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I have been told that you are not allowed to do any electrical work yourself in the UK and need a qualified electician to do it all.

  • Is this true?
  • What can you do yourself?
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I'm always amazed at how many things you are not supposed to do at your own house because of permits. I get that the laws are there to protect the next owner but it's crazy when you feel like it's your house but you need a permit for the simplest thing. And the worst part is that it's so hard to figure out what is okay to do and what's not. – tooshel Aug 17 '10 at 19:17
@tooshel - the laws are there to protect you as well - or at least that's the theory. I don't know if there were lots of people killing or injuring themselves or starting fires through botched electrical work, but I think that's one of the reasons given for the change. – ChrisF Aug 17 '10 at 20:42
@ChrisF The reason I say it's to protect future owners is because we (as free people) shouldn't allow laws that take away our freedom UNLESS that freedom imposes on someone else's freedom. That's a discussion for a different site though! – tooshel Aug 18 '10 at 20:05
Part of the problem was people burning down their neighbors' houses when theirs went up from shoddy electrical work. – nstenz Aug 26 '10 at 3:08
As a lawyer friend once put it, "It's all fun and games until it's torts, criminal negligence and cancelled insurance claims." – Fiasco Labs Feb 27 at 22:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can still do electrical work yourself.

What you do need is to get a registered electrician to verify that what you've done is safe apart from some "minor" jobs like changing sockets or moving them a short distance.

What you might find is that a lot of electricians won't verify your work, so you end up having to get them to do the job.

I've found a check list on DIY Doctor of what you can do yourself and what jobs need to be notified and checked.

Installation of an additional socket - Notification not required

Installation of a new shower circuit - Notification required

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+1 - Most electricians won't sign off on someone elses work for liability reasons (at least here in the states). Plus, for a small job, getting them out there to inspect and sign off won't cost you much less than just paying them to do it. – Eric Petroelje Aug 17 '10 at 11:28
@Eric - I suspect that that's the reason here in the UK. The certificate only becomes a big issue when you come to sell the house. – ChrisF Aug 17 '10 at 11:44
@ChrisF - again, much like in the US especially when it comes to local code – altCognito Aug 17 '10 at 15:04
@ChrisF - I would have thought that the insurance company would probably want to see the certificate, too - anything to get out of paying a claim :-) – pm_2 Aug 19 '10 at 17:52
@pm_2 - I hadn't thought of that! – ChrisF Aug 19 '10 at 19:32

You CAN do electrical work yourself under Part P You do NOT need to get a registered electrican to verify it.

For some types of work (notifiable jobs), you need to notify Buildings Control (and pay a fee) .They will then inspect the work at first and second fix.

To date, I have replaced my fusebox, and rewired my kitchen. This work has all been inspected and signed off by buildings control.

Part P states which jobs are notifiable. As of 2013, this list is substantially reduced, and no longer includes most work in kitchens as these are no longer classed as special location.

All work in bathrooms IS notifiable. For further information, refer to Part P - see section 2.5.

Note that, regardless of whether it is notifiable, all electrical work must be carried out to BS7671.

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It depends on what sort of electrical work you are reverting to. You can carry out non notifiable work such as changing sockets, move a cable or change a light, but if you wish to install new circuits, alterations in a special location(ie bathrooms etc) you MUST be Part p registered or notify building control. There are various reasons for this, . Anyone can do their own electrical work in their own home, it's a free country, but the problem arises when you need a certificate. Most electricians aren't going to put their name to someone else's work,. After all what is the point of electrical contractors paying hundreds of pounds for part p registration, test instruments, and yearly subscriptions if you could get away without bothering!

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If you choose to do your own electrical work in your own home then that's completely legal, getting an electrician who has test and inspection certificates to sign the work you have done may be the issue. Even when an electrician does an apprenticeship they will be qualified but unless they have there testing Certs then they legally should not sign new installations off. It will happen in the trade though, like any trade. Houses are simple electrically compared to industrial installations and you would have to be a qualified electrician with ecs/jib card to get on site but can still not legally sign an installation off unless you have the test and inspection qualification

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