Electrical report queries

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    Electrical report queries

    I've just had two reports done on a pair of adjoining properties which are fifteen years old. They say the distribution boards are not fire rated as the boxes should be metal (post Grenfell recommendation). Quote for replacement is £450 each. They say the hard wired smoke detectors require replacement. Quote is £250 each. In addition they say circuits 1-5 are not RCD protected however no quote is provided for any work re this. Any thoughts on this please? I certainly don't think I'll be having the fuse boxes changed and I can buy four battery operated alarms from B&Q but it's the unprotected RCD circuits I'm concerned about. I don't think it's a legal requirement for rental properties?

    #2
    You give an electrician carte blanche to look for work to do in your property, and what do you expect to happen? He'll try to convince you that it needs updating to 2019 rules.

    (It doesn't.)

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      #3
      Thanks JKO. A previous tenant in one of them wanted to have the tv on a different wall in the sitting room. Without reference to me they drilled through the wall into the understairs cupboard and then through the cupboard wall backing onto the kitchen to plug the tv (using connector sockets) into one of the kitchen sockets. The new tenant asked if it was safe hence me getting an electrician in. Their estimate for putting two double sockets in for the tv is £70 which I'm happy with. I'm not going to fall for the other stuff apart from maybe the RDA protection. I'm not an expert on electrics but from what I've read it protects against electric shocks. I'm wondering whether just to leave that too?

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        #4
        I bet he'll say you need a new consumer unit to accomodate an RCD.

        I find it hard to see how anyone manages to shock themselves nowadays unless they stick their fingers in light sockets or have worn cords on appliances.

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          #5
          Thank you. The company are going to be disappointed. The total amount they quoted for both houses was £1630.

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            #6
            As a landlord you are responsible for the safety assessment. If your electrician mentions a fire risk and Grenfell in the same sentence I would be thinking very carefully about covering myself . Likewise with the hard-wired smoke detectors - how old are they, did he test them, are they legal? In respect of the RCD issue, in the past I believe you needed one designated socket for use of electrical equipment outdoors and the tenant should be advised accordingly. If the properties are only 15 years old maybe the electrics aren't in need of update immediately and the electrician is just noting the RCD position for clarification.

            I used to use an electrician who was NICEIC registered and he completed a 9 page report which said the electrics were either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If you intend to let the property and someone asks for the electrical report how can you show them one with an unsatisfactory rating or one where recommended works need to be done?


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              #7
              The report should prioritise issues. If you have any priority one issues, the council could block any evictions and insist you fix them.

              Fire detector heads should be replaced every ten years.

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                #8
                There are no C1 issues. They classed the lack of RCD protection as C2 - potentially dangerous. Distribution board and smoke alarm replacements as C3 - improvement recommended. Strangely the TV wiring having been described as unsafe was classed as C3 rather than C2. No matter though as the work to make it safe will be done next week.

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                  #9
                  More info on electrical reports
                  https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.or...-4-issue-4.pdf

                  I use the Aico 3000 range of detectors, these easily replace existing wired detectors and may be a straight swap for the ones you have installed

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                    #10
                    Many thanks for that. Update on my last post. Im unhappy with the company as I have discovered the hard wired intruder alarms have burnt out and he made no mention of them in his report. Also under "current using equipment" he's ticked No to indicate no fire safety hazards.

                    He had done the check on the tenanted property next door first and I then let him into the empty one. He said they would both need new batteries as the alarm next door had sounded when he switched the power off.

                    I said I'd get them serviced and he said there was no need as there was nothing to go wrong other than the batteries wearing down. I left him in the empty property so don't know if he looked at the alarm box but the tenant next door said he hadn't gone into the downstairs wc where the alarm box is.

                    I decided to get them serviced and the engineer disconnected them immediately as there was evidence in the boxes of them having burnt out.

                    In section D- Extent and limitations Inspection & Testing it says the extent of the installation inspection was Full. Re Limitations it said approx 30% of
                    Accessories checked.

                    I'm pretty sure the electrician should have looked inside the boxes and identified the damage. Please can you can let me know what you think? If I am right I think I have paid good money for reports that aren't worth the paper they are written on.

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                      #11
                      Looked inside the alarm boxes?

                      They don't even look inside socket boxes.

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                        #12
                        I do a sample dismantling of items- checking EVERY item can introduce faults as you can take a socket off and catch a cable on a screw when putting it back.

                        I do check all smoke alarms but not burglar alarms as these should have a maintenance contract (I usually check the supply to an intruder alarm)

                        If I find something untoward then I will look at a particular part of a circuit a bit more

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                          #13
                          Many thanks for the clarification. The reports are therefore valid but I'm unhappy with the bad advice he gave me by saying they didn't need servicing just new batteries. I don't think I'll be using that company again.

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                            #14
                            To be fair, sounds like you have engaged him to do a fixed wiring check, this wouldn't cover any intruder alarm or associated equipment.
                            As baldelectrician states, he should test the wiring and accessories to the supply point, but not the equipment itself

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