At the moment the moving of the Gas Meter is going to plan, Cadent are scheduled to do all the work in a couple of weeks.
Electricity is much more of a problem as you cannot engage one company to carry out all of the work.
My first attempt at laying 5 meters of meter tails is a no-go. It just cannot be that length.
UK Power Networks say the best thing to do is run a Sub-Main from their Fuse Cutout, to another fuse cutout in the flat above. They can then issue a new MPAN number so that a meter can be arranged.
So, I am going to do the sub main myself. I thought as I am doing all this work, it would be nice if all the equipment could be moved into a cupboard. That meant building a cupboard, and the best place would be the recessed area above the meters. I took off all the boarding and plasterboard, and revealed a smashed window!
Not sure when this window would have been used, or if someone threw a brick through it, then was boarded up. Or, while it was being boarded up the glass got broken.
Inside the window frame I put in yet more left over insulation.
Then screwed in a panel of OSB3 board to the window frame.
Out of left over joists I built a frame for the cupboard.
Starting to look pretty good. I then bought some fire resistant backing boards. Not sure if I actually need them, but it does look neater with them.
The sub main has to have a fused isolator switch box, and that has to remain in the shop.
The cables from the isolator to the flat above, I would have thought 25mm meter tails would be fine, as they are going to be in a metal trunking box. But others have said it should be 25mm Steel Wire Armoured cable (or SWA cable).
So I went with that. But god, it’s a total bitch to work with!
I had 3 or 4 attempts at making the connection to the isolator, each time cutting away my mess and starting again. The 2 meter cable I bought is getting shorter and shorter leaving it really tight for the connection in the flat.
Now that I had mastered the connection to the isolator, here’s how I did the flat. Before starting I made sure I had everything in place and planned out exactly what I needed to do because there isn’t enough cable left to have a second go at it.
I then proceeded to f#@k it up straight away.
I marked on the cable where the top of the trunking was, and used a gadget that cuts into the black outer sheath and cuts a little way into the steel underneath. This was when it dawned on me that the cut shouldn’t be taken from the top, but a couple of centimeters below. I decided to carry on.
Because the bottom of the steel has been gorged out a bit, you can take a couple of the steels at a time and twist back and forth until they come out.
There’s a number of reasons why I don’t like SWA cable for this sub main, excluding it’s a bitch. Firstly, all 3 cables are 25mm. The earth only needs to be 16mm, and the fused isolator cannot accept 25mm earth cables.
Secondly, why can’t the cables be the correct colours!
Thirdly, meter tails need to be double-insulated. These are single-insulated.
At this stage make sure the sheath and the locking gland nut are already on the cable.
It then needs to be cut again to reveal the steel cables that are going to wrap around the gland. Once the gland is in place and tightened up I checked to confirm if my original calculation of starting in the wrong place was correct.
The lid won’t fit.
The only solution was to move the trunking box up higher. Luckily I had the box in two sections.
With the cable in place I could only get one screw in, so had to shore it up a bit with some timber either side.
Connecting the cables to the fuse cutout was also a problem. At 25mm the cables are very stiff, made stiffer by me wrapping them in insulation tape to try and make them double-insulated. With the first attempt I couldn’t get the shroud on so had to move everything.
Not convinced with my double-insulation, I then wrapped them with the insulation I had taken off from the SWA.
It’s now triple-insulated. I’m sure UK Power Networks will sign that off as a profession job. I also connected an earth cable which I had crimped to the trunking.
Back in the shop, I finished off all the connections. Not sure about how I connected the 25mm earth lead to a Henley block connector so that may have to be changed.
My sub main is complete and as far as I am concerned ready for action. I’m sure others will differ!
Also got meter tails ready for the shop meter to be moved.