Tails buried in a wall

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by peter palmer, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    I've got another EICR to do on a complex next week and do any remedial work necessary. * flats in 2 blocks and some are fed in 16mm T&E and other are fed in single tails/earth for whatever reason.

    The T&E's are fed via fused isolators but the tails come straight from the meter and then through a DP isolator switch and then onto the flats.



    Firstly there is no overload protection on the tails at all, just an isolator and secondly some of these tails go all the way to the second floor and I'm concerned about the cables runs, you can see from one mains unit they drill straight through the wall and are obviously buried in the plaster in the middle of the landing side, probably not even in any sort of zone,even more dangerous than burying a t&e cable.

    So, if I replace the isolators with fused ones am I then liable for the buried tails in the wall and need to do something about it?

    The company don't want an EICR with any C1 or C2's. C3's are permissible if its just a technical non compliance, the only way I can see is fused isolators and new SWA submains but this would obviously cost thousands and as usual they are tight fisted.
  2. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Well-Known Member

    What's the practical loading of each flat.
    What did the last EICR show.
    Regs are not retrospective
    Have you confirmed the sub main protection... per flat.
    If the tails/ sub mains are not up to the cut out capacity you can fuse them down and even maybe rcd them. 100ma S type
  3. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Firstly, why are you allowing a third party to dictate to you what codes they will accept? You get involved with some strange situations. You are being asked to perform an EICR which places YOU in a very vulnerable position if you make a statement that is later proved false. YOU are the boss in this situation, not the client. If the client is being so damned belligerent you really should not be involved at all! They have to accept a code C1 or C2 if it is warranted. Bloody disgrace what they are dictating to you.

    Secondly, where is the design brief for the tails? Who made the decision to route the tails in that manner, the designer or the contractor? Ask them for a detailed plan of where they are and why they were routed in that manner. If they are dangerous what point is there in adding any overload protection? That ain't gonna solve the danger is it? And yes you will be altering the desihgn so don't change anything unless they agree to accept the reasons why. You appear to be on sticky ground with them. Walk is my advice.
  4. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    Good god, you don't half go on sometimes. I wanted a bit of practical advice on whether I would be responsible for RCD protection on the tails if I swapped the isolator for the fused type, or whether I could just swap it over and mark it as a C3 on the EICR due to lack of RCD.

    How would I know who when and where things happened during the wiring of the place, this company buy buildings all over the show and renovate them to a certain standard for adapted living. If an EICR comes back as having any C1 or C2's on them then their insurance wont cover them to let the building out, so they have to be corrected one way or another.

    What they don't want though is to spend money just because I say it might be better if they alter the wiring a certain way, as long as it legally complies then that's what they want so I like to make sure I'm spot on with the advice I give.

    Don't think I'll walk from a job either that is paying top dollar for what amounts to changing the lights to LED and doing EICRs most of the time, you can stick to crawling under floors if you like.
  5. Magicspark

    Magicspark Active Member

    They could be buried deeper than 50mm, they could also be routed in zones. To find out would mean pulling apart the fabric of the building. The client could agree to this being a limitation as it’s too intrusive to find out?
  6. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to pull them out of the wall and put them in trunking
  7. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Yes, if you make any changes to the tails YOU will become responsible for them. Personally you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear. If the tails are buried in landing walls without any indication as to where they are then that's a non-conformity C1.
  8. Magicspark

    Magicspark Active Member

    Absolute claptrap...How is it a C1? For all you know they could be within the 150mm prescribed zone from a corner.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  9. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    This is the problem, they might all be 50mm or more deeper and there is an exclusion on an EICR about this. Suppose its the same as doing a mains change, how do you know the routes the cables take once they leave the consumer unit, they might go diagonal across a wall for all anyone knows.

    If it was just a single house it would be feasible to run a new sub main in without too much trouble and maybe a bit of re-decorating, however this is a purpose built apartment building that needs 8 new submains or at least 6, 2 are T&E but still no RCD protection. Why anyone would choose to run in meters and meters of 25mm tails is beyond me though.
  10. Woloumbo

    Woloumbo Member

    OMFG. A C1? Joker.
    Magicspark likes this.
  11. spinlondon

    spinlondon Well-Known Member

    C2, it’s not immediately dangerous.
  12. Coloumb

    Coloumb Well-Known Member

    If you are able to measure the Zs at each flat the cut-out fuse might provide fault protection.
  13. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Yes, C2. Agree. So what. Its still going to upset your clients, boo hoo.
  14. spinlondon

    spinlondon Well-Known Member

    Could go for FI.
  15. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Agree. Perhaps in light of the atitude of the client it would buy time but it still makes life difficult for any poor sod doing EICRs for them.
  16. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Can you imagine the pressure of presenting their boss with a C2? Silly world isn't it. Insurance companies dictating to Clients. Clients dictating to electricians. Arguments about whethr its C1, C2 or C3. Its all a joke.
  17. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    I don't find I'm under pressure telling them it's ******, I just can't be bothered with the long drawn out arguments as to whether it does need doing or not so I like to be 100% right.

    BTW the company doing this renovation is a different company that had that massive doss house I posted the other week, that company runs and manages countless doss houses that are all occupied and just does the maintenance/upgrade work on them and they are a nightmare to work for. This company specialises in buying blocks like this one and doing all the work whilst they are empty, things like replace all the lights for LED's, new induction hobs, make all the doors and windows comply with safety/fire regs.

    They latest thing they have purchased is a big detached house near Skegness that has currently been converted into 5 flats, they are knocking it about, altering the layout and fitting new kitches etc. I have been to look, seen live cables hanging everywhere where walls have beed knocked down and although its wired in PVC, in light of the amount of work going on and the extra stuff like electric heating/water I have recommended a full re-wire, disconnected everything and fitted temp sockets.

    We priced the job about £20K and got told I don't think they will go for that, although we need to start it in the next week or so anyway. The last I heard is the joiners and labourers have been snipping out cables all over the show so it looks like they don't have much choice.
  18. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    Whats an FI by the way, **** ?
  19. Magicspark

    Magicspark Active Member

    Further investigation.
  20. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Further investigation required.

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