Am I Being Conned?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by jeff williams, Jul 12, 2021.

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  1. jeff williams

    jeff williams New Member

    Ladies and Gents can I impose upon you for an unbiased assessment of an EICR I have had done?

    My view is that the resulting report is an attempt to overstate the seriousness of the situation and to change for work that does not strictly need doing.

    I've got C2 on no 30ma RCDs on the socket ring and on the lighting ring that includes the bathroom - which I think is correct.

    However the report states that my property 'requires the following work'

    • Remove existing obsolete square d consumer unit, replace with new metal clad dual 30ma RCD consumer unit with MCB’s. incorporate shower consumer unit into same new consumer unit: £(lots).

    I understand that the latest Regs require a metal clad unit but the existing MK plastic one and the MCBs have only been in there a few years.

    Whilst I appreciate that we all need to made a wage is it correct that the new metal unit is "required " as stated, or would this be satisfactorily remedied by just fitting a 30ma RCD, and I am being 'pressured or confused' into having unnecessary work done?

    As I said I know we all have to make a living but is this trying too hard - I genuinely don't mind paying if it really does need doing.
     
  2. Teki

    Teki Screwfix Select

    An EICR should be an assessment of the current state of your wiring but all too often become a way to generate additional work.

    If you already have a shower consumer unit and the lighting circuit is fed from that, does it not already not have an RCD fitted? Is the bathroom lighting circuit that you refer to in the same shower room?
     
  3. jeff williams

    jeff williams New Member

    thanks for your response.

    The shower was an addition to the original electrics and has it's own RCD. The lighting circuit that does not have an RCD is for all of the lights upstairs including the bathroom.
     
  4. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Are you being conned?

    More than likely. An EICR should only be a report consisting of observations, a list of items inspected, a circuit schedule and test results.

    Sounds like another board change artist
     
  5. jeff williams

    jeff williams New Member

    thank you for your reply. so your view would be that just fitting a 30ma RCD would be sufficient and there is no obligation on me to change to whole board?
     
  6. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    You say MK plastic one in place, but report states Square D?
     
  7. jeff williams

    jeff williams New Member

    Sorry - that's my mistake - the separate shower RCD and switch enclosure is MK the other one that houses all the other RCDs that he says 'requires replacement' is Square D.
     
  8. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    “I understand that the latest Regs require a metal clad unit but the existing MK plastic one and the MCBs have only been in there a few years.”

    What do you consider “a few years” to be, because I consider it more than a few years since it became a requirement for socket circuits to be protected by a 30mA RCD?
     
  9. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Answer : yes you are being conned.

    An EICR, which is what your ordered, is an inspection comparing your installation to the regs and looking for defects both visually and with test instruments.

    It should NOT under any circumstances come with a quote for any works, a professional will discuss any coded defects with the customer and give the options available, at this point a quote may be asked for by the customer.

    You do need RCD protection, You don't need a metal consumer unit - Square D was absorbed into Schneider a few years ago, it may be possible to get the components to update your board, it may be possible (with a small board) to fit a front end RCD on the tails (not great, but the budget approach) or you may indeed need a new board - but you can see there is a conversation to be had.

    Then there is the type of board, assuming you are having a new board, why in gods name have a split load!! RCBo is most likely more appropriate, then there is surge protection, future proofing, again more conversation to be had.

    Cost, I'm south west, changed a board in a cottage on thursday, 8 ways, yep cheaper split load option, economy board (BG)
    £250 labour, the going day rate in these parts, took a day as there was a bit of pfaffing about £150 for the board (and I made a better than £55 profit on that:)), how much were you quoted??

    I replaced the front end RCD (which was found faulty) feeding a 1967 installed Wylex 4 way board (upgraded with MCBs) because there was no real justifiable reason to change the customers board - it was like new, you couldn't fit it today, but I'm not one of these change the board every 2 years types!

    Can we see your EICR, I bet it's rubbish, if it has >299Mohms in every insulation field and the number 1667 in the Zs fields he hasn't tested much, its all made up - I love these cowboys!
     
  10. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Just had a peruse on ebay, no shortage of Schneider/Square D RCBos out there of all flavours, they even make the one that fits the oldest boards (with black breakers) new - so within reason adding RCD protection where needed will be fairly easy.

    (cost effectiveness depends on how many circuits need to be changed over)

    and for the OP, an RCBo is a combined RCD/MCB, replaces the MCB giving that circuit RCD protection.
     
  11. jeff williams

    jeff williams New Member

    thank you for that, I've attached the figures.

    this job is in an 80's terrace in west Suffolk - I struggle to see how a (probably) straightforward board swap is a day's work.

    What really set me off was the quote for 'Rectify issue with loose socket and switch fuse spur: £45.00'. this was actually just one screw missing in each so £45 is really taking the p**s.

    Likewise £85 to replace a bulkhead lamp which had the glass cover held on with a cable tie. (half an hour max?)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    OK, so you only have 5 ways on this board, I'm a bit confused because he has listed BS4293 as the protective device for the ring, but thats a code for an old type RCD, not an MCB
    The breakers are an old style too, BS3871/2, so reading that it sounds like the board dates from the 1980s?
    Can you post a pic of the board?

    Most decent sparks would just put the screw in FOC when going round, I have dozens in the bottom of my tool box!!, £85 for the light, I guess it depends on what light he's putting in as a replacement.

    It may well be more cost effective to replace a board of that age rather than source all the breakers and the cost of them. But as you only have such a small unit, and it's all been tested up, it's 2 to 3 hours of work and the cost of a new board - you can't always cost a job just by the hours, but he should have talked it through and agreed a price to do the lot.

    How much has he said for the new board?
     
  13. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Do the breakers look like these?, Old Square D quickline, distinctive switch design
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Main switch anything like this?
     

    Attached Files:

  15. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    So your definition of “a few years” is around thirty five years?
     
  16. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Certainly sounds like it Happy, I'm guessing a 100mA incoming RCD and old type MCBs - but lets see. Still £45 for an M3.5 screw is a bit heavy going!!
     
  17. Alan sherriff

    Alan sherriff Active Member

    I
    I would be looking at the special location for he bathroom if no SUPPLEMENTRY bonding that is linking all metal parts exsposed to touch has been removed or not in place an rcd for the lighting would suffice that area if yo have no rcd for sockets the installation is old or was not done to the regs at the time , looking at board an improve ment on a c3 but piece of mind change the board for rcbo and surge protection, also if the property is rented then go for safety
     
  18. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    So the board is likely quite old, and RCBOs or RCDs likely unavailable. While RCD protection could be added in other ways, a new consumer unit would be most electricians preferred method, and recommended.
     
    ElecCEng likes this.
  19. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    The regs do not state "a metal clad consumer unit", they require a CCU that will contain and limit the spread of fire caused by an internal issue in the CCU. A proprietary plastic CCU with an ignitability characteristic 'P', as it was called in the 16th, will fulfill the requirements. However, for a tester to recognize this requires a bit of research and common sense, often lacking or mislaid, but both Square D and MK are recognized quality units that will most likely fulfil the requirements of the regs.
     
  20. ElecCEng

    ElecCEng Screwfix Select

    Are you being conned? Difficult to tell without knowing how much you’ve been quoted.

    Shop around and get a few more quotes but don’t assume anything about the job. Changing a CU can take less than an hour but can take all day if there’s anything fiddly or installing RCD protection identifies additional faults.

    I’m not one to go around recommending metalclad CUs just for the sake of it like the London con mob, but it can often be the simplest/most cost effective way of sorting out a number of issues.
     

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