Discuss Sealing a consumer unit entry points?? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Risteard

Respected Member
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3,882
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Derry, Ireland
I take it commercial/industrial sparks are better than domestics?

Seeing as they can be trusted with plastic boards
Well presumably the assumption is that there are plenty of laws in the workplace to ensure that the installation is maintained adequately, etc. Obviously this isn't always the case particularly with smaller businesses.
 

Devonchris

Regular EF Member
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349
Location
Devon
I mount my boards on a frame of sticky trunking using longer screws with washers so the plywood is further away from the CU so less chance of scorching or fire, the idea of the metal CU is to take away the accelerant so I don't understand the logic of sealing the knock out making any additional work harder to carry out
So in effect, you form a chimney in a plastic flammable material, (I'm assuming plastic as I've never seen sticky back metal trunking), with an opening from the CU into the chimney? Bit like cladding a tower block??
 

Intoelectrics

Regular EF Member
Messages
218
Location
Midlands
If You are going to mount the CU on wood then just paint the wood in a fire retardant paint first.


I paint it in something like this, you can get it cheaper than quoted on the link.
I bought a tin a while back and coated a few sheets of ply, I then just cut out what I need for the CU then touch in the cut edges with the paint.
Its probably a bit over kill, but for a few extra quid it gives me peace of mind. I print off the data sheet to the paint and put it in with the EICR.
 

Dustydazzler

Regular EF Member
Messages
1,018
Location
Surrey
Why don’t manufacturers just make a ‘19th addition’ non combustion bomb and fire proof surface mounting accessory for domesticated consumer unit wiring.

Kind like a surface wiring patters just much larger and supply with it a tube of flame retardant sealant to caulk in any gaps or holes
 

Midwest

Electrician's Arms
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11,184
Location
Oxfordshire
If You are going to mount the CU on wood then just paint the wood in a fire retardant paint first.


I paint it in something like this, you can get it cheaper than quoted on the link.
I bought a tin a while back and coated a few sheets of ply, I then just cut out what I need for the CU then touch in the cut edges with the paint.
Its probably a bit over kill, but for a few extra quid it gives me peace of mind. I print off the data sheet to the paint and put it in with the EICR.
Why bother, the new CU being metal, means it won't catch fire :)
 
OP
L

leebut

Regular EF Member
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101
Location
Bury
Yeah......but with the class of some of todays terminations...:(…….and some working on 'em...:(:(
Sometime people are over tightening the terminals and they’re damaging the cable connection hence why they want us to us Torque screwdrivers
Why don’t manufacturers just make a ‘19th addition’ non combustion bomb and fire proof surface mounting accessory for domesticated consumer unit wiring.

Kind like a surface wiring patters just much larger and supply with it a tube of flame retardant sealant to caulk in any gaps or holes
why do we just line the CU with asbestos!!
 

Dustydazzler

Regular EF Member
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1,018
Location
Surrey
Sometime people are over tightening the terminals and they’re damaging the cable connection hence why they want us to us Torque screwdrivers

why do we just line the CU with asbestos!!
Near every site sparks I watch doing a consumer unit , uses an impact driver anyway (and no I’m not joking) annoyingly I can’t find the video but there was a new build sparks on you tube who installed a brand new 17th Ed consumer unit using nothing but an impact driver.

Box it in using asbestos would probably achieve a better fire rating ?
 
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Andy78

Respected Member
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8,393
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Kingston upon Hull
To be fair you can only act on the information you have and from the little bit of the video I watched it sounds like he got duff information on his course.
Totally agree. He comes across as one that listens to whatever is said to them then spits it back out without thought. It's a common trait in our industry these days. So much misinformation about. I really think the IET needs to be more proactive with publicly clarifying information related to regulation changes. This could only benefit the industry.
 

Reevio

EF Member
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13
Location
Oxford
I’m glad my videos bring awareness to such grey areas in the industry. This is exactly why I make videos on a public format so they get shared around and discussed. Appreciate any feedback good or bad. Even though some of you guys are damn right nasty without even knowing me.
 

Reevio

EF Member
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13
Location
Oxford
Maintaining the fire integrity of a metal consumer unit surely is common sense no?
My jtl guy that did our 18th is also an NICEIC inspector he was very passionate about fire safety to the point we should also be fitting intumescent pads in the back of plastic boxes in stud partitions. A little added protection never hurts anyone and for the sake of £2.89 I will continue to do so.
 

westward10

In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream.
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11,539
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Northamptonshire
Did this genius of an inspector tell you where in the Regulations that additional fire protection must be put in place. The Regulations state they should be constructed from non-combustible materials. It should be remembered a consumer unit enclosure is not a fire barrier but just a non-combustible enclosure. To manufacture a consumer unit which acts as a fire barrier would not be practical or cost effective.
 

