Ask a Tradesman
New consumer unit does not comply with current standards
I have recently bought a house and had a trader recommended by a friend to install a new consumer unit/fuse box. As he and his company were 'doing em a favour and doing job 'on side' to keep costs down' from the very beginning I was asking if everything will be safe and certified, which I was assured would be. As time went on and the company finished works on the house (all sorts of maintenance work, new door put in, new flooring etc) we got into the dispute over the time frame for works and qualioty of some works carried out so by the time everything was finished we were not on the best terms. An electrician (different to the one who installed the consumer unit) came out and issued annual cheque certificate but not an actual installation certificate. Having doubts about the quality of work carried out I had another registered electrician and British Gas to come out and check the fuse box. Both confirmed that new consumer unit does not comply with current standards and they stopped installing them 3 years ago, however the one installed is not unsafe and to change it and get new reports done if I wanted to would cost me £360 - £500.
Where do I stand legally, can I go back to the first company i used and demand my money for this installation back, or can I report them? I know it is difficult it being a 'side job', however I have emails and work schedules to prove they carried out the work?
I am also tempted to demand money back for faulty doors that they installed as I had to get local joiner out and o put everything right would cost me another £200. I know I should have asked the first company to sort it, however their joiner had to come out 5 times in the past and the door never was 100% right so I don't want them back anywhere near my property.
Trading standards would help you with this.
The first thing to do is ensure is that the installation is safe though. (Sounds like you have done this).
Both the main Gas and the main Water should be correctly bonded too. ALL circuits should now be protected by a 30ma R.C.D or R.C.B.O device.
It’s is LAW that an Electrical certificate is issued and has been since 2005. An E.I.C.R report only covers Periodic Inspection; it does not cover a new installation including the routing of cables etc.
Take photo’s before any modifications are made.
Use My Builder to clarify a legit company as opposed to a Cowboy.
Hope this helps you.
Answered 30th Oct 2012
Just because the electrician was doing the work on the side for cash, does not mean that BS7671:2008 wiring regulations and Part P of the building regulations don't apply!
In the scenario you describe, there has been a clear breach of the building regulations and the work has not been carried out to the required standards.
The company that you hired is the one that you have the contract with and they are therefore liable for their subcontractors.
Trading standards and possibly going via the small claims court maybe the way forward. Personally i would write to the company and set out your intention first, allowing them 14 days to put the defects right at their cost. If they ignore you or choose not to act, then this would help your case.
Answered 31st Oct 2012