Borg Warner wrote:Hi Duncan
If you've gone through the meter tails the only way to make them safe is by pulling the main cut out fuse. This should be sealed by either your local district network operator (DNO) or supplier. If you give the DNO a call they should send someone round to sort it out for you.
Well to be clear, it's not me that's done it, I only found it after 12 years. Our house doesn't have a main fuse but a main trip which can be switched off and back on, it's not sealed.
As an apprentice electrician for the MEB Paul we always ran cables vertically to switches. sockets etc., they were also encased in either metal or plastic capping or trunking for mechanical protection. Popped in to a neighbour's house as he was having some major electrical re-wiring carried out and I was absolutely shocked (no pun intended) to see that the Part P registered electrician had chased the plaster out from ceiling to socket outlet, clipped yes CLIPPED the cables directly to the breeze block wall ready for the plasterer to make good. No capping or any form of mechanical protection. I'm no longer a practising sparky but recently re-wired my garage because I wouldn't trust some of the sparkies today.
The meter tails are just like that. No protection at all. They run through from the outside, then horizontally, before turning and running up the wall.
I understand the Part P regs were bought in to stop DIYers carrying out certain alterations to their house wiring. This because an MP's daughter was killed after her husband had installed a towel rail in the kitchen and had gone through a cable which was not running vertically and, most likely, had no mechanical protection. As a result I can't put a socket in my kitchen or an outside light etc.. I of course adhere to the law.
But it doesn't stop them. Those who would do a rubbish job, either don't know or don't care about part P.
Best of luck Duncan, and please be careful, there's most likely to be either an 80 or 100 amp fuse behind those meter tails and all it takes is 15mA.....
Believe me I'm aware of that. That's why I was being so careful as I'd already found previous evidence of how the workmen who built the place did very poor work!
I have also seen some of the really dangerous stuff done by DIYers (or maybe incompetent tradesmen). Did you know there was such a thing as 2.5mm twin without an earth? No neither did I. But I found a house where the sockets were wired this way, and it was not the old rubber stuff, it was grey PVC. Then as an afterthought, some of the sockets had an earth added, though it was the earth core out of a 3amp flex! On another, I almost found the bare ends of the live lighting circuit by leaning on them, and on a third (my Brother's) the ring main was only a ring for earth and Neutral, as the phase had been cut by the socket fixing screw.
What really riles me though, is building control are supposed to be interested in this kind of thing, but they aren't. I contacted them about a pressurised hot water system that hadn't been installed in line with the manufacturers instructions, and they weren't the least bit bothered as the installers had the bit of paper that permits them to do work badly without being checked.