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One for the sparkies here please..

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
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Registered: 01-08-2007

One for the sparkies here please..

I want to get an outside socket fitted to the wall outside so that when working on the car etc, i can just my extension lead into it and get on with it.
Now.. I'd prefer to DIY it like many people would.. or did years ago. I know all sorts go on that the authorities don't know about.. people wiring up their own spurs, outdoor extensions that permanently power their sheds etc stuff that can't be seen. I wouldn't normally worry but in this health and safety age and threats of fines and imprisonment i'm looking for guidance first as mine would be located at the front of our place.
What i'd like to do is fit the outdoor socket to the wall and wire it up through a hole in the wall (obviously) to a plug inside the house just behind the front door. We have a socket there and an RCD that I use for the extension lead normally (meaning the door has to remain open). This would kind of make it an extension lead.. with a socket screwed to the wall however if its screwed to the wall even though i can unplug it inside, it becomes permanent.. I think?
I don't intend to leave it plugged in, only use once or twice a week (if that) and the rest of the time it will be turned off and the cover padlocked to prevent anyone else tinkering with it.
So.. is it notifiable? Does it need signing off?
The reason I ask is because there seems to be other apparently 'legal' outdoor sockets out there that don't need anything from a legal POV - like these:
   
 
They're all designed for wall mounting - and that last one (which I think is like the one before it) is made from rather flimsy plastic (seen them in several DIY shops) which doesn't seem quite right.. but apparently they're legal? - even though the second one doesn't come with an RCD!
So.. back to my DIY version.. can I or can't I?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: One for the sparkies here please..

The basic rule of thumb is if it's on the end of a plug, it's the end user's responsibility if it goes pop, if it's hard-wired, that can land you in a bit of bother (such insurance being annulled if it popped causing damage), but it's just a case of be sensible, use common sense and an RCD plug, mount the socket(s) up out of the way of potential water ingress and unplug it when not in use... Smiley
I'd recommend the first type, the 2nd one looks like it's only safe when nothing's plugged in and the three "extension strip in a box" things are just cumbersome...
nanotm
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

just to protect yourself as well from any future problems I'd use a bit of plastic conduit pipe so that after drilling the hole in the wall you push it in and then use a spot of silicone sealant to make it weather tight, I'd also advocate the use of the grommet end cap so that no or creepy crawlies can use it as an entry way to the property, as to the socket being fixed in position its becomes what's called a semi permanent extension, only if it is in use more often than not just make sure the conduit is ip55 rated and so is the socket your mounting and ensure there is enough sealant around it to prevent moisture ingress from the top/side/back and that it has a drain vent in the bottom portion (what with moisture coalescing out of the air on a cold day) so any liquid can escape the socket.
put one up at my dads house about 15 years ago and its still running now without any problems
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
cajef
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: One for the sparkies here please..

Quote from: 7up
What i'd like to do is fit the outdoor socket to the wall and wire it up through a hole in the wall (obviously) to a plug inside the house just behind the front door.

That is what I have done, I have the outside socket box at approx. a metre high and I used armoured cable down the wall outside into a small JB in a built in wardrobe in a bedroom (we have a bungalow} then flex cable from the JB with a plug which goes to a double socket on the ring main next to the wardrobe, when not in use I unplug it and put the cable in the wardrobe, never had any problems as it is only used occasionally for odd jobs when I need an external socket.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: One for the sparkies here please..

Not sure what the legal position is but providing you do a neat job of it which you will how would anyone know if you or an electrician had done the job several years from now, it might not even be easy to be exact about when it was done.
The point I am making is how can it be proved you did the job ? If the question came up you got an electrician in to do it, let's be honest who keeps a paid bill for years, in fact you could have paid cash in hand.
Another point, what's is a qualified electrician ? Some people have served apprentiships as electricians, others have a city & guilds on various aspects of electricity.
I doubt customers rarely ask to see proof of someones qualifications ?
Smiley
Community Veteran
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

Your biggest problem might be the insurance company assuming your house is insured, if they could prove you did the work and there was a fire your insurance would be null and void.
Community Veteran
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

That's basically the same as plugging in a vacuum cleaner and it going bang. If it's not hard-wired it's not part of the house infrastructure so the insurance is valid.
nanotm
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

if its hard wired by a sparky they have to fill out a certificate and register it with the local council building's department for outdoor wiring so its actually very simple for an insurance company to find out if a hard wired (not extension plug into an existing socket) was done professionally or not /
in the worst case you might be breaking a tenancy agreement if your not allowed to make modifications without written approval .....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
itsme
Grafter
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

The local council don't know anything about my wiring, so I can do anything I like.
Community Veteran
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

And if there is anything you are not clear about you can always get a copy of Wiring Regulations, 17 Edition which covers the national standard to which all domestic and industrial wiring must conform.
Amendment number 3 contains important updates to several areas of BS 7671, including changes to safety requirements.
I guess a copy can be obtained from your local library.
pwatson
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

Quote from: nanotm
if its hard wired by a sparky they have to fill out a certificate and register it with the local council building's department for outdoor wiring

Only notifiable since the introduction of Part P in April 2013
nanotm
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Re: One for the sparkies here please..

I know that's why I mentioned it in relation to the comment about insewerants validity ........
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you