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Helpful hints

Additional power sockets

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Helpful hints: additional power sockets

50plus frequently fits additional power sockets. This work is covered by rules, as set out in British Standard 7671. This is more commonly known as the IEE (now IET) requirements for electrical installations, the current version being the 17th Edition amendment 3. In 2004 Part P brought BS7671 into the Building Regulations, effectively making it a requirement rather than a recommendation.

Back to the additional sockets. Put simply you can Ďspurí one (only) socket from one other socket as long as it is on a ring main (if you are not British Google this). You can also extend the ring. You can also spur multiple sockets from a single point on a ring main as long as you protect the spur with a suitably rated fuse (typically 13 amps is used). This prevents the cable being overloaded. It is not considered good practice but it's exactly the way an extension block works.

There is one major point to make. Any new cabling buried in walls must be RCD protected. The only exception to this rule is where the cabling is surface mounted, usually in trunking. If you donít have an RCD then frankly itís worth changing your fuse box for a modern consumer unit. If you really donít want to do this but do want to bury cables in the wall, noting that there are also rules about where you can bury them, then an RCD can be fitted separately for the additional sockets.

If you are unsure about what you have, then you can identify a residual current device by looing for the Ďtestí button. Donít confuse RCDs with the small typically black MCBs that have replaced fuses in modern consumer units. These are marked with their current rating, usually 6A, 16A, 32A and 40A where the A means amps. An RCD will be 80A or 100A.

In a few cases RCBOs are fitted. These integrate the MCB and RCD for a single circuit and will be both marked with e.g. 6A and have a test button.

Ask 50plus for help if you are unsure. Only DIY if you are competent and understand the rules.


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