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Hi all

Sorry the title's so vague...

We'll be having some work carried out on the house electrics soon. We've got an electrician doing most of the work, although I might do some of the bits that I am allowed to. But I am also doing a lot of the planning of the work to be done by the electrician. So I just need to clarify a few things if anyone wouldn't mind pitching in?

1. How can things be left in the area above ceilings / below first floor floors, if I want to leave provision for future sockets/lights to be added after some other work has been done on the house? Can excess cable be left or are there rules against that? That would be my preference. But if not, is putting a junction box in at this stage an acceptable approach so that the new light/socket can be taken from that?

2. What are the rules for wiring in lofts? Can cable be left loose with some slack (I'll want to insulate the loft at some point and would rather the cables are on top of the insulation)? Or must they be clipped and tight?

3. Can a bathroom light be fit by a DIYer? The wiring is already there, and so is the switch (outside the room).
So it would just be putting in a new light. I know the light has to be made for bathrooms/wet areas. Just wasn't sure if it has to be an electrician who does it because of where it is.

4. Changing single sockets to doubles with a converter. Is this allowed to be done DIY? Is it as straight forward as it looks? Anything to look out for or consider?

5. I know it is not a simple single answer, but is there a general rule of thumb for maximum cable runs for mains rings (on 2.5mm) and lighting (on 1.5mm)? With lighting, is all of the wiring counted or just some?

6. Does everything have to be tip top before the electrician can issue a certificate? For example, part of the house needs to be renovated, but in the meantime it is still being used. However, the consumer unit for this part of the house is going to be changed for a more modern / safer one. But at the same time, there are some things which aren't great... Some sockets would ideally be replaced. Some flooring is up and the wiring (and junction boxes) are therefore exposed. But I see little point in addressing these things now as the renovation will start soonish and any further electrical work done now will only have to be undone then. I'm guessing that means he won't be able to "sign it off" but wasn't sure... I guess if he can't he can always sign it off when the rest of the work is finished later in the year...

Any thoughts and help most gratefully appreciated.

Cheers
 
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My guess is you're doing the work yourself via YouTube etc and getting a Domestic Installer in at the End to test and sign it off for you.

If you had a Domestic Installer on hand you would not be posting questions.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Hi

Thanks for the replies.

Good work Poirot (Tes369) but wrong on this occasion, although I can see why you'd think that :) The electrician is coming next week to run through all the work and quote. There'll be a lot he'll be doing. He's installing two new consumer units, a number of fire/CO alarms, and a whole bunch of other stuff. But where the jobs are easily done (AND ALLOWED TO BE DONE) by a DIYer, I'd rather save the money. I'll be leaving new sockets, replacement wiring, chasing in, and all that kind of stuff to him. So that's half the reason for my post and questions...

...the other half is that I've had a lot of the floorboards up and spent a fair bit of time in the loft due to other work I've needed to do. As such, I have learnt much about the current wiring in the house and what needs to be changed. A lot of it was a serious bodge job, and now that I've got a good idea of what's what, I've also got a good idea of how I'd like it to be done now. But I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything before asking the electrician to quote. I also know what other non-electrical work is likely to be needed in the future and what impact that might have on what's done now.

Hope that all makes sense.
 

FatAlan

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Trainee
You obviously have a good idea of what you are aiming for. The work you have alluded to is best done at the same time the spark is there. If you are going to ask for slack to be left in cables etc in specific places talk to the spark as they will be the one who will determine what is safe or not.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
@FatAlan. I hear what you're saying, but without boring everyone with loads of details, all of the work cannot be done at the same time...

@SWD. I'll make sure I buy in plenty of biscuits :)
 
T

The Ghost

Personally I would not be happy with a diyer monkeying about with the electrics in special locations as I would be the one signing it off. I would not feel any confidence about doing so where I know a diyer has been in the works. If I had to take the time to check all your work and test it I might as well have done it myself and at about the same cost. Also parts you work on are not certified which has implications re your house insurance and selling the house in the future.
 
S

Squid

@FatAlan. I hear what you're saying, but without boring everyone with loads of details, all of the work cannot be done at the same time...

@SWD. I'll make sure I buy in plenty of biscuits :)
You'll need a load of goodwill and tallow to keep your electrician happy, you also need to discuss it with him/her as redundant circuits can be run and left in situ for future expansion as well as leaving some slack in the cables, having junction boxes all over the place can and most probably will cause problems in the future.
 

FatAlan

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Trainee
@FatAlan. I hear what you're saying, but without boring everyone with loads of details, all of the work cannot be done at the same time...

@SWD. I'll make sure I buy in plenty of biscuits :)
Will the spark be installing work that you are looking to add to? If that’s the case, speak to them so that their work can be tailored to fit with future work.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
OK, thanks to you both for the replies.

