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Isolation switch - Can OVO fit one of these for me?


Userlevel 1
Hi, we're on an old fashioned fuse board and are having a new consumer unit fitted.

Electrician came round yesterday and says we need an isolator switch fitting before he can do the work.

Can anyone advise how i go about arranging this ?

Cheers
Stu
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Best answer by Tim_OVO 22 February 2019, 11:15

Updated 25/05/2020

 

I've been told I need an isolation switch. Can anyone advise how much these cost - currently an OVO electricity only customer...

 

Good question, @Nells

Fitting this without any other work being done costs £158.25, or £325 if you have a 3-phase supply.

Call us for more info and to book this in for a Monday-Friday appointment at least 17 working days in advance. You can call the team on: 0330 303 5063. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. You can also contact us on webchat through the Help centre.

Appointment slots are:

8am-12pm
10am-2pm
12pm-4pm
2pm-6pm

 

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Userlevel 1
You usually have to arrange this with your local electricity distributer. You can find that online with the right searching. It's NEDL where I live. As a sparky myself we 'used' to pull the service fuse to enable a board change and most new installs have an a isolator fitted between the meter and the board. He obviously isn't happy to pull the service fuse which is right enough. Not sure what they'll charge you for fitting the isolator though.
Userlevel 1
Thanks, that's really helpful. As you say, he wasn't happy to pull the service fuse which is fair enough. We'll see what the financial damage will be !

Cheers
Stu
Userlevel 1
Turns out that OVO will do this for considerably less than my local distributor, as in £125 less !
Userlevel 1
Bonus! Glad you found a solution.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
That's interesting @Themoid.

The DNO in my area (Western Power) have never charged my sparkys when they attend on-site to re-establish the anti-tamper seals on Main-Fuse or meter. The Sparky just phones them when he starts work and they agree a time (a couple of hours hence) when they'll send an engineer to check the new connections and make the seals.

Here's my separate isolator:



Nor have I been charged when I've asked Western Power to shield overhead cables running close to my scaffolding. They even refitted the bracket completely free.

So I'm guessing that either policy changes with different DNOs or perhaps it's something to do with the rapport with the Sparky. :)

Western Power's strategy seems to concentrate on safe-practice. If they arrive on site to find something has been done without notifying them, then they start charging. This obviously favours the "good guys" and ensures that everything is done properly.
I've been told I need an isolation switch. Can anyone advise how much these cost - currently an OVO electricity only customer...Appreciate any help with this. Thanks
Userlevel 7

Updated 25/05/2020

 

I've been told I need an isolation switch. Can anyone advise how much these cost - currently an OVO electricity only customer...

 

Good question, @Nells

Fitting this without any other work being done costs £158.25, or £325 if you have a 3-phase supply.

Call us for more info and to book this in for a Monday-Friday appointment at least 17 working days in advance. You can call the team on: 0330 303 5063. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. You can also contact us on webchat through the Help centre.

Appointment slots are:

8am-12pm
10am-2pm
12pm-4pm
2pm-6pm

 

I've been told I need an isolation switch. Can anyone advise how much these cost - currently an OVO electricity only customer...

Updated 25/05/2020

 

Good question, @Nells

Fitting this without any other work being done costs £158.25, or £325 if you have a 3-phase supply.

Call us for more info and to book this in for a Monday-Friday appointment at least 17 working days in advance. You can call the team on: 0330 303 5063. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday to Friday.

Appointment slots are:

8am-12pm
10am-2pm
12pm-4pm
2pm-6pm

 

Tim, if i have an isolation switch installed at the same time as having a smart meter installed, what would the cost be?

Userlevel 5

@Andrewhr - It’d still be the same cost as they’d need to be booked separately.

 

We can’t guarantee that the installer who installs your smart meter is trained to install isolation switches, and vice versa, so we’d need to book each one individually.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

If I was adding my isolation switch now, I might buy a bigger (wider) enclosure and place a pair of lightning / anti-surge devices next to it. That could be a better position than having them within a consumer unit.

It rather depends on the physical layout of the Distribution Grid in your area.

If there’s a large number of overhead cables, then an incoming surge is probably more likely.

On the other hand, if you have a workshop with machine-tools (or a welder!) then you need to also protect against spikes created within your home. So in that case place the surge-protection devices within the Consumer Unit and make sure you have a separate feed to that workshop!

 

Even if you don’t want anti-surge protection at this stage, just leave room to add a pair of modules later on.

@Andrewhr - It’d still be the same cost as they’d need to be booked separately.

 

We can’t guarantee that the installer who installs your smart meter is trained to install isolation switches, and vice versa, so we’d need to book each one individually.

On thx. Tbh if the installer isn't competent to install an isolation switch i wouldnt want them anywhere near the rest of the installation.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

On thx. Tbh if the installer isn't competent to install an isolation switch i wouldnt want them anywhere near the rest of the installation.

:joy:

I agree. I can’t stand it when they leave open ends and the electrons spill out all over the floor!

If I was adding my isolation switch now, I’d might buy a bigger (wider) enclosure and place a pair of lightning / anti-surge devices next to it. That could be a better position than having them within a consumer unit.

It rather depends on the physical layout of the Distribution Grid in your area.

If there’s a large number of overhead cables, then an incoming surge is probably more likely.

On the other hand, if you have a workshop with machine-tools (or a welder!) then you need to also protect against spikes created within your home. So in that case place the surge-protection devices within the Consumer Unit and make sure you have a separate feed to that workshop!

 

Even if you don’t want anti-surge protection at this stage, just leave room to add a pair of modules later on.

I'll be uprating to an 18th ed. CU with SPD and RCBOs but thanks for the suggestion. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Glad to hear that @Andrewhr.

For the sake of others who come across this discussion over the ensuing months, may I just translate your TLAs into English? :wink:

CU = Consumer unit (which contains the fuses or trips)

SPD = Surge Protection Device

RCBO = Residual-current Circuit Breaker with Overcurrent protection. That means it will trip either if the current (Amps) is exceeded, or if there is electricity leaking from the circuit (residual current), which is a safety protection. All eight of my power-circuit trips in the photo above are RCBOs.

18th Ed. = 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations, which qualified electricians must comply with. In this case the most obvious requirement, which it’s likely that Andrew has in mind, is the need for the Consumer Unit to be made of non-flammable material (ie metal).

The fact that Andrew is using these terms shows that he’s competent in understanding what’s required.

He may indeed being selecting these items himself and then employing the qualified electrician to install them and provide the test certification. That’s what I do.

If others reading this would like further clarification, then please post here and ask. That’s one of the major benefits of this being an open-discussion Forum.

Just to add

 

TLA= Three Letter Acronym :grinning:

To be fully compliant we need to seal all cable entry points with intumescent grommets/sealant. 

Userlevel 5

On thx. Tbh if the installer isn't competent to install an isolation switch i wouldnt want them anywhere near the rest of the installation.

 

@Andrewhr - I can completely understand your thoughts on engineers being able to do one or the other. It’s simply the way they train them, some are trained in one field, others in another. We do have engineers trained in both, however, we just can’t guarantee they’ll be the ones turning up to do the job!

 

You sound really knowledgeable on the technical side of things, how would you fancy doing a topic or 2 on the installation of the isolation switch and the smart meter, just so others can see the process?

 

@Transparent - Thanks for the explanation of the technical terms, really helpful (even for me!)

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