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17th edition fuse box turned out to be a 16th edition

I am trying to figure out if I being conned or not.

I had an electrician fit a new fuse box for me, specifically requesting a 17th edition fuse box, which I got billed for and I was even given a Part P certificate stating that a 17th edition was installed.
The installation went OK but I then had a call in another electrician for another job.The new electrician then tells me that what was installed was a 16th edition rather than a 17th edition.
I contacted the original electrician asking him about why he installed a 16th edition fuse box but charged me for a 17th edition, this is the reply I got back. Is this reasonable answer?

“This unit started off as a 17th edition dual rcd board, however, as you had a shared neutral on one of the circuits he had to redesign the board to be a split load consumer unit. It is because it has been wired as a split load consumer unit (as opposed to a dual rcd) which is categorised as a 16th edition that your subsequent electrician has detected this. Had you not had the shared neutral then the board could have been wired as a dual rcd and been 17th edition compliant. However, the board you have is 100% adequate for the requirements of the household.”

Obviously I would have prefered to have been told about this at the time of the installation but is this a smoke screen or his answer reasonable?


7 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

As above is all right but I will say the shared neutral is from the two way lighting in the landing/hallway. This is a regular thing that I find on my travells




Answered 15th Jun 2011

If the electrician had found that you had a shared neutral, this is not allowed and it should have been changed, it is quite a common thing on two way lighting if the installation is quite old, but all the electrician had to do was put the up and down lights on one side of the split load board so one rcd protects them two circuit and it would not make the rcd trip, then the consumer unit would be ok to keep it as a split load board, by the sounds of it you only have one rcd protecting all your circuits is so that does not comply with current regs as if you have a fault you will loose power to all circuits. you should off got a pir test done first.


Answered 22nd Jun 2011

the electrician is right but he should have told you, if he did a periodic inspection first he would have known this and could have advised you on a remedy for the circuit at fault,regards Terry,


Answered 15th Jun 2011

It is not acceptable to have a shared neutral! The fault should have been detected whilst testing your wiring, prior to fitting the new board. You should have been informed of the problem, & you make the decission whether to have the fault rectified ( at agreed extra cost) or, just pay for the test & abort the new board installation.

The installation you have IS NOT compliant with 17th edition reg's

I would suggest you contact your "electrician" again, & if no progress, contact his registering body,ie NIEC, Elecsa, Nappit, etc

MCS Services


Answered 15th Jun 2011

17th Editon consumer unit means every circuit should be RCD protected however in older housed installing a 16th Edition Split load consumer unit is not a problem as long as you provide RCBO to cover the other circuits on the non RCD side. This option is better for old installation and still considered as 17th EDiton compliant.


Answered 12th Dec 2011

No, his answer is not reasonable. If he found a shared neutral, he should have informed you and told you that it needs rectifying. Was the electrician an NICEIC approved domestic installer? If so, complain to them at Did the electrician give you a completion certificate? If so, he should have written a departure (from the regulations) on it. Did you receive a part P certificate from a body such as NICEIC or NAPIT (not the electrician) stating that it had been logged with the local authority? If not, inform the local authority


Answered 15th Jun 2011

hi Jon there is no reason why your electrician couldn't of fitted a 17th edition board if you had a shared neutral he should of spoken to you before he made the Desicion of fitting a 16 th board what circuit was the shared neutral on? He is probably a reasonable guy get him to call round and physically show you why he couldnt do the works you asked him to carry out if he declines ring his part p governing body explain the situation and they will give you all the answers you need. Please let me know how you get on


Answered 15th Jun 2011

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