The Scottish Government has issued new Repairing Standards which mean all rental properties must have RCD protection, if not your property won't meet these new repairing standards.
EICR Scotland can carry out a free assessment of your consumer unit and advise if any remedial works are required to meet the new legislation.
RCD Consumer Units for Rental Properties
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The repairing standards is not the clearest, and only states an installation must have "RCD Protection" and doesn't state if this is partial or full RCD protection.
After discussing this with the Scottish Government, we were advised that as long as the "main circuits" have RCD protection, then the property will comply with the legislation, again we felt that this wasn't a clear guideline, in our opinion the "main circuits" would be socket circuits, as these are the most frequently used and most important to protect with an RCD.
What is an RCD ?
An RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault.
An RCD is designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth.
How does it work?
RCDs constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is used to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
My Property Has a Valid EICR ?
How Much is This Going To Cost ?
Doesn't This Contradict The Wiring Regulation ?
My property has a valid EICR ?
If your property has a valid EICR, it may still not comply with the new repairing standard, and if you are unsure if your installation has RCD protection, the report should clearly indicate if this is the case or not.
How much is this going to cost ?
This will vary depending on the age of the consumer unit currently installed at your property. Older style consumer units will need to be replaced completely from £495 whereas newer style consumer units which take MCBs can simply have the individual circuit breakers replaced with a device called RCBOs, these can be replaced from £60 per RCBO.
We understand the financial strain on landlords, especially in the current climate, so we will advise the best solution and most cost effective, the safety of tenants is the most important factor.
Doesn't this contradict the wiring regulation ?
Yes it does, there is a lot of confusion regarding this, for any new installation, all circuits must have full RCD protection, however any installation installed to a previous edition of the electrical wiring regulations can't be deemed as unsatisfactory because they don't meet all new wiring regulations, if this was the case we would be constantly taking out electrical installations and replacing them, older installations can still pass an EICR with C3 codes, this means remedial works are advised and not compulsory.
We have found issues where the installation will pass an EICR with C3 codes, but will not meet the governments new repairing standards, and this is very confusing for landlords, as electricians we are assessing the condition of the installation to BS7671, and not to government legislation. To put it simply, you just have to remember if you rent out a property, it must have RCD protection.