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Discuss EICR Coding - Armour not glanded in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Doing EICR on a HMO, DB feeds a Consumer Unit in each room. The feeds to each consumer unit seem to be SWA however the armour is not visible/accessible at either the consumer unit or the DB - it seems to have been cut out behind the DB which is inaccessible.

    The cable is buried in the walls and originally I wasn't happy about this, with it not being RCD protected. Originally I was thinking a C2, but now I've had time to mull it over a bit I'm thinking C3 - why would it be any different to a lighting cable buried in the wall without RCD protection.

    Then I eventually realised the sensible thing to do was post here and see what everyone else thought.
     
  2. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    It would be a C3, you are right, same as any other cable in a wall less than 50mm deep without RCD protection. If there is not even a gland then it would be safe to assume that no metal containment has been used in the walls for it.

    I'm assuming there is a cpc contained within the cable of course.

    C3 also for lack of proper mechanical connection (gland)
     
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  3. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Thanks Andy, you are correct with your assumption of a dedicated core for the CPC.
     
  4. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    If the armour is not earthed at either end then I'd be tempted to go C2 as with using ADS the armour needs to be earthed at least one end preferably the supply end.
    If cable is damaged and the armour becomes live it causes a real shock hazard.
     
  5. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Yeah, so you're saying an unglanded SWA cable buried is more dangerous that a buried T+E because of that floating SWA.
     
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  6. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    I thought about that but decided that would come under earthing of exposed conductive parts. It has been said that the SWA is not visible or accessible at either end though.

    Not sure now, lol. Anyone else ?
     
  7. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    The armour would be classed as an exposed conductive part and would require connecting to earth especially as ADS is the preferred use of fault protection.
    I hear what your saying that it's not glanded but it should be so my thoughts are C2
     
  8. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Yes it should be glanded as per manufacturers instructions and good working practices anyway.
     
  9. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    So remedial work isn't even as easy as throwing an RCD on the distribution circuits, it's more serious and needs that armouring to be somehow glanded off?
     
  10. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    The armour becomes pretty well exposed with a nail through it. The layer of PVC below the armour is bedding,there for mechanical protection against the armour. This does not qualify as class II construction, so as it's buried in the wall I'd say it's potentially dangerous if not connected to earth.

    You may also get voltage appearing on the armour through capacitive coupling
     
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  11. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    But there is no firm evidence it is actually SWA, could be another cable type like Hituff ?

    You can't say that buried metal is an exposed conductive part because it may become exposed if someone hits a nail into it. It is either exposed at the time of inspection or it isn't.
     
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  12. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    If there is a risk of mechanical damage by penetrating the unearthed armour I'd say it's potentially dangerous.
    If it's not swa then no worries.

    Just my view on it I would C2 it.
    Same as if I'd used steel conduit to mechanically protect cables in a wall if it's not connected to earth it's potentially dangerous if penetrated by nails/screws.
    I can't see how it would only be a C3 and left satisfactory on a report.
     
  13. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Same as you would issue a C3 to a twin and earth cable in a wall. No difference in terms of hazards.
     
  14. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Except if the live touched onto the armour you'd have a live voltage floating about undetected
     
  15. Risteard
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    Risteard Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Derry, Ireland
    Business Name:
    Walsh Electrical Services
    Unquestionably a C2 - basic stuff really as you have an exposed conductive part which isn't earthed.
     
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  16. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Can't say for certain that it is armour except by previous reports saying it's armour - whether there's any truth in these previous EICRs is another matter, but I'm thinking C2 now to cover my backside. Okay, it may not be SWA, but at the moment all evidence leads me to believe it is.
     
  17. Risteard
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    Risteard Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Derry, Ireland
    Business Name:
    Walsh Electrical Services
    If you're unsure of cable type then you could use FI.
     
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  18. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Of course it's still then an unsatisfactory outcome
     
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  19. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    It would be anyway looking at the list on this thing, I just want to cover my backside with the whole thing and not leave any door open for comeback.
     
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  20. Risteard
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    Risteard Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Derry, Ireland
    Business Name:
    Walsh Electrical Services
    Yes indeed it is - as it should be if it's not known to be safe.
     
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  21. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    In this case it has been stated that there are no conductive parts of the SWA exposed to touch though. Only closer inspection with further dismantling could prove if they pose a hazard surely ?
     
  22. Risteard
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    Risteard Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Derry, Ireland
    Business Name:
    Walsh Electrical Services
    SWA armouring is always considered to be an exposed conductive part.
     
  23. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    I understand that and agree where it is glanded properly.
     
  24. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    If you feel it is swa from the cores you have the chances are it is, it is highly unlikely that it is not.
     
  25. Upton Sparks
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    Upton Sparks Active EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Kilowatt Electricals Ltd
    If you cannot verify the SWA is earthed and its inaccessible, C 2 all day long on a Sub main cable, its most likely being feed from a ryefield board of some sort on a 63 amp Fuse,
    I kind of get the consumer unit end but at the Electrical cupboard, that's poor.

    you also have know idea of the cable route it take's or how many other flats it could travel through buried within the wall possible not even in safe zones just to get to the flat it serves.

