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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 794
Likes: 3
wa2ise Offline OP
video tour of badly wired house in the UK

Think there's more violations than correct methods here...

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Thanks for posting this.
That "work" is so non-compliant and dangerous, if the supplying authority saw that video, they would disconnect that installation, because it being so unsafe, pending an inspection before the supply is reconnected.
I would seriously doubt that a qualified electrician did any of this work and it screams of a homeowner or renter doing some DIY "improvements".
Having things like seals removed from fuses in the main incoming feed and the meter terminals suggests that the person that did this had no clue as to the legalities of breaking such seals.

Irregardless of the bare live connections, there is no way the feed to that consumer unit should come from that set of fuses and it should be fed from the main incoming box.
I also would have thought that 16mm² 2C+E would have been the minimum size of conductor, unless this is one of a couple of consumer units in the house?

I remember back in the day that Pauluk said that anyone in the UK can call themselves an electrician and that is why he got out of the trade when he did, I mean having to compete with clowns like this, you're in a no-win situation.
The ball got dropped when electrical inspections were no longer required for a significant change to an electrical installation and you end up with things like this happening.

Things like poor terminations (not using all of the conductor material), earth conductors being disconnected because there is an earth fault somewhere, no equi-potential bonding of water and gas pipes, no RCD protection, make this whole thing so dangerous, I doubt there was any testing done before it was finally livened.

Finally a question, am I right in saying there should be a link between the earth and neutral bars in that consumer unit?

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
Even as a foreigner , one can view the vid with sound off, and simply watch this UK sparks facial expressions pointing out all the 'rats nest' installs , and 'get' it's not up to snuff......~S~

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 48
Well, having watched the video and having been an electrician in the UK for, shall we say, a very long time, I can tell you I have seen some awful stuff here. That particular "installation" is exceptionally bad, but, not uncommon.
Sad to say Trumpy, since privatisation, things are not looked into like they used to be. The DNO are only interested in the supply up to the cut-out. What happens after that point, i.e. meter and tails, belongs to the energy provider. The people they employ to fit meters and connect these to consumer's equipment, in my experience have very limited skills. They obviously have only been on a course to show them how to do this one job. I have had experience of them turning up to connect a new consumer unit, only to walk away, when they discover it is a 3 phase supply. The reason - they are only qualified to connect single phase - now work that one out!! Therefore, unless something is glaringly obvious, these people do not have the knowledge or experience to pick up and do anything about these things.
I am not going to pick up on any of the faults in that video, as I think any qualified person can see these quite easily. What I will say though, is that the government's attempt to sort this and prevent such "work" (if you can call it that) seems very flawed. They did bring in "Part P" of the building regulations, which means you have to be registered to do certain work in domestic ( yes it only applies to domestic , HSE regs apply to commercial) properties. However, to get this qualification is very easy and you do not have to complete an apprenticeship to achieve it. Plus of course, it is a self certification scheme, with a yearly check of the paperwork and an overview of a couple of jobs. This means, a lot of it is down the the interpretation (or imagination) of the person doing the work.
A while back, they also "watered down" this regulation in England (but oddly, not in Northern Ireland or Wales - Scotland having it's own rules!). At first you had to notify any electrical work in a kitchen, which was classed as a special location, now only if you add a new circuit, not adding to an existing one. The allowance to add to existing circuits in "non special" locations has always been there.
The problem is, you can still buy all the things you need to do any electrical work anywhere. Which leaves Joe public free to do what they want - and they do! Very rarely does anyone find this "work" until much later. We did, for a while, have what they called a "home buyers report" for people selling/buying property and the bad wiring was found more often during these. These also were abandoned some time ago, due to politics I guess.

I could go on and on and on, but I have written far too much now. Suffice to say, the whole thing needs sorting, but I doubt I will see that happen.

As for the neutral/earth link Trumpy, that is fitted in the service cut-out unit - but, ONLY if it is a PME (MNE) system. We still have a lot of T-NS (cable sheath earth) and TT systems ( local earth electrode only) in use here.

Sorry for the very long post!

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 76
Well now I watched that and my first thought is this real surely know one with any sense would actually do this even Holly who has next to no electrical training could see how terrible it was. London seems to have a lot of ropey electrics mind you some stuff I see here makes my toes curl

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
That just feels like the kind of stunt a totally incompetent DIYer with much more self-confidence than skills and knowledge would pull! I once had the dubious pleasure of viewing an 1840s flat in Vienna that was wired in a somewhat similar fashion, perhaps by the poor sods who rented it without any sort of heat (didn't see any evidence of active chimneys, definitely no central heating whatsoever). We're talking 80 sq. m. (so something over 800 sq. ft.) and the incoming mains was 1.5 mm2, no earth! If there was any earthed wiring at all (I seem to remember there was, although the place had been partly gutted with barely any sockets and switches remaining) it had been connected to the water pipes - legal up until 2001 but this story took place in 2014 I think. The supply had been disconnected and the Neozed main fuse showed no trace of key rings but from the scorch marks the supply wires left above the surface-mounted consumer unit I'd suspect at least 25 A. The loo was wired with loose 0.75 mm2 flex and pattress boxes dangling on the flex, everything else was at least inside the walls.

On top of that the whole place was damp, the floor boards rotted and all the windows looked right onto the pavement - ground floor, facing north too, so it was glum. Needless to say the friend who was originally interested didn't take it. I strongly suspect before trying to sell it off at a huge profit a greedy landlord rented the place to poor immigrants with little knowledge of Austrian laws at a vastly inflated rate (there's a pretty tight limit on rents for places like this, while you can for example legally rent out living space without any plumbing, the maximum rent is close to non-existent).

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