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Eicr, rcd-sockets and inflatable hot-tubs.

I have a let property with an EICR from last year. The electrician that did it made the point that the socket nearest my front door would be the likely one to use if using an electrical appliance outdoors, and that it could be considered unsuitable for this as it was not RCD protected and I think he said something about the earth but I am not sure. In any case he took it no further as it is not situated for that purpose (half way up the hall) and is fine for indoor appliances.
However, I now find my tenants have put an inflatable hot-tub (from Tesco) in the front garden which they are refusing to remove. I know these are supposed to be suitable for running off a regular socket, but I can't help feeling that this contrary to the use my EICR has passed the electrical wiring for and that as a landlord, given I can clearly see what they are doing, that I may be liable either for an unsafe installation or worse case for any accidents that may result.
I know you can use plug-in RCDs at the socket but feel that may not be the point in this case as it depends on the tenant doing it and is not therefore permanent/fool=proof. Does an electrician have any advice?
Many Thanks

2 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Ideally all socket outlets should have RCD protection. The easiest way to do this without changing the entire consumer unit would be to swap the MIniture Circuit Breaker in the consumer unit, (assuming you have MCBs and not rewirable fuses), for an RCBO which combines the MCB and RCD functions in one device. These aren't cheap, around £40 each so if you have 2 socket circuits you're up to £80 which is more or less the cost of a whole new consumer unit. Long term it would be best to upgrade the consumer unit so all circuits in the property have RCD protection.
Upgrading the whole consumer unit would be my recommendation for a good long term solution, (approx 1 day labour plus parts).
In the mean time if you are worried about the hottub you could replace that particular socket front with an RCD protected socket. Ideally this would be a temporary fix before your board is upgraded.


Answered 8th Mar 2015

I would take your original electricians advice seeing as you shouldn't use any electrical equipment outdoors (especially when the equipment is full of water) without the use of an RCD. A simple solution would be to change the socket to an RCD socket outlet or upgrade your consumer unit to include RCD protection. I would assume that the socket is in reach of being used for other equipment such as a lawn mower so wouldnt take the chance.


Answered 8th Mar 2015

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