    C2 and unsatisfactory . cover your self and hopefully get some work out of it.

    Just out of curiosity why would you give a non RCD'd circuit covering a Twin and earth buried cable as a C3?
    is this not potential dangerous ?
     
  26. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    C2 on my watch. better to be over cautious. you can be accused of making work for yourself with a C2, or appear in court if you give it a C3. i know which option I'd go for.
     
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  27. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    Just out of curiosity why would you give a non RCD'd circuit covering a Twin and earth buried cable as a C3?
    is this not potential dangerous ?

    C3 because it complied at the time of installation. just non-compliant with current regs.
     
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  28. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Late to the party, but as Tel says - complied at the time but not now, but it's not particularly dangerous (as a socket that is liable to have a lawn mower plugged in to it with no RCD protection might be considered dangerous)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  29. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    The eicr is based purely on current regulations, if something does not comply with current regulations and warrants a code then it gets that code irrespective of when it was installed.

    A fused neutral was a requirement of the regulations once, but you don't let it pass today.
    Bare conductors on porcelain cleats or in wooden casing complied once upon a time, but you also don't let that pass today.
     
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  30. suffolkspark
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    suffolkspark Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    suffolk
    Was told to C3 cables <50mm in walls on an EICR on my EAL testing and inspecting course the other year, napit also give the same advise (although they seem to give a different answer to the same question depending who you talk to)
     
  31. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    You need to make your own decision based on circumstances, BS7671 states a minimum C3 entry.
     
  32. Upton Sparks
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    Upton Sparks Active EF Member

    Location:
    London
    Business Name:
    Kilowatt Electricals Ltd
    I agree complete with with the sentiment that buried cables in prescribe cable zones are not that dangerous........ we have the Darwin awards for a reason!

    Its complete subjective I don't think there a right or wrong answer.

    But I have very few home owner's ask for an EICR, mainly when they're buying a house, and in that circumstance I would agree a C3,
    and most like recommend a new CU for there Piece of there piece of mind.

    Landlords and commercial customer asking for an EICR,

    I would call it a C2, as these guys are doing this more for commercial, legal protection and insurance purpose, so in this instance cover your arse!

    If its a landlord, he can spend the money and make the installation as safe as possible.

    If its an employer, he can spend the money and make the installation as safe as possible.

    If its a home owner, he can do what he like's. its very unlike he'll take me to court.
     
  33. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    I went with the advice of FI in this instance, as I can't guarantee it's SWA but all evidence suggests it is. I'm no longer working for my uncle, I saved a copy of the report as I left it, so if he decides to change it to a C3 then that's on him, but I have the report showing exactly what I classified it as.

    Left uncle on good terms, just want to cover my backside as you never know what's around the corner.
     
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  34. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    I agree with FI, I wired a HMO with SWA from Switch Fuse (Metal Wylex 110M) properly glanded in main intake cupboard to CU in flat. Terminating SWA on CU would be ugly with all other wires entering from rear. I spent weeks deliberating solution.
    Old spark suggested terminating behind CU with floating gland and bringing flying earth lead into CU.
    I didn't like the idea to begin with, but could not see anything technically wrong.
    At the Intake cupboard it is clearly visible, the EIC details it's SWA.
    Maybe you have a similar scenario?
     
  35. suffolkspark
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    suffolkspark Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    suffolk
    The inner isnt propper insulation though is it? And you have an inaccessible joint then (the earth flocknut flylead arrangement)
     
  36. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    Work was prior to 17th edition part 3, otherwise you have a good point.
    Latest HMO I did I used flush Wylex CU which enabled me to terminate directly on CU.
     
  37. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    You got a link to these 'floating glands'or was it something you fabricated? (Or do you literally mean a gland that is just floating behind)
     
  38. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    push comes to shove, could gland into a wiska box or galv. conduit box, then link up to CU with appropriate cable, ensuring that the armour is earthed, of course.
     
  39. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    Literally just a gland that floats.

    Although SuffolkSpark has a valid point about inaccessible joint. Could not do it today unless you had an access panel.
     
  40. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I wouldn't have done it in the first place.
     
  41. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    Why not?

    I thought about it for ages but could not think of a better way to get SWA through back of a surface mount CU. I'm always interested to hear alternative ideas as I'm sure I'll get this scenario again. The only way I've found to get around this was flush mount CU with gland, but if this is not possible I really don't know a better way ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  42. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I suspect the manufactures instructions for the gland is not to leave it floating adrift from any enclosure, I would C3 that on an EICR.
     
  43. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    I know it's a bit unorthodox, but think about it for a moment, what's wrong with it?
     
  44. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I don't need to think about it is "ad hoc" and not in compliance with manufacturers instructions.
     
  45. Michaelwgroves
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    Michaelwgroves Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Kent
    I checked both Niglon and SWA Online and can't find manufacturers instructions. I chose these as this is what is in my tool box. Also no instructions come with these. The only thing on bag is size chart.
    I then done a google search and found these guys, their instructions don't mention an enclosure, it just shows how to terminate SWA into their gland.
    http://www.cmp-products.com/Installation Instructions/CMP BW.pdf
    So I don't see any issue?
     
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