New RCD box

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Sharon NW, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Sharon NW

    Sharon NW New Member

    Family members have bought a house to rent out. Owner used to be an electrician, not currently registered, and happily retired. We got told that a new RCD box is needed ideally, though current situation is legal. Got quoted £300-£350, which, from my research online, is reasonable for the North West. Got told it's several hours work.

    Now 'family member' has found an RCD box, of an apparently good brand, for £21 from a shop (I am surprised, as we paid £80 ish for similar sized house RCD box). And he says he can install it in under an hour.

    Couple of questions:
    - Why are people wanting to spend a few hours on this when someone can do it in an hour? What else are they doing, and is this necessary?
    - Should 'family member' go ahead and do it himself, is this legal?

    All honest feedback appreciated - don't shoot the messenger and all that:) I am very happy to be educated on this. Thanks.
  2. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    What is an RCD box?

    Is it a single RCD mounted outside the CU and providing protection for a single circuit?

    or is it a Full Consumer Unit?

    A picture of what needs replacing would be useful.
  3. jonathanc

    jonathanc Guest

    what's legal? a big question. Pretty much every time most people drive a car they do somethig that is not legal.

    I think the challenge here is whether you pay someone who maintains professional insurance, registers a job and you can take to court if they get it wrong or you get a family member to do it, which is cheaper but if there is a problem ( say someone gets electrocuted or there is a fire( what happens - you've saved a few quid true but???

    and anyway what is an RCD box???
  4. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    This sounds like notifiable work and "family member" is a bodger.

    A full CU with RCD would be £100 minimum plus/minus, it must be all metal to be compliant with regs.
  5. Sharon NW

    Sharon NW New Member

    What he wants to buy is this:
    British General 63A Residual current device (RCD)
    Balance your electrical current with this 63A residual current device (RCD). It will disconnect the circuit whenever it detects a potentially dangerous unbalanced connection. It has double pole

    I guess the difference between him and the electrician is that electrician is recommending a full RCD unit, whereas family member is suggesting something much simpler?

    Where I get confused is the amount of time it takes. A few hours versus 1 hour is a big difference.

    By the way, this is NOT my house. It's the family member's house and I will be managing tenants. For my properties I had a registered electrician who did what was needed without squabbles from me ... I'm just trying to get the family member all the info to avoid him doing something cheap then someone pays a price down the line. Thanks for your help so far.
  6. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    Sounds like family member is suggesting fitting an RCD module into the existing Consumer Unit, whereas Electrician is suggesting a complete new CU.

    Frankly if it were me, I'd go with the complete new CU for a number of reasons:
    - you're renting it out so you don't want a bodge by an unqualified person, it could leave you liable.
    - as part of CU install, you can ask the electrician to check that all circuits are OK. He may do this anyway - then you get a clean bill of health.
    - not sure on the "legality" of family members adding an RCD module but its likely to be notifiable work (Sparks here can be more precise), see first point above.
  7. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    May I suggest that your 'family members' read The Landlords Guide published by Electrical Safety First before going any further. This will help to familiarise themselves with their responsibilities as a landlord.
    Hans_25 likes this.
  8. Sharon NW

    Sharon NW New Member

    Thanks again.

    What is the difference between an RCD module and a full RCD CU? Is one safer than the other?
  9. Philip Hyde

    Philip Hyde Screwfix Select

    Fitting an RCD into consumer unit is all well and good. But you will have Little or No circuit discrimination and when he powers up the unit and the RCD starts to trip Everytime who's going to find the fault??
  10. Alan sherriff

    Alan sherriff Active Member

  11. Sharon NW

    Sharon NW New Member

    Thanks everyone. I will pass this on to 'esteemed family member who owns the house' and hopefully I won't get shot down ....
  12. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    If they try, then point them in this direction. We have better quality ammunition and can be way more accurate in shooting down the "esteemed famaily member"

    Also, having a full CU change with invoice will allow it to be a deduction in te accounts whereas buy it and self install will not. So, the bill effectively drops quite a bit.
  13. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Having an RCD before the consumer unit is a big no no, what happens if it trips and all your power goes out, this could happen on a regular basis, get a decent sparks in fit dual board and get a certificate
  14. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Or get an even better sparks to fit a fully compliant all RCBO board.
  15. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Few points, If the existing CU is not a British General then you can't put a British General RCD in it as you cannot mix and match brands
    If he is planning on replacing the main switch of the CU with this 63A is not really sufficient, if it's a twin RCD set up maybe
    BG are OK, been around decades, but are an economy brand, a CU will cost £80 upwards depending on the spec.
    If the family member is not a practicing spark he will likely not be conversant with the current regs and make many errors in the work
    Does he own a calibrated test set to correctly test and certify the works.
    Is he a member of a competent persons scheme to notify the work, as required by law, to the LABC.
    If the answer is no to either of the above and he undertakes the work and there is any form of fire/electrical injury/electrocution in the future he will be in the dock faster than a rat up a drainpipe.
    Changing a domestic CU takes at least 2 hours to do properly, often much longer depending on the size, location, number of circuits.
  16. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I would personally refuse to manage the property if all work is not done legitimately and in accord with regs/the law. As the managing agent you will also be in hot water if it goes pear shaped.
  17. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    As an aside - Sharon Xuereb

    An interesting family name that I had never come across before and then today, twice, both here and in the list of those satnading for election in my constituency where a Rachel Xuereb is listed!
  18. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Interesting Mike, prompted me to look it up!, according to Google it's a Maltese surname, possibly of Spanish or North African origin - presumably pronounced zooreb?
  19. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    terrymac likes this.
  20. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Brilliant:D, if he's buying one of those for £21 he's been done!!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice