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Logan Winzar: I found this in my girlfriend’s university flat. It’s a three-pin plug wired into a double pole switch to feed a shower pump. When the switch is on the pin plugs are live!
There really are no words for the complete lack of thought or respect for the safety of others, shown by this poor standard of installation work, and immediate action should be carried out by the landord or their agents to remove this dangerous situation.
Hopefully, the new legislation that protects tenants in England will go a long way to reducing this kind of abhorrent practice. This went live from last month and its full title is: The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. NAPIT has produced a guide for both landlords and electrical inspectors to help them understand the new legislation, as the implications and requirements of it are profound.
New legislation aside, we need to look at the BS 7671 infringements here. The main issue is that we have to assume that at any point, the double pole switch could be energised, which will leave the BS 1363 plug top with exposed live parts. Even more dangerous is the fact that we don’t expect BS 1363 plug tops to be live. By design and requirement of their specifications, these accessories are de-energised when not inserted.
Regulation 416.2.1, requires all live parts to be inside an appropriate enclosure, which clearly is not the case here, so only one code can be given here – C1 – with immediate action required to remove the danger.
The standard of workmanship and sheer lack of understanding also leads us towards Regulation 134.1.1, which requires that good workmanship by a skilled or instructed person be utilised, taking account of manufacturers’ instructions.
As BS 1363 doesn’t specify that the plug top can be used in this manner, manufacturers’ instructions have clearly not been adhered to. Whatever the reasoning behind this immediately dangerous installation was, it clearly needs disconnection and circuit alteration to allow for safe and continued use.
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