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Discuss Scrap the Ring final circuit in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Cadgey123
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    Cadgey123 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    London
    After coming across countless faults in domestic premises regarding ring final circuits, I reckon they should scrap em...

    Gets frustrating when you go to check
    continuity and there is nothing between each leg. Or you get a call to check a burning smell from the C.U and once again a broken ring feeding kitchen appliances.
    Obviously over the years it's just been cowboys let loose.
    Even a few agency guys I had working with me never knew what a ring was ???

    I read this article and it talks about the advantages but they sound very outdated.

    If we started buying 4.0mm2 t & e and throwing that in everywhere jobs a good un.

    What's everyone else's thoughts?
     
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  2. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
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    I wouldn't say all the RFCs over the years have been installed by Cowboys Mate you might upset a few of us "cowboys":mad::p:eek:
     
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  3. Cadgey123
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    Cadgey123 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    London

    What I meant to say was:

    They were initially installed correctly.

    But over the years the level of care and compotence has been reduced. Therefor making unnecessary faults
     
  4. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Oh right OK:D
     
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  5. anthonybragg
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    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    I'm concerned by the line that you had agency electricians that did not know what a RFC was
     
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  6. Cadgey123
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    Cadgey123 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    London

    Yeah so was I until I sent them packing.
     
  7. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    I agree Ant but you must admit some of the work you and I have seen, it makes you wonder, but then again I'm an old cowboy according to some. Need to hang up my spurs and Ring Finals.
     
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  8. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    There is nothing wrong with a ring final circuit and its use in modern installations. Just because they get abused by diyers and the like does not mean they are unsafe. Should we install everything to cater for the incompetent ?
    We have already started down that dark route with metal CUs. It's not hard to install and test a RFC, but many seem to struggle. I'm not of the opinion that regs should be dumbed down to cater for lack of training.

    4mm radials are more limited in their capacity. To be used in as many different reference methods as 2.5mm can in a 32A RFC, they must be limited to a 25A OCPD. I think I'd rather install a 20A 2.5mm radial myself.
     
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  9. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    That's almost certainly because they weren't trained in the uk.....
     
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  10. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Were they ever TRAINED?
     
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  11. 7029 dave
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    7029 dave Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    bedfordshire
    WHY?
     
  12. snowhead
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    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    If the "Cowboys " can't tighten cables or understand wiring methods then nothing will improve by scrapping the RFC.
    It'll just end up with 2 or 3 radials joined together somewhere.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
  13. Gavin John Hyde
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    Gavin John Hyde the lights are on but nobody is home

    Location:
    Kingswood
    Business Name:
    Sulis Electrical Services
    I have noticed on the job spec sheets of late that 4mm t&e is becoming much more common and standard on a RFC and radials. its almost become the default choice in case of future needs on some new builds. I have seen it quite a bit on prefab modular stuff they use to put together budget hotels and chain restuarants. each room comes ready wired ready to connect.

    On the one hand modern devices use and draw much less power so in theory 2.5mm is if anything becoming more suitable. When i asked the designer once he said its a mixture of all the insulation they are packing into the new buildings and also to future proof against future changes in use and demand.

    RFC's have lasted this long and i doubt this little british quirk will go away anytime soon
     
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  14. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Northampton
    Long live the Ring Main, Ooops SORRY RFC
     
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  15. anthonybragg
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    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    Slip of the tongue there Pete
     
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  16. paul291277
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    paul291277 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Not a fan of RFC's, the only advantage I see is saving space in the CU; disadvantages include the obvious dangerous one where a broken leg creates two 2.5mm2 radials on a 32a MCB that is undetectable until something serious happens , more awkward to test, more awkward to create alterations, more awkward to fault find. Two 20a 2.5mm radials use less cable than a RFC and are much more versatile IMO
     
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  17. paul291277
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    paul291277 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Andy made a good point about reference methods that I failed to mention but you would take that into account before planning; just saying that I'm not a fan of RFC's
     
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  18. JK-Electrical
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    JK-Electrical Politically Incorrect Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    JK Electrical
  19. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    I've encountered many radial circuits for both lighting and power which have been rendered non compliant or dangerous by diyers.
    So by the logic posted above in this thread should we ban radial circuits because incompetent people can get them wrong?
     
