NAPIT Codebreakers #9

NAPIT Codebreakers #9

Need help with cracking those EICR codes?

The technical team at NAPIT, with the help of the 18th Edition Codebreakers publication, answer your latest coding queries.

MARTYN REES: New consumer unit required? Customer wasn’t sure if he needed any work doing on his mains end!!! Well, this one beggar’s belief. I’ll try and go through the issues as I see them.

First of all, there’s no lid on the CU (it hasn’t been removed for testing!), for that reason there is access to live parts on every circuit, so, therefore, every circuit will attract a C1 before we start. There is no way to safely isolate or switch the CU off as the cover is missing and the danger from contact with the live terminals is high. The isolator to the left (feeding the CU) has no cover, so access to live parts here, and the fuse is visible and touchable in its carrier, so again, access to live parts. The twisted gold cable looks to have been terminated on the incoming side of a 30 A carrier, so C2 there, plus no cpc for the circuit visible, C2 again.

The same situation appears for a couple of red singles which seem to be the reason for the lid being left off as the cables stop the lid from being fitted. Add to this, all of the single insulated cables not taken into enclosures, cables not adequately supported, no mechanical protection, the list is extensive. This is typical of many public houses, although this one has to be amongst the worst I’ve seen. This type of installation is incredibly dangerous, even for an inspector to test, let alone maintain or use it. No safe means of isolation, in the event of a fire, if someone tried to isolate this, they could easily become a fatality.

MARK FITZGERALD: Came across this beauty on a job in Esher. Old DB? No barriers? Just use a fast fix back box instead!

Codebreakers: Well, what can I say, there are modifications, and then there are “modifications”! The manufacturer may not allow this kind of modification to its boards, and we should stress that it shouldn’t be done. In this case, however, we have to look at the merits of the modification and the location. This dry lining type pattress box is being used in the absence of the correct barrier, which is most likely just a plastic shroud.

The modification doesn’t appear to have any IP issues and carries the original warning notice in a similar position. There doesn’t appear to be any structural modifications to the DB, and after the DB front panel is re-fitted and the door closed/locked, it’s unlikely the “pattress barrier,” will present a problem to the installation users. Although this is a little tongue in cheek observation, on a serious note, the manufacturer has an absolute say over the compliance of it. There is no guarantee that the material used to construct the pattress box is of the correct rating for the DB, or that any vent ways and holes won’t cause an issue if a device operates.

The correct type testing has not been carried out, so we must code according to the level of immediate or future threat. In this particular instance, with the information presented to us, I don’t see it as a huge future threat. Where obsolete switchgear may no longer have factory spares back up, it is not necessarily the end of the line, but that doesn’t mean I condone these types of modifications in any way.

To find out how you can order your copy of the updated 18th Edition Codebreakers publication visit:

Related posts