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Electrical Socket Change

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brainiac | 13:40 Sat 20th Apr 2024 | Home & Garden
18 Answers

I have a double electric socket in my garage which the residents' association of the courtyard where I live are insisting be changed to an RCD type (along with 12 other garages).  The garage is my property, but the supply comes into the courtyard to a meter in one of the bin stores, and they're threatening that anyone who refuses to have this work done will have their supply disconnected.


Aside from the point that it would be my responsibility - not theirs - if anything untoward were to happen if, say, a hedge trimmer was plugged in, they're asking for £72 for the work.  Does this seem a fair price?



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A bit steep for a £25ish item.

If it's a qualified electrician doing the work, then maybe I could understand that price. It also depends on the quality of the socket they are providing. You can pay anything from £15 - £75 for a 2-gang socket (RCD).

RCD and labour of THEIR choice then its no longer on your shoulders if anything goes wrong. Good deal.

Pay the money and insist on a Minor Works cert for confirmation of compliance.

They are easy to change, just 3 wires. 

And the sockets are only £25 ish

Are your electrics already protected at the mains via an RCD main/switch or an RCD type miniature circuit breaker within the consumer unit? If so, an RCD controlled socket may not be needed.

Since one can plug in RCD protection, it seems a bit off to me. £72 alao seems high to me, but there again all price tags seem so to me these days. But I guess residents associations must be a law unto themselves aren't they ?

Since it's a replacement you are able to do the jon yourself legally. Buy an RCD protected socket, swap it yourself and tell the RA you've already got one.

On this type of install ,the supply cables would be protected via a 100mA S type, time delayed  rcd and each outlet would be 30mA protected.This would give the necessary discrimination downstream so that if you plug in a dodgy appliance only yours would trip. A 30mA rcd up front would not be suitable.

bhg...I'm guessing that all the sockets are wired on a radial or ring circuit ..if the garage owners were able to swap their own sockets and they messed up, it would compromise other outlets in other garages.

Probably the going rate brainiac. I'm sure someone else could shave a bit off it, but you'd have to convince the Association. Wouldn't be worth the hassle.

Although changing a socket is not usually notifiable, I would guess the electrician would issue certification paperwork since others are involved.

As Ryzen said, 'Minor Works' probably, but it all takes time to complete.


Question Author

Many thanks for all the replies.  No, I'm pretty sure there is no RCD-type protection at the main meter in the bin store.  It's particularly annoying for me that in the nearly 18 years I've lived here I've never used the sockets in my garage!  

I think they could just advise in writing that unless we have the sockets changed or use an RCD adaptor (about £10!) when using something outside, then it's our lookout.


Since you've never used it, why not just let them disconnect.

As the supply is via the landlord,he is responsible for its protection, if he relies upon the user to utilise a plug in adapter and the user gets injured,he will be in court trying to explain his actions. If he uses a registered contractor to supply,fit,test, certify and maintain,he will meet all obligations. Not sure where you're located,but £72 seems a fair price. Most registered sparkies are charging £50 per hour minimum where we are.


Are you sure it's your garage? Who pays for the electricity that each garage uses? Who insures the garage?

Question Author

Yes, it's my garage, insured by me.  There are 29 houses, 21 garages but only 14 have electricity, with small subsidiary meters in them so the owners pay for what they use.

The residents' association has to have an electricity supply so there is lighting in the upper part of the courtyard and this is (smart) metered in the above-mentioned bin store.  However, aside from the RCD issue, the new members of the RA now want to charge the 14 owners of the the garages with electricity a proportion of the standing charge, even though the subsidiary meters add no additional cost to the standing charge, currently about £320 a year, as it's set a commercial rate.


I'm refusing to pay this as - as I keep telling them - my having a meter in my garage costs the RA nothing and is just for reference; the 14 meters could be removed and the RA would still have to pay the same.  I already contribute, along with the other 28 residents, to the standing charge through my yearly maintenance payment.

This has all come out of the blue and never been proposed at any AGM in the many years I have lived here.  Very frustrating.  This extra 'standing charge' is not a huge amount but it's the principle I won't give in on!

Who reads the 14 garage meters and issues the bills..and how does that person get paid for their time?

Question Author

The garage owners provide readings when asked.  There is no outside management company; the RA is a limited company responsible for maintenance, upkeep, insurance etc, and run by a Board made up of owners.  I was chairman for about 3 years, but very glad not to be involved any more!

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