I have been caught out like this before, but luckily the owner was more receptive to my suggestions.

I used to have a checklist I would go through during a pre works visit for a CU change. This included checking if the lights are earthed. I find I have become a little more relaxed in my attitude towards CU changes, which is not a good thing!
How does that work. Dear Mrs/Miss/Ms X I have replaced your consumer unit however due to my lack of insight I have now realised somewhat too late that your electrical installation has serious issues that I failed to initially identify. I would now like to email you to cover myself because I totally ****** up and hopefully this may dissipate the consequences of my actions.
 
Perhaps, if the OP returns, they might provide some background on the reasons behind this board change?

I can't help wondering if the customer had been advised a new board was required to make the installation safer.
 
Hi guys wondering if you could help?

I have just installed a new fuseboard with rcbos and spd.

During the install I noticed that the lighting circuits have no earth. I have informed the customer but she doesn't want me to change lights to class 2 fittings as she is happy with her current lighting fixtures. What do I do?

Thanks in advanced

Well that's quite a pickle you've got yourself into isn't it!

Have you discussed rewiring the non-compliant curcuuts with the customer? Your suggestion of replacing light fittings with class 2 fittings is a last resort option, not a first port of call!

If the customer is refusing a rewire of these circuits have they said why? In order to get yourself out if this mess have you considered offering the rewire at reduced price or cost price?

You obviously can't certify the job until this issue is resolved, so you can't comply with part P, which is law.
 
How does that work. Dear Mrs/Miss/Ms X I have replaced your consumer unit however due to my lack of insight I have now realised somewhat too late that your electrical installation has serious issues that I failed to initially identify. I would now like to email you to cover myself because I totally ****** up and hopefully this may dissipate the consequences of my actions.
Pretty much. The deed has been done so it's time to think of what to do next. Although, @davesparks suggestions are far more professional than my arse covering exercise.
 
Sorry no offense meant to anyone, but I just do not get the not testing before changing a consumer unit or DB. Even some basic tests to prove the essentials are present and correct is better than going in blind. I will always do global IR, R2 at everything I can find and get to with a wander lead including bonding and ring continuity tests before even saying I will change one. These are usually relatively quick to do, ok so it's not going to disclose all problems like borrowed neutrals ect but at least you get a vague idea of what's what before you open a giant can of worms and end up in the OP's situation!
Sy
 
I guess the OP is fairly new to this line of work and maybe only has had experience on new builds or recent installations and so have just had their posterior bitten buy exactly the sort of thing that BPG#1 tries to warn about. The OP's post does not make it clear if the cable has CPCs but they are not end-to-end connected, or if the cable is pre-1966 and has no CPC present.

Just for background information for the OP: the statements about ADS really come from the basic premise in the design of compliant circuits that no single point of failure should cause a risk of electric shock. So with a class II product there are two insulation barriers, so damage to one is not enough to allow contact to a live conductive part. In class I products there is a CPC and so in the event of a L-metal fault then Zs should be sufficiently low (and cable adiabatic limit sufficiently high) that you get Automatic Disconnection of the Supply (ADS) by the OCPD or RCD so no person is not exposed to the risk of a shock for more than an acceptably short period (usually 0.4s here, TN & 230V).

Without a CPC then on the occurrence of a fault you get no disconnection. If you only had OCPD protection (probably the case for the old CU) then you never will disconnect and it is a high risk situation. With working RCD protection you still don't get disconnection on the occurrence of the fault, but should someone get a shock then they have a sporting change of not dying due to the RCD-based disconnection. The might just fall off a ladder of course...

So it is quite likely that you have made the system safer, but not actually as safe as the regulations demand. That is basically the just of the statements above that you can't certify it as it stands as "complaint".

Now I suspect the OP has just has an unpleasant lesson as to why most sparks on here always say to do an EICR first, or at least a few basic checks (e.g. as @Pretty Mouth says in post #7). All of which is usefully stated in BPG#1 and that is also a good point of industry-guidance for any arguments, just as BPG#4 is for EICR coding, but in all cases it comes down to some judgment. But you are already in the position of the CU changed and no CPC, so folks pointing out the error or not checking first is not actually helpful. So what now?

The correct solution is to correct the absence of CPC connectivity. That could be fixing joints (if just stupid installation of T&E), a rewire if pre-1966 cable, or sometimes a separate CPC if a hidden joint/break cannot be otherwise fixed with an acceptable cost in electrician time and/or redecorating.

