Electrical Question

How high off the floor should of plug sockets be? are there height restrictions for light switches?

I've got an electrician lined up to fit extra plug sockets in some of the rooms in my house (1930s terraced). He is insisting that due to the latest building regulations, these will need to be a certain height off the floor. All the other plug sockets, of which there are quite a few throughout the house, are about an inch above the skirting board. Surely it will look daft to have some mid way up the wall and others low down?!

He hasn't implied that everything will need to be changed just the new ones. We have an extension in the property but this was built in the 1990s by the previous owners. We are not adding new rooms or anything like that. We will be replacing the fuse box so that it is in line with today's standards and we may be doing a bit of rewiring these where wires have been patched plus fixing some sockets that do not work.

Has the electrician got his facts straight or does the ruling only apply to new builds? If anyone can clarify and/or send me a link to the regulation stating this, I would much appreciate it. He says we may not get a certificate if we don't comply with the regulations.

He has also mentioned that light switches need to be at a certain height or distance from the ceiling. If anyone can let me know what the rules are on this, I would much appreciate it.

Many thanks



3 Answers

Best Answer

Some electricians do appear to believe that these new building regs mean all new works but you are correct and the regs are for new build and full refurbs for adding a couple of sockets or repairs to an existing installation above the skirting board to match existing is fine. P.S. same applies to light switches.

Answered 30th Jun 2014

kevin cassidy building contractors

Member since 16 Dec 2010

You are quite right about this this regulation under Part M of the building regs only applies to new builds and not additional sockets or light switches unless the house was being converted for use by a disabled person in a wheel chair in which case additional alterations would also be taking place

Answered 30th Jun 2014

WG electrical

Member since 27 Mar 2013

The electrician is confused and sounds like he is a newbie with little experience! - If it were a brand new house then the building regulations specify a height for sockets and light switches so that the house can be both suitable for able bodied and disabled persons. The regulations DO NOT apply to refurbishments of older properties unless you either 1) specifically request this 2) are converting the property into a care home or adapting it for disabled persons use.

It maybe worth getting a quote from another electrician as its worrying he does not know/fully understand this, so it makes you wonder what else he does not know/understand?

Answered 1st Jul 2014

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

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