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  1. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    My partner and I bought our first house a week ago. We don't have much DIY experience but we are determined to learn and do as much work as we can to save cost.

    The house is a 3bed an ex-council house built in 1959 and needs a complete refurbishment.

    The existing CU is not too old (pvc wires) but we have to add sockets, electric shower...and we prefer to get it upgraded. Please see photos.

    I have had an electrician having a look a few hours ago. He said he can move the CU 180 degrees facing the hall with the length of the existing cables. He quoted me £250 for moving the CU, including new CU.

    He said he could install the following CU:
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/british-g...dual-rcd-consumer-unit/2920g?_requestid=39295

    If I replace it I would like to get a good quality one with space for more modules and individual ring per floor for the lights and sockets, 2 sockets outside, an electric shower, induction cooker, oven...

    I am thinking something Like:
    RCD 1
    32A Upstairs Ring Main
    6A Upstairs lights
    6A Smoke Detector
    16A????? Immersion heater - in case the gas boiler fails

    RCD 2
    32A Kitchen Ring Main
    32A Downstairs Ring Main
    6A Downstairs Lights
    45A Cooker

    Do you think I could reuse the RCBOs from my current CU for the new one :
    RCBO 1
    Electric Shower (9-10kw)

    RCBO 2
    Outside sockets or kitchen sockets


    My questions are:

    1. Could you recommend a better Consumer Unit?

    2. Would it be to much work and too expensive to split the existing ring socket and lights per floor? Or should just leave as it is?

    3. What do you think about using the RCBO for shower and outside or kitchen socket?

    4. Could you please arrange the two RCDs in a better way?

    5. Do you think the MCD specs are OK (amps)?

    6. What do you think about this job for £250?

    Thank you very much. We are quite stressed wih the refurbishment and your help would be much appreciated.

    1.JPG

    2.JPG
     
  2. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Your fuse board can be considered obsolete So replacing it with a new unit is the way forward and it's highly unlikely that any posts from the old unit would fit a new unit.

    As for the price, I would say it's on the low side... Considering it should include a full rest of the existing unit , production of the EIC and part p if you are in England or Wales

    As for splitting the house into more circuits, this may not be possible without considerable work.

    Maybe get another quote.

    Edit. I now remember your earlier posts...... So consider all the options, and prices before you start
     
  3. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    My advice would be not to have an electric shower, they are inferior to a proper plumbed in shower with a hot and cold water feed, this way you can have thermostatic control and a pumped feed for a good pressure. Electric showers are notoriously unreliable and rarely give good performance.

    Plus of course having the biggest electricity supply in the house terminated just above the bath and in the same cheap plastic box as a mains water feed really doesn't sound like a good idea.
     
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  4. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Just to add a dual rcd cu with just 5 circuits means you would lose 2 or 3 circuits if a rcd trips.... Ask about RCBO boards...
     
  5. Richard Burns
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    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    The consumer unit you link to is fine as the circuits stand at the moment, but if you wanted to split up circuits and add circuits then you would want a larger consumer unit.
    Any of the main manufacturers consumer units should be OK.
    Hager, Wylex, MK, Crabtree, BG, MEM, Schneider, Lewden.

    Remember a consumer unit change does not cover modifying or adding any circuits, this is a completely different job.

    Changing a circuit that is spread over two floors into two circuits one on each floor would very often mean just rewiring the entire circuit into two circuits from scratch, if you were very lucky with the current wiring layout you might be able to just split the circuit up into two but generally (especially if you are already adding sockets) the rewire of the circuits is the easiest option.
    A lighting circuit is often more straightforward to separate out than a socket circuit.

    The existing parts that you have are obsolete and reusing them would not be a good idea or particularly cheaper.

    Generally a dual RCD consumer unit is split up so that lights and sockets on the same floors are separated, a downstairs ring would be separated from a kitchen ring the boiler and immersion heater would be separated.
    These separations are so that if one side fails there is still some electric power on each floor/ a way to heat water, etc. on the other side.
    Your proposed split does not do this, ask your electrician for advice on that one, you have also not listed the central heating circuit which you would need.
    Using an all RCBO consumer unit would avoid these splitting problems but would cost more to install.

