View Full Version : Electrics and the law

7th Apr 2006, 19:20
I want to replace five ceiling lights. In view of recent legislation, do I have to call in a qualified electrician? The job is not beyond my capabilities. Pprune expert advice needed.

green granite
7th Apr 2006, 19:32
technically yes; pratically who's to know :ok:

Onan the Clumsy
7th Apr 2006, 19:38
What a joke :(

I love living in America. :ok:

7th Apr 2006, 19:39
Pprune expert advice needed.

In JetBlast?


7th Apr 2006, 19:40
Ummm...I'm not sure. There is a requirement for professional electricians to do new wiring, wiring outdoors, wiring in bathrooms and kitchens, but I don't think that replacing existing light fittings would be a problem.

But, as a previous poster said - who's to know? I notice that B&Q is still full of electrical trade fittings.....


Evening Star
7th Apr 2006, 19:45
As I understand it, and it is past hometime so cannot pop along to the office of my Building Control expert colleague, Ripline is right.:ok:

Edit to say that the answer is here (http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1130907), and specifically "You do not need to tell your local authority's Building Control Department about ... replacements ... or extra ... lighting points ... (except in a kitchen or bathroom, or outdoors)."

So there you have it.

7th Apr 2006, 19:52
Replacing ceiling roses is not notifiable.

You can find a fact sheet here:



Paul Wilson
7th Apr 2006, 19:54
Absolutly no requirement for you to call in a sparks to replace existing fittings.

They will blather on about what the law says and what you should do, but the only place you really have to worry is the bathroom and kitchen, where you can only replace existing fittings - in the rest of the house you can replace fittings, switches, install a new spur to a ring main (but not a new ring main) and replace like with like on ring mains.

Part P is being dressed up by a lot of Sparkies as "We must do everything" infact very little has changed - as most sensible people would anyway stop short of installing a new spur - let alone a new ring main

7th Apr 2006, 20:51

Check with you’re the folks that insure your home.

Story: Had a friend awhile back did the very thing you’ve written about. Pretty straightforward (or so they thought)… Small fire later, insurance company and fire dept discover, not installed by qualified professional. Ergo no payment required on claim. Happy ending, yes… no loss of life. Be careful.


7th Apr 2006, 21:22
Search for a thread by Mad Jock a while ago, went on to some length on the subject


7th Apr 2006, 21:31
You CAN do serious work yourself (such as new ring-mains), but it has to be certified by a qualified sparks (who won't do it because HE didn't do the work). Alternatively you can get the 'official' Council blokies to inspect it and certify it (but it'll cost yer M8!).

At least that's how I understand the new regulations.

Paul Wilson
7th Apr 2006, 21:35
That's how I understand it too, G-CPTN, all sparked off :hmm: by an MP's daughter getting fried in a dodgy electric shower in a rented place - allegedly

8th Apr 2006, 00:14
The law came into force in Jan '05 I believe; do whatever you want, who can prove it was performed after Jan '05? Are the numpties going to stake out the electrical counter in B+Q?

edit: I discussed this very issue yesterday with a qualified Spark (who is also a close friend); he reckons he cannot certify the work, and you have to pay £50 for an official council Numpty to visit the premises...

8th Apr 2006, 03:34
Pprune always comes up with the goods. Thanks to you all.

8th Apr 2006, 08:14
Well I replaced a ring main, doubling the amount of sockets available.
I bought everything I needed from Wickes, installed everything without a trace of a qualified sparky near me and its all OK.

The council is oblivious to what I have done, no-one else apart from my family knows and thats that.

Stuff forking out my hard earned readies to some council busybody to tell me if i've done good or not.

If you have the savvy to do it..go ahead.
Its just yet another tax in disguise much the same as the replacement windows regulations.

8th Apr 2006, 09:48
I would rather do the job myself than have some smoking, tea swilling guy with workmans bum come round to make a worse job than I would do, and to have to pay him as well. If you know what you're doing and you're not colour blind, do it yourself. :ok:

8th Apr 2006, 19:23
the replacement windows regulations.
WTF is that one? :eek:

8th Apr 2006, 19:34
Replacement windows regulations.

'With effect from 1st April 2002, the installation of a replacement window, roof light, roof window or specified type of glazed door must either have Building Regulations approval or be carried out (and certified) by an installer registered with the Glass and Glazing Federation'.

Next door neighbour (who is a very good DIYer) started installing his own double glazined window units last year but then had to pay someone else (who was certified) to finish them off, it was either that or get retrospective building regs approval. Having seen the standards of the two sets of work his own stuff was far better.

