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Hi folks,

We are looking at a new property and noticed there was an outside Socket, which is great.

However, the cable that powers it has a 3-pin plug on the end and is plugged into a socket in the living room. (See pics). To turn the outside Socket on, you need to turn the socket in the living room on.

I'm not familiar with electrical regs, but is this acceptable? Or should we be looking to have it done properly.


 
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Spoon

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These kits are sold like this.
Not something that a proper electrician would do, as I believe they would hard wire it.
Don't think it's against the regs though.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

It is or was acceptable, and these kits can be purchased from places like B&Q and Homebase.
Only fly in the ointment is whether there is RCD protection.
 
See 10 of these very single month

B&Q sell 'kits' for DIYers to wire up their own outdoor sockets etc

Even if it was dangerous you can just unplug it from the house and not use it
 
D

Deleted member 105166

I've seen worse, it could have been improved by taking the cable in through the back of the box. Essentially it's no more than a 13A extension lead.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

The fuse box isn't RCD protected. We've been calling around getting quotes to replace it today.
Some of these kits came with an RCD socket in the outside part.
Unfortunately, the RCD sockets no longer appear to be acceptable in the current Regulations.
There is still the option to use an RCD plug or RCD adaptor.
 

Dave OCD

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You wonder why they didn't fit the socket 2 inches higher and bring the flex into the bottom, much better that way - but as they say common sense isn't that common.:)
 
Some of these kits came with an RCD socket in the outside part.
Unfortunately, the RCD sockets no longer appear to be acceptable in the current Regulations.
There is still the option to use an RCD plug or RCD adaptor.
Could you or someone else point out where it says that RCD sockets are no longer acceptable in the regulations please?
 

DPG

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Some of these kits came with an RCD socket in the outside part.
Unfortunately, the RCD sockets no longer appear to be acceptable in the current Regulations.
There is still the option to use an RCD plug or RCD adaptor.
Is this definitely the case that external RCD sockets are no longer compliant with the regs?
 

DPG

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Possibly. I wondered if he was referring to the change in the regs as far as what RCD types can be used to protect circuits?
 
D

Deleted member 26818

531.3.6 RCDs for additional protection
The use of RCDs with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA is recognized as additional protection in compliance with Regulation 415.1. These RCDs shall be provided to comply with the requirements of Regulation 411.3.3.
RCDs for additional protection in AC installations shall comply with:
- BS EN 61008 series, or
- BS EN 61009 series, or
- BS EN 62423.
Where installed at the origin of a final circuit or a group of final circuits, an RCD with a rated residual current not exceeding 30 mA may provide fault protection and additional protection simultaneously.
NOTE: Consideration shall be given to the division of the installation (see Regulations 531.3.2 and 314.2).

This applies to RCDs used for additional protection, not fault protection or fire protection.
Additional protection would be for socket-outlets, cables concealed in walls, circuits of a location containing a bath or shower or those used to supply mobile equipment outdoors.
 
T

Toneyz

There has been a lot of posting of late regarding RCD sockets and spurs not being recognised by BS7671 I have read a few posts (some from SC) where using an RCD spur for additional works to comply with the regs as not to have to change the P.D. does anyone know the reasoning behind this.
 
Probably more a buerocratic decision based on harmonised standards. That said...aren't those spurs 'active' not 'passive' rcds or something like that? So maybe there is a technical reason? Do they fall under the same standard as rcd plugs for use with flymos etc?
 

Matthewd29

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Whilst it probably isn't unacceptable, it is a poor job and would.probably benefit from being re-done. Which is probably a simply job
 

Midwest

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Most of the RCD sockets/FCU's I've installed in the past conform to BS7288, which according to the posted reg 531.3.6, doesn't appear to be suitable. I would however seek some guidance on that.
 
There has been a lot of posting of late regarding RCD sockets and spurs not being recognised by BS7671 I have read a few posts (some from SC) where using an RCD spur for additional works to comply with the regs as not to have to change the P.D. does anyone know the reasoning behind this.
I am trying to resolve this question myself but the IET specialists only work on a Monday or a Friday.
There are two types of RCD those that are latched (also called passive) and which will stay in the on position when the supply is switched off, and those that are unlatched (also called active) which will trip when the power is switched of.
Unlatched RCDs would be used when a hazard would occur if the power supply was suddenly restored - e.g. to an electric lawnmower.
Latched RCDs will only trip for a fault and so would be used where it would be undesirable for them to trip on a power supply cut-off. A good example would be for fridge-freezers or freezers.
One manufacturer I have spoken to states that it was not the intention to stop the use of RCD sockets, and that the Regulations in that respect have been poorly written.
 
