What Are the Differences Between 1st and 2nd Fix Electrics?

When it comes to electrics, it’s important to understand the differences between 1st and 2nd fix. While 1st fix involves the rough wiring of a building, 2nd fix is about installation safety and ensuring all electrical components are connected and working correctly. In this guide, we’ll explore exactly what each type of electric involves.

What is first fix electrics?

What is meant by ‘1st and 2nd fix electrics? When it comes to rewiring a property, the work involved is divided into two sections – first fix, and second fix electrics. ‘First fix’ refers to the preparation work; this is all about laying the foundations for the electrical system. This includes running cables and conduits through walls and installing circuits for the electricity to run through. Once this skeleton framework has been established then ‘second fix’ steps in – this incorporates connecting switches, sockets, outlets, and fixtures to the wiring.

1st fix electricals are primarily the components that need to be installed before a construction project is finished, such as wiring and cabling concealed within the walls and ceilings.

What do 1st fix electrics include?

What is first and second fix electrics? First fix electrics involve the installation of cables, back boxes, and hidden wiring before any furnishings or carpets are added to a property. This means that the cables can be positioned in the agreed positions of built-in appliances, lighting, and sockets. Second fix electrics involve fitting these components into their designated places.

What are second fix electrics?

What is 1st and 2nd fix electrics? The terms ‘1st fix electrics’ refer to the wiring and cabling that is put in prior to plasterboards being fitted; this includes data points, power cables, as well as elements like resilient bars that attach joists. Conversely, ‘2nd fix electrics’ are components connected to the cables installed behind walls and flooring that you can see above the plaster, such as visible plug sockets, switch plates, consumer units (modern fuse boards) and light fittings.

The second fix involves testing all of the cables for safety. This contains elements such as fitting light switches and power sockets and then proceeding to test them before they are deemed safe to use.

What do 2nd fix electrics include?

Second-fix electrics involve the connecting of the components installed during the first fix.   This happens after walls have been plastered and insulated, thus completing the electrical works for a space.

Furthermore, second fix then involves connecting fixtures such as light fittings, plug sockets and switches, as well as upgrading the fuse board with additional RCDs (residual current devices) to improve safety and take into account extra load.

Difference Between Direct and Customary Wiring Methods.

While 1st fix requires a goodwill understanding of the fundamental components of mainly direct wiring, 2nd fix electrics is all about making sure that these components are installed, maintained and connected in an up to code manner. Additionally, 1st fix works with customary wiring methods, meaning that wires run between a switch and outlet; 2nd Fix focuses more on customizing each element to ensure that it meets the local electrical guidelines and regulations. With this method, it is important to pay attention to detail when wire colour coding and labelling outlets, switches, devices and breakers.

Knowing What Metal Plates can be Used for 1st and 2nd Fix Electrics.

Typically, metal plates should be used for 1st fix electrics to ensure that all wiring is kept secure. Metal plates are used as backings to meters, switches, outlets and appliance connections providing a safe and secure way to install the necessary components. In 2nd fix electrics, metal plates are also necessary but they serve a slightly different purpose such as protection against excess heat exposure via fire-resistance or simply to provide additional technical support when completing wiring installations. Additionally, metal plates will help make sure your installation is up to the required standard of current building regulations and codes.

Examining the Difference Between Standard & Specialist Sockets and Switches.

During 2nd fix electrics, an electrician will usually fit standard sockets and switches. A standard socket serves the purpose of connecting electrical appliances to a power supply, while a switch is fitted to control the flow of current. In some cases, specialist sockets and switches are needed to accommodate certain fittings or installations. This could include long-distance sockets or light switches that do not need physical contact to turn them on and off. Specialist sockets and switches should be fitted only by a qualified electrician who has experience in this field.

DIY Installation Options for 1st & 2nd Fix Electrics.

Before attempting any DIY installation, it is important to find out more about the different options available for electrical installations. An electrician can provide advice on the most popular types of 1st and 2nd fix electrics, as well as the kind of socket and switch needed for specific jobs. A qualified electrician will also be able to ensure that any wiring fully complies with safety regulations and offers peace of mind when installing any fixtures or fittings.

For further articles follow the links below.

How Long does an EICR Last

How to check office electrical wiring

Electrical Testing Procedures

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