Guide to Approved Document P of the Building Regulations 1
Approved document P of the UK Government’s Building Regulations covers electrical safety of all dwellings. The document applies to electrical installations attached to the following types of building ( or parts of buildings):
- Shops and public houses with a residential dwelling above
- Common/communal areas in a block of flats (staircases and hallways)
- Shared amenities blocks of flats, such as laundries and gymnasiums
- Shared electrical in a communal garden such as pond pumps and fixed lighting
- Outbuildings such as sheds
The document specifies that all electrical installations should be designed and installed in accordance with BS7671:2008. This is a British Standard that is the national standard for all low voltage electrical installations in the UK. Various other countries including Mauritius, Uganda and Cyprus also use it as a basis for their wiring regulations.
Part P of the Building Regulations covers the safety of electrical installation work, it doesn’t cover system functionality, for example; fans or pumps that power a system.
You are required to deposit full plans or give a building notice where the work consists of;
The replacement of a consumer unit
The installation of a new circuit
Any addition or alteration to existing circuits in a special location.
A special location is classed as, within a room containing a bath or shower, the space surrounding a bath or shower head where the space extends vertically from the floor level to a height of 2.25 meters, or the position of the shower head where it is attached to a wall or ceiling at a point higher than 2.25 meters from that level. Finally, horizontally, where there is a bath or shower tray, from the edge to a distance of 0.6 meters. Where there is no basin, or shower tray, from the centre point of the shower head where it is attached to the wall or ceiling, to a distance of 1.2 meters.
Certification, inspection and testing can be done by a registered competent person, registered third party, or a building control body.
The certificate must include the following to be valid:
- Evidence that the electrical installation work has been inspecting before and after completion.
- Verification that all electrical components used in the installation comply with British Standards, are not visibly damaged or unsafe and have been installed as to the specification detailed in BS 7671:2001.
- Electrical test results including:
- Insulation resistance
- Continuity of conductors
- Separation of Circuits
- Earthing and bonding arrangements
- Functionality of protective devices
- Earth fault loop impedance
- Do not be worried if all the above are not included as only tests relevant to the installation will be carried out.