Lighting Circuit Has No CPC Yet Serves Class 1 Lights

Lighting Circuit Has No CPC Yet Serves Class 1 Lights
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Lighting Circuit Has No CPC Yet Serves Class 1 Lights

So your recent homebuyer or landlord electrical safety report has an issue raised for “Lighting Circuits Has No CPC Yet Serves Class 1 Lights“?

Did the electrician fail to provide any more details so you may properly understand what the problem is and what you need to do to resolve it?

We attempt to clear the smoke and mirrors surrounding this and let you know the different ways that this fault can be addressed.

So if your recent EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) has a fault listed for “Lighting Circuit Has No CPC Yet Serves Class 1 Lights“, read on….

So what is “Lighting Circuit With No CPC”?

Every circuit installed in your property should have a “CPC”. This is more commonly known as an Earth conductor. This is a safety aspect of the circuit and enables all outer metalwork of lights/appliances to be connected to the main earthing terminal. This means that should any fault occur in that item, the outer metalwork will not become live and will not present a dangerous shock risk.

Before 1966, there was no requirement to have an earth conductor within the lighting circuit. At this time, light fittings and switches were mainly made from plastic (or Bakelite), and thus did not need a CPC.

Since 1966, and certainly in more modern times with the advent of metal light switches & light fittings (technically called Class 1 fittings/switches), an earth conductor is a requirement.

Lighting Circuit without an earth - serves metal switches

So if you have any metal light switches or metal light fittings, and your wiring is quite old, then it is certainly possible that you will receive a code on your electrical report for “Lighting Circuit Serves Class 1 Fittings Yet Has No CPC”.

If you do find yourself with this issue, then it would be considered a C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS issue. If you have this issue, it will render your EICR as unsatisfactory.

How Best To Fix This Issue Of No CPC On Lighting Circuits Serving Class 1 Fittings

There are a couple of ways to resolve this issue:

  • The best way to resolve this problem is to install a CPC to the circuit. Whilst it is possible to just install the earth conductor itself, the labour involved is pretty much the same as simply rewiring the lighting circuit. Bear in mind that the cable currently serving the lighting circuit is from before 1966, which makes it at least 53 years old. As such replacement of the circuit cables is the best idea.
  • If rewiring the circuit (or adding a circuit protective conductor) is not an option, then changing the light fittings/switches for plastic (Class 2) is possible. This removes the potential danger from using metallic switches/fittings. It should be noted that a warning notice, stating that the lighting circuit has no CPC. If this notice is not fitted to the consumer unit/fuse board, then this itself becomes a C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS issue. ElectricBlu Contractors do not particularly recommend this course of action as the cables serving the circuit are old and also this gives the option to fit metallic light switches or metallic light switches in the future.

Lighting Circuit Has No CPC But Serves Class 2 Fittings

We’ll elaborate on a Lighting Circuit With No CPC which serves Class 2 Light Fittings a little.

If your lighting circuit doesn’t have a CPC (earth conductor), but the circuit ONLY serves Class 2 (plastic or sometimes known as insulated), then the issue of “No CPC on lighting circuit” itself will attract a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED code.

This brings another issue into play. If the fittings and switches are all plastic, and the lighting circuit does not have an earth conductor, then the installation requires a warning notice fitted to the fuse board/consumer unit.

Lighting Circuit Has No CPC but Serves Metallic Equipment - Class 1 Equipment

This label warns that the particular circuit in question doesn’t have a CPC, and that class 1 fittings should not be fitted to that circuit. The lack of this warning label would be coded C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS. This is due to the risk of metallic light fittings or switches being inadvertently fitted to these circuits.

If you need any further clarification on this issue (or indeed any other electrical safety report issue), please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

PS: Our coding recommendations are based on those found in Electrical Safety First – Best Practice Guide 4, EICR

James

ElectricBlu Contractors

ElectricBluContractors

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2 Responses

  1. you can simply run an earth to the light fitting and use metal fittings on these circuits. You are right about the age of the cable though it is very old

    • Hello ToMCha
      Whilst I appreciate the thinking behind what you suggest, unless you are running a dedicated earth from the fuse board/consumer unit (in at least 4mm cable) then it is not the correct way to do it.
      If the earth is just “spurred” from the nearest socket, it could easily be disconnected without any idea what it connects to. This would then render the metal light fitting without an earth again.
      Whilst even running a separate earth from the main board to the fitting may be compliant, I really believe that the work involved would be better spent replacing what is now very old cable with modern twin & earth cable.

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