Getting building regulations for a rewire

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Wbloom, May 20, 2021.

  1. Wbloom

    Wbloom New Member

    Hi all,

    We're in a bit of a tricky position atm as we recently had our 3 bed terraced house rewired by an electrician who was recommended by a friend. He told us with confidence that he was a qualified electrician, but it's now transpired that he is not registered with any of the major electrical bodies so cannot self-certify his work.

    We would like what he has done to be run through building control to make sure it is all safe / legal, as we had not realised until recently that this was a legal requirement, and he had not mentioned anything either.

    What are our options to achieve this? Realistically given we're not 100% we can trust him or his work, can anybody recommend who / how we can proceed to getting everything checked and certified, and sent to building regulations to avoid any future issues with resale / fines / ensure safe electrics?

    Does anyone know generally what the cost for something like this might be, assuming there's no major problems with the wiring?

    Secondly - the whole house has now been plastered - is there a way to have this done in a non-destructive way or is it likely whoever conducts checks will need to chip away some of the new plaster? Floorboards are still loose / easily accessed so no issues getting under the floors.

    We're first time buyers so weren't well versed on our responsibilities as homeowners, and although we feel a bit silly about the whole thing we would appreciate some solid advice to help make it right.

    Thanks in advance
  2. ElecCEng

    ElecCEng Screwfix Select

    Contact your local council building control and let them know whats happened. They can provide 3rd party inspection and certification but they will need the designs and testing from your unregistered spark.

    Building control may want to remove the plaster and flooring but only they can tell you.
    Wbloom likes this.
  3. Roys

    Roys Active Member

    Even although your sparky was not registered with any of the major bodies he should still have done testing and provided a set of test certificates. In the good old days this used to be acceptable by the local council where I live but don’t think it does now and I am not up to date with things as I have been retired for a few years now.
    From what I understand it might be acceptable to get a sparky in to do a condition report (EICR), non destructive and a rough guess would be a half days work if the wind is blowing the right way.
    If you are unsure of the work done and for me, to get peace of mind I would probably want an EICR carried out, and as above a wee chat with the council might not go amiss explaining your thoughts on getting an EICR done.
    I am sure some of the more current sparks will be along to give more up to date advice.
  4. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Your spark who did the rewire MUST have provided you with an EIC which says what circuits there are, what cables were used in each circuit, what protection there is for each circuit. That's the design phase.
    Before turning power back on, he MUST have tested each circuit and recorded his dead test results.
    Then once satisfied that the dead test results were all OK, he MUST have live tested each circuit and recorded his live test results.
    He MUST also have tested the RCDs or the equivalent functions if he installed RCBOs. Those test results would also have been recorded. These together make the testing phase.
    If he didn't do all those things, then he is in breach of contract or is guilty of misrepresentation and you MUST pursue him for this. If you come to an out of court settlement, well and good. If not, take him to the small claims court.
    If he did do all those things then you have in effect already got your EICR, so no point in doing another. Yes, it's an EICR, and not an EIC, but it would certainly be good enough when it comes to selling the house. (The buyers will order a new one to protect themselves anyway.)
  5. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Why would he be in breach of contract if there is not contract saying he would do those things?

    It could be you are merely setting out your expectations, not what actually have been agreed upon.
    Jord86 and pppmacca43 like this.
  6. Wbloom

    Wbloom New Member

    If he did do all those things then you have in effect already got your EICR, so no point in doing another. Yes, it's an EICR, and not an EIC, but it would certainly be good enough when it comes to selling the house. (The buyers will order a new one to protect themselves anyway.)[/QUOTE]

    OK interesting - he did offer to do an EICR yesterday, but I was under the impression that wouldn't be enough to satisfy the council? Can I check in that case, would that be legal where building regs / home insurance were concerned? Or do I really need to be going via building regs / the council to be properly covered?
  7. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    In the real world the potential buyers will not be getting an EICR on a recently rewired property unless there likely to be an issue with the installation or paperwork.
  8. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    So long as you have the EIC's or an EICR you are fine, what you must not do is contact LABC about it in any way shape or form, when you come to sell, your conveyancer can buy, for £75 fixed fee "Non compliance with building regs" insurance that will protect you if, at any point after the sale there is an issue.

    However, if you contact LABC and give even a hint of a problem that insurance is null and void, so don't involve them or you could have a massive headache.

