JSHarris

Guaranteed to cause a row....

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On 16/07/2018 at 18:57, JSHarris said:

One rather nasty thing that was fitted to our old house when we bought it, was a single socket inside a cupboard in the bathroom, about 3m from Zone One. 

I believe sockets are allowed in a bathroom if over 3m from zone one but must be protected by an RCD. Just not sure if the RCD can be in the socket or if it had to be in the consumer unit. Try the electrician's forum?

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8 minutes ago, Temp said:

I believe sockets are allowed in a bathroom if over 3m from zone one but must be protected by an RCD. Just not sure if the RCD can be in the socket or if it had to be in the consumer unit. Try the electrician's forum?

 

 

It's allowed, I'm sure.  Apart from being more than 3m from Zone 1, it's also deep inside a cupboard, and I'm damned certain that the letter of the current regs says this is OK.  However, the problem is that there are a lot of people around who stick fervently to the older regs, where no outlet was allowed in a bathroom at all with some exceptions, like wired-in hairdriers, bath lifts etc (last bath lift I saw had an IEC connector on a curly lead that plugged into an IEC socket on the wall - not sure about that being OK right next to Zone 1...).

 

I've encountered some of the folks on the electricians forum - generally it seems that some don't take prisoners when it comes to competent "amateurs" doing electrical work.  We had one here for a while, who won't be forgotten in a hurry...

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19 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

I've encountered some of the folks on the electricians forum - generally it seems that some don't take prisoners when it comes to competent "amateurs" doing electrical work.  We had one here for a while, who won't be forgotten in a hurry...

You tried asking anywhere for DIY gas advice?

  • Haha 1

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Or plastering? The majority will say get an expert in! :)

  • Haha 3

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my current consumer unit (in the original house) is in a bathroom, housed in a cupboard within a cupboard.

 

Weird set up, but apparently within the regs.

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44 minutes ago, ProDave said:

You tried asking anywhere for DIY gas advice?

 

I can understand some of the gas fitters concerns, there are still a lot of gas explosions and fires caused by DIY work, and when it goes wrong with gas it goes wrong in a really big way.  I did ask advice on one of the gas forums about changing the main board in our boiler.  Legally doing this was fine, as it doesn't impact any of the gas stuff or even the safety cut out, flame detector etc, for good reasons they are all separate from the main electronics and direct acting.

 

The board change is a ten minute job, but as the same board is used across a range of boilers you need to programme it after installation by going to the second level diagnostics (which are included in the instructions left with the owner) and selecting a number.  The number for each model wasn't listed in the instructions, so I asked a simple question on a forum, explaining I was competent and knew how to do the job, but was after the number to set up a main board for an EcoTec 831.  I bloody near got my throat ripped out for just asking, but one more reasonably individual sent me the full list of Vaillant codes by PM.

 

39 minutes ago, Onoff said:

Or plastering? The majority will say get an expert in! :)

 

I'd say your the exception, rather than the rule, as most people I know that have tried plastering have given up and got a plasterer in, including me.  I'm dead impressed you did such a bloody good job as a first attempt, TBH, I very much doubt that there are many others that could have done that.

 

19 minutes ago, Tin Soldier said:

my current consumer unit (in the original house) is in a bathroom, housed in a cupboard within a cupboard.

 

Weird set up, but apparently within the regs.

 

Yes, it's probably within the regs by virtue of being protected by the double cupboard.  The problem with the regs when it comes to bathrooms is that they've gradually been relaxed a fair bit over the years, and we've got rid of a lot of the things that used to apply, simplified the zones etc, almost certainly because there are now relatively few electric shock deaths in the UK, plus we've improved basic shock protection by insisting on having RCDs on the CU.   A lot of older people (like me) remember when the regs for bathrooms were a heck of a lot tighter, so still have the mindset that says an outlet in a bathroom is wrong.

 

The only flaw with the RCD argument is that not many people bother to do the mandatory periodic testing, as stipulated on the label that should be fitted to an RCD protected CU.  RCDs do fail, and unless regularly tested there's no way to tell they've failed very often (although sometimes they do fail in the tripped position).

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Too much reliance on RCD protection imo especially as bonding requirements aren't imo what they used to be. 

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10 minutes ago, Onoff said:

Too much reliance on RCD protection imo especially as bonding requirements aren't imo what they used to be. 

 

I agree. I was a bit surprised at the relaxation on bonding when I read up on the 17th Ed, TBH, being an old 15th Ed person.  RCDs seem to being made right down to a price and there are indications that they can fail.  I've already had an RCBO that has failed, decent brand, too, and it failed so that it didn't trip when the test button was pressed.  In that case the RCBO is still working OK, as when I plugged in my tester it tripped within about 20ms, so the fault seems to be with the test button circuit itself.

