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Topic Title: Part M Regulations regarding sockets in kitchen cupboards
Topic Summary: Can sockets be installed in cupboards for later use?
Created On: 03 September 2015 04:35 pm
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 03 September 2015 04:35 pm
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stevejohnston1

Posts: 3
Joined: 03 September 2015

Newbie here, and totally unqualified in anything electrical, so thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

Close to exchange on a new build, and as part of the options we have been offered is additional electrical outlets.

We have requested one under the sink or nearby to supply a boiling tap we intend to install in the future, and one in the cupboard above the oven where we intend to install a further steam oven appliance.

The developer says:
"The additional single sockets that you have requested to go in the cupboard under the sink and in the cupboard above the oven - we are unable to do this due to part M regulations, we cannot install sockets into a cupboard, if we put them on the wall you will have no access to them due to the kitchen units being installed, and we are not able to cut the panel as this may affect your warranty."

So, I've looked in the approved documents on the gov.uk site regarding part M and it makes no mention of cupboards, but plenty of reference to the height of such sockets.

The socket for the boiling tap can be above the 450mm height, but the one above the oven will definitely be above 1200mm.

So my questions:
    Are they right about installing in cupboards? We'll manage with cutting the damn holes in the backs of the units ourselves, because it is preferable that the sockets are installed at build time.

And:
    Can the socket for the steam oven be placed higher than 1200mm because of its intended use to service an integrated appliance?


I look forward to your responses.

Steve
 03 September 2015 05:12 pm
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geoffsd

Posts: 2342
Joined: 15 June 2010

You can ignore the heights; they are rules for general use sockets to cater for people of restricted reach.
However, some installers are incapable of thinking.
If you want one on the ceiling, you can have one on the ceiling.

Cutting holes in the back panel (a piece of warrantied hardboard?) is much preferable to installing sockets on the cupboard carcass although that is frequently done.
 03 September 2015 05:37 pm
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alanblaby

Posts: 868
Joined: 09 March 2012

I'd read the response from the Developer as meaning "We don't really want to do that, so I'm making up a few half truths that will put you off."

As Geoff says - warranties on kitchen unit panels? They are regularly cut for all sorts of things.
Part M - the socket will be higher than 450mm, and will not really need to be accessed, except for maintenance, so thats a misnomer.
 03 September 2015 06:52 pm
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stateit

Posts: 2694
Joined: 15 April 2005

Ask the developer about the holes the plumber cut in the backs and sides in the units under/adjacent to the sink...

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 03 September 2015 11:31 pm
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mapj1

Posts: 12039
Joined: 22 July 2004

Part M requires enough sockets at the right height - you can have extra ones anywhere you like pretty much.

Sockets attached to the hardboard backs of cupboards attract much hissing and spitting, as if done badly the cables can be damaged if the cupboard is moved or falls apart later, but certainly fitted on the wall itself with an access hole, so long as its not going to get splashed or overly hot, anywhere is fair game, unless its within 3m of a bath or shower....

You may be better offering the electrician a cash job privately and putting some Xs on the wall in felt tip if you are allowed to bypass the developers agents and talk to him/her.

Be aware of how any new cupboards, shelves knife racks, and things will screw to the wall afterwards- as the cable will likely come down from above to the socket, (or maybe from below) and you don't want it spiked by the screws you put in for your shiny new shelf brackets.
Live spice racks and so on can and have killed the unwary.

edited for late night grammar.

-------------------------
regards Mike


Edited: 04 September 2015 at 09:07 am by mapj1
 04 September 2015 08:36 am
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tillie

Posts: 937
Joined: 03 May 2006

Q1.15 Can accessories and electrical equipment such as socket-outlets and under-cupboard lighting be fixed to fitted kitchen units?

Yes, provided that they are securely fixed to rigid parts of the units that are not demountable or otherwise liable to be disturbed in normal service. However, care must be taken to comply with all the relevant requirements of BS 7671, including accessibility for inspection, testing and maintenance, and provision of adequate protection against damage (by impact or water for example) for the accessories, equipment and associated wiring.