    The MCB ratings are standard except a cooker would usually be 32A.

    £250 is very cheap for a consumer unit change and relocation.
     
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  6. westward10
    Online

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Did you not post a very similar thread a few weeks ago about moving the consumer unit AND service head?
     
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  7. NDG Elecs
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    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    I have stopped using the BG boards due to numerous problems with them over the past year or so. I have gone back to using Hager.

    Splitting the RFC and lights is a good idea if possible. But it may not be that easy, and there are unknown aspects about the best way to do it, so it would be hard to price. There may well be two circuits on that lighting MCB so it could be split already without you realising.

    RCD protection on showers is a must. I don't know of any manufacturers that will not state that.

    Let the spark decide on the individual cct details in relation to current rating.

    £250.00 is too cheap in my view.
     
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  8. SJD
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    SJD Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Braccan heal
    For £250, I'd be very surprised if everything (or even anything) is going to be tested (which it all should be).
     
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  9. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Thank you for all youur answers.

    Could you please explain me what you mean with?

    "Using an all RCBO consumer unit would avoid these splitting problems but would cost more to install."

    Thank you
     
  10. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth

    At the moment I have an old gas boiler with a small immersion tank. Then If I have a bath the next person would have to wait the water to heat. Also If I connect a Pumped Electric Shower to the water tank in the loft that supplies the water to the boiler I could have person having a bath and another having a shower downstairs at the same time. Please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  11. NDG Elecs
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    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    It means that in the event of a certain type of fault you would only lose the one circuit affected, and not 4-5 circuits that go through one RCD.
    RCBO boards are more expensive as the individual RCBOs cost around £25 each. RCBO board costs around £300, whereas a dual RCD board around a £100.

    Agree with DS that a shower off the boiler is much better than an electric shower. I have done myself out of work a couple of times recommending this instead of a new shower circuit.
     
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  12. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    The guy was an electrician in Poland and had to go to college here to get the certificate? I am not fully sure if he can do an official test after... Hopefully he will test everything.
     
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  13. SJD
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    SJD Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Braccan heal
    If you have a consumer unit changed, it is notifiable to building control. Usually done by the electrician via scheme membership (NICEIC, ELECSA, etc.). There is a good chance your work was not going to be notified, which would be a problem if/when you come to sell and the buyer wants the paperwork. Or in the event of some major problem, like a fire, when this might be requested by the insurer.
     
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  14. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Your last thread in the same vain ran to over thirty posts with experienced electricians giving their opinion. A few weeks later you come back saying you have found some chancer who is not only going to replace your consumer unit but also relocate it for a mere £250 and now you want more advise, not from me.
     
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  15. Vortigern
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    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    You have stated you are new to this kind of building work and I fear you are going to go over budget and get very stressed about it all. If it aint broke don't fix it. If you are starting from scratch, rewire the whole house and get it the way you want it. Do not go for half measures it will be more expensive in the long run. If you cannot afford to rewire to the spec. get a report on the condition of existing wiring to see what needs to be done. I would not even get out of bed to change a consumer unit for £250.00. Unless you realistically have the money to refurb I suggest you don't go there it will end in tears.
     
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  16. NDG Elecs
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    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    Not even a 2 way garage board Vorti? ;)
     
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  17. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  18. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth

    I appreciate your advise and I will take it on board. To arrange the kitchen how we want we have to turn 180degrees the CU. It is not a full reallocation.
     
  19. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Following your advises I'm considering to don't go over the top with the electrics and just replace the CU without splitting the rings per floor.

    Do you think I could have all the lights in the house on a single MCD ?

    Same for the sockets? One MCD for the kitchen, another MCD fo the rest of the house?

    Then Do you think this would be ok:

    RCD 1
    32A Socket Ring Main
    6A Smoke Detector
    16A Immersion heater - in case the gas boiler fails
    40A Electric Shower
    16A Outside Sockets

    RCD 2
    32A Kitchen Ring Main
    6A Ring Lights
    32A Induction Hob
    6A Gas Boiler
    32A Separate Oven


    Thank you
     
  20. stevethesparks
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    stevethesparks Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northampton
    Why are you not asking these questions to your Polish electrician?
    £250.00 is far too cheap. I wouldn't swap a CU for that, let alone relocate one.
    You get what you pay for, as you are going to find out.

    Has your proposed electrician checked the main protective bonding, as well as advising about the poor bonding clamp currently providing your main earthing connection? Has he asked you request a pme terminal be fitted? Has he done any preliminary checks? Will the new CU postion be within 3 metres of the service head when relocated?
    Good luck....I'm out.
     
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  21. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    and, if you are moving the CU, are you also moving the cut-out and meter? if so, then it's a few hundred quid for DNO and/or supplier to do this legally.
     
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  22. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
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  23. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Think you already know the answer to your questions buddy ;):)
     
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  24. LewisM
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    LewisM Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Luton
    Your electrician should be able to answer all these questions but at £250 all in I doubt he can.
     
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  25. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    If I read this correctly you are adding about 5 circuits, so how much is your cheap polish friend saying he wants ti charge for this too?

    What is your budget for your kitchen?
     
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  26. polo1
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    polo1 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    GW Electrical & Security
    Off topic, but what problems have you had?
     
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  27. Andy78
    Online

    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    My issues have been:
    Cage clamp terminals stripping their threads before tightening
    RCDs not meeting times
    Flimsy blanks that fall out
    Poorly made bars and screws that can also strip easily
     
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  28. Andy78
    Online

    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    To the OP,
    All these questions should be directed to your electrician. If you don't have one, get one.
    If you feel the need to ask the internet instead of your electrician, then get another electrician that you trust more.
     
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  29. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Then you would be much better off having the plumbing sorted with a bigger hot water cylinder, if possible an unvented hot water cylinder will give you mains pressure hot water.
    Or a combi boiler may be suitable.
     
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  30. NDG Elecs
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    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    So it's not just me then! Exactly the same problems bar the blanks which are binned. Plus the grommet strip is carp too, and their IP65 shower boards are shaped in such a way you can't fit a locknut on them without some butchery. Oh, and also the knockout spot welds are far too firm. My main issue from the above is with the awful cage clamp screws that strip far far too easily, had it happening with two RCDs and a couple of MCBs. They are cheap for a reason.
     
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  31. JK-Electrical
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    JK-Electrical Politically Incorrect Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    JK Electrical
    I experienced pretty much the same set of problems with a BG board that I fitted a couple of weeks ago. One of the meter tails kept slipping out of the cage clamp. An RCD was found to be defective. This is the second - and final - time that this has happened to me with a BG board, and some of the screws on the neutral and earth bars were quite stiff to turn. In addition, I had a titanic struggle to get the lid aligned. NEVER again.
     
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  32. Rpa07
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    Rpa07 2000 posts - only 46379 behind Telectrix! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bristol
    Business Name:
    Ebenezer electrical
    And that's the problem with these cheaper boards that will inevitably be fitted by the chancers, poorly fitted and with little or no testing going against good workmanship from the get go. How many future faults will be incubating by the fitting of these cheap inadequate boards by cheap and inadequate fitters?
     
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  33. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Thank you to everyone for your opinions and ideas.

    I removed part of the plasterboard on the wall where the CU has to be fitted. It is a bearing wall with space of 320mm in between the studs, I expected to have a bit of luck and get at least 360mm to get a normal CU but I wasn't lucky this time.The space in between plasterboard is 85mm.

    I have been searching for the right size of box but I can''t find any Dual RCD box to fit there with a minimum of 7 MCBs.

    I would love to get a Design 10 Flush Consumer Unit by Hager with 10 ways and get the main switch plus 8 RCBOs but we are talking of over £250 and It doesn't give much room for future upgrades.

    Also I have seen a Wylex one which I could fit removing the plasterboard on the back and fitting a new solid wood board on the top of the plaster (screwing to the timber, of course) to make the wall 12mm deeper. It shouldn't be to difficult.
    Wylex Metal 17th Edition Amendment 3 7W High Integrity + 7 MCBs Consumer Unit - Toolstation - https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Electrical/d190/Wylex+Consumer+Units/sd2615/Wylex+Metal+17th+Edition+Amendment+3+7W+High+Integrity+%2B+7+MCBs+Consumer+Unit/p67344


    I could take out an RCD and fit individual RCBOs to get extra space from a "two way" RCD ending with:


    11 SPACE
    RCD 1
    32A Socket Ring Main
    6A Smoke Detector and Lights
    16A Immersion heater - in case the gas boiler fails
    6A Gas Boiler


    RCBO
    32A Induction Hob
    32A Separate Oven
    32A Kitchen Ring Main
    16A Outside Sockets
    40A Electric Shower



    What do you think about this idea? Also do you think I could combine any anything to save space in the CU?

    Again, Thank you very much for all your help

    CU1.jpg

    CU2.jpg

    CU3.jpg

    CU4.jpg
     
  34. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    ^^ that board DOES NOT have RCD's it has rcbo's

    Read my earlier post - it's obsolete - and needs changing ....
     
  35. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth

    Yes, this is what that post is about, replacing this CU. I'm trying to find the right one to fit in between the timber.
     
  36. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    if that stud wall is not load bearing, you could probably get away with chopping a piece out of 1 of the vertical timbers. maybe to 1 where your hand is in pic#1. and reinforce with a couple of noggins.
     
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  37. SJD
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    SJD Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Braccan heal
    You could take all the plasterboard off, and move one of the studs a few inches, to gain a bit more width.

    You could also fit a dual RCD board but remove one of the RCDs and instead fit a few RCBOs and the remaining RCD, that will win you 2 slots.
     
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  38. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Is there any easy way to know what type of wall this is?
     
  39. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    stud walls are generally not load bearing. load bearing walls are generally masonry and if you look directly above, upstairs, you'll see if there's a wall directly above.
     
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  40. Midwest
    Online

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I don't think the Polish electrician even exists, if he does his written English is very good. Better than mine. :)
     
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  41. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Dare I suggest you ask the spark who is going to do the work?
     
  42. DaniQ
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    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Just to clear out a few points to understand where I'm coming from:

    I work in IT (Comms) where the work has to be planned very methodically to make sure you don't f*** up, leaving a few thousand users having a long break while you try to fix it. Then I a'm bit of control freak...Probably you know that by now.

    I'm not Polish, I'm Spanish instead.

    I'm not going to do the CU move myself. The Polish electrician will do it, I got a few things done by him in the past and he's been completely fine.

    I'm trying to get everything organised before he arrives to install a CU to find this doesn't fit, with the clock ticking and money running out of my pocket.

    You probably think...leave it to the professionals but I'm just planning and trying to understand as much as I can to avoid mistakes.

    My partner and I have been saving money for the last 8 years to get to this point and as you can imagine after all this effort we want to do things right.
     
  43. MerlinGremlin
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    MerlinGremlin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    warrington
    Don't scrimp on the electrics, I only use Schneider or MK boards as there top quality and parts readily available. Your Electrician should be advising you about all these questions you are asking as he can see everything onsite. He should be able to determine the layout of the circuits in the board and advise the best options, have you had an EICR carried out at all? £250 seems very cheap and I wouldn't install a BG board, cheap and nasty. I usually charge between £400-450 including full EIC, do your water and gas bonding need upgrading? When it comes to electrics pay a professional to do the work and make sure there a member of an organisation such Stroma, NICEIC, Elecsa etc, you will pay more than £250 but at least the job will be done properly and you won't have to keep posting on here asking questions.
     
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  44. Andy78
    Online

    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Doing things right, avoiding mistakes, and saving money, does mean leaving things to the professionals. The right professionals who are fully aware of the electrical regulations and legal requirements of this country. You need to verify you will be getting an electrical installation certificate and a building control certificate. You can research if your electrician will be able to notify building control without added cost or complication to yourself.
     
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  45. Midwest
    Online

    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    You might want to have read of this thread then;

    Few questions for an electrical installation - http://www.electriciansforums.co.uk/threads/few-questions-for-an-electrical-installation.122134/
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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