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Changing electric shower - legal perspective

  • 19-12-2017 9:22pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭✭ angello90


    My Mira died today, and I want to replace it. I was wondering if I can do it myself, or whether I need a certified electrician to do it (for the legal purposes). It would be as simple as take it off and replace it with new unit. No new wiring installation will be added.

    If I could ask for an answers relating the legal side only, that would be great. My life is not in a treat if I do it myself. Cheers
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭ Tom44


    Officially, requires an electrican.


    + side
    Electricians have better knowledge and test equipment to test and evaluate supply cable suitability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭✭ angello90


    Thanks Tom. If it's legally required, like cooker, that's fair enough. I work as electrical eng with power electronics so knowledge and test equipment is there, but no certs as my job doesn't require any. Anyways better find one so. Thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,112 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    angello90 wrote:
    My Mira died today, and I want to replace it. I was wondering if I can do it myself, or whether I need a certified electrician to do it (for the legal purposes). It would be as simple as take it off and replace it with new unit. No new wiring installation will be added.

    By law only an REC can replace an electric shower. There is a technically there a risk of a prison sentence if caught.
    angello90 wrote:
    If I could ask for an answers relating the legal side only, that would be great. My life is not in a treat if I do it myself. Cheers

    Your life could be at risk if you do it yourself.

    Almost anyone could change a shower. No one is saying that you can't wire in L N E safely. The reason it is an REC by law is that they have to inspect the whole installation from fuse box to shower. There are several tests they have to do at trip switch and at the shower. They then have to issue you with a cert stating that it is safe.

    If you do the shower yourself you won't test the shower, pull cord, cable or trip switch. Most people don't even use the test button on the RCBO every 3 months. You test this to make sure that it will trip when needed. Lot's of homes don't have an RCBO or have under sized cables. An REC will install a RCBO or increase the cable size if needed. The law is in place to help bring badly installed showers up to standard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭✭ angello90


    That's fair enough Sleeper. As mentioned earlier I am trained to handle high voltages, just don't have certs, hence the question. The note that I am not interested in health risks is due to the fact that if I do it myself, it is not at risk. Anyways, thanks for taking time to reply, much appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,112 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    angello90 wrote:
    That's fair enough Sleeper. As mentioned earlier I am trained to handle high voltages, just don't have certs, hence the question. The note that I am not interested in health risks is due to the fact that if I do it myself, it is not at risk. Anyways, thanks for taking time to reply, much appreciated.


    Sorry about that. I was typing as you posted and didn't see your qualifications.

    I know you were only interested in the legal side of it and didn't want a lecture but others read these threads. The non legal part was more for DIY warrior's that don't understand that the REC does a lot more than change the shower.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭ Cerco


    Sleeper12 wrote: »
    By law only an REC can replace an electric shower. There is a technically there a risk of a prison sentence if caught.



    Your life could be at risk if you do it yourself.

    Almost anyone could change a shower. No one is saying that you can't wire in L N E safely. The reason it is an REC by law is that they have to inspect the whole installation from fuse box to shower. There are several tests they have to do at trip switch and at the shower. They then have to issue you with a cert stating that it is safe.

    If you do the shower yourself you won't test the shower, pull cord, cable or trip switch. Most people don't even use the test button on the RCBO every 3 months. You test this to make sure that it will trip when needed. Lot's of homes don't have an RCBO or have under sized cables. An REC will install a RCBO or increase the cable size if needed. The law is in place to help bring badly installed showers up to standard.

    If the OP replaces a shower unit “ like for like “ I.e. same type, wattage etc., then In my opinion, there is no legal impediment.
    The difficulty may lie is the ability of the Op to choose and execute.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,112 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    Cerco wrote:
    If the OP replaces a shower unit “ like for like “ I.e. same type, wattage etc., then In my opinion, there is no legal impediment. The difficulty may lie is the ability of the Op to choose and execute.


    The law doesn't agree with your opinion. I've been in touch with CER, they make these laws, and they say that it's illegal. It's also illegal to replace pull cord switch unless REC.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭ Cerco


    Sleeper12 wrote: »
    The law doesn't agree with your opinion. I've been in touch with CER, they make these laws, and they say that it's illegal. It's also illegal to replace pull cord switch unless REC.

    I take your word ,even though it is hearsay, but I believe you are misinformed.
    A new installation is a different matter, where new wiring back to the consumer unit is necessary.
    Replacing a unit that does not require replacing cable is indeed quite legal for a non Reci. From an electrical perspective, it is little different to replacing a wall socket. Whether is is desirable is different question.

    How many plumbers replace shower unit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,112 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    Cerco wrote:
    I take your word ,even though it is hearsay, but I believe you are misinformed. A new installation is a different matter, where new wiring back to the consumer unit is necessary. Replacing a unit that does not require replacing cable is indeed quite legal for a non Reci. From an electrical perspective, it is little different to replacing a wall socket. Whether is is desirable is different question.


    There are many threads on this subject with links to the wording of the legislation. The same legislation covers power showers even though it's only running a pump. It even covers a low voltage shower like the Aqualisa aquastream. All must be done by a REC. They all must be tested at the fusebox. As it's illegal for a plumber to even remove the cover of the fusebox then he can't test the shower at the fusebox. It must be tested by law and certed.

    When you replace an electric shower you are legally taking responsibility for the whole installation even if it's 30 years old. You become responsible for the condition and size of the cable even though you did not install it. You become responsible for the trip switch. The whole point of the law is to try take the death traps out of the equation. This can only be done by testing everything.

    This isn't going to stop the DIY warriors from replacing showers. OP asked what the law was and I answered. Once you give someone advice they either take it or don't. Tbh if I were him with his knowledge, equipment etc I'd say the law is an ass and replace it myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭ Cerco


    Okay, I tried to access the wording of the legislation but was not successful.
    If it is a requirement, as you state, to test a replacement shower unit installation from the customer unit then I am wrong.
    I do agree that nobody other than a Rec can lawfully open a customer unit.
    Apologies for my misinformation.

    Cerco


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,406 ✭✭✭✭ Dtp1979


    Sleeper12 wrote: »
    The law doesn't agree with your opinion. I've been in touch with CER, they make these laws, and they say that it's illegal. It's also illegal to replace pull cord switch unless REC.

    Hold on, so you’re saying a plumber can’t legally change a T90 now????


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,112 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    Dtp1979 wrote:
    Hold on, so you’re saying a plumber can’t legally change a T90 now????


    Sadly yes.

    I can't judge what the rest of the country is like but here is Dublin I'd suggest that 95 percent of replacement showers are done by plumbers. The top 10 shower repair and replacement companies are plumbers. Triton, Mira etc don't employ any RECs when replacing showers under warranty.

    They would improve the quality of shower installations and replacement if they allow plumbers / RGI to upskill rather than forcing them into illegal activity imo


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭ Cerco




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