Regulation number(s)

530.4.2

Hi , this is a question on the ECA website for Q and A .

There is also another question relating to installing cooker switches in adjacent cupboards and that is also deemed fine as long as the switch is accessible.

I always do the aboveand have never had any problems.

Regards
 04 September 2015 11:20 am
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stevejohnston1

Posts: 3
Joined: 03 September 2015

Thank you everyone for your really helpful replies, I will let you know how I get on.
 06 September 2015 12:27 am
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dizzyfergy

Posts: 256
Joined: 11 October 2006

The fitting of sockets in units or behind is done on a regular basis ,but one word of advice i give is ,if the cupboard is to be filled with all manner of items it might be worth using a metalclad to give added mechanical protection as even a tin of beans pushed too hard can damage the plastic variety .

-------------------------
non satis hora in dies (not enough hours in the day)
 07 September 2015 08:35 am
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anastasis

Posts: 676
Joined: 01 September 2009

Also check out 4.30b (page 45) of approved doc M - http://www.planningportal.gov....r/BR_PDF_AD_M_2013.pdf - not directly applicable, but the principle is there.

If they want to be silly about this, get them to put flex outlets rather than 13A sockets in the cupboards, supplied via switched fused spurs located between 450mm and 1200mm off the floor. Totally compliant with part M and BS7671. Change the flex outlets to 13A sockets once you move in.
 07 September 2015 11:49 pm
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spinlondon

Posts: 5494
Joined: 10 December 2004

The Developer's are stating that as they will not cut the back board of the cupboard, the socket-outlets will be behind the cupboards.
As such they will be inaccessible, which technically doesn't comply with Part M.
Ask the developer to install a back box, with cables terminated in connector blocks covered with a blanking plate.
In future you will be able to cut through the backboard and replace the connector blocks and blanking plate with a socket-outlet.
 08 September 2015 08:10 pm
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phantom9

Posts: 1757
Joined: 16 December 2002

Originally posted by: stevejohnston1

Newbie here, and totally unqualified in anything electrical, so thank you in advance for any help you can offer.



Close to exchange on a new build, and as part of the options we have been offered is additional electrical outlets.



We have requested one under the sink or nearby to supply a boiling tap we intend to install in the future, and one in the cupboard above the oven where we intend to install a further steam oven appliance.



The developer says:

"The additional single sockets that you have requested to go in the cupboard under the sink and in the cupboard above the oven - we are unable to do this due to part M regulations, we cannot install sockets into a cupboard, if we put them on the wall you will have no access to them due to the kitchen units being installed, and we are not able to cut the panel as this may affect your warranty."



So, I've looked in the approved documents on the gov.uk site regarding part M and it makes no mention of cupboards, but plenty of reference to the height of such sockets.



The socket for the boiling tap can be above the 450mm height, but the one above the oven will definitely be above 1200mm.



So my questions:

    Are they right about installing in cupboards? We'll manage with cutting the damn holes in the backs of the units ourselves, because it is preferable that the sockets are installed at build time.


And:

    Can the socket for the steam oven be placed higher than 1200mm because of its intended use to service an integrated appliance?




I look forward to your responses.



Steve


Steve this is typical of the sort of unhelpful rubbish spouted by so called authorities and all false advice. Unfortunately there is so much misguided nonsense in society now it's sort of normal now. Welcome to the silly world of health and safety.
 11 September 2015 04:46 pm
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stevejohnston1

Posts: 3
Joined: 03 September 2015

Thanks again folks, including the replies since the 6th September, really helpful.

So the builder has agreed to place the sockets on the wall behind the kitchen cabinets for us to cut through to later. At the heights requested.

Your help gave me the confidence to hold our ground, so many thanks!

Steve
 11 September 2015 05:56 pm
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anastasis

Posts: 676
Joined: 01 September 2009

Make sure you get drawings showing where they are. Or, even better, go in yourself and take photos and measurements before the kitchen is fitted.
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