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Wiring and Building Regulations - what is Part P?

Electrical work in domestic buildings is governed by the Wiring Regulations (BS7671) and the building regulations. The building regulation particularly relevant to electrical work is Part P, Electrical Safety. Part P gives standards for work and also makes it a requirement that work is properly tested, certified and notified to building control.  

The homeowner is responsible for ensuring any work is properly tested, certified and notified to building control. The easiest (and cheapest) way to do this is to use an electrician (such as Beechings Electrical) who is a member of a “Competent Persons Scheme” such as ELECSA, NAPIT or NICEIC. They will issue you with the relevant certificate and notify building control on your behalf.

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Old Fuse Boxes - are they illegal?

The quick answer is no, there is no automatic requirement to replace an old, rewireable fuse box!

However, these boards do not meet the latest wiring regulations and lack RCDs so the system is not as safe as it could be. Also, if changes or additions are needed to the installation then the regulations may demand improved protection before the work is done. This may mean the easiest options is to upgrade the fuse box. In this case your electrician should explain the options to you.

Earthing and Bonding - why the extra cost?

Earthing is used to protect you from an electric shock. It provides a path for any fault current to flow to earth, causing the protective devices (fuses, MCBs or RCDs) to switch off the supply to that circuit. Without earthing the fault current could flow through you, causing a fatal electric shock.

Bonding reduces the potential voltage between conductive parts of an installation. This again reduces the risk of an electric shock to anyone touching two separate metal parts.

Because the safety of any new work relies on proper earthing and bonding these must be checked (and, if necessary, improved) before work starts. Unfortunately this can add extra work and cost to simple jobs but it is for good safety reasons!

Electrical Safety Register

Competent Persons Register

ELECSA

Electricity Safety Council

Building Regulations

Part P