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Discuss Disabled access to a fuse versus non fashionable location?! in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. weatherwitch
    Offline

    weatherwitch New EF Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I have a question about plugs behind a freestanding washing machine and lack of disabled access to the plug/fuse. It's going to be a fitted kitchen and is currently bare walls with No integrated or hidden appliances just standard free standing appliances. In the case of the washing machine, worktop over, ends each side and the machine simply shoved into place, the usual thing. The builder insists on the plug going into a socket they've just fitted which will be Behind the washing machine once pushed into place. There is an on/off switch to control this newly fitted above where the worktop will be. I am deeply unhappy about this,did not ask or agree to this. I feel it's detrimental to my independence and my future pocket.
    As a disabled person I feel extremely unhappy because if the fuse blows in the plug at the top I can fix it for free myself. If the fuse blows in the plug Behind the washing machine I have to pay for someone to sort it including call out fee, pulling the machine out and back in again, plus their time, plus potentially wait days for someone as I don't have anyone to do that for me. To me it's crackers. The reason he gave was that they can't cut holes in the worktops. (I can't wait to see how he fits the sink and pipes for the taps then!). Another reason he then gave is that it's not Fashion! I want accessibility I'm not interested in fashion! Obviously I get that the override switch is the on/off but it's beyond insane that the plug behind the machine means a simple fuse change has to become a full on call out.
    The fire brigade also request people fully unplug appliances when not in use, something I have always done so I have that unhappy niggle too.
    So I'm asking here, what do you experts here think? Or do you have any different ideas about its wiring in circumstances like mine? Many thanks for any answers
     
  2. wirepuller
    Offline

    wirepuller Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    south uk
    If there is an isolation switch (a switched fused spur) above the worktop then that can be used to isolate the appliance, same thing as unplugging, which will satisfy the fire brigade. The fuse in the plug behind the appliance is only likely to blow in the event of a fault on the appliance, in which case you will be calling someone out anyway!. Most appliances never ever blow a fuse.
    An alternative if you insist is to cut the plug off and hard wire it into a flex outlet, as long as the switch above the worktop is fused. Although some manufacturers will apparently void the guarantee if this is done....this clause would never stand up in your case.
    I do not know the nature of your disability, but I assume you will be requiring the lights to hang down to wheelchair level so you can change lamps yourself?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Wilko
    Offline

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Hi WW, sorry to hear of your troubles. Just to say, many of us here would enjoy the challenge of making tech work for you, the way you need it. If you have more questions, please post them / pics and someone will work it out, I bet.
     
  4. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Builders always think they know best..... But I never put a socket in a kitchen behind a heavy appliance
     
  5. kingeri
    Offline

    kingeri Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    If there is a switch above the worktop, this should be a 20A Double Pole Switch and not a Fused Connection Unit, as it is best to avoid having an identical fuse downstream of another. The socket would be much better off in an adjacent base unit, so it is out of the way but still accessible without moving the appliance!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    Why would you pay this builder for something you do not want? Just tell him you will not pay for work that you did not ask for!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Midwest
    Offline

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I spent about an hour routing the flex for a washing machine the other day, on a kitchen refurb. I also do not normally install a socket behind an appliance for the reasons given above.

    In this instance, I wish I had though. There was only one suitable floor unit to the left of the WM, to mount the socket outlet and the flex was located on the right of the appliance and was quite short.

    OP I mention my recent experience, as it may be similar to your case? As mentioned, if your switch above the worktop is double pole (DP), then that will completely isolate the appliance from the electricity supply when turned off. So you should have no concerns there.
     
  8. wirepuller
    Offline

    wirepuller Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    south uk
    There is next to zero chance of the fuse blowing in normal use, cant see an issue here. It's only likely to blow if the appliance develops a fault,in which case the appliance will have to come out anyway.
    A mountain is being made out of a molehill.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. kingeri
    Offline

    kingeri Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    But it's still less than ideal to have a fuse that is to all intents and purposes inaccessible, even more so in the OP's case, as they are living with a disability.
     
  10. wirepuller
    Offline

    wirepuller Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    south uk
    Which takes me back to my lights point. It's less than ideal to have ceiling lights....so lets specify 4ft pendant drops so the OP can change lightbulbs.
    Where does it end?
    If it's such a big issue then cut the plug off and fit a flex outlet behind the appliance with a switched FCU over the worktop.
    But I'll wager the fuse will never ever blow for the life of the appliance.
     
  11. Pat H
    Offline

    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    Sounds like we're trying to solve a problem that's not a problem.
    If a fuse blows in the plug of an appliance like that. There is a fault in the appliance. You would never replace the fuse without investigating the issue and ensuring the fault is resolved.
    Therefore for this person access to the fuse and plug is irrelevant. Much as an internal fuse would be.
    An accessible isolator is all that is required.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. anthonybragg
    Offline

    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    are you paying for it ie the customer or is it part of a upgrade sceam.If the former and what you require complies with regs the your requirments should be taken onboard ,if not the builder may be only doing as spec
     
  13. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    Is that what you tell your customers when they want a particular thing?
     
  14. spinlondon
    Offline

    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    Is it really not possible to site the plugs behind a cupboard next to the appliances?
     
  15. rolyberkin
    Offline

    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    I put the sockets where the client requests, personally I hate the look of spurs or switches above a worktop and will fit to accommodate, there is no reason why the socket outlet feeding the appliance cannot be put in an adjacent cupboard where you can get to it. The only down side to this is that somewhere in that cupboard they will need to cut a suitable sized hole to get the plug through. I normally do this quite high up so out of sight, hope this helps. The thrust of building regulations of late has been to promote accessibility.
     
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