Main Protective Bonding (earth bonding to gas pipes etc.)

I got called to look at a Flat the other day – Built sometime in the 1970’s (??) – it had failed a “Gas Safety Inspection” – there was a problem reported with the “bonding” on the Gas Meter…

When I got there, it was missing “Protective Bonding wires” to both the Gas Meter and the Water pipes.  The “Fusebox” (yes it was an old-school Fusebox) was at the opposite end of the flat to the incoming water and the Kitchen (where the gas meter was).  (about 10 metres of cable runs required).

Whilst the 17th wiring regulations make a great fuss about this bonding – it wasn’t required when the flat was built (and the “Fuse box” was installed).  Therefore – whilst not “compliant with current standards” – it is still conforms to the regulations when it was originally installed.  It may not be “ideal” – it may not be considered “safe” by current thinking – but it is “legal”.  If the “fusebox” were to be replaced by a modern unit, complete with RCD, then it would *have* to have the missing bonding installed to be compliant… and if it is not “compliant” then it can’t be “signed off” – which means it would not be legal after the upgrade – but as it stands…. It’s legal.

Recommendation:  Carry out a full inspection of the flat in case of any other problems, upgrade the consumer unit to comply with current regulations, fit the missing “Protective Bonding” where required and carry out a full system test.  This action would be especially recommended were the flat to be rented out.

As for the Gas Certificate: I am not a Gas Safe Engineer – I am an electrician – but my research suggests that it should be passed by Gas Safety with a “notification of not to standard“.

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