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Discuss Can Wiring to Wall Socket be Laid Horizontally Along Wall at Near Floor Level? in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Hello,

    I have had my 2 story house rewired and one of the low level wall sockets on the ground floor is wired with wires that run horizontally along the wall at floor height and then travel up the short distance to the socket from underneath it.

    My question is whether this is good practice.

    The ground floor is concrete and the 1st floor wooden joists and floorboards. I think other low level wall sockets on the ground floor have had the wiring run down from above and I would have thought this socket would have been done like this too. I think maybe the builder forgot about it so it was an addition, would this explain why he has wired it like this?

    The wall the wiring runs along will be part of the kitchen so kitchen base unit for a sink will cover it up to some extent although I am leaving spaces for a non-built-in washing machine and dishwasher along this wall too.

    Any advice would be very much welcome.

    Thanks,

    A
     
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  2. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Is the wiring run on the surface, either clipped or in trunking, or is it sunk in and plastered over ?
     
  3. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Safe zones for electric cables - DIYWiki - http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Safe_zones_for_electric_cables
     
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  4. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Safe zones for electric cables - DIYWiki - http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Safe_zones_for_electric_cables
     
  5. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Hi,

    At the moment it runs on the surface and then goes behind the plaster (not plaster board just the plaster I think). I think he might leave like that as will be partly behind base cabinet.

    I have attached a photo.

    Thanks,

    A

    20161120_122243.jpg
     
  6. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Hum...... That's not good. Best you watch out where the fixing nails for the skirting board.
     
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  7. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    Assuming this is a kitchen installation:
    He would have ran the cables surface mounted like that so the kitchen fitter doesn't screw the units to the wall and hit the cable BUT he should have ran them the same height of the sockets horizontally to comply with Zones prescribed in Regulation Group 522.6

    Reference: Cables in walls - IET Electrical - http://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/54/cables-in-walls/index.cfm

    Also do you know if he placed either metallic or plastic "capping" over the cable?
    And is this circuit covered by A RCD?
     
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  8. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    If the cables are to be left like that, ie with kitchen cupboards in front, then they are OK. They do need some support though, so should be clipped to the wall.

    @Jamchiv01@Jamchiv01 why are you asking about capping. Do you think it might be necessary?
     
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  9. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Thanks for replies so far.

    Would it not have been best to just run the cables down from above like he did for other sockets?

    @Jamchiv01@Jamchiv01 Pardon my ignorance but what is capping? + It is a new fuse board so I think will have RCDs.

    A
     
  10. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    @Taylortwocities@Taylortwocities Best to describe what I mean with a image.

    [​IMG]

    Allways place capping over the cables for mechanical protection. (Mainly from the plasterer and the plaster itself)


    @Novice12@Novice12 Capping looks like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Novice12
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    Novice12 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    south east
    Thanks, I see what you mean.

    Could he have run the wires vertically instead?
     
  12. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    From a socket the only recognised routes for cables are vertically or horizontally. A dog leg or diagonal route is not allowed.
    See figure 3 in this informative document
    Cables concealed in a wall or partition - IET Electrical

    NOTE: the routes apply to cables that are concealed (eg plastered over). So, if there are to be kitchen base units in front, you could simply chop away the plaster on the short distance that the cable is covered horizontally along the floor level to reveal the cables underneath.
    That would leave the short vertical cable drop covered. That is OK because it is run in a permitted cable route.
     
  13. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I know exactly what you meant, but, as I said, re-routing the cables not be necessary if the cables will be out of sight - hidden behind a kitchen cupboard plinth.
     
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  14. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I thought that PVC cables are no longer affected by plaster. Thought I read it somewhere on this forum. I could be wrong...
     
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  15. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Cables are not affected by normal plaster. They often are affected by the plasterer himself!

    Background materials containing corrosive salts can be a problem - slaked lime mortar, perhaps.
     
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  16. Wilko
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    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    And like doctors, they can bury their mistakes.
     
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  17. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Yes. The little treasures (they too should be buried:grimacing: )
     
  18. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I often run my cables (surface) at this point just above the floor on kitchen refurbs, as they are in the service void (plinth area) of floor units, whereby none of the floor units vertical panels will need to be notched to accommodate the cables. This also puts the cables in a place less likely to attract mechanical damage from the fitters installing the kitchen. Unfortunately, electricians work is normally carried out before the plasterer and, as what looks to have happened here, the plasterers move the annoying electrical cables, cos they're getting in the way of their plastering efforts. I would have used more clips, and often use mini trunking for this very reason.

    Prescribed zones are all well & good, but it seems that only electricians know about them. Whilst the installation of the horizontal run to the socket is incorrect, a bit of artistic licence should be applied IMO. After all, the horizontal route of the cables could of been left un-plastered and then covered by the skirting.

    OP if you are at all concerned, you could get your electrician to chase & install the 'dog leg' the other way or run horizontally from the socket to & behind the floor unit, and then get you plasterer to make good. Or you could leave as is!
     