 

I bet the vast majority of home owners never do the periodic tests on their RCDs, or have even bothered to read the label that says that should do these.

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1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

 

I agree. I was a bit surprised at the relaxation on bonding when I read up on the 17th Ed, TBH, being an old 15th Ed person.  RCDs seem to being made right down to a price and there are indications that they can fail.  I've already had an RCBO that has failed, decent brand, too, and it failed so that it didn't trip when the test button was pressed.  In that case the RCBO is still working OK, as when I plugged in my tester it tripped within about 20ms, so the fault seems to be with the test button circuit itself.

 

I bet the vast majority of home owners never do the periodic tests on their RCDs, or have even bothered to read the label that says that should do these.

 

I've never even heard of RCD testing and I can't find any label on my fuse board - how do I do it?

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12 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

 

I've never even heard of RCD testing and I can't find any label on my fuse board - how do I do it?

 

There'll be a little test button on the RCD that'll say "Test Monthly" etc. You press it and it should trip every circuit upstream of the RCD. Just because it trips by pressing the button doesn't mean it's safe but it's a reasonable indicator. As the trip is an electro mechanical assembly (coil imbalance picked up by a search coil triggers a solenoid type deal) pressing the button ensures the mechanism is less likely to gum up over time from being static.

 

Of course you will have to go round resetting all your clocks etc!

 

Different from an RCD tester which is a special bit of kit that basically  tests how fast the RCD works.

 

Nice explanation and little diagram picked at random:

 

https://www.electricalengineeringtoolbox.com/2016/01/how-residual-current-device-rcd-works.html?m=1

Edited by Onoff

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Where is this RCD supposed to be.  I can't see anything with a red button.

The board was fitted in 2000 and has a note on it (as described by @JSHarris) about checking the RCD but there is nothing between the meter and it or between it and where the cable disappears

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2 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

Where is this RCD supposed to be.  I can't see anything with a red button.

The board was fitted in 2000 and has a note on it (as described by @JSHarris) about checking the RCD but there is nothing between the meter and it or between it and where the cable disappears

 

Should be in the CU itself, look for a double width module(s) with a button marked "push to test" or similar.  When you push it the RCD should trip and turn off the power to anything fed from it.  Some newer CUs will have two RCDs, one for each half of the system, so if one trips on a fault the other half of the house still has power.

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Found it, sort of, I was looking for red for some reason and it's yellow

There are 2 but one covers the bathroom lights and one covers the underfloor heating.  Nothing else is protected.

20180718_130726_resized.thumb.jpg.8290dc14359679e865fb6e55509a51ed.jpg

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That's a pre-17th Ed of the regs CU that's had two RCBOs fitted for the additional circuits on the right, by the look of things.  Looks like the wiring has been modified post-installation and probably post-2008, when the 17th ed of the regs was introduced, as that introduced the requirement for RCD protection.

 

The abbreviations are:

 

RCD Residual Current Device - a device that detects if the current flowing in the line and neutral are out of balance, indicating that a fault current may be flowing to earth, and which switches off the circuit when this happens.  In practice this means that if there is a fault where part of appliance becomes accidentally live, due to a fault, then a very short time after someone gets an electric shock from it (typically 20 to 30ms, or thousandths of a second) the power will be cut so preventing electrocution.

 

RCBO is the same thing but with the addition of a miniature circuit breaker in the same unit, so it will trip both of an earth fault current or a current overload.

 

RCDs are also called GFIs (Ground Fault Interrupters) in some countries - same device, different name.

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so it's the wee yellow buttons you need to press to test them, yes

.

Edited by dpmiller

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@Hecateh, looks like your older board has been modded to add two RCBOs - the B6 and B20 on the far right with the yellow test buttons.

 

From the left you have the red isolator, that's just a switch. The red things are circuit breakers, a modern "fuse" if you like that should trip in the event of an over current or short circuit. The benefit being you can reset once the fault is fixed whereas a fuse would blow or need rewiring.

 

You do not have any RCDs per se in that board.

 

What you have is the two RCBOs, Residual Current Breakers with Overload. These combine the attributes of a circuit breaker with that of an RCD. 

 

They're good in that they protect just that circuit. If there's a fault then only that circuit is affected. In a perfect world every circuit would be on it's own RCBO. No excuse not to on a new build tbh.

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Yes the 2 on the right were fitted later, about 2010 if I remember rightly, One is the fan and lighting for the bathroom and the second is the electric UFH in there.  

 

The house had a total rewire in 2000 when I moved in because there were still brown bakelite light switches and round pin sockets lol (and only one of them in each room)

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