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  20. paul291277
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    paul291277 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Most common thing a DIYer will do is spur off of something, less of a risk on a radial in my opinion. True, we are not required by BS7671 to cater for future incompetence and cowboy interference, but it's another (albeit) small victory for radials
     
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  21. sparkdog
    Online

    sparkdog sparkdog Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Sunny Sussex
    Business Name:
    C MacRae Electrical
    I prefer to do a 4mm radial if its a kitchen.
     
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  22. paul291277
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    paul291277 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Have never considered a point from the link that JK posted; voltage drop when covering a large distance from DB.....this argument is not going to go away is it?
     
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  23. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    My experience when I was doing domestic work is that the biggest issue with diyers is that they use the incorrect size cable and don't make terminations securely.
    This affects any type if circuit
     
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  24. paul291277
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    paul291277 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Totally agree Dave, was trying to point out specific issues regarding RFC vs radial
     
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  25. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Found this on Friday:

    Ring.jpg

    This was revealed when a fireplace surround was removed ... all cables terminated nicely into separate terminals - and on a 32A MCB

    Ignorance by the DIYer or builder that did this.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  26. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Socket2.jpg

    This was my little discovery, installed circa 1960's, revealed 2015.
     
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  27. Cadgey123
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    Cadgey123 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    London

    The installer will still be trying to find continuity 50 years on haha......
     
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  28. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    It's quite simple really. If you feel that a RFC is not appropriate to your install for whatever reason, then don't use one. If you find them awkward or confusing to install and test, don't use them.
    But to call for the banning of them because they are dangerous when altered or misused by incompetent people is sheer nonsense. Should we ban cars ? They probably kill a lot more people than RFCs when altered and misused by incompetent people.
     
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  29. Marvo
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    Marvo GMES....You absolute beauty. YOU ROCK DUDE!!!! Staff Member

    Location:
    South Africa
    Surely the ring final circuit is just a tool in the box of the circuit designer? Use it where it's advantageous, don't use it, it's just an option. If we stop using circuit layouts just because cowboys screw them up then there's going to be no electrical installation whatsoever.
     
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  30. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    If bs7671 is followed as close as reasonably practical then there is no issue with any type of circuits installed past,future and present :)
     
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  31. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    This socket had been plastered over, presumably when the hose was built, behind a kitchen floor unit. The property had a CU replacement a couple years prior to my work. The 'RFC' had been converted into 2 x radials, as (I expect) the electrician (CU one or original) couldn't obtain continuity, but did not disconnect these legs. I only discovered it, when re-locating the kitchen sockets, and noticed the cable drop in the ceiling void.
     
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  32. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    midwest 1 - cowboys 0.
     
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  33. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    We was robbed
     
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  34. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Radials 1 RFC 0 :)
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  35. davesparks
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    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    Thee are very few specific issues with RFCs which don't affect radials. Poor quality work affects everything.
     
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  36. KennyKen
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    KennyKen Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Australia
    Is OP an Aussie? Sure sounds like one.
     
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  37. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    You realise if RFCs are done away with that means a new set of Regs, new qualifications to pay for, because believe me if it happens, the IET will br rubbing their hand together thinking of the influx of cash, as will the training companies, you can just imagine it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  38. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Can't see why. Remember watching some training video - was a couple of years ago now - Dave Austin demonstrating RFC testing. In his preamble, he said that the EU were going to ban RFC's, not that's going to happen now :)
     
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  39. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    If the IET can make money out of any changes, believe me they will, the NICEIC and all the others will go into overdrive with courses, exams ror new qualifications eg I'm Radial trained now.
     
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  40. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    could then incorporate it into the building regs....... part R.
     
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  41. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Training for RFC testing would still have to exist as they would still be encountered in the workplace for many decades to come even if not recognised.
     
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  42. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    What I have Part P and Part R? Crikey
     
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  43. Cadgey123
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    Cadgey123 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    London

    I worked in Aus for a few years so maybe I have been converted.
     
  44. NDG Elecs
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    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    I am often quite surprised by how good the results are on many RFCs I test. Obviously get icky ones too, but tbh I find some satisfaction in finding and fixing dodgy end to ends. Can be a pita, but always nice to hear the mft beep in delight! Yeah, yeah, I'm a saddo!
     
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  45. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    It's ok NDG your among friends here ;):).

    Like many have said, I see faulty Radials as well as RFC's. Banning RFC's won't cure the stupidity of some DIY nut job who decides he wants more sockets, or the Laziness / Incompetence or sheer poor training of some "Electricians".
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
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