does the landlord need to earth the property?

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  • does the landlord need to earth the property?

    hi, i have recently found out that the electrical wiring throughout my rented property is unearthed. does the landlord have a legal obligation to earth it? is it safe without being earthed? thankyou for your time

  • #2
    Very, very unlikely the property is unearthed, might be that the wiring is contained in old-fashioned copper tubes which proved the earthing.

    Highly dangerous not to have earthing, the electricity company would not have installed a meter if the property not earthed!!!

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    • #3
      Agree with Attilla - what exactly do you mean by 'earth'? Are we talking no circuit protective conductors, no supplementary bonding, no main earth bonding or something else - all of which are very different and typically described as 'earth' by laymen...)

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      • #4
        ive spoke to the electrician and he said its all the lighting that isnt earthed, and the gas system. is this still serious?

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        • #5
          Probably means the boiler and gas meter need crossbonding. Not serious but best get it done at some point.

          Lighting not earthed? I don't believe it, although having said that I've put up lamps that have only had live and neutral wires in the past. The actual installation will be earthed.

          What does your electrician mean about all lighting not earthed?

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          • #6
            Ha! 20 or more years ago, if you had connected any form of earth wire to a gas pipe, you would have been "hung drawn and quartered" as it was totally contrary to gas board regulations! It is only within the last 20 or 30 years that electrical regulations have required everything to have an earth connection available, including lighting circuits. In older installations than this (including mine) there is no provision for earthing the lighting circuits. I suppose it isn't quite as safe as it would be if it was re-wired to modern standards, but it doesn't worry me as all my lighting fittings are plastic.

            P.P.
            Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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            • #7
              As long as you're not fixing to stick your fingers into a light socket I suppose it does no harm!!!!!

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              • #8
                its an old fuse box, it doesnt have trip switches. but the actual lighting thru-out isnt earthed according to the electrician. he said the floor boards would need lifted upstairs to rewire the lights for downstairs. he also said the gas pipes and the water pipes arent bonded. but the landlord found out today that he doesnt need a safety electrical certificate to let the property so hes not going to do the work.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
                  Ha! 20 or more years ago, if you had connected any form of earth wire to a gas pipe, you would have been "hung drawn and quartered" as it was totally contrary to gas board regulations! It is only within the last 20 or 30 years that electrical regulations have required everything to have an earth connection available, including lighting circuits. In older installations than this (including mine) there is no provision for earthing the lighting circuits. I suppose it isn't quite as safe as it would be if it was re-wired to modern standards, but it doesn't worry me as all my lighting fittings are plastic.
                  Yes - I think it's reasonable to distinguish between electrical installations which are simply not up to modern regulations (as this appears to be) and those which are downright dangerous eg due to deterioration of old rubber insulation. That said, putting the water and gas pipe bonding right is hardly a massive jon (providing they are close to the electric meter).

                  By the way PP - even now bonding has to be applied to the house side of the gas meter - which contains insulation/isolation gizmos - to prevent the 'street' side of the gas pipe ever becoming live in a fault situation!

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                  • #10
                    What standard of electrical installation is sufficient for letting in your opinion. Are fuse boxes still acceptable? Is there a minimum standard?
                    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                    • #11
                      This is an extremely difficult question to answer. A landlord is only required in law to be satisfied that an electrical installation is safe. Now the obvious thing is to ask an appropriately certificated electrician. Of course they are slightly biassed as they may well want some work and have the excuse that an installation that is in fact perfectly safe does not comply with the latest regulations thus work is required! I can counter this by stating that in one of my properties, wired to the latest regulations, my tenant's children received a shock from the kitchen sink - because the tenant's washing machine was faulty!
                      My house was wired up in 1955. I have replaced tons of rubber insulated cable - all in perfect condition - but the lighting circuits are not earthed, nor is the earthing bonded. As there were no plastic water pipes in those days (and my house still contains none) there is no need for any bonding - but try and tell that to a modern electrician! The only bonding I have done is to fit a lead across the water meter when I put it in as per water board instructions, but I am not convinced that it was totally necessary.

                      As a landlord, I am somewhat more careful because one always has to think of the judge. If it is safe then one should get no problems, but if you are not sure, or don't know, then the opinion of an appropriately qualified electrician is your only answer. In my case, my tenant's faulty washing machine cost me £40 for an electrician to confirm that all in the kitchen was in order - by this time the tenant had removed his faulty machine.

                      P.P.
                      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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                      • #12
                        I have two properties that had no earth wires in the lighting. Only a real problem if you intend to fit any kind of metal light fitting.

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                        • #13
                          It is more common than you may imagine for an domestic installation to have no incoming earthing conductor. I have come accross it on a number of occasions in the past year.

                          If the lighting circuit has no CPC (earth) then it was probably installed before 1966 as that is when the requirement for earthing came in.

                          The installation seems to be in a poor condition and you should ask the landlord to get a Periodic Inspection Report done on the electrical installation.

                          Any lack of Main Equipotential Bonding would result in the report concluding the installation was in an unsatisfactory condition (you would say it failed the inspection).

                          Any circuits that had no CPC (earth wire) in would also be reason for an unsatisfactory report if any of the fittings or accessories (including light switches) were metallic. Even if none of them were the report would have to list this as work that needs doing.

                          In short you should press your landlord to get a PIR done as you have very good grounds for suspecting that the electrical installation is unsafe.

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