Strima

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St Neots
As has been mentioned before the CU's are now manufactured from non-combustible material therefore there's nothing to combust therefore fire-sealing is not required.
 

Spoon

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Lancashire
As has been mentioned before the CU's are now manufactured from non-combustible material therefore there's nothing to combust therefore fire-sealing is not required.
What about all the items within the CU that can combust?
 

Dustydazzler

Regular EF Member
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1,018
Location
Surrey
I can see merit in sealing any large gaps or holes in the top or sides of the board ,
1 to maintain the correct IP rating
2 to improve any lost fire integrity

But I personally think all this fuss about avoiding plastic boxes , plastic clips , plastic wall plugs and plastic glands is ridiculous.
 
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leebut

Regular EF Member
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101
Location
Bury
Maintaining the fire integrity of a metal consumer unit surely is common sense no?
My jtl guy that did our 18th is also an NICEIC inspector he was very passionate about fire safety to the point we should also be fitting intumescent pads in the back of plastic boxes in stud partitions. A little added protection never hurts anyone and for the sake of £2.89 I will continue to do so.
Hi Chris


Where will this end it’s not a building regulation or more a wiring regulation to fit intumescent pads in drywall boxes, it’s just someone’s take on the regs not actually the regs.

If it was a regulation for fire integrity the edges of the CU would have intumescent seals also the hinged lid would too, most manufacturers have top hinges to stop the spread of fire but the odd manufacturer has bottom hinge with a magnetic catch fire could spread from the front but like I say it’s NOT a regulation to seal it.

Makes no sense to seal everything it makes the job harder for the next man to come along when he’s adding the extension etc

Lee
 

Intoelectrics

Regular EF Member
Messages
218
Location
Midlands
Why bother, the new CU being metal, means it won't catch fire :)
Because I've have OCD's :D

I also worked on a building where a metal control board set on fire inside and the heat was intense enough for the wooden partition next to it to spontaneously com-busted, even though the flames did not escape the metal enclosure. I was quite astonished by this at the time and it stuck in my mind.
 

Pete999

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Northampton
Because I've have OCD's :D

I also worked on a building where a metal control board set on fire inside and the heat was intense enough for the wooden partition next to it to spontaneously com-busted, even though the flames did not escape the metal enclosure. I was quite astonished by this at the time and it stuck in my mind.
 
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leebut

Regular EF Member
Messages
101
Location
Bury
So in effect, you form a chimney in a plastic flammable material, (I'm assuming plastic as I've never seen sticky back metal trunking), with an opening from the CU into the chimney? Bit like cladding a tower block??
I use the sticky trunking to stand my metal clad consumer unit off the wall or wooden back board so my cables all enter the board through the rear entry holes so that flames from this non existent fire can’t escape the CU, I very rarely knock a knock out of either the sides or top
 

Midwest

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Oxfordshire
I use the sticky trunking to stand my metal clad consumer unit off the wall or wooden back board so my cables all enter the board through the rear entry holes so that flames from this non existent fire can’t escape the CU, I very rarely knock a knock out of either the sides or top
One thing I like about Hager & Wylex CU's, is they also manufacturer (metal) wall spacers for their products. Not cheap, but look better than anything I could replicate.
 

Midwest

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11,184
Location
Oxfordshire
Maintaining the fire integrity of a metal consumer unit surely is common sense no?
My jtl guy that did our 18th is also an NICEIC inspector he was very passionate about fire safety to the point we should also be fitting intumescent pads in the back of plastic boxes in stud partitions. A little added protection never hurts anyone and for the sake of £2.89 I will continue to do so.
I've posted this vid a few times now, and it is getting a bit old, so the guidance isn't current, but I can't see things have changed that much. 3.55mins discusses CU's & sealing thereof;


I think using sealant of any kind, is a bit of a bodge. A CU by nature will need additions from time to time; its not like sealing a bath, shower etc.
 