Hi stp motors,

I'd be weary about what other DIY elec jobs have been done by current occupier tbh. That's a dodgy attempt at installing an o/s skt.
Would you plug an extension lead onto an extension lead?
When something gets plugged in its acting as a spur off a spur so not correct at all.
What is the fuseboard like? ie has it got rcd protection.
I advise if you get property that should be the first thing on your list to get sorted.
If circuit is already rcd protected it ought to be cheap and quick job for someone to do a similar but more professional job such as ideally spurring off nearest socket putting a switched fused spur adjacent then go directly into back of outside socket to connections (so no holes are shown it only needs moving to the right 6inches or less).
 
Oh just read were you say no rcd protection offered from fuseboard.....first job you need now is a new fuse box. Unlucky as your now looking at a ball park £300 job for a professional job (18th edition fuseboard).
I hope for your sake (and the sparky you get) there's no borrowed neutrals on your lighting circuits................
 

DPG

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Hi stp motors,

I'd be weary about what other DIY elec jobs have been done by current occupier tbh. That's a dodgy attempt at installing an o/s skt.
Would you plug an extension lead onto an extension lead?
When something gets plugged in its acting as a spur off a spur so not correct at all.
What is the fuseboard like? ie has it got rcd protection.
I advise if you get property that should be the first thing on your list to get sorted.
If circuit is already rcd protected it ought to be cheap and quick job for someone to do a similar but more professional job such as ideally spurring off nearest socket putting a switched fused spur adjacent then go directly into back of outside socket to connections (so no holes are shown it only needs moving to the right 6inches or less).
It's not like a spur off a spur at all, because it is fused at 13A in the mains plug. It's no different to plugging in an extension cable, it's just that the socket is screwed to the wall.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

These kits are a DIY method of providing an outside socket without involving Part P.
Some kits come (or came) with RCD sockets, and others without for use when the socket circuit has RCD protection.
 
D

Deleted member 105166

Would you plug an extension lead onto an extension lead?
Possibly, after a quick mental risk assessment, considering load, total cable length, CSA, route, suitability of cable and connectors for the external influences present and of course inspecting the condition of cable and connectors.

When something gets plugged in its acting as a spur off a spur so not correct at all.
Can you quote a regulation number or anything in the ISITEE CoP to back this up?
Section 15.10.1 (Table 15.4) of the ISITEE CoP (4th Ed.) shows maximum lengths for different CSAs. Whilst 15.10.3 recommends avoiding 'daisy chaining' multiway adaptors, these are different to extension leads.

I advise if you get property that should be the first thing on your list to get sorted.
I would ask for an EICR prior to purchase and factor any remedial work required into my offer. Most vendors aren't going to squabble over this nowadays.
 
I did get carried away your right it isn't a spur off a spur but I don't like it and advise they get it done properly.
Also yes we've all plugged extension leaders into extension leads ie on construction sites but that's a temp setup not advisable is it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #33
Thanks for all the advice guys. The seller didn't want to pay for an electrical inspection, so we paid for one ourselves.

The results were quite amazing...

1. Fuse board had no RCD protection so has to be replaced (we knew this before the inspection anyway).
2. The outside socket in the pics above had a damaged/split cable and needs replacing. He'll also wire it in properly at the same time.
3. There's a socket underneath the sink, next the to u-bend. The casing is cracked and water dripping into it.
4. There are lights outside by the front door, that the sparky says are internal lights, not designed or safe to be placed outside.
5. There's a security light in the back garden, which was wired tino the light switch for the back bedroom (i.e. turn the bedroom light in, the outside light comes on).

We've managed to negotiate a sizable chunk off the asking price given what was found.

What made it even more surprising to us is that up until last month the seller had been renting the house out. The sparky made a point on his report of saying the house didn't meet the standard required for rental. (A rogue landlord it seems).
 

mattg4321

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Which specific standard for rental is that?

Maybe he just means his EICR had an 'unsatisfactory' result.

Nearly every house I test I find at least as much as what is listed above. Quite lucky it's all relatively easy to rectify.
 
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