@Vortigern I can appreciate that, but where would you draw the line? Sounds like somewhere between changing a light bulb and changing a wall socket?

@SWD Yes, I much prefer the idea of leaving cable for the future expansion instead of junction boxes. Just wasn't sure if it was allowed. I'll certainly be discussing it with him when he comes next week. It would only be needed in one or two places... One for a socket and the other for a light...

@FatAlan No, I'll most likely call them back in to do the other work. Where I wondered about leaving the extra cable in the void - that would be for a socket in the room below. But the wall has damp (and other) issues so I wouldn't want cable run in there until it has all been address. The plaster will most likely need to be removed... We'll see... But just seemed to make a lot more sense to get the wall sorted, and only then have the electrician chase in and add the socket
 
So...you have an electrician doing the work but just thought you would come to the forum to ask an electrician to answer some questions......doesnt your sparky answer questions then?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Firstly, one electrician is coming next week. Lots are on here. I like to get a few opinions.

But secondly and more importantly, there's a lot I need to discuss with the electrician, so it's helpful to get a few of those ticked off now...

Are my questions really that bad!??!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Fair enough.

When we first moved in to the house things looked different then, and so was our plan on what to do with it. Back then we had some electricians come and quote for work. Each one gave a completely different opinion on what to do; right from a few bits of remedial work for much less than a grand, up to a full rewire on the old part of the house for over £3k. So sometimes it is difficult to know who to trust!

I hate dentists so I never really go... But many many years ago toothache forced me to go. I got that tooth sorted, but whilst there the dentist said I needed 2 extractions and 6 fillings. I wouldn't have done it anyhow, but when I saw what it was going to cost I definitely wasn't going back. A couple or so years later... Another toothache. Same story but this time I needed 3 extractions, 10 fillings, and a small mortgage. So again I only got the toothache sorted. A few years after that... You've guessed it - another toothache. I went to get that sorted and cringed at what I'd be told. It was a different dentist. She removed the bad tooth and said that the only other work needed was one filling. I told her the story. She said dentistry is not an exact science :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
So often it is hard to judge until AFTER the work is done though.

But the guy we have coming seems decent enough and people speak highly of him. I'm also happy to admit that I like to get involved in things and not sit back and have it done. But I'll always go with what the electrician says can/can't be done.

I just came here to clarify a few of the things I wasn't sure about ahead of his visit...
 
S

Squid

Fair enough.

When we first moved in to the house things looked different then, and so was our plan on what to do with it. Back then we had some electricians come and quote for work. Each one gave a completely different opinion on what to do; right from a few bits of remedial work for much less than a grand, up to a full rewire on the old part of the house for over £3k. So sometimes it is difficult to know who to trust!

I hate dentists so I never really go... But many many years ago toothache forced me to go. I got that tooth sorted, but whilst there the dentist said I needed 2 extractions and 6 fillings. I wouldn't have done it anyhow, but when I saw what it was going to cost I definitely wasn't going back. A couple or so years later... Another toothache. Same story but this time I needed 3 extractions, 10 fillings, and a small mortgage. So again I only got the toothache sorted. A few years after that... You've guessed it - another toothache. I went to get that sorted and cringed at what I'd be told. It was a different dentist. She removed the bad tooth and said that the only other work needed was one filling. I told her the story. She said dentistry is not an exact science :)
Moral of the story dentists earn more than electricians.......
 

FatAlan

-
Trainee
Was offered a place a Guys Hospital dental school to be a dentist. Messed my A levels up as I spent too much time studying beer, girls and playing squash. In some ways I’m glad I haven’t spent 30 years looking in people’s mouths or though I suppose £70 for 10mins descaling May change ones view.
 
S

Squid

Was offered a place a Guys Hospital dental school to be a dentist. Messed my A levels up as I spent too much time studying beer, girls and playing squash. In some ways I’m glad I haven’t spent 30 years looking in people’s mouths or though I suppose £70 for 10mins descaling May change ones view.
Must be better than crawling through a loft with a fat gut and 1980's itchy insulation, you could have retired by now with perfect teeth to the Algarve.....
 
Was offered a place a Guys Hospital dental school to be a dentist. Messed my A levels up as I spent too much time studying beer, girls and playing squash. In some ways I’m glad I haven’t spent 30 years looking in people’s mouths or though I suppose £70 for 10mins descaling May change ones view.
Do you mind me asking if you are really a fat Alan?
 

Matthewd29

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Arms
Esteemed
Do the chasing in yourself it isn't hard but it is time consuming and will run up.yout bill just get the spark to mark the wall where he wants it cut, And leave the rest to him. Cheapest quote is very rarely best and don't compromise your safety to save a few quid!
 