    You can be fully qualified, but not a scheme member, in that case you can still issue certificates showing compliance with BS7671, but not do the Part P notification on notifiable work. So there is no excuse for a certificate not being provided,

    Unfortunately for you, in law, so long as the electrician issues you with an EIC, so long as he didn't sell himself as a Part P registered electrician he has done nothing wrong, but you as the homeowner end up holding the baby.

    I know several, very good, unregistered electricians who mainly do commercial, with just a bit of small domestic, but they are responsible and don't overstep what they can do - and therefore are not landing customers in hot water.
    rogerk101 and pppmacca43 like this.
  9. Wbloom

    Wbloom New Member

    So are you saying we're best to leave it for now RE: EIC, and get an EICR and then indemnity insurance when we sell? That leaves me with a few concerns, as it seems like an easy negotiating point for the buyer to lower a fair amount of value on the price of the property in the future...

    We're thinking that as we're likely to take off the bathroom plasterboard during renovations in a year or two (the only stud wall with electrics running through it) it might be possible to have it all approved / signed off in terms of Part P retrospectively? Is that also possible? Then the damage to plaster would likely be minimal (only around plug sockets) and lifting a few floorboards doesn't sound as scary as pulling down plasterboard...

    Any thoughts, or shall we just live with it and learn our lesson to always find someone certified in the future?

  10. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    OK interesting - he did offer to do an EICR yesterday, but I was under the impression that wouldn't be enough to satisfy the council? Can I check in that case, would that be legal where building regs / home insurance were concerned? Or do I really need to be going via building regs / the council to be properly covered?[/QUOTE]

    Assuming the original electrician did an Installation Certificate, why would the council accept an EICR from him if they would not accept the original certificate?

    The only way to find out what the Council want is to ask them, that means conversing with them and then that flags up that there is an issue that they did not know about before you told them.

    To be honest I don't know what to tell you to do, as @Tony Goddard said he has left you holding the baby.
  11. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    My wife is a conveyancing solicitor, she, and many others routinely buy that insurance as part of the selling process, I don't think the buyer even knows about it, there are so many bits of paperwork that householders loose and cannot get copies of that it's a sensible thing to have in place and very common - for example most people just chuck out the paperwork on their windows after a bit without realising you need the Fensa certificiates.

    What you really, absolutely do need is the EIC (Electrical Installation Certificate) from your spark, if he is qualified then he knows how to test, and will be testing his work with suitable test gear. He should provide you with an EIC, that confirms the work is safe at the time of testing.

    I would try and get that paperwork and not worry about it any more, if you can't get the paperwork you could engage another electrician to do an EICR for you, which will give you peace of mind that there are no obvious problems.

    Yesterday I was at a customers, looking at a newly installed radial of 3 double sockets, installed by an NICEIC member, wired in 2.5 twin and earth from a 32A breaker - which is very bad - unfortunately registration and competence are two different things!
  12. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Just so you know how the system works

    Electrician does work, issues EIC to customer, Electrician notifies scheme (ie NICEIC) of work, they issue Part P compliance certificate and notify the council.

    That notification to the council is just something that goes to a file to die, the only thing councils use the data for is to detect unauthorised building works, because they end up showing up in electrical certificates. Apart from that, if everything has been done to conform to the wiring regs and Part P they don't care, the just archive the data.

    They can only, in law, force you to undo a work either within 12 calendar months or because they can prove thay have reason to believe it is unsafe or breaches planning consent.

    The only time this will rear it's head is when you come to sell, if you have an EIC or an EICR and have purchased the insurance, no one will bat an eyelid, it happens every day in solicitors offices up and down the country. To get Part P certification on your house will involve talking to the council, which will close the insurance door, and you will end up having to have the place ripped apart by another electrician to get it signed off - it would almost be cheaper to start again!!
  13. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Bottom line ... let it be, forget about it, move on to more interesting things, don't look back, etc.
  14. Wbloom

    Wbloom New Member

    Thanks everyone, some really insightful / useful advice on here. Much appreciated.
  15. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    Yes had it with parents house, we were getting a wet room fitted, we assumed the builders were doing all the paperwork, when he ran off into Welsh hills I contacted the LABC to take over the job, wish I had never bothered.

    Seems he had not registered the job, lucky it was for mothers disability so no charge, but the hassle it caused and after all that they still missed the lintel only supported on one end, so what was the point?

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