The 50plus

50plus technical support

0845 22 50 495 or one of our local numbers or book online here.

Although these pages are designed for use by 50plus service providers others are welcome to utilise the information whilst noting that it is provided without warranty and that much requires qualified interpretation. All copyright is acknowledged.

Downloads available

In general the files will open in a new window or tab if double clicked. To obtain a download proceed as follows:
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(ii) save a local copy

Dealing with....

Electrical power outages
Water leaks
Condensation (courtesy of Red Kite Housing)


Working at height guidelines
Safe use of ladders
50plus H&S policy
Health & Safety at work regulations (Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989)


BS7671 18th Edition Wiring regs
- Summary of 18th Edition changes (from NICEIC). The regulations were published in July 2018

BS7671 17th Edition Wiring regs
- Third amendment information (brief fact sheet from NICEIC)

BS7671 17th Edition Wiring regs
- Third amendment information (explained by Stroma)

BS7671 17th Edition Wiring regs
- Third amendment information (detail)

BS7671 17th Edition pictorial overviews from ElectricFix (part of the Screwfix family)

BS7671 periodic electrical inspection reports. Note that Periodic Inspection Reports became Electrical Installation Condition Reports from January 2012.

Requirements for landlords periodic electrical inspections (EICRs) are set out on our agent and landlords pages.

PAT testing: It is a myth that PAT testing (portable appliance testing) is required an all portable appliances every year. The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) have published guidelines. A leaflet with regard to low risk environments such as offices can be downloaded here. You can read on-line guidance here.

From our own and other sources

Equipotential bonding diagram and picture
Shower cable size look up table
About lighting (circuits and fault finding)
RCDs IEE article
Working on incoming power
Electricity supply MPAN (supply) number) format
UK fuse boxes & consumer units in pictures

Guide to electrical fittings in bathrooms
Extractor fan cabling
Part P pocket guide

Telephone cabling and fault finding
Emergency lighting testing
Ceiling downlighter regulations
Installing an electric shower
Using, fault finding and repairing storage heaters

Lighting efficiency and LEDs

For information on phasing out of low efficiency items, lighting and LEDs in particular click here

And from the Electrical Safety Council a number of Best Practice Guides:


Replacing a consumer unit where there is no lighting earth

Electrical safety in low voltage installations

Connecting a microgeneration system

Periodic inspection reporting

Electrical installations impact on fire performance of buildings

Consumer unit replacement in domestic premises
Landlords Guide


Central heating and hot water systems

Overview of UK central heating systems from UWE (University of the West of England)
Central heating - design and radiator sizing
Standard central heating diagrams
Unvented system web site references

Unvented system - diagrams
UK hot water cylinders in pictures

CH wiring diagrams


Measuring and minimum water pressure

Water companies have told us the minimum water pressure companies are obliged to supply is typically 1 bar, although many properties have in the region of 2.5 bar. We note the general standards of service published by Ofwat state the minimum is 0.7 bar (7 metres of head). To test the pressure you have coming into your property from the water main fill a gallon container from your cold kitchen tap and time it. If it fills in 30 seconds there is 1.5 bar, 20 seconds and there is 2 bar, any quicker and the pressure will be higher. You can use a smaller contained e.g. a kettle and measure the time for 1.5 litres and multiply it by 3.

General information

Window Care Systems - repairing rotten wooden windows (2Mbyte)
Building a shower cubicle

Telecare installations

Telecare installation guide.pdf
Life line 400 guide.pdf
Fall detector.pdf
Flood detector.pdf
Smoke detector.pdf
Temp extreme guide.pdf

Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are generally available as free downloads from

Information on the phasing out of low efficiency electrical equipment

1. Light bulbs and LEDs

Contact 50plus for advice on changing to LEDs, it is easy in most cases but there are a few things that can trip you up!

In 2009, the European Commission adopted two regulations under the Eco-design Directive that confirmed a ban on the sale of all incandescent and low-efficiency halogen light bulbs by 2012. Through these regulations, the EU aims to improve the energy efficiency of household lamps and office, street and industrial lighting products.

The first regulation on household lighting made it illegal to sell light bulbs of less than C-class efficiency under the EU's energy labelling system. After 2009 this requirement applied to bulbs that have a light output equivalent to an incandescent bulb of 100 watts or more. It was extended to lower wattage bulbs in stages until all were covered by September 2012.

The phase-out of D and E-rated bulbs began in September 2013. In 2018, all bulbs, including retrofit halogens, will have to have a classification of B or above. The delay is due to issues with compatibility of dimmers and power supplies (generally called transformers or drivers) for the lower voltage bulbs.

With regard to LED lighting/bulbs:

If they are the 230v (mains) variety they can be exchanged for halogens or incandescent bulbs providing they fit within the available space

Cannot be used with existing dimmers designed for halogens or incandescent bulbs. Dimmers need to be changed with those designed for LEDs or replaced with switches

If they are the low voltage (12v) type they (in general) cannot be used with transformers or drivers designed for halogen lighting unless the transformers really are transformers and not electronic power supplies sometimes known as drivers. If you have a large round item on the end or middle of a multi-light fitting it is probably a real transformer. If it's a separate box hidden in the ceiling it's a power supply /driver. The halogen drivers typically require a minimum load which the low energy LEDs will not consume. What this means is that you should not plan to simply exchange low voltage halogen bulbs for LEDs. The simple solution, without some detailed investigation, is to replace the drivers or better still and where feasible change to 230v fittings.

A second regulation on office, street and industrial lighting will see the least efficient fluorescent lamps, high-intensity discharge lamps and related ballasts and luminaries phased out in four stages from 2010 to 2017. The commission says the measures will reduce energy consumption from such equipment by up to 15% by 2020.

The English Building Regulations require 75% of energy efficient lighting in a new or refurbished domestic property. Energy efficient lighting is defined as having a luminous efficacy greater than 40 lumens per circuit watt. Circuit-watts means the power consumed in lighting circuits by lamps and their associated control gear. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting fittings would meet this standard. Tungsten lamps or tungsten halogen lamps would not. Watts have traditionally used to rate light bulbs but as this is a measure of power, which does not taking into effect what we actually see. So the use of Lumens is being introduced which is a measure of the power of light perceived by the human eye. By way of comparison:

For information on the efficiency of differing types of light bulbs refer to:


2. Other changes

What other changes are happening:

Central heating pumps now have to be more efficient. They are also unfortunately weaker. They are fine on the whole as long the system is free of sludge.

A range of white goods (domestic appliances) and brown goods (consumer electronics) also have to be more efficient.