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Discuss Can Plug Sockets for Dishwasher and Washing Machine be Placed in Under-sink Cupboard? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Hello,

    The layout for my kitchen, which is not installed yet, is such that there is a free-standing dishwasher and washing machine on either side of a cupboard which has the kitchen sink over it.

    My builder who recently re-wired my house has installed the wiring so that the plug sockets for these two appliances will be inside this under-sink cupboard as opposed to being on the wall behind each appliance.

    Is this safe? To me is sounds dangerous to have plug sockets under a sink like this.

    I have attached a diagram to help illustrate the situation.

    Thanks

    diagramPlugSocketPlacement.png
     
  2. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    This isn't usual and infinitely better than having the sockets behind the appliances.

    What does your builder say on the matter, or should I say the builders spark?
     
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  3. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Yes it's okay, its something I do on a regular basis. Consideration should be given as to where the sockets are mounted, in terms of accidental leaks and if fixed to the floor unit, to a substation wood panel. Sometimes my customers also prefer an additional means of isolation above the work top in the form of a double pole switch, I would normally recommend this option. It would also be the only option in a new build.

    I can understand your concern with leaking pipes/waste, but the same could be said about the possibility or potential in the rest of your property.

    Placing a socket behind an appliance, makes it difficult for maintenance purposes (changing the plug top fuse etc), and you may find there will be insufficient room to push back the appliance, with socket & plug top behind it. What did you agree with your builder before work began? And I hope it was an electrician who did the alterations, not the builder!

    Ps pipped to the post
     
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  4. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Thanks @Murdoch@Murdoch and @Midwest@Midwest

    It was my builder's Electrician who did the work but I am dealing with my builder so haven't spoken to the Electrician.

    There was no agreement before he began. He wired it up like this before even seeing the plans for the kitchen and I had thought he would ask me for them before he went onto this stage but he just did it like this without asking for them.

    My builder said much the same as you two re. can't have sockets behind as not supposed to have to move the appliance to turn it off.

    I just have always been told about not mixing water and electricity and can't ever recall seeing plug sockets under sinks/next to water pipes etc. so I was concerned but from both of your replies it seems this is a safe/standard practice.

    Thanks
     
  5. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    It is within the regulations which is the important bit. The regulations ask for environmental effects likely to be encountered to be considered. As a sink is not designed to leak then it is not really a consideration.
    Personally I have seen many leaking appliances that have affected sockets directly behind the appliances, but not so many affected under sinks.
     
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  6. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    came acroos a CU mounted directly below the kitchen sink in a 1970 built house. fitted like that as new. 46 hears on, no dasmage to CU.
     
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  7. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Thanks, that's good to know.
     
  8. rolyberkin
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    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    It is my preferred option to kit plug sockets in cupboards as I am of the opinion that it is more pleasing on the eye than having switches or fused connections above the worktop or behind the appliances where room may be tight, specially in smaller kitchens. I always discuss the option of putting switches above the worktop with the client though and let them make the choice.
     
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  9. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Double post?

    Dunno whats going on here. First double post then the one I posted in disappears?

    Anyhow, agree with you rolyberkin. But sometimes DP are advantages with elderly people for example, and easier to isolate the washing machine when it starts going off on one, and keeps tripping the RCD. Its what the customer prefers I suppose.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  10. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Back to the op, make a point of meeting the spark and getting his card so you know to find him later....

    I always prefer to meet the client early on and always leave them my card.
     
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  11. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Don't think I will get the chance to meet the Electrician now but my builder says he has the certificate from him so I assume his details will be on that, is that correct?
     
  12. Dave OCD
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    Dave OCD Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Business Name:
    Hendry Electrical Services
    Yes all the electricians details will be on the electrical installation certificate, just to add to the other posts there's nothing wrong with fitting a socket outlet in a base unit under the sink , think of an electric shower for example where water and electricity are in very close proximity. I tend to fit such sockets on the side panels and near the front of the cupboard to make accessibility easier and reduce the chance of them being accidentally switched off by bits and pieces rammed into the cupboard.
     
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  13. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Hum.... I looked at your previous thread and is this socket the one where the cable was run behind the skirting board?

    and if so, its in the wall, and as the kitchen is not yet fitted, does the builder plan to leave the back off the the base unit? That's going to look pants!
     
  14. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Hi, he's left a loop of wire which he says will be for a double socket to be placed in the back of the base unit, so think this is OK. Thanks for spotting this.
     
  15. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    In which case the electrics are NOT complete and therefore I would question the fact the builder says he has the "certificate(s)"
     
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  16. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    Good point Murdoch! Daz
     
  17. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Ah, he did say that because the wire has been left in a loop he was able to get certificate for it and had it been cut he wouldn't.

    I suppose that whoever I get to install the kitchen will have to cut the loop, attach it to plug socket and mount in the cupboard. Would it then just be a case of the Electrician who does this self-certifying that all is OK with his work and because the work done previously to this has certificate all is OK?
     
  18. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    The circuit needs testing and certifying after ALL work on it is complete. Daz
     
  19. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    I think his thinking is that as is a loop it could technically be left like that and so even though need aforementioned plug socket/s added, I suppose at later date now, it is complete in a way and so certificate has been done. Does this make sense/is a technical way of getting round this?
     