But the customer might refuse to pay for that extra work, or indeed they might refuse to allow work that causes decoration and/or building structural changes. Again, this is mentioned in BPG#1. If it is just a cost aspect and you think you can fix it without to much of a loss you might be best to just accept the loss was down to your own mistake and keep your reputation by fixing that side for free.

If however, they are not willing to accept the additional work 'for free' due to decoration/disruption/pigheadedness then you really can just make it as safe as possible and state in writing that you cannot complete it to the regulations due to their decision and advise on the use of class II accessories, etc, as described in BPG#1.

Just my 2p work, though I don't do this commercially so listen to others first.
 
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Mistakes abound in every profession, just look at our politicians, and people are dying as a result of their reccomendations. I suspect that the client is suspicious of your insistence that she now needs to have further work done and sees it as "...he just wants to get more money..." @Koreelec don't run away, and never mind the "contributions" to your dilemna. It is easy with hindsight to decry the lack or ommission of due care and proper procedures, however that does not help you. I think @pc1966 has gone some way to ameliorating that. Please come back and discuss this and let us see if we can suggest ways to sort it out. My first contribution is, in that same vein as @cireland, what system of wiring is it. In my case, is it T&E? If it is it is often the case the earth is there and if you can pull a bit of cable out you can supply the earth to the fitting. Rather than suggest they need to replace their lights how about suggesting you supply an earth to the lights?
Don't be scared of the paper tigers on this sight. Try to work with suggestions and let's get it right!
 
I guess the OP is fairly new to this line of work and maybe only has had experience on new builds or recent installations and so have just had their posterior bitten buy exactly the sort of thing that BPG#1 tries to warn about. The OP's post does not make it clear if the cable has CPCs but they are not end-to-end connected, or if the cable is pre-1966 and has no CPC present.

Just for background information for the OP: the statements about ADS really come from the basic premise in the design of compliant circuits that no single point of failure should cause a risk of electric shock. So with a class II product there are two insulation barriers, so damage to one is not enough to allow contact to a live conductive part. In class I products there is a CPC and so in the event of a L-metal fault then Zs should be sufficiently low (and cable adiabatic limit sufficiently high) that you get Automatic Disconnection of the Supply (ADS) by the OCPD or RCD so no person is not exposed to the risk of a shock for more than an acceptably short period (usually 0.4s here, TN & 230V).

Without a CPC then on the occurrence of a fault you get no disconnection. If you only had OCPD protection (probably the case for the old CU) then you never will disconnect and it is a high risk situation. With working RCD protection you still don't get disconnection on the occurrence of the fault, but should someone get a shock then they have a sporting change of not dying due to the RCD-based disconnection. The might just fall off a ladder of course...

So it is quite likely that you have made the system safer, but not actually as safe as the regulations demand. That is basically the just of the statements above that you can't certify it as it stands as "complaint".

Now I suspect the OP has just has an unpleasant lesson as to why most sparks on here always say to do an EICR first, or at least a few basic checks (e.g. as @Pretty Mouth says in post #7). All of which is usefully stated in BPG#1 and that is also a good point of industry-guidance for any arguments, just as BPG#4 is for EICR coding, but in all cases it comes down to some judgment. But you are already in the position of the CU changed and no CPC, so folks pointing out the error or not checking first is not actually helpful. So what now?

The correct solution is to correct the absence of CPC connectivity. That could be fixing joints (if just stupid installation of T&E), a rewire if pre-1966 cable, or sometimes a separate CPC if a hidden joint/break cannot be otherwise fixed with an acceptable cost in electrician time and/or redecorating.

But the customer might refuse to pay for that extra work, or indeed they might refuse to allow work that causes decoration and/or building structural changes. Again, this is mentioned in BPG#1. If it is just a cost aspect and you think you can fix it without to much of a loss you might be best to just accept the loss was down to your own mistake and keep your reputation by fixing that side for free.

If however, they are not willing to accept the additional work 'for free' due to decoration/disruption/pigheadedness then you really can just make it as safe as possible and state in writing that you cannot complete it to the regulations due to their decision and advise on the use of class II accessories, etc, as described in BPG#1.

Just my 2p work, though I don't do this commercially so listen to others first.
Best Practice Guides are not industry standards. BS7671 and E&WR 1989 are industry standards.
This is nothing to to with pigheadiness the OP has made a serious error of judgement it is not the clients problem. You cannot employ Class II protection in a dwelling no matter how many times people suggest it.
 
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