EICR and wired fuses

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Myfordman, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Myfordman

    Myfordman New Member

    I have a rental home domestic installation with a standalone 30mA RCD in a box followed by a Wylex CU with BS3036 wired fuses all in good condition. In an EICR inspection, should this be classed as C3 just because it is not the latest standard but still safe or is it C2 and must be changed.
    Is this written down in some official document just in case of a future "discussion" with an inspector
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. adgjl

    adgjl Member

    BS3036 fuses are acceptable in the latest edition of BS7671: The Wiring Regulations.
     
  3. Ind spark

    Ind spark Active Member

    As far as I remember there is no code needed for rewirable fuses, there's still a table for them in the regs.
    But there is other problems like rcd protection which you say you have.
    Also there's a factor of 0.725 which derates cables for sizes of wires used.
    You'll get better advice soon, that's just what I remember as iv not used 3036 fuses for years.
     
  4. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I wouldn't code it at all (and have done a few like this recently), as adgjl says fuses are acceptable - the only issue would be if there are any problems with the board - ie missing the fuse cover or flash pads under the fuses.
    If it is the all bakelite version, I wouldn't mention it, if it is the version with the wooden back I'd probably raise it as possibly requiring upgrade on fire risk grounds.
    These boards were generaly only 4 or 6 way, so replacing with an RCBo board wouldn't cost the earth and would be worth considering on a rental - if a fuse blows, is you tennant going to be able to fix it safely? will they use the right wire etc., you have to think along those lines too, on that basis I would at very least switch the fuses for plug in MCBs
     
  5. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    I see these boards regularly. It all tests out ok then no code.
    Usually, it is the lack of RCD and SPD devices or undersized earth in or bonding that get flagged up for improvement.
    As Tony says, usually a fairly simple job to change for a compliant board.
     
  6. Myfordman

    Myfordman New Member

    Thanks very much chaps. Situation is I had an EICR done and the guy found a number of legit issues which I will fix but clearly was having a bad day and marked the wylex box and fuses as a C2. I was not there at the time and according to the tenant, he spent the whole time muttering under his breath about this and that and the report had 31 comments most being other than C3.
    The place is let on a 10 year agricultural tenancy and I've read somewhere that long lease properties don't need EICR but I want to be a responsible landlord and not rely on quirks of the rules in the event of a problem.

    Needless to say once I have visited the property and fixed the issues (or got someone to do them) I'll get a different chap to do an inspection.
     
  7. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

  8. Myfordman

    Myfordman New Member

    Thanks Bazza.
    That document is really useful.
     
  9. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    The fuse board needs to be judged overall, not just on the type of fuse.

    An open backed wooden framed fuse board with a big hole in the wall or ceiling where the cables come through that has gaps around the fuse holders and other issues needs commenting on regardless of it being occupied with rewirable fuses, cartridge fuses or plug in MCBs to BS 60898.

    The local council have not allowed fuse boards such as the one you have described in Homes in Multiple Occupation for over fifteen years unless enclosed in a fire resistant cupboard utter regardless of where they are located in the property.

    I had to replace one in a Bed and Breakfast Guest House around fifteen years ago because the Fire Brigade condemned it despite it looking in excellent condition.

    So, yes BS3036 rewirable fuses are still acceptable, but look at the whole picture.

    I know that Agricultural Tenancies can be a thorny issue with some elderly retired farm workers having lifetime tenancies stopping younger working stockmen living on the job to deal with issues easily overnight and during other “out of work” time, if there is such a thing for stockmen (or stock ladies for that matter) and so some tenanted homes aren’t maintained as well as they possibly could be.

    In all honesty, yes the rewirable fuse board may be okay, but after seventy years it is an obsolete design having been designed in the 1950’s and is probably due an update. Having said that there’s a local contractor using a 1956 Ford tractor to wrap big bales for sileage and it’s going strong.
     
  10. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    That tractor will be a whole lot easier to fix than the computerised things we use today.
     
  11. Myfordman

    Myfordman New Member

    The place was built in the very late 70's early 80's and the CU is the type made from a very hard plastic almost bakelite but is a cream colour. It's located in a outbuilding and feeds a small bungalow alongside. There are only 5 of the 6 circuits in use.
    I really don't want to replace it as there looks to be very little spare cable so could be very tight to wire it.
    The tenants are quite savvy and more than able to to re-wire a fuse.
    I'm willing to spend a bit on it to makes sure it is safe but its not viable to go to great lengths.
     
  12. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Thats the last incarnation of the Wylex standard, which was in production until 2010 ish. The case is Urea Formaldehyde, which is non combustible, and the gubbins are bakelite.

    From what you describe it sounds OK to me, it's not in the dwelling, it's not the wooden backed version, and your tennent can re-wire a fuse - Happy days!

    Having grown up on a farm myself, you clearly are very up to date having 80's kit, our farmhouse had and still has a glass fronted death trap fuse box from the 30's! (re-wired with PVC cable in the 60's but being tight they re used all the fittings!!)
     
  13. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    As a landlord, which I am not, my main concern would be what happens if a fuse blows. This would require a call out for an electrician and the associated cost. Replacing the old CCU with a new unit will avoid these costs and allow the tenant to quickly and safely restore power after a fault without the cost of a call out.
     
  14. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    An interesting question, and I really don't know full answer, as said nothing wrong with a rewirable fuse carrier, but I seem to remember you should not use rewirable fuses when an ordinary person is in control?
    but looking at BS7671:2001 I can't find any reference to ordinary person using rewirable fuses.

    The problem is clearly an ordinary person may use wrong size of fuse wire, but who decided that ordinary persons should not change fuse wire, or that distribution boards should be type tested? BS 7671 incorporates new rules by CENELECT and other organisations who unlike the IET/BSi publication is law, the
    "not necessarily" allows for when some law means it does need upgrading.

    However fortunately with an EICR we are not required to say if legal, only in dangerous, potentially dangerous, or recommended, we don't have to know if legal.

    Since the Electrical safety council show this upload_2021-7-25_9-9-11.jpeg I am not really worried about passing an installation with rewirable fuses. But on the other hand I would not say an inspector who did give a code C2 is wrong. And the reference with ESC does not say anything about who is in charge.

    The main problem with the old Wylex fuse board is the main switch is only rated 60 amp, so either the total of fuses should not exceed 60 amp, or the DNO fuse should not exceed 60 amp, my house it is clearly marked on the DNO fuse 60 amp.

    The new landlord law says the EICR should not include the DNO equipment, but the IET guidance says it should, also the new law includes equipment not normally moved, but IET guidance there is a different inspection for equipment, the EICR is only for the installation.

    I have replaced the rewirable fuses in my home with RCBO's but I see nothing forcing a landlord to follow suit, there are some places where a RCD is required. If bonding not in bathrooms, with TT installations, and where the manufacturer of the equipment being used says it needs RCD protection. I may feel the Bosch boiler does not need a type A 30 mA RCD, but if they said it does, then it should get a code C3 at least.

    What I find hard is solar panels and electric car charging, it is all well and good manufacturers instructions saying
    but by the time I am doing an EICR likely that packaging is long gone.

    All I can say thank god I am retired and can select the jobs I do.

    I do remember one boss saying to me, always find a fault when inspecting, then any latter problems you can blame on some one else, i.e. guy who fixed the fault. He did have a point.
     

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