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Bel
04-10-2009, 08:26 AM
A tenant (couple and small child) has an electrical extension cable and tumbledryer in the bathroom of their flat.
This sort of thing makes me cringe. I'm concerned they will start using hairdryers or radios in the bathroom next...which could lead to electrocution
I have pointed out the dangers verbally, and will follow it up with a letter.

What if they persist? Am I covered because I have pointed it out? Or would I have to ask them to leave unless they remove the danger.

jta
04-10-2009, 09:02 AM
I think that having sent them a letter and kept a copy of course, there's not much you can do, after all, stupidity is not a reason for eviction yet!

tom999
04-10-2009, 09:18 AM
Check tenancy agreement (TA) as this may state specific LL and T obligations. Inform T's by letter of the potential fire hazard not only to themselves, but to their home (also inform if its a breach of TA); keep proof of letter sent.

Under the law, LL's fire safety obligations are :

Ensure supplied gas and electric appliances are in good working order; gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered gas fitter annually, and electrical appliances should carry the British Safety Standard sign (HMO's need a 5 year electrical safety test).
Ensure electrical installation in property are safe when tenancy begins, and maintained in a safe condition throughout tenancy.
Make sure your furnishings provided are fire resistant and meet fire safety regulations.
Detectors/smoke alarms properly designed/sited/maintained/regularly tested.

It's also recommended that LL provide's a carbon monoxide detector.

For specific legislation, see: LL's Guide to Electrical Safety (http://esc.org.uk/business-and-community/guidance-for/landlords.html)

Maybe you could provide a fire safety guide / checklist for your tenants based on the following: Gas and fire checklist (http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/23364/Checklist_-_gas_and_fire_safety.pdf).

theartfullodger
04-10-2009, 09:30 AM
Yup, send a letter (? proof of postage?) so when they all die you can at least point out you told 'em.

If they carry on I'd be inclined to give them notice2quit: If there are that dumb probably other daft things are going on.

Sounds like they need a bigger place. Probably can't afford it??

Cheers!

Lodger

Mrs Jones
04-10-2009, 13:07 PM
I have been living in Greece for the past 4 years - and all washing machines are in the bathroom (as are sockets for same - and there is another socket for, I presume, the hair dryer or shaver etc....).

I know in the UK this is a no-no (although I thought this law was being relaxed as appliances become more safe) - but doesn't seem to be seen as such a horrifying situation in other countries. If tenants are not British, they may not see it as a stupid thing to do if it is the norm in their own country!

Poppy
04-10-2009, 13:58 PM
By all means send a letter pointing out your concern, but that’s all.

My washing machine is in the bathroom, although the electric socket is outside in the corridor.

Here’s a lay person’s technical answer. For the purpose of installing electrical equipment, bathrooms have zones. You can probably safely use electrical equipment (other than lighting) in zones 2 and beyond. (I expect to be corrected.)

davidjohnbutton
04-10-2009, 15:17 PM
The wiring regulations require that there be no socket, switched or otherwise, in the bathroom with the excption of a shaver point. This is for a reason, its to stop people plugging all sorts (heaters predimonantly) into sockets with each reach of the bath and wash basin.

The reason for this, - when you step out of the bath all nice and shiny, you are at your highest point of electrical conductivity and in all likelihood your feet are wet or at least damp - thus you provide, in this state, an easy path for electricity to travel to ground - through you as the conductor.

So if the appliance went faulty and failed to trip off any fuses or circuit breakers, and you happen to come into contact with a live casing say, then you will get electrocuted, probably fatally because of the aforesaid conductivity of your naked wet body - a shocking way to die - in the nuddy as well!!!!!

Tell your tenants the dangers, and say that if they must have the washing machine in the bathroom, at least protect themselves by putting a portable plug in Residual Circuit Breaker (rcd) in the extension that supplies the WM.

westminster
04-10-2009, 16:51 PM
Assuming the consumer unit is up to date, (and not an old-style fuse box), then it should prevent death by electrocution as it would cut off the supply in 40 millionths of a second (http://www.cambselectrical.com/newfusebox.html).

Mrs Jones
04-10-2009, 18:50 PM
The wiring regulations require that there be no socket, switched or otherwise, in the bathroom with the excption of a shaver point. This is for a reason, its to stop people plugging all sorts (heaters predimonantly) into sockets with each reach of the bath and wash basin.

The reason for this, - when you step out of the bath all nice and shiny, you are at your highest point of electrical conductivity and in all likelihood your feet are wet or at least damp - thus you provide, in this state, an easy path for electricity to travel to ground - through you as the conductor.

So if the appliance went faulty and failed to trip off any fuses or circuit breakers, and you happen to come into contact with a live casing say, then you will get electrocuted, probably fatally because of the aforesaid conductivity of your naked wet body - a shocking way to die - in the nuddy as well!!!!!


I am aware of all this as my father was an electronics engineer and in UK or abroad am extremely careful of my own and others personal safety in my home:cool: (e.g. never use any appliance in the bathroom, and washing machine unplugged unless using it (but not when bathing of course)!!)

Bel
04-10-2009, 19:00 PM
Thanks for everyone's interest and replies. I'll make sure the letter is signed for.

I wonder if by telling them to use one of those circuit breakers just in case, I'd be actually encouraging them to keep the appliance in there. Perhaps just better to say remove it altogether, and let them decide if they will or not.

The consumer units look ok. From the docs it looks like the building was probably rewired 14 years ago. PIR'd 2 years ago.

John J
04-10-2009, 19:47 PM
I think you'll find that RCDs can disconnect in 40mS (milli-seconds) rather than 40uS (micro-seconds) after a fault condition trips it.

J

Poppy
05-10-2009, 10:07 AM
I wonder if by telling them to use one of those circuit breakers just in case, I'd be actually encouraging them to keep the appliance in there. Perhaps just better to say remove it altogether, and let them decide if they will or not.
I thought those who recommend sending a letter are not suggesting that you tell the tenant what to do, but just point out the hazards and your concern.

Paul47uk
05-10-2009, 10:22 AM
Thanks for everyone's interest and replies. I'll make sure the letter is signed for.

I wonder if by telling them to use one of those circuit breakers just in case, I'd be actually encouraging them to keep the appliance in there. Perhaps just better to say remove it altogether, and let them decide if they will or not.

The consumer units look ok. From the docs it looks like the building was probably rewired 14 years ago. PIR'd 2 years ago.

DO NOT advise your tenants to use a RCD or a RCCD, 17th Edition regs is very clear on this there can be NO portable electrical appliances rated at 240v in the bathroom, only 24v can be used in zone 1 and 2 areas (zone zero being actually in the bath/shower). No socket outlets are allowed with 3m of zone 1 some electrical devises such as shower pumps can be used if IP65 or above.
Not sure what you can do if the tenants refuse to remove the electrical appliance but your stance has to be REMOVE it immediately, there can be no compromise on this failure to adhere to these regs could result in death.

Bel
05-10-2009, 15:19 PM
Comment to the Mods

I appreciate that this thread is suited to the HHSRS forum, but i think I would be lucky to get more than 2 replies had it started there.