Midwest

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Oxfordshire
Because I've have OCD's :D

I also worked on a building where a metal control board set on fire inside and the heat was intense enough for the wooden partition next to it to spontaneously com-busted, even though the flames did not escape the metal enclosure. I was quite astonished by this at the time and it stuck in my mind.
A larger distribution board in a commercial or industrial setting, might need different considerations; a simple domestic CU does not need all these fire retardant measures.
 

FatAlan

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Surrey
Last couple of CU's I've done, where the cables come through large rear entry I've sandwiched a piece of intumescent pad between the enclosure and wall/board prior to fixing the enclosure. Ive then cut a cross in the pad, fed the cables through and then moulded the pad back round the cables as they enter to reduce and seal the gap. Not sure if thats better than filling with sealer or worth the effort especially if its a busy box.
 

Midwest

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11,184
Location
Oxfordshire
Last couple of CU's I've done, where the cables come through large rear entry I've sandwiched a piece of intumescent pad between the enclosure and wall/board prior to fixing the enclosure. Ive then cut a cross in the pad, fed the cables through and then moulded the pad back round the cables as they enter to reduce and seal the gap. Not sure if thats better than filling with sealer or worth the effort especially if its a busy box.
Why for so? If the cables came out of a cavity (naughty) perhaps. Just out from the back, I don't see why you should go to that expense.

I'm no longer current, but have you ask your scheme for guidance?

All this extra work cost someone money, and it seems to me to be an unnecessary.
 

FatAlan

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One of the installs was on a board mounted on couple of patterns to allow access from behind. Goes back to previous threads about mounting on wood which numerous meters and CU's seem to have been mounted on over the years.

Must admit the lower specified IP ratings for the side and bottom of enclosures doesn't exactly support a case for making the enclosures sealed enough to prevent a chimney effect as I believe someone mentioned earlier.

If we were serious about reducing the risk of fire due to poor or loose connections perhaps the manufacturers should come up with a design that eliminates having to get a small bit of exposed copper into a barely visible slot and then tighten up a screw!

Some of the kit we are asked to install is utter c**p when it comes to any consideration that has been given in respect of ease or practicality of installation.
 

richy3333

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2,028
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North West Scotland
I’m glad my videos bring awareness to such grey areas in the industry. This is exactly why I make videos on a public format so they get shared around and discussed. Appreciate any feedback good or bad. Even though some of you guys are damn right nasty without even knowing me.
@Reevio - It's somewhat childish to refer to us on this forum as a bunch of old women. You to are a member and therefore by definition must be an old woman also? :)

Here is my feedback, 'good or bad'...

The thing with Youtube is to a certain extent watchers do know you in thatchy know the quality of the work you do and whether it is right or wrong.

I've seen a few of your videos and do applaud you that you have the aptitude to do the videos. You clearly have your sycophants by virtue of some of the comments they make. I watched the videos for entertainment value not for technical content or quality. I've seen you give totally wrong statements/advice in your Youtube comments and again totally wrong information in the videos.

An example that springs to mind is the house where the owner took down a stud wall in the kitchen/lounge area. You jointed the cables using Wago connectors and then ****ed the lot in the ceiling void utilising either a Wagobox or a Wagobox light professing it was mainatenece free. It clearly was no such thing in the manner you had installed it and you could not have ever looked at any Wago literature on how to install the things.

I've also seen you install downlighters way too close to timber joists thinking that is ok to do.

I regret to say that I have a first year apprentice that knows both of the above examples are a not correct.

Can I ask your background because sometimes you are CRS, sometimes HRS. Most of your videos are electrical based but there were some where you did building work. Are you a builder by trade? Did you do an apprenticeship or a 5WW course?

I don't think the situation surrounding fire sealing is a grey area and other more respected and knowledgeable people on here have already pointed out your errors.

I dont think you make these videos to 'highlight grey areas and so they get shared around and discussed' (my paraphrasing) because if that were the case you'd not be making 'bog standard videos' of domestic rewires et al. How do they shed light on grey areas of the industry? You're a member here. I challenge you to post your 'grey area' videos here first for industry discussion, though I anticipate you won't have the nerve to do so???
 

anthonybragg

Electrician's Arms
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4,317
Location
NORTHAMPTON
Why don’t manufacturers just make a ‘19th addition’ non combustion bomb and fire proof surface mounting accessory for domesticated consumer unit wiring.

Kind like a surface wiring patters just much larger and supply with it a tube of flame retardant sealant to caulk in any gaps or holes
Because they need to sell us Amd. 1,2 & 3 regs books etc first.
 

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