Discuss Who does what? How to get the DNO to correct old works. in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

Stevesplatto

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Hi
To explain:
Victorian house split into 3 flats
Supplied via single ph service head in the hall then straight into 2 x 3way service connectors, cant see the cable, service connector is right up agaist the service head,
From the service connectors is one 16m single insulated tail going to a BS1361 then a meter for downstairs (another story)
The other 2 tails are cloth covered VIR I assume 16mm each pair goes upstairs inside 2 steel/earthed conduits (earthed eaxhend using BS951s) into 2 x meters and then into an old wylex fuseboard and a 16th edition all RCBO CU.
Distance between the service fuse and the meter is over 5 metres. The tails are strained agaist the edge of the steel conduit, dontreally want to disturb it too muc!)
Questions:
I'm assuming that cabling to the service fuse is the DNOs responsibility and from the service fuse to the meter is the supply companies?
The cable to the meter is well over the DNOs 3m rule and the cable is in poor condition and not double insulated. Who is responsible for rectifying that?
Should the Meter supply company move the meters?
Is using a service connector to split the sp incomer into 3 legal?
The supply cant be more than 100a so not an adequate supply for all 3 flats. So are the DNO obliged to install 3 x incomers (split 3ph maybe)
I'm not sure how to deal with the DNO and meter company, getting them to agree to put right this very old system I think will be a nightmare. Any suggestions?
 
T

The Ghost

Just ask the DNO for a site visit and take it from there. See what they say/offer. Bring to their attention your concerns and get back on here if you are not happy. Normally the meters will not be touched by the DNO that is the energy suppliers remit.
 

snowhead

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What was acceptable and common practice for DNO's years ago, is not always now.
Just as BS 7671 changes, so do the DNO standards.

If the DNO consider what's there is safe then someone will have to pay for alterations.

I thought the 3mtr rule is Meter to C.U, not Head to meter, but in any case wouldn't have applied when VIR was used.

As above tho' get the DNO in to look.
 
OP
S

Stevesplatto

Regular EF Member
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133
Location
West London
Thanks for your responses.
i'm dreading getting the DNO and meter companies (could be more than one) synchronised! I'll let you know how I get on.
Best
Steve
 

Cid

Regular EF Member
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London
Unless there is physical damage to the cables or its fixings since the installation then it is unlikely they will be interested especially given that the problem was created by the conversion of the property. I don't know the history behind the conversion but the problem lies there.
 

l4urence

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East Sussex
Please let us all know how you get on with coordinating this mess! Interesting thread.
 
OP
S

Stevesplatto

Regular EF Member
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133
Location
West London
What was acceptable and common practice for DNO's years ago, is not always now.
Just as BS 7671 changes, so do the DNO standards.

If the DNO consider what's there is safe then someone will have to pay for alterations.

I thought the 3mtr rule is Meter to C.U, not Head to meter, but in any case wouldn't have applied when VIR was used.

As above tho' get the DNO in to look.
This is from Meter Readers Association:
The meter tails should be as short as possible. Different metering companies have different policies but the length should always be less than 3 metres of cable from the cut-out through the metering equipment to the consumer unit. A example may be 1m of cable from the cut-out to the meter, then 1.5m from the meter to the consumer unit. The meter tail cable size must be consistent. BS7671 Reg. 434.2.1 gives some guidance. If the consumer unit is required to be further away, then a switch-fuse unit should be installed close to the meter and a sub-main compliant with BS7671.
 

DefyG

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Different metering companies have different policies but the length should always be less than 3 metres of cable from the cut-out through the metering equipment to the consumer unit. A example may be 1m of cable from the cut-out to the meter, then 1.5m from the meter to the consumer unit.
Think most electricians work on the basis that the consumers 'meter tails' are max 3m in length.

I suspect the meter has been moved previously (probably unauthorised) to its current position.
You will probably have to apply for a metered supply for each flat and the DNO will then advise what needs to be done and costs (payable by yourself/developer) to do so. Individual meter boxes will keep the meter within limits!
 

driverman

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I would just ask the DNO company to survey the property. You needn't worry at this stage about the supplier. More than likely the DNO will state that the existing service cable was suitable for use at time of installation way back when its was one dwelling. All depends on who did the alterations over the years. Are the additional meters owned by any supplier? Or could they be private Landlords meters?
 
OP
S

Stevesplatto

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West London
I would just ask the DNO company to survey the property. You needn't worry at this stage about the supplier. More than likely the DNO will state that the existing service cable was suitable for use at time of installation way back when its was one dwelling. All depends on who did the alterations over the years. Are the additional meters owned by any supplier? Or could they be private Landlords meters?
I think the service cable is good but not 3 phase so 100a split between 3 households! The tails are 5m+ between the service fuse and the meter upstairs. I take it that is the DNOs responsibiity. In my mind it was never fit for purpose. See what the survey says.
 

driverman

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I think the service cable is good but not 3 phase so 100a split between 3 households! The tails are 5m+ between the service fuse and the meter upstairs. I take it that is the DNOs responsibility. In my mind it was never fit for purpose. See what the survey says.
Who owns the meter upstairs? Many lager type houses get converted into separate flats by developers/ landlords. It's not the DNO's responsibility, especially (as usually the case) if not informed of any changes to the property or increase in load.
 
