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Discuss R1+R2 Periodic nightmare in the Periodic Inspection Reporting & Certification area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Reg Man

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I have been carrying out a periodic inspection of an old stone barn conversion (now a single dwelling with a mezzanine floor) for rental purposes. There is no loft space at all. The ceilings are open right up to the apex of the roof. The problem I have encountered is this: measuring R1 + R2 at a light fitting I find there is no earth, although the wire is there. So I have deduced after further investigation there must be a hidden JB somewhere under the plasterboard and the earth is broken or not connected ( I have already found several earths not connected). This is of course not right BUT the cast chandalier type light fitting in question is out of reach, unless you use an extended ladder. The customer wants a cert so he may rent the place out.
How do I deal with this then without dissmantling half the barn to get an earth from somewhere else?.
Any suggestions?
Should I just mark it down as a '1 fail' and let customer make his own mind up whether he deals with it or not? I'm covered then
 
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P

PAUL M

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  • #2
well if you have no earth you have no r1+r2 which means no Zs so i would note it on the cert as cat 1.if you pass it as satisfactory and something did happen who is in the firing line.?
 
C

Carter

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  • #3
If you've already found several missing cpcs then that would raise doubts about the integrity of the whole installation ie what else is lurking in the studwork. Sounds like a nightmare in the making for sure. If ever there was a case for installing singles in conduit it's these sort of high ceilinged lighting runs, if only for reasons of maintainability. Digging out a faulted twin 'n skin cable from behind his immaculate ceiling plasterboard is going to make a mess no matter how minimal the invasion. Are you being paid to fault find and undertake any remedial work? Either way your man won't be renting until it's fixed so the ball is in his court.
 
R

Reg Man

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  • #4
If you've already found several missing cpcs then that would raise doubts about the integrity of the whole installation ie what else is lurking in the studwork. Sounds like a nightmare in the making for sure. If ever there was a case for installing singles in conduit it's these sort of high ceilinged lighting runs, if only for reasons of maintainability. Digging out a faulted twin 'n skin cable from behind his immaculate ceiling plasterboard is going to make a mess no matter how minimal the invasion. Are you being paid to fault find and undertake any remedial work? Either way your man won't be renting until it's fixed so the ball is in his court.

I have been asked to do any minor repairs of which are mainly earths not connected. Its just this one I cannot do without running a single earth along lovely exposed wooden beams to the next known good spot.
He says he will state in a 'rental contract' that no one is to attempt to go up there because of the height of fitting and he will arrange electrician. So whether I like it or not he will rent it out. What he does with the periodic and recommendations I don't know. I will leave it as a 'Cat 1 fail' of course and see what happens.
 
C

Carter

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  • #5
I have been asked to do any minor repairs of which are mainly earths not connected. Its just this one I cannot do without running a single earth along lovely exposed wooden beams to the next known good spot.
Hmmm I see your difficulty. Your only options are to run it surface and try to disguise it or open up 2" holes either side of the joist/rafter just enough to get a drill and fish wires/draw tape in. By judicious drilling and fishing you WILL be able to run the earth to where it needs to be. Not a decorator but am sure with a decent plasterer/decorator it could be reinstated successfully.
With exposed beams I find myself for some reason thinking of unsheathed pyro which needn't look that intrusive once the sheath has lost its just fitted glare.

He says he will state in a 'rental contract' that no one is to attempt to go up there because of the height of fitting and he will arrange electrician.
Aha so he's invoking section 417.1 basic protection by placing out of reach. So we must assume that he is providing electrical training to all his tenants such that they can be deemed "...instructed or skilled persons..." (reg. 410.3.5) :rolleyes:

Doubt that that would stop anyone and similarly don't think it will wash in front of a court. He can't predict the future but the regs do attempt to mitigate the consequences. What if, for whatever reason, (dispute with a future tenant maybe) he is reluctant to indulge the tenant's requests to "get the sodding lights fixed as they are tripping out the whole house!" There's nothing to stop them having a dabble. Matey boy gets a belt at the top of his double extension and ....ner-ner, ner-ner.
If he wants to play fast and loose with his accreditation then he's a 24carat twot.


So whether I like it or not he will rent it out. What he does with the periodic and recommendations I don't know. I will leave it as a 'Cat 1 fail' of course and see what happens.
Gotta be a fail/reqs urgent attention. Nothing more that can be done if he's got that attitude short of leaving the breaker off just to make the point.
Not a landlord myself but pretty sure his fire/building & contents insurance would be compromised. There is a large body of law governing domestic lets and those which are applicable depend on whether one is a private individual letting one prop or letting agent or Reg'd social landlord etc etc yahda yahda...l don't think there's a statutory requirement to have rented property formally inspected for electrical safety at set periods (gonna double check that actually), BUT, landlords are legally required to provide a dwelling that is safe. The laws affecting them include:

* The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
* The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
* The Consumer Protection Act 1987
* The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
* The General Product Safety Regulations 1994.

Without a P.I.R. how's he going to prove to a loss adjuster or jury, in the event of a fire, that his installation was IN FACT safe and wasn't the cause of the damage/fatality? Bloke's a kn0b in my opinion. Scribble the following down and wave it under his nose...

# A fine of £5,000 per item not complying
# Six month's imprisonment
# Possible manslaughter charges in the event of deaths
# The Tenant may also sue him for civil damages
# Your property insurance may (almost certainly will) be invalidated

Oh I forgot the possible additional charge of negligence if a fault is reported that he is aware of and yet refuses to repair.

If it comes to the worst case (stiff tenant electrocuted by HIS PROPERTY) then an up to date P.I.R. allows him to pursue a legitimate defence of "due diligence" his obligations having been fulfilled. Not something I'd want to flip a coin on in my opinion.
 
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R

Reg Man

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  • #6
Nice one Carter. Have taken all that on board and you are 100% right.
Its simply a fail and 'Unsatisfactory' will be on the PIR. Let you know what he says in a day or so. Cheers
 
T

tony.towa

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  • #7
Yet again Carter you have provided a first class thread which I know I found both interesting and informative.
Many thanks.
 
R

Reg Man

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  • #10
Just wanted to give you a quick up date on this situation.
Have completed PIR for the property and it reads unsatisfactory because of the lack of earth on two light fittings. Customer isn't at all interested in fixing it and says its unlikely anyone will ever go near lights because of height and its worth a risk!!!!!!

Just remember, if your holidaying in Ireland at all, don't go playing with the lights!!!
 
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tony.towa

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  • #11
I think everyone who reads ths thread will agree with Carter's description of your customer. The main thing is that you have covered yourself.
 
C

Carter

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  • #12
He'll be back. Or his tenant's solicitor will.
 
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