8th Apr 2006, 20:09
Define 'replacement' . . .
Does like-for-like qualify for replacement, or are they talking about those plastic thingies?

8th Apr 2006, 21:04
The council is oblivious to what I have done, no-one else apart from my family knows and thats that.
And of course you used 'old' wire ??

As you probably don't know, all cable is now identified with manufacturing dates. Any problems, pull the wiring and ask for the name of the electrician / Company who issued the Cert.

Otherwise of course "they" would never know, would they ?

Story: Had a friend awhile back did the very thing you’ve written about. Pretty straightforward (or so they thought)… Small fire later, insurance company and fire dept discover, not installed by qualified professional. Ergo no payment required on claim. Happy ending, yes… no loss of life. Be careful.
Wise words that all on here should stop and read.

8th Apr 2006, 22:13
I'm not 'qualified', but I've had 40-odd years of experience (after an apprenticeship under my father - also unqualified - for 10 years). I've completed several major projects (without comebacks, though I HAVE uncovered shoddy-workmanship by professionals). I believe that my standards of safety and choice of materials and methods are equal or superior to many professionals. I shall continue (where necessary) to effect my own repairs. With luck nobody will know.

8th Apr 2006, 22:29

'Building Regulations approval is NOT usually necessary for repair work such as replacement glazing or replacing rotten frame members and even if it is necessary, exemption can still be gained if the work is carried out by an "approved installer" who is a member of FENSA ("Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme"). This is a scheme that has been approved by the Secretary of State to monitor the quality of installers' work.'

I'm not and expert but it sounds as if you are replacing 'like with like' (or just replacing the glass) you would be ok, but the 'plastic thingies' would count as needing approval.

8th Apr 2006, 22:41
I'm replacing the sash-box of an ancient window that has previously had the sashes refurbished. The company manufacturing the box are using the original as a template, and are using best quality well-seasoned and pressure-treated timber. I will, however be refitting the sash-box (and sashes) myself (using lime-mortar to match the existing mortar). The property dates back to 1730, though the age of the decayed timber is uncertain. Some panes of glass (though not in THIS window) are signed using a diamond with a signature that can be traced to 1760-80). We've declined offers from professionals to do repairs proclaiming that they've 'got plenty of glass if it gets broken . . . ' :{

8th Apr 2006, 22:58
Astro, I'm not sure that (the product dates) would be a problem as such - if I remember correctly one is okay to complete an installation which commenced prior to Jan 05 so could therefore justify using recent materials. I commenced the electrical installations here when I moved in 10yrs ago!

When I looked into the situation about 6 months ago the whole thing seemed fatally flawed. One of the regulations was quoted (ISO...) as being effectively a prerequisites for Part P, however on examining the particulars revealed (from the details given on the IEE website of the same) that study of this regulation would not confer any “qualification” as such. Effectively we were being told that we should have covered / studied the relevant ISO course (to work on installations) but that even if we had it would not carry any actual authority.

Fuji :ok:

9th Apr 2006, 06:48
In your case G-CPTN there would appear to be no problem as you are not removing the actual casings and reading your posts I would assume that you have the type of home that is either listed or would have someone breathing down your neck if you altered its appearance.
For the rest of us who wish to remove rotting timber framed windows I am afraid there is no like for like replacement.
Unless the original frame stays in in which case you are allowed to replace the glass or a sash etc, the whole window has to be replaced with an approved type which conforms to energy saving standards, ie, uPVC Double Glazing.
If you fit it yourself, you need council approval for installation and type which costs naturally.
If you get an approved installer to do the work, you dont need prior approval however the cost or council fee will be factored in to your quote so the councils win both ways.
Sucks don't it.:confused:

9th Apr 2006, 06:54
You're right, the property is listed. It's great fun waiting for PVC-window suppliers who ring-up go through their spiel and when they say 'are you interested?' ask whether their products are approved for listed buildings. This throws them into confusion, as they STILL want to make a sale . . .
It's THEIR time and THEIR money paying for the call, and I've got all day to play . . . :E :ok:

Evening Star
10th Apr 2006, 15:48
official council Numpty

Actually, that is slightly unfair as I do teach hard sums to the people doing the building control options at the Ivory Tower and a good proportion of those taking the course come from a trade background before deciding to get a degree. As a result they are invariably thoroughly 'grounded' characters with a lot of practical experience and a realistic outlook on life. Numpties they are most certainly not.:ok:

Now, if you were asking me about the well intentioned but clueless planners...:hmm: