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  1. KevSex
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    KevSex New EF Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Hi all,

    Just new to the forum so go easy on me :)

    I'm going through a personal project to lay floor down in my loft and whilst doing so, installing a couple of sockets to allow for some computer equipment to run.

    I've been speaking to a few mates and found that I am ideally wanting to find a ring main to install my socket onto. I feel like I've fell at the first hurdle as this is proving difficult to locate.

    I have managed to locate a wire going to my smoke alarm which I'm reluctant to use for obvious reasons.
    I've also located a box above my bathroom which I've found is a transformer for a fan in the bathroom. Reading up on this further, the fan is SELV and the box reads "Safety Extra Low Voltage". There is two wires going into this from what I can see however suspect an additional wire coming out from underneath it (connecting up to the bathroom lighting).

    I'm looking to find out if the two cables going into this transformer will be part of the ring main and therefore have the right voltage/amperage to support the computer equipment.
    Is there any other way of identifying what wire best to use?

    I've attached a picture of this too.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Kev

    IMG_20170528_170424.jpg
     
  2. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Unless you already have a socket in the loft then you will almost certainly not have any wiring of the socket circuits up there. Everything you have described so far is going to be part of a lighting circuit.

    Sockets don't have to be connected to a ring circuit, they can also be on radial circuits. In your situation this decision will be largely based on where there is an existing point on a power circuit to run the cable from.

    An electrician will often be able to route a cable from the first floor via a built in cupboard such as an airing cupboard to get to the loft. There is quite often a suitable point in an airing cupboard that could be used to feed loft sockets. It is impossible to determine this without looking at the installation and making an assessment of what can be done. There are a lot of regulations which need to be complied with to ensure that electrical work doesn't present a fire or electric shock hazard.
     
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  3. KevSex
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    KevSex New EF Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. Makes sense to take one up from the 1st floor through a cupboard.

    The reason I was thinking one of these wires would have been suitable is that there is a 230V shaver socket in the bathroom below. Would I not be able to take it off that to achieve what I'm after?

    Thanks again,

    Kev
     
  4. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    No, shaver sockets are normally fed via a lighting circuit.

    It's not just a case of finding a suitable wire and connecting to it, there's a lot more to the job.
     
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  5. Andy-1960
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    Andy-1960 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    To be honest, I think you should be looking at getting an electrician in to do this.
     
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  6. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Not having a dig at the OP, and no disrespect intended, but don't you find Kev's post indicative of the General Public's understanding of all thing electric?
     
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  7. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Totally agree with Dave & Andy but will put it in slightly different terms.
    If you take power from an existing Lighting cable & start using it to power computers etc, the cable will in all probability overheat and may well catch fire.
    The minimum this will do is severely damage your property, which your Insurance won't cover.
    A more likely scenario is destruction of the property & possible Death of the occupants at the time and you being prosecuted for Manslaughter.

    Call a good Electrician & get it done properly.
     
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  8. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    I have often thought about this and I think it is in our DNA. We see our parents fiddling with lectric like fitting plugs extending cables with taped joints and it is bourne into us to follow likewise but never gas though because our patents left that alone and we follow suit.
     
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  9. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I also note that the OP's location is Scotland. I'm not up to speed on Building Warrants and when and where they are required, but as this is part of a loft conversion, I guess there will be some requirement to comply with Building Regs, which may include the electrical installation.

    OP, as you've already been advised, employ an electrician.
     
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  10. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    How much computer equipment are you wanting to put in your loft?
     
  11. KevSex
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    KevSex New EF Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Appreciate the feedback. Will probably go down the route of getting a qualified electrician to carry this out.

    In terms of computer equipment, it's quite a few devices, server, access point, router, raspberry pi, NAS so best to do it right.
     
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  12. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Do you need a Building Warrant for the loft conversion itself?
     
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  13. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Yes mate they apparently do, before work starts. Then a certificate of habitation at the end once inspected.
     
  14. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Would make sense, fire escape etc.
     
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  15. Spoon
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    Spoon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Even just for putting some flooring down?
     
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  16. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    From what I was just told, yes. It's not just having some boards put down though, it's having Power & Lighting added.
    It's changing from attic storage, to a usable & habitable space.

    Will also need any smoke detection extended to cover attic space as well.

    Scottish building regs are apparently a lot stricter than England / Wales.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  17. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    If your putting down some chipboard, to increase storage, I guess not. Putting down some flooring to make a liveable space, I guess it would. Loading, fire escape etc. But BC would advise.

    Edit; ^^ what he said.
     
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  18. richy3333
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    richy3333 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    UK
    Yep they are and no stupid Part P :)
     
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  19. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    My middle daughter has been nagging to move to Scotland, lack of part P would have to count as a big plus :cool::)
     
  20. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    Agree with others about getting an electrician in to do the extra sockets, but are you sure putting computer equipment in a loft is a good idea . my loft at the moment is about 55 degrees C , :sweat: so you will probable need some air conditioning units in there as well !
     
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  21. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Or some windows :)
     
  22. Rpa07
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    Rpa07 2000 posts - only 46379 behind Telectrix! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bristol
    Business Name:
    Ebenezer electrical
    Like that takes 5 minutes @Midwest@Midwest !
     
  23. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Can't say I agree with this, the most it's going to do is trip the breaker due to overload. Can't see how a 15-20A cable on a 6A breaker is going to catch fire (assuming of course a typical domestic lighting circuit)
     
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  24. Rpa07
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    Rpa07 2000 posts - only 46379 behind Telectrix! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bristol
    Business Name:
    Ebenezer electrical
    I think a point was being made @hightower@hightower - you wouldn't tap a power circuit with 13amp outlets on a 6 amp circuit so just go with the warning posts - which they are intended judging by the OP attitude.
     
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  25. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Sounds like a dedicated circuit would be the best way forward...
     
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  26. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    So you'd advocate someone connecting, sockets to a lighting circuit ?
    Don't know how long you've been around this industry, but I've been around it long enough to have seen the aftermath of doing so on more than one occasion. Trust me it's not pretty.
     
  27. Rpa07
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    Rpa07 2000 posts - only 46379 behind Telectrix! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bristol
    Business Name:
    Ebenezer electrical
    So picture the scenario - you are up in the loft playing with your raspberry pi (still don't know what one of them is!) and the breaker goes due to the overloading that you've placed on the lighting circuit because you took the easiest route and spurred off the lighting circuit in the loft. No strong stairs, you have to manage yourself down the rickety loft ladder WITH NO LIGHTS 'CAUSE THEY'VE TRIPPED and reset your breaker - mmmmmh!
     
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  28. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Please show me where I've said such things? My post was merely in disagreement with what you said the outcome would be. A properly designed lighting circuit isn't going to burst in to flames - that's literally the first thing you learn at college. However, I agree with what everyone else has said about a dedicated circuit (or jumping off a more suitable circuit), I just disagree that (untrue) scare-mongering is the way to advise the OP to get a professional in.
     
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  29. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    It's not scaremongering at all, fact seen it happen. Please don't insult me by trotting out the MCB will stop that happening, that's a crock.
    When the op's 6a ? MCB has cleared an overload on multiple occasions then welded it's contacts together, ergo can't clear an overload. What happens then ?.

    Anyway as far as I'm concerned, conversation over & done with.
     
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  30. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    if an attic is insulated properly, i.e. between the roof rafters instead of on the floor, then the heat in summer is vastly reduced, and it doesn't freeze in winter. double bonus.
     
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  31. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I'm a bit dubious about this new fangled insulation between the rafters .... just think about all the cold air venting the roof space..

    Our extension was insulated between the rafters... and open to the existing lost which has the old itchy stuff ..... so I added the itchy stuff in the extension...... and I know the new part does get blxxdy hot in the summer too!
     
  32. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    What happens if the MCB fails on a circuit that can easily be overloaded by design, such as a socket circuit? So do we need to start lashing in 16mm twin and earth just in case?
     
  33. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Have some trouble getting 2 16mm2 in a socket HT (JOKE)
     
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  34. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    One might have to consider installing cables with a higher ccc, such as the picture the OP first posted, reg 523.9.

    Appendix 15 gives informative guidance on cable size selection for ring final & radial circuits.

    Reg 433.1.204 states 'accessories to BS 1363 may be supplied through a ring circuit......The circuit should be wired .........with a minimum csa of 2.5mm (except MI)'. Can't find a similar reg for radials, but guess there must be.

    Seen cheeky single sockets, blagged of the first floor lighting, to power the aerial booster, but somebody could plug in a 3kw, for their 'hydroponics' :)

    So when would that 6a mcb trip, and what current would flow through the de-rated cable?
     
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  35. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    An overload is an overload, doesn't matter if it's because too many lights on the circuit, or because a 13A socket outlet is installed off it. If a 1.5mm cable feeding a light can deal with an overload while the 6A breaker begins to work, why wouldn't a 1.5mm cable feeding a socket outlet work the same way? I'm struggling to get my head around people's arguments on here.
     
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  36. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    But this circuit will not be a properly designed circuit once a DIYer has added sockets too it. And there's a pretty high chance that once they've tripped the mcb a couple of times they will solve the problem with a higher rated mcb.
     
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  37. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Yes the 6A mcb will operate the same regardless of what caused the overload.

    But the common way a DIYer solves the problem of an mcb tripping through overload is to replace it with a higher rated one.

    You also need to think about the size of the overload, the regulations require that we avoid the possibility of long duration small overloads as mcbs can't detect small overloads.
    If the result of this additional socket is a load of 7A then it will take a long time to trip, but in all that time the thermal element in the mcb will be sitting there slowly cooking itself.

    I think, and experience suggests, that small overloads damage mcbs more often than cables. Normally this results in an over-sensitive mcb but every once in a while it results in an mcb failing closed.
     
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  38. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Of course, I haven't got a outdoor socket for my deck lights, switched from inside on my downstairs lighting circuit :oops:
     
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  39. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    559 Luminaires & Lighting Installations. Reg 559.5.1 connection to the fixed wiring. At each fixed lighting point one of the following shall be used for the termination of the wiring system;
    (i) A ceiling rose to BS 67 etc, etc, etc
    (v) A suitable socket outlet to BS1363-2
    (vii) A connection unit to BS 1363-4
    :)
     
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  40. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    Well experience is something I can't argue against at this early stage in my career. And thanks for taking the time to explain it like that.
     
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  41. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Arrgh, I do like a happy ending :)
     
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  42. hightower
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    hightower Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Durham
    You do end up paying more for them though. What? What?:oops:
     
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  43. Santa
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    Santa Active EF Member

    A perfectly legal alternative would be to buy an extension lead with six sockets on the end and run the cable through the ceiling to a 13 amp socket. My computer, printer and a couple of chargers are plugged into an extension simply because I don't have enough sockets for them all.

    Having an electrician wire up a spur would obviously be better but it's not essential.
     
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  44. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Words are free, its how you use them that might cost you (RJM) :)
     
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