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Discuss Positioning of new consumer units. in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

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JulesHurley

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Recently visited a friend in a new disabled person's flat, and the CU was at ceiling level. We all know that outlets, switches, etc must be position between 450mm to 1200mm from finished floor level. Where are people putting consumer units, and why?

I have started to install CU within the spacings, but have got into a debate with a plumber about the position of a central heating room stat. From what we can see, the recommended height is above the allowed height for disabled.

A wheelchair user has also asked if there is anyway to lower his smoke alarms!!!
 
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andyb

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On a new installaton the cu should be between 450 & 1200 as you say.
However in the real world you need to deal with clients who pay your wages, I had a job last year where the cu was in the kitchen, the owner wanted the cu higher, so did the builder and the architect. I spoke to the LABC who aggreed with the new height.

Of course the inevitable happened and it was picked up during my NICEIC inspection as a non compliance.
I don’t know what I should of done, but with the builder holding £3000 of my money and the blessing of the LABC I would do it again.
 
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WarrenG

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  • #3
Part M (New Buildings) states:

'assisting people whose reach is limited to use the dwelling more easily, by locating wall-mounted switches, socket outlets and other equipment at suitable heights, so that they are easily reachable for use'.


As andyb has said NICEIC class Circuit breakers as 'equipment' and therefore the consumer units should also be placed at the levels designated for equipment i.e. between 0.45m - 1.2m.

Hope this helps!

Warren
 
J

JulesHurley

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Warren,

Thanks for taking the time and posting the regulation.

I am interested in hearing - as above, tales of how installations have succesfully 'breached' the rules.

As above, the client, builder, architect, and LBA were happy with the location, and so why not the NIC. Who has overall control?

As trademen we seem to have a set of rules / regulations to abide to, but there are too many differences.

How do you make smoke alarms accessible?
 
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WarrenG

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Warren,

Thanks for taking the time and posting the regulation.

I am interested in hearing - as above, tales of how installations have succesfully 'breached' the rules.

As above, the client, builder, architect, and LBA were happy with the location, and so why not the NIC. Who has overall control?

As trademen we seem to have a set of rules / regulations to abide to, but there are too many differences.

How do you make smoke alarms accessible?
Jules the NICEIC (and by the way I'm not a member of their scheme) are really quoting what Part M of the Building Regulations specify.

Section 8 of Approved Document M, which applies to new dwellings, includes the objective of assisting people whose reach is limited to use dwellings more easily by locating wall-mounted switches, socket-outlets and other equipment at suitable heights so they are easily reachable for use. In this respect, Section 8 indicates that a way of satisfying the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations is to provide switches and socket-outlets for lighting and other equipment in habitable rooms at appropriate heights between 0.45 and 1.2m from finished floor level.

If Building control are happy what can the NICEIC say? However the LABC do attend training course's from the likes of NICEIC & NAPIT.
Its funny that you can put it where you want on a rewire?
 
C

Chappers

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
The contractors who fit out the large complexes at work seem to relish sticking DBs in the hardest to find and reach places imaginable. Some are above false ceilings, and many are 3 to 4 metres from ground level, so you need a ladder to get to them. I don't know whether that's fine for commercial locations, but I do know it makes it a nightmare for us.
 
S

Spudnik

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Commercial and industrial can literally be wherever you like.

Refurbished dwellings can be (sensibly) wherever you like.

New builds need to be at the stated heights.
 
Warren,

Thanks for taking the time and posting the regulation.

I am interested in hearing - as above, tales of how installations have succesfully 'breached' the rules.

As above, the client, builder, architect, and LBA were happy with the location, and so why not the NIC. Who has overall control?

As trademen we seem to have a set of rules / regulations to abide to, but there are too many differences.

How do you make smoke alarms accessible?
smoke alarms need to be ceiling height I'm afraid.I think the only time a wheelchair user needs to go near his smokie is to operate the hush button,get a big stick. As for the location of consumer unit if the builder,etc agree to resiteing the consumer unit,this instruction should be in writing and recorded as a deviation on niceic sheet.
 
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Captain Kirk

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Most new installations I have worked on have the consumer unit is sited in the hall garage or a cupboard. I would argue that this is not a habitable room and therefore height restriction is not such an issue.

Of course we are restricted by where the supply authorities cut out is, to limit the length on the meter tails, unless you install a sub main.
 
Hi

As for the smoke alarms, they do need to be mounted on the ceiling. However EI electronics (Aico) do mains interlinked models that can be connected to a testing unit as part of the main installation. This unit is about the same size as a light switch but allows you to locate units in alarm, test units and hush the system.

This test unit can be mounted between 450mm and 1200mm thus complying with the regs.

They even do an radio base unit so units do not need to be linked by cable. (Just fed from a suitable supply).

These are not cheep, but you can get them on ebay for reasonable money.

I am in the process of fitting 5 of the radio linked ones into my house.

Colin
 
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WarrenG

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  • #12
Interesting - thanks for that input ;)
 
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Guest123

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  • #13
Hey.

In addition to what nightrider said, whenever we do a local authority rewire they specify to fit the aico smoke detector switches at 1200mm to top, even though it's not in properties designed for disabled persons i.e no stairlifts, ramps disabled toilet etc.

Different authorities have different requirements I suppose.
 
Hey.

In addition to what nightrider said, whenever we do a local authority rewire they specify to fit the aico smoke detector switches at 1200mm to top, even though it's not in properties designed for disabled persons i.e no stairlifts, ramps disabled toilet etc.

Different authorities have different requirements I suppose.
I thought 1200 was the standard height for all switches now?sockets 450.(apart from wheelchair users height of 1000) Set by building control. I could be wrong though.And roomstats I think they might be an exception as they should be at a particular height to sense the heat correctly.
 
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Guest123

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
The 1200 - 450 zone is only enforceable on new builds.

On existing refurbishments you can replace like for like but I would use a little common sense i.e if the db is at floor level in the back of the understairs cupboard then I would move it.
 
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