Retrospective Application of BS7671 (Wiring Regulations) ?

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    Retrospective Application of BS7671 (Wiring Regulations) ?

    I have a tenanted flat in Scotland. The property is about 20 years old and part of a fairly large development. The wiring passed the EICR at its last application 5 years ago, but has recently been given a fail because the consumer unit doesn't meet the latest version of BS7671 (18th Edition) (Condition of enclosure in terms of IP and fire ratings - C2). I understand that the new Edition of BS7671 has come into force since the previous inspection, but find it hard to believe that retrospective action to replace the consumer unit with one to the latest spec is (at a not inconsiderable cost) needed to gain an EICR pass this time around. Should I challenge the inspection result ? Any comments welcome...

    #2
    It depends on the person carrying out the inspection - because they are correct that the unit is not to the current specification, but they exercise their judgement in noting the severity of the issue.
    Many electricians would record that as a C3 issue, which is non-compliant but a possible improvement rather than something requiring a correction.

    My own would normally do that, but, on one occassion pointed out that the other work they would need to do made it a simple (and cheaper) job if done at the same time and in another case that the unit wasn't just non-compliant it was, in their view, badly installed and that they wanted to change it.

    Note that I'm not in Scotland, so it's possible the rules are different.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      Thanks jpkeates, I share your view and fear that I'm being taken for bit of a ride for a lot of expensive work that isn't strictly necessary. The unit was installed iaw the standards in place at the time, is in good condition and has not been modified since installation. There are no other problems with the system. I agree that a C3 would be more appropriate, but I'm not sure if that's negotiable now.

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        #4
        I recommend you google electrical safety council best practice guide number 4 , issue 5

        a plastic fuseboard can only be coded as a C3

        if they disagree with you, ask them for the regulation number to back up their coding

        FYIW I am totally fed up with the I d I o t s that write such awful regulations

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          #5
          I tested a flat today and it failed due to IP issues (as well as a host of other stuff)

          In simple terms any hole on the top of a consumer unit should not allow a 1mm wire to get in and other parts are different.
          See the YouTube video below

          The good news is that the IP problem can go away by filling holes with silicone sealant (not allowing it to go inside the unit over things obviously)

          As far as the unit being plastic - this is a C3 (does not meet current standards but meets previous ones), this assumes things inside are OK and there is no evidence of burning etc.

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            #6
            Thanks for your comments / advice - I will certainly be challenging the report, with a bit more confidence now.

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