Do the chasing in yourself it isn't hard but it is time consuming and will run up.yout bill just get the spark to mark the wall where he wants it cut, And leave the rest to him. Cheapest quote is very rarely best and don't compromise your safety to save a few quid!
What an excellent suggestion, and maybe the op might even pay the lucky spark who gets this job in magic beans.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #26
Very good Devonchris :)

Forgetting my OP for a moment, I am interested to know as electricians at what point you begin to think DIYers should down their tools and butt out? Like I asked a few posts ago, do you think DIYers should go no further than changing a light bulb? I'm not challenging that idea, I'm just curious.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
Will you be paying your electrician on a quotation basis or will he be on day rates? (day rates best for him in this instance)
I think the best option would be to do the whole job with him, working as his labourer/mate...
This way everything will be overseen by a qualified spark and you will also gain lots of knowledge along the way
 
Will you be paying your electrician on a quotation basis or will he be on day rates? (day rates best for him in this instance)
I think the best option would be to do the whole job with him, working as his labourer/mate...
This way everything will be overseen by a qualified spark and you will also gain lots of knowledge along the way
Charlie, firstly many congratulations on being the top poster of the month.

I personally wouldn't ever agree to a job where the customer wants to be my labourer.
 

FatAlan

-
Trainee
Charlie, firstly many congratulations on being the top poster of the month.

I personally wouldn't ever agree to a job where the customer wants to be my labourer.
I know what you’re saying Pete. You’d certainly not want to make it common practice. It raises the whole issue over mates and apprentices and how much time supervision detracts from you doing the job and the relative costs involved. In the long run if a DIY’er wants to assist it could cost them just as much if not more as you’d have to slow down in order to check the standard of work.
 
T

The Ghost

I can appreciate that, but where would you draw the line? Sounds like somewhere between changing a light bulb and changing a wall socket?
what point you begin to think DIYers should down their tools and butt out
Ok I'll bite. So the thing is we work within a statutory and regulation type framework. It is clear that only a person who is skilled and trained should be doing electrics from that framework. That excludes you doing electrical work. When I take on a job the responsibility for the safety of the building and persons around that installation becomes my sole responsibility. Hence I would not have you doing work on my installation. It is very much a matter of the constraints of the law and regulations this mindset comes from. Personally I take that responsibility seriously and as much as I can sympathise with your "...its only a couple of wires how difficult can it be?..." approach it is not quite so simple. As stated you are jeopardising yourself, future sale of your house and compromising your insurance. Leave it to the professionals is my advice when it comes to potentially onerous consequences. That way you deal with a set of problems that apparently the average diyer is oblivious to.
 

Charlie_

-
Arms
I have had my customers get involved many times..
If they want to do all the chasing out, drilling holes, sweeping up, pulling cables then brilliant, bring it on.
Better than a snotty nosed little kid that just wants to mess about with his phone.
Customer also gets to see how amazing we are and best of all endless supplies of food and drink
 
I have had my customers get involved many times..
If they want to do all the chasing out, drilling holes, sweeping up, pulling cables then brilliant, bring it on.
Better than a snotty nosed little kid that just wants to mess about with his phone.
Customer also gets to see how amazing we are and best of all endless supplies of food and drink
I feel bad disagreeing with the poster of the month, but I'm happy for the customer to insist on clearing up after me, but that's as far as it goes.

I had a guy last year called me and offered to work with me for free to gain some experience, apart from the fact he wouldn't learn much from me, as FatAlan mentioned, it just slows everything down, and it can take longer to do plus I don't want all the small talk (call me miserable).

Each to their own, but if a customer said they would be my labourer to save on the cost I wouldn't even quote for the job.
 
I also avoid jobs were the customer wants to be the labourer to save costs. Only things they could possibly do to help are make lots of brews, possibly clean up at end of the day and stay out of the way.
 

DPG

-
Arms
Esteemed
Patron
The guy who was on here the other day needing to sink an SWA from house to shed would have loved it if the customer had dug the trench through the chalk rock under the grass for him!
 
It is a difficult one & there is no one size fits all answer. I am more than happy to get the customer to help by doing chases, lifting floor boards etc. If fact even running cables & mounting back boxes, as long as everything is to regs & what I have asked, also I can see everything before anything is closed or buried.

I have cone across many situations when householders have had work done by trusted electricians & never received certificates or BC notification. They were none the wiser until they come to sell their house & as lay people why should they be, therefore 2 or 3 quotes off recommended electricians is always a good idea.
 
legally you can do everything if you notify it to the local building control (however they would want it all checked by someone with the qualifications so you're no better off cost wise)
if you don't want to notify, you can still do a lot - everything except new circuits, and alterations in bath/shower rooms (replacement is allowed) However even then, all work must effectively comply with the regs in order to be within the law. That would at a minimum include the correct testing on top of the actual installation work, even if no documentation needed.
Hope that's useful and objective enough...from one DIY to another.
 
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