OP
S

Stevesplatto

Regular EF Member
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Location
West London
Who owns the meter upstairs? Many lager type houses get converted into separate flats by developers/ landlords. It's not the DNO's responsibility, especially (as usually the case) if not informed of any changes to the property or increase in load.
They definitely arent the original meters! Difficult to tell who originally fitted them but surely the meter providers who fitted them have to ensure they comply?
 

driverman

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They definitely arent the original meters! Difficult to tell who originally fitted them but surely the meter providers who fitted them have to ensure they comply?
RE meters: Look on the actual meter, in the past, there use to be a nameplate behind the glass. No doubt, there will be some sort of identification mark and serial numbers stamped somewhere on the meters. Like every industry, what was done years ago, may not comply today with today's standards. For instance in a block of flats, DNO's like all the meters to each and every flat to be in one central position on the ground floor, that is accessible to everyone.
 

DefyG

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Location
South East
I'm assuming that cabling to the service fuse is the DNOs responsibility and from the service fuse to the meter is the supply companies?
The cable to the meter is well over the DNOs 3m rule and the cable is in poor condition and not double insulated. Who is responsible for rectifying that?
Should the Meter supply company move the meters?
Is using a service connector to split the sp incomer into 3 legal?
The supply cant be more than 100a so not an adequate supply for all 3 flats. So are the DNO obliged (No they'll do it for a fee!)to install 3 x incomers (split 3ph maybe)
I'm not sure how to deal with the DNO and meter company, getting them to agree to put right this very old system I think will be a nightmare. Any suggestions?

If I installed a circuit for you 25-30 years ago to the 16th edition, would you expect me to correct it to the 18th edition at my expense just because it doesn't comply now?

That's what it seems you are expecting the DNO / Electrical Supplier to do! It ain't gonna happen!
 

UKPN

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Location
London
If I installed a circuit for you 25-30 years ago to the 16th edition, would you expect me to correct it to the 18th edition at my expense just because it doesn't comply now?

That's what it seems you are expecting the DNO / Electrical Supplier to do! It ain't gonna happen!
If there is one single phase service, it would have fed one property. The company have no control over amateur extensions, and our poster should think very carefully what kind of cost he is letting himself/his client in for. All this talk of various editions of non mandatory guide books is not helpful, quite frankly. As regards the service, unless it shows signs of overloading its no different to millions of others which are in use. Just because someone "thinks" its not up to standard is no reason for change.
 

UKPN

Active EF Member
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Location
London
If I installed a circuit for you 25-30 years ago to the 16th edition, would you expect me to correct it to the 18th edition at my expense just because it doesn't comply now?

That's what it seems you are expecting the DNO / Electrical Supplier to do! It ain't gonna happen!
 
Last edited:

davesparks

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If I installed a circuit for you 25-30 years ago to the 16th edition, would you expect me to correct it to the 18th edition at my expense just because it doesn't comply now?

That's what it seems you are expecting the DNO / Electrical Supplier to do! It ain't gonna happen!
No because you wouldn't be the owner of whatever you installed or be responsible for its upkeep. The person who you did the work for would be responsible for its upkeep.

The DNO's however do own the equipment installed by them or the electricity boards they replaced and are responsible for the upkeep of this equipment. It's a completely different scenario.
 

Cid

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Location
London
No because you wouldn't be the owner of whatever you installed or be responsible for its upkeep. The person who you did the work for would be responsible for its upkeep.

The DNO's however do own the equipment installed by them or the electricity boards they replaced and are responsible for the upkeep of this equipment. It's a completely different scenario.
This doesn't look like the work of the DNO. They may have installed the meter at a later date but, presumably, rest of the installation would have been done by the builders when they did the conversion.
 

davesparks

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This doesn't look like the work of the DNO. They may have installed the meter at a later date but, presumably, rest of the installation would have been done by the builders when they did the conversion.
I thought it was VIR tails in steel conduit with the conduit being the earth? This was a normal method for the electricity boards in the days when VIR was in common use.
 

DefyG

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I thought it was VIR tails in steel conduit with the conduit being the earth? This was a normal method for the electricity boards in the days when VIR was in common use.
It could have been done by the electricity board or another contractor at the time, we'll never know!
The point is the OP seems to be under the impression the DNO will correct this just because it doesn't comply now, perhaps some 30years on.
I agree with davesparks, the equipment will be maintained by the suppliers but they will not undertake the alterations FOC the OP wants for his 3 flats.
 

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