  19. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    Taken from BS7671:

    A cable concealed in a wall or partition at a depth of 50mm from a surface of the wall or partition shall:

    (iv) be mechanically protected against damage sufficient to prevent penetration by nails, screws and the like or

    (v) be installed in a zone within 150mm from the top of the wall or partition or within 150 mm of an angle formed by two adjoining walls or partitions. Where the cable is connected to a point, accessory or switchgear on any surface of the wall or partition, the cable may be installed in a zone either horizontally or vertically, to the point, accessory or switchgear. Where the location of the accessory, point or switchgear can be determined from the reverse side, a zone formed on one side of a wall of 100mm thickness or less or partition of 100mm thickness or less extends to the reverse side, or

    Summed up this means: If the vertical cable run has no capping, it is okay as it is inside a zone, however as the cable runs at the bottom of the wall horizontally it is outside of the zones and needs to be mechanically protected.


    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Ten years later Bob's son is called to install new kitchen units, and drills through the cable directly below the socket, he even had his drill plugged into said socket. Moments earlier he had removed the skirting his Dad had installed 10 years earlier, revealing the cables in the incorrect zone, so he used no nails to fix the new skirting :)

    Prescribed zones are a good thing, but only sparks know about them. Not sure of any capping that would mechanically protected cables, apart from conduit of course.
     
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  21. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
  22. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    @jamchi As I suspected, you are able to quote BS7671 regulations without properly understanding what is meant by them.
    By quoting that regulation you introduced the concept of "mechanically protected" without making it clear what that means.

    The aluminium channel that you have linked to (post #21) does not constitute mechanical protection. Any half decent DIYer can drill through that or drive a nail into without any effort whatsoever. It does not meet the requirements of BS EN 61386-21 or BS EN 50085-2-1.
    I suggest you read and understand regulation 522.6 about impact before submiting any more information that might confuse an unsuspecting DIYer.

    @Novice12@Novice12 He is correct though about protecting the cable. As that section of wall will be visible, your best solution is for the cable to be re-run as shown in purple in the helpful (thank you) diagram in Jamchi's post #11.
    That puts the cable running horizontally from the socket, where it should be.

    If you leave it where it is, it would have to be run in earthed steel conduit, or be run in something like steel wire armoured cable.
    Neither of those being easy solutions for you?
     
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  23. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    You sound just like my solicitor. I suspect that horizontal bit will be about 150mm long, after the floor unit's been installed. Of course rules are rules. If I was the house owner I wouldn't bother, unless the sparks has been doing the same all over the house.

    PS all the rest of his/her work is questionable or substandard
     
  24. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    I have re-read the regulation and realize the mistake I made by posting the metallic capping.

    Apologies @Novice12@Novice12 if I have misled you in any way.

    Thankyou @Taylortwocities@Taylortwocities for correcting me, thankfully I have never got into this situation in the first place, but if I ever do, I know I need to use earthed conduit compliant with BS EN 61386-21.
     
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  25. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    And what's with all this @ thing now, seen it in other posts too. Bad enough we have to call each by some stupid names :rolleyes:
     
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  26. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    Usually it notifies them of them being included in the message so they can see it.
     
  27. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    It's me getting down with the kids!
     
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  28. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
     
  29. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    You will be wearing your pants round your knees next mate......
     
  30. richy3333
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    richy3333 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    UK
    Either way, round my parts (oo-er) if you leave that bag of sheet like that laid on the floor slab the mice will just chew threw them. Called out to exactly that problem recently where Brian the bodger had rewired the kitchen a year ago and the mice then had an early supper. What happened to personal pride with ones workmanship?
     
  31. Jamchiv01
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    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    Love it hahaha:tearsofjoy:
     
  32. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Flippin posting thing;

    This is what I said: I did mention the capping thing in my #20. My riposte was more subtle, don't you think? :rolleyes:
     
  33. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Suggest you sort out your rodent problem then!
     
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  34. richy3333
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    richy3333 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    UK
    Yeah, he's mates with Dangerous Dave :)
     
  35. gazdkw82
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    gazdkw82 Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    leicester
    I used steel capping a number of times but I always wonder how good it actually is at prevent a nail/screw, let’s be honest they are very thin
     
  36. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    The plastic stuff aint much use either.
     
  37. Jay Sparks
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    Jay Sparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Bratford
    It will not prevent a nail or screw from penetrating, this is how it is normally installed is it not? Capping is not classed as mechanical protection, it is simply to protect the cables from the plasterers trowel!

    Jay
     
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  38. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    As I highlighted, that stuff is the equivalent of the plastic stuff. Only useable inside recognised wiring zones, e.g. Fending off the plasterers trowel. does not meet the requirements for cable protection for impact.

    Edit: Jay, snap!!
     
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  39. N6rul
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    N6rul Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Luton
    Capping does not provide mechanical protection...
    plus I doubt a skirting board will be fitted behind a kitchen unit...
    like some of the sparks have advised have it chased in or place it in trunking to give it protection in areas especially were you will be placing the washing machine and dishwasher...
     
  40. Hellmooth
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    Hellmooth Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Livingston
    Business Name:
    CM Electrical
    Would expect this to be dealt with now it was back in November......
     
  41. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    They could be slow workers.... :smile:
     
  42. Wilko
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    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Or deeeep thinkers - been missing you Spoon !
     
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  43. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    LMAO.... sorry mate. that just cracked me up. I couldn't imagine anyone on here missing my comments.. :smile: You are not after money, are you??? I have none..
    I have been around, just don't get as much time to spend on here mate. I'm busy at the mo. Which I'm not complaining about.
     
  44. Prat P
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    Prat P Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Nottingham
    This one always makes me laugh
    It says the cables should be mechanically protected and also says it may not be possible to do so
     
  45. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Unless the trunking is steel then it offers minimal protection.
     
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