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Exposed plug socket cable

I am having a bedroom refit and some of the plug sockets are being moved around. The electrician has installed new plug sockets but the cables running from them are exposed. He has clipped them to the wall above the skirting board and painted them white. I am concerned about this as I have only ever seen cable put into the walls or in trunking. Also one of the double sockets he is/has removed he is running 2 new double sockets from. Is this safe?

4 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Based on the description you have given, it sounds like this is not the work of a Part P certified electrician? and I wonder if he has issued you with any form of electrical test certificate for this work?

On its own, cables clipped to walls or wooden battens is permitted under the regulations, although aesthetically it looks poor and I would expect a proper registered electrician to have installed the cables in white plastic upvc mini-trunking. This is particularly important at low level when on the skirting at there is a potential risk of abrasion and impact from objects like the vacuum cleaner etc, when pushed up close to the skirting board.

More worryingly is if (can't tell just on the description alone), this guy has taken a spur from an existing socket to feed a new socket and then spurred off of this new socket to feed a third socket? If this is indeed the case then the work does not comply with BS7671:2008 wiring regulations.

What electrical testing was carried out and what details are on the Minor Electrical Works Certificate?


Answered 16th Aug 2015

It is safe. Cable surface mounted and clipped is perfectly acceptable so long as the inner sheathed cable (coloured blue, brown or green and yellow) is not showing.


Answered 16th Aug 2015

Hi Rachel

This is far from good practice to clip the cable to the wall. Ideally like you say chase them into the wall and ensure they are protected at the consumer unit by a 30ma RCD or local RCD spur. Trunking is an option if you don't mind seeing it.

Regarding the 2 doubles from 1. This depends on size of cable he has used, if circuit is a ring or radial. Would require investigating further to be 100% sure though.

Hope this all helps.

Scott Taylor
ST Response Electrical


Answered 16th Aug 2015

Hello. It is difficult to comment on works without seeing it, but as a rough guide line this is what you may consider asking your electrician ; 1. Are all the sockets connected on a ring final circuit ( commonly called a ring ) and not spurs ?. 2. Is it not possible to 'flush' the cables into the walls and run the cables under the floor boards ?. 3. Are any of the outlets going to be inaccessible / behind units ?, ( as this is not acceptable under current regs ). 4. Can you issue full certification and test certificates through a trade scheme provider ?, ( such as the n.i.c.e.i.c or elecsa or napit ).
If any of the above answers are a 'no' then you need to be asking for a second opinion from another trusted electrician in your area.
Hope this helps.
Chris Smith.
C D Smith. Electrical Contractors.


Answered 16th Aug 2015

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