Consumer unit replacement issue

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Coldcut, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    I live in a block of flats which I have a mortgage for.
    I have the old type grey wylex fusebox that I have never had any issues with.
    I have recently received a letter from the directors of where I live that run the flats saying that they wish to see everyone's safety electrically certificate of compliance to show that they have upgraded there old fusebox.
    They are saying its because of the buildings insurance and without it, the buildings insurance will not be covered.
    I know it needs updated for safety reasons but can they basically force me to get the board changed?
    The flats are only 2 stories high and I don't live on the ground floor.
    I pay a service charge every 6 months which goes to the maintainence of the buildings etc and for the cost of the buildings insurance.
    As I have economy 7 as well, I know I'm looking at having to pay for the installations of 2 consumer units.
  2. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Well-Known Member

    post a pic of board.
    we are not can't advise on legal matters.
  3. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    I would look very carefully at the deeds of your house.
    I find it very surprising that a private organisation can force you to do something that is not a national or local authority regulation. There are regulations that say that everyone in the country/county/local authority needs to upgrade their consumer units, so what grounds are they using to force you to do it?
  4. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    I'll post the image later as the file size of the image is to large to upload.
    I will also add the extra info on what they are saying, threatening to do if I don't get it done.
    And Roger it's a flat with a lease.
    As far as I am aware the wording in the lease can't change which was issued in the 60,s and everyone had the same fusebox installed then.
    For all the years I've been there, there has never been an issue regarding if someone still had the old fusebox fitted and I suppose some of the other flats possible still have the same old box installed.
    Thanks for the replies so far.
  5. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    Sorry that was supposed to say "There are no regulations ..."
  6. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Ha no problems.
    With you saying there was, i thought that I have to get it done.
    I'll provide more info later wirhbwgats worded on the letter.
  7. fire

    fire Well-Known Member

    I had similar issue a year or so ago like this.

    Insurance companies tend to want to see an electrical test safety certificate without any warnings. If you have a certificate already look to see if any codes are present. If there are then this is why they are ordering you around, they want to know if you have fixed the problems.

    If you don't have a certificate then it might be wise to get a a sparky in to do you a full test on your wiring with test certificate so you can send a copy of to said property persons.

    Generally consumer units need be changed if additions or major works to the electrical system are done such as fitting a new bathroom, kitchen or adding a new circuit. Are your insurance premiums higher if you are on an old electrical system then probably yes as it is a higher risk to insure but we are now clutching at straws. Moral of the story is Insurance companies and lessholds want to see a gas test certificate(every year), electrical test certificate(generally every 5 years) etc.

    Note this is not legal advice, it is just to give you an idea from experience what it is all about.
  8. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Thanks for that information Fire.
  9. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Image added of old box
    The letter basically says that failure to produce this certificate with result in the lessee being in breach of terms of the lease.
    It then says that they will have no alternative but to invoke the terms of the lease in conjunction with the law of proerty act?
    In all the years iv'e been hear,iv'e never had such a threatening letter.

    Attached Files:

    Sparkielev likes this.
  10. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Wouldn't it fail because it has no protection?
    Image added of box in last post
  11. jonathanc

    jonathanc Active Member

    you need to get a copy of your lease and see exactly what it says BUT

    it would be very unusual to include a clause to require leaseholders to make improvements to properties to ensure continued compliance with updated building regulations.

    There may however be requirements to keep the property safe ( in which case the question is whether your current set up is inherently safe or unsafe, not whether it is compliant with regs).

    more likely that the lease says you need to maintain the property - maintain is just that, maintain ( keep working in good order as installed, not improve it when new regs come into force

    ultimately your question is more legal than electrical..
  12. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Yes thanks for the advice.
    I've decided to get the fusebox changed, just need to get a quote for a sparky to fit me 2 consumer units with a test and certificate.
    Anyone in the West Midlands willing to give me a quote?
  13. fire

    fire Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you just need an electrical test certificate.

    Have a test done should be around £150 to get it fully tested, use a reputable registered spark who is able to produce you a full detailed test certificate for all wiring condition etc. The problem you are going to have with that fuse box is that you have no RCD protection. They kind of want to see that update wherever possible.

    Obviously if you are on the top floor, you will have cables running in the loft space most likely, so he will need access to that space to inspect cables. We have to go up their and take a physical look now rather than just test it.

    There would be warnings for sure but without doing the full inspection and test there is no way anyone can say it will fail. A fail is when you find something dangerous and requires immediate attention to remedy.
    "No RCD" protection could result in a Code2 or Code3 depending what they are supplying power too.

    For instance no RCD to sockets where one could use to plug in a grass cutter outside would be a code2 or a electric shower.

    If you talk to a good local spark, get a quote for test and upgrade of the consumer unit. He should be able to give you a good price for the work parts and test all together.

    There is no doubt that leaseholds want to see you upgrade this but in reality from what you are saying in the letter they are asking for a test certificate to deem the installation safe or dangerous. They may have received a test from your neighbor which deemed a code2 or code1 and they are acting on that.

    Sorry for the delay in reply, had a warranty issue to deal with.
  14. Bazza

    Bazza Well-Known Member

    Interesting point ( at least I think it is).

    Back in the day, fuseboards like yours were metal. Thats what things were made of.
    In ensuing 30 years or so, consumer units have tended to be made of plastic - cos its cheaper, lighter, etc.

    In the past few years there have been a number of house fires that have been blamed on plastic consumer units/fuseboards which (we are told) don't restrict the spread of fire, should a fire start in the consumer unit. response to pressure from fire people, the third amendment to BS 7671:2011 (IET Wiring Regulations Seventeenth Edition), included a new regulation requiring consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies in domestic premises to be in a non-combustible enclosure.
    Consumer unit makers supposed that is meant metal, and thats what all consumer units are made of today.

    Back to the future.

    If the reason for the change of fuseboard is so that you'll have a non-combustible enclosure then what is the point, you already have got one!
    fire likes this.
  15. fire

    fire Well-Known Member

    Id have said if anything it is the RCD issue but that is not a Code1. Without a proper test inspection it is hard to say.
  16. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    Is that a pair of pyros coming in? will be fun and games if it is. Ironically some of the dross that gets fitted on board changes nowadays will be far more likely to burn the place down than whats there at the moment. Surely an EICR without any C1 or C2's should suffice for insurance purposes.
    fire likes this.
  17. Bazza

    Bazza Well-Known Member

    I'm not a guessing sort of person, but I would expect its two mains feeds
    one 24-hour, one off peak.

    But you right, reterminating 50 year-old MICC is not a fun thing.
  18. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    Yes I w
    As told it's pyro cable coming in
    Yes I was told it's pyro cable coming in.
    Thanks for the replies.
  19. Coldcut

    Coldcut Member

    NO loft either, just ceiling.
    fire likes this.
  20. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    If that's the case then my advice would be to choose someone who is about 50 years old to change the boards and not a young upstart in a spotless NICEIC jacket with 20 screwdrivers and 10M of earth sleeving tucked in his belt.

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