Building Regulations

Information on regulation for wiring your home and Part P

As of 1 January 2005, all electrical work in houses in England and Wales must comply with Part P requirements and only be carried out by a competent person.

A competent person is defined as someone registered with an electrical self-certification scheme. They will hold an Electrotechnical Assessment Scheme (EAS) certificate and are responsible for ensuring compliance with all relevant Building Regulations.

Once work is completed, the homeowner should receive a signed Building Regulations self-certification certificate (a copy should be sent to the relevant building control body) and a completed Electrical Installation Certificate.

Alternatively, an electrician can choose not to register with a self-certification scheme. If this is the case, they must submit a building notice to the relevant local building control body who will inspect the work on completion. this will cost a minimum of £50 per job and the authority should be notified of work before it begins.

The Requirements

Part P applies to all electrical work in dwellings, whether carried out by professionals or DIYers.

You DO NOT need to notify building control bodies if the electrical work you want to carry out involves any of the following:

List 1
• Replacing any electrical fitting including socket outlets, control switches and ceiling roses.
• Replacing the cable for a single circuit only, where damaged, for example by fire, rodent or impact (on condition that the replacement cable has the same current carrying capacity, follows the same route and does not serve more than one sub-circuit through a distribution board).
• Re-fixing or replacing the enclosures of existing installation components (if the circuit’s protective measures are unaffected).
• Providing mechanical protection to existing fixed installations (if the circuit’s protective measures and current-carrying capacity of conductors are unaffected by increased thermal insulation).

Providing that the work is not in a kitchen or special location (see the definitions below), the following work can also be carried out without notifying a building control body:

List 2
• Adding lighting points (light fittings & switches) to an existing circuit (only if the existing circuit protective device is suitable and provides protection for the modified circuit, and other relevant safety provisions are satisfactory).
• Adding socket outlets and fused spurs to an existing ring or radial circuit
• Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding (such work shall comply with other applicable legislation, such as the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations).

The following are defined as special locations & installations. You MUST notify a building control body of any work in line with ‘list 2’ above that is to be carried out in these areas:

• Locations containing a bath tub or shower basin
• Swimming pools or paddling pools
• Hot air saunas
• Electric floor or ceiling heating systems
• Garden lighting or power installations
• Solar photovoltaic (PV) power supply systems
• Small scale generators such as microCHP units
• Extra-low voltage lighting installations, other than pre-assembled, CE-marked lighting sets

All new installation must be notified, although modifications in the following areas are exempt:

• Bedrooms
• Conservatories
• Dining rooms
• Halls
• Integral garages
• Landings
• Lounge
• Stairways
• Studies 
• TV rooms

Work of any nature in the following areas MUST be notified:

• Bathrooms
• Bedrooms containing a shower or basin
• Ceiling (overhead) heating
• Communal areas of flats
• Pre-assembled CE marked lights
• Garden – lighting & power, greenhouses, workshops & sheds
• Kitchen
• Kitchen diners
• Remote buildings
• Remote garages
• Saunas
• Shower rooms
• Small scale generators
• Solar power systems
• Swimming pools
• Under floor heating
• Extra low voltage (E.L.V.) – under 50v ac

The regulations do not apply to telephone and computer cabling.

Failure to comply with the Building Regulations is a criminal offence and local authorities have the power to require the removal or alteration of work that does not comply. Your insurance may also be invalid. 

For further information:
• Contact your local building control department
• Download ‘Approved Document P’ for free from www.odpm.gov.uk/approved-documents

Although we do our best to provide accurate information, we recommend that all of the above should be checked with a qualified electrician.