  20. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    He could, but then the new electrician would need to complete a minor works cert to add the new socket.

    PS but a lot of electricians would just put in the new socket on that loop, probably with no cert ;)
     
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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  21. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I am losing the plot on this, are you the spark?

    No decent spark signs of an incomplete installation and gives the cert to the builder....... I doubt there is a competent spark involved
     
  22. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Now now, Murdoch :)
     
  23. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Yeah I am a bit worried this might be what is happening because of 2 other things:
    1. In the kitchen there is a normal light bulb placed in the ceiling (no cord hanging down - straight into the bayonet/fixing) but I think the builder said previously that can't have those sort of light bulbs in kitchen any more but nonetheless it is there and he says has cert.
    2. He told me that a wire for a socket will be re-routed and placed directly into the fuse-board/box yet he said this would be done at same time he said already has the certificate for the whole job.
     
  24. richy3333
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    richy3333 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    UK
    Is above counter isolation not an English building reg requirement? It is in Scotland. Socket outlets in cupboards are in my humble opinion shiiiite. Might well comply but smacks of kev the kitchen fitter doing the wiring. Just my opinion though.
     
  25. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    In a new build or major refurbishment, perhaps yes to comply with Part M Building Regs 'to assist people who have reduce reach'. But it only specifies min & max height of switches etc. Designers of new builds often use the central set of DP switches. What do the Building regs in Scotland state?

    As regards socket outlets in cupboards, how else do you supply an appliances?
     
  26. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    Maybe, but there's a lot to be said for them:
    There's only one fuse per appliance.
    If sensibly positioned, then isolation by switching off or unplugging is easy.
    It's usually more obvious which appliance is being served than some arrangements of SFCUs I have seen.
    Easy access for fixed wiring test and inspection. (No hidden accessories.)
    Easy to access the plug for ISITEE.
     
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  27. rolyberkin
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    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    So with a built in appliance where do you plug it in????
     
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  28. Pat H
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    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    I'd agree in cupboard sockets for appliances is neater than above counter isolators. I don't like a kitchen littered with sockets and switches for appliances all round the edge. Neater out of the way and still possible to mount above 450mm to be complaint.
     
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  29. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Not if you have a disability which reduces your reach, think that's why we see those centrally located DP switches on new builds.
     
  30. Pat H
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    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    Isn't a switch inside a low cupboard at 450mm high easier to reach than an isolator above the work top? With its 600mm depth to reach over?
     
  31. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I expect the later easier if your in a wheelchair or elderly & infirmed.
     
  32. Pat H
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    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    If the kitchen is specifically for disabled access there are detailed guidelines on access and positioning.
     
  33. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ok then; I expect the later easier if your in a wheelchair or elderly & infirmed:)
     
  34. richy3333
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    richy3333 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    UK
    Scottish Regs stipulate isolation switch above counter top for under counter appaliances. I always put Socket outlets behind the appliance fixed to the structure of the building. Regs are to be followed whether a new build or old.
     
  35. Dave OCD
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    Dave OCD Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Business Name:
    Hendry Electrical Services
    Probably based on the assumption that the actual socket will be inaccessible which it certainly will be behind a snug fitting and heavy washing machine for example ! And if the fuse in the plug top should fail then anyone elderly or infirm will never get to it without assistance ! Yes regs should be followed but a modicum of common sense doesn't do any harm either. :)
     
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  36. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    Got to agree with DaveOCD - what's the point in a plug/socket behind a washing machine. Once the fuse blows no-one can get to it. Daz
     
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  37. Pat H
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    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    Yes that makes sense. If the elderly or infirm need to pull the appliance out to do a quick repair its easier if the socket is counter top. Can't imagine they'd get somebody able to do that for them.
    I agree for items like kettles toasters etc then counter top of course. But an isolator for an appliance normally only gets used when there's a problem. Should an appliance burst into flames having the isolator above and behind it isn't really much help.

    I also agree there is little point in sockets behind appliances.
     
  38. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Not suggesting the appliance socket should be above the worktop. I was suggesting a DP switch above a worktop would be more accessible for persons with restricted reach, for turning off the appliance, either in the circumstances you describe above or because they feel inclined to.
     
  39. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Only in Scotland does this 'reg' appear to apply.
     
  40. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    I have seen appliance instructions which state not to install in front of a socket outlet. I assume that it's because the back of the appliance gets warm, which might affect the plug. (Think it was a dishwasher.)
     
  41. rolyberkin
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    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    Reading instructions? What kind of a bloke are you!? :)
     
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  42. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    If possible i have socket in andjacent cupboard. If not practical have an SFCU and wire the appliance to a flex outlet behind the built in appliance.
     
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  43. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    See now I don't like the old flex outlet plate thing. If you have to remove said appliance, the 'engineer' will have to get an electrician in to disconnect it!
     
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  44. DPG
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    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    Agree with Midwest - as soon as you start with flex outlet plates then it's a sparky job to connect/disconnect. Daz
     
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  45. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Oh come on now. Any appliance repairer will be capable of isolating an appliance and using a flex outlet, a cooker connection plate, or a FCU for disconnection of an appliance. If they are having to call an electrician for that they are in the wrong job.
     
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