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The Raising of Ground Floor Socket Heights.

Will we have to raise the height of wiring accessories in new builds in potential flood areas.

Click on the above.



  • There were supposed to be rules against building on flood plains.

    But then the government started telling councils that they must build more and more homes, and now councils are approving building anywhere.  My local council is planning to sell off a patch of public green space that is known to flood in the winter, for more housing.  They are saying that if they fix up the sluice gates, it'll be fine.

  • My local council just gave permission for 241 houses alongside a stream that the Environment Agency says is a grade 3 and 2 flood risk. The developer says they will build the houses six inches higher than the surrounding ground, so the roads and drives will flood?  The planning committee were told the environment agency in their report said they can see no problems, so flood risk is not a reason to refuse planning. 


    When installing sockets if I had  a choice I would be putting then about 2ft high so I can sit on a small box while installing them. Also now that I am getting older it is easier to access the higher sockets without having to get down on my knees.

    Will the flood risk be given as a reason to justify installing consumer units touching the ceiling above the toilet?

  • “Will the flood risk be given as a reason to justify installing consumer units touching the ceiling above the toilet?”



  • What happens to all the tackle in meter cabinets? ?

  • Some years ago I did a flood resistant installation.

    Pairs of 16 amp ceeform outlets installed just below  ceiling level in each ground floor room. Extension leads supplied, male 16 amp plug to 8 gang trailing 13 amp sockets. 1.5mm flex.

    Kitchen had two 32 amp ceeform sockets at high level, extension leads supplied with 32 amp male plug, 6mm flex to multiple metal clad 13 amp sockets on a piece of board.

    One twin 13 amp socket high up on wall near stairs, reachable by going a few steps up the stairs. Mainly for vacuum cleaning upstairs or down.

     Downstairs lights all ceiling mounted and operated via pull cord switches.

    Upstairs installation as normal.

    Consumer unit upstairs. About 1.5 meters above upstairs floor level.

    Cut out and meter and customers switch fuse at low level outdoors “because that is how we always do it” SWA submain to consumer unit. The customer switch fuse is in a second “meter cupboard” just above the one containing the cut out and meter. Still much too low IMHO.

    Stored on the premises are

    Spare ceeform to 13 amp extension leads, in case the ones in use go under water.

    Spare switch fuse. For simple replacement after the flood.

    Spare length of 25mm SWA and glands.


  • Chris Pearson: 

    What happens to all the tackle in meter cabinets? ?

    It might go bang, or the DNO might turn of the supply at the substation during a flood, or the substation might go under water first.

  • I personally would have all electrical accesories and switchgear at or above waist height. As for developers building on flood plains then only a fool would pay the market price. Nothing like making a rod for your own back.

  • i have long been a fan of having everything at least hand height (my hand) but I have met with some resistance because folk do not like seeing sockets etc (well quite a few of them don`t), When the "standard" became 12" or 300mm to underside it met with some resistance, when it became 450mm it still met with some resistance  even 300mm did too. For a number of years I did rewires where Occupational Therapists and Social Workers were involved and they loved me for advocating sockert heights and also ganging light switches together thereby making it easier for the old and infirm. It greatly helped with the clients and their friends and relatives because an Elecvtrician and "The Authorities" were singing from that same songsheet.

    However I am afraid that whatever the merits of putting what you reasonably can above the floodline you will meet with some resistance however sensible your decisions are. Folk are like that unfortunately.

    Yes it would be better if buildings were not allowed in daft places. 

    The ordinary person is probably not so aware where floodplanes etc are. They just see a nice house that they want.

    I know folk who still want sockets on the skirting board too and those who can not see whats wrong with a consumer unit above the toilet door (or in the loft)

  • Yes it would be better if buildings were not allowed in daft places. 

    How true is that!

    But when the Government advise local councils to sell 'prime' flood planes to building developers with the supposed backing of insurance companies then what should a poor girl do?

    The new saying for insurance companies: 'we don't have that level of risk appetitie'.

    300mm is not really enough in height to avoid possible/probable flood levels. The last flood secured height for socket outlets I was  involved with was 1.2m.

  • People building dwellings in flood plains was a known problem when I arrived in California almost 50 years ago. So was building on hillsides with a particular slope, because surface soil dries out over 7-8 months "dry season" and one good rainfall (say from the "Pineapple Express" atmospheric river) would saturate it and there were slumps/landslides all over. 

    I lived in two houses (one I owned) where the Hayward fault went right past the door. I spent six months of Sundays with my pals round the corner "earthquake proofing" their house (consisting of bolting the wooden frame to the foundation).

    I don't know that things have changed. Insurance companies mostly won't insure for flood or landslide risks. The advice was and is: get a good geophysical evaluation; if you can't get a decent insurance quote, don't buy/build.

    You can only proof a dwelling against a guessed magnitude of threat. You can guess such a magnitude from history (if there is enough) and from geophysical assessment. But, you know, extremes are starting to happen (for example, the mid-July floods in Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium were, I think, without known historical precendent). 

    But suppose you already have the building. The only general practical measure I can think of in designed the electrics to be flood-resilient is to establish level circuits at various levels, with separate breakers. Then what about the control panel? You'd need it upstairs, rather than down. But if it is up, and you have a building fire, what do you do then? Maybe you need two panels in series; one in basement/ground floor in a guaranteed-waterproof installation, feeding another one upstairs, from which the individual building circuits are derived? 

    (Good exam question, BTW. Pity I no longer teach.)