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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?
  • 1
    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
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    @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
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    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
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    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 '16 at 22:56
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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 – cgp Aug 17 '10 at 15:04
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    @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 :-) – Paul Michaels Aug 19 '10 at 17:52
  • @pm_2 - I hadn't thought of that! – ChrisF Aug 19 '10 at 19:32
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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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Hi I'm an electrician with 10 years experience, registered with the NICEIC and qualified to inspect and test my own and other people's work with my 2391 inspection and test qualification.

The thing with electrics is that everything we do has to conform to the BS 7671 UK wiring regulations. This is what makes being an electrician complicated as there are many rules and regulations that will need to be adhered to in order to ensure an electrical installation is safe and meets with the BS 7671 wiring regulations.

The IET (Institute of Electrical Technology) have just brought out the 18th edition of the wiring regulations, which now imposes further regulations and responsibilities on electricians (DIY electricians included). The BS7671 documents don't make for easy reading and go into subjects like thermal constraints, protective conductors, disconnection times and much more. So for any electrical installation there is a lot to consider to design an installation that is safe for it's intended use. There are simple rules of thumb, but now under the 18th any circuit we work on has to conform to the 18th edition regs before we leave tbe property. This obviously doesn't help prices as we now have a further duty to ensure electrical circuits are safe. This is clearly to prevent fire or electric shock etc but electrical instalations were rarely up ro the 17th edition (came out on 2008) so this just mskes discussions with clients more difficult.

As DIY electricians aren't aware of all this that full-time electricians have to be aware of then it is easy to overlook and end up not complying with the BS 7671 UK wiring regs that can be used in a court of law to prosecute if these standards have not been adhered to.

I hope this gives you all an electricans insight into this question. Im here because my mate told me people can't do DIY electrics anymore so thought I'd google it. This thread came up so thought I'd add a comment to give my thoughts. I'm not trying to stop peiple doing there own DIY but if you do please be aware if what us electricians are required to work to and get a copy of BS7671 or supporting documents so you don't put yourself or others at risk of fire or electric shock.

Tara a bit

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer, and keep 'em coming – Daniel Griscom Mar 16 '19 at 8:51
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Here it is.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441872/BR_PDF_AD_P_2013.pdf

I read this as you can't do anything in kitchens and bathrooms without a trained spark and you can't add a circuit. The spark then has to register it with the local authority.

As I read it you can fit a spur and change a socket or switch.

Personally I intend to run a spur to a garden shed and I see nothing that says I can't.

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I wanted to know what I could and couldn't do at home also as I have a new bathroom to be fitted which includes the moving of a consumer unit and installation of new lighting. So I read the The Building Regulations 2010 - Electrical Safety Dwellings document.

Most of what people have been advising in this thread is correct in what i have read. Part P covers your whole house (inc garage/shed/garden/outbuildings) and anything attached to your dwelling (PV, air conditioners) as far as regulations are concerned. Whether you can do it yourself is determined by whether the work is notifiable, not that it is covered by Part P. If its not notifiable then it doesn't need to be certified. The changes to the 2013 version reduces what is notifiable.

According to the document what is notifiable is: (a) the installation if a new circuit; (b) Replacement of a consumer unit; or (c) any addition or alteration to existing circuits in a special location.

special location means within a defined distance from a bath/shower/sink in your bathroom.

So, unless I am not understanding this document, you can do any electrical work in your home as long as it DOESN'T fall within a, b or c above.

So... You can add a new spur to an existing ring main yourself but you cant put in a new ring main as this is a new circuit. you can install an electric cooker as long as it doesn't require a new circuit.

You cant add a new consumer unit (or I would assume move one). You cant do anything within a certain distance from the bath/sink/shower in your bathroom.

for the notifiable work you can either do it yourself with your local councils building control involved (doesn't sound easy according to some on this thread) or the 2013 changes does allow you to get a qualified person to certify your work (good luck finding a sparky who will do that, though) Or you get an electrician involved who, due to his training/quals/registration doesn't need building control and can certify the work him/herself.

Unfortunately for me most of the work I have coming up is notifiable so I will be contacting a sparky and paying for their expertise and the certificate they give me at the end of the job.

Hope this helps

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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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To everyone that says they CAN do what work they like as it's NOT notifiable. Doesn't mean it shouldn't meet regulations. CAN isn't the same as whatever you LIKE. For instance you can extend a circuit to include an extra socket but it should still be RCD protected which could mean upgrading your consumer unit.

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