The 18th edition wiring regulations changes are set to come into effect on the 1st July 2018. The previous IET wiring regulations (17th edition 3rd amendment) will cease to be the latest standard. The changes will affect contractors and consumers alike. The IET wiring regulations are non-statutory, meaning they are not an absolute law. Although if not followed, you can find yourself foul of the EAW (Electricity at work regulations).
What new changes will come with the 18th edition wiring regulations? How will they affect you? This is the big question that everyone is asking. There were some big changes last time when metal consumer units were reintroduced. Read on to find out the latest changes that will be coming in on the 1st July 2018. Keep in mind that although this is the latest information available. The 18th edition wiring regulations changes are still at the draft stage being reviewed by the subcommittee.
Regulation 722 – The electric vehicle regulations
With the world marching further forward, innovations in the electric vehicle sector are pushing the demand for charging stations skyrocketing. What used to be a rare sight is now much more commonplace, electricians are n
ow struggling to keep up with this demand. Furthermore, with increased use, the safety element has been re-evaluated and particularly regulation 722.411.4.1 that specifies the use of PME has been changed.
The exception for a dwelling if none of (i), (ii), or(iii) is reasonably practicable has been deleted. This now means that PME cannot be used unless you meet (i), or (ii), or (iii) of 722.411.4.1. As a reminder of those regulations:
Regulation 722.411.4.1(i) refers to a situation where a connecting point is supplied from a 3-phase installation used to supply loads other than charging points and where the load is sufficiently well balanced.
Regulation 722.411.4.1(ii) requires a very low resistance earth electrode to mitigate the effects of an open circuit PEN conductor fault on the supply.
Regulation 722.411.4.1(iii) refers to protection by a voltage operated device. An important change is that the regulation now makes the point that this device could be included in the charging equipment. It is worth noting
that this device will also require an earth electrode.
So effectively this means that installing an electric vehicle charging station will likely require an earth electrode to be installed.
The regulations also bring about more requirements in regards to solid foreign body protection IP4X and impact protection AG2.
Regulation 722.531.2.101 has been redrafted concerning RCD protection. You must now have Type A and Type B RCDs being able to handle DC fault current. Furthermore, where BS1363-2 socket-outlets are used for EV charging, it has to be labeled clearly ‘EV’ on the rear side of the enclosure. Unless there is no possibility of confusion, a suitable label shall be put on the front face or next to the socket-outlet or it’s enclosure stating: ‘suitable for electric vehicle charging’.
Additionally, socket-outlets absolutely need to be fit for purpose. Being adequate for the load and any external influences that may hinder its performance during the lifetime of the unit. Such as impact damage or water.
Changes to Section 753
Section 753 of the 18th edition wiring regulations changes now include electric floor heating. They also apply to electric heating systems for de-icing or frost prevention or similar applications and cover both indoor and outdoor systems. This can be floor
s, walls, and ceilings. Outdoor or indoor. Compacted areas such as roadways or football field, for example,e are covered under section 753.
There are now more requirements in relation to covering heating elements in soil or concrete. Wall heating systems are now required to have metal mechanical protection such as sheathing or metallic grid. There are further requirements in relation to being laid near ignitable material. A 10mm air gap is considered to be sufficient.
Section 730 – Onshore units of electrical shore connections for inland navigation vessels
Existing regulations in regards to marinas will mostly also be applied to inland navigation vessels. Most, if not all, of the measures used to reduce the risks in marinas, apply equally. The main differences being the size of the supply needed. Three phase (400v) is now required. Furthermore, where PME is used no neutral should be connected to metal work of any caravan or boat.
Additionally, there are now requirements for use of isolating transformers
This is to prevent circulating galvanic currents between vessels and metallic parts of the shore side. Also, minimum protection of IP44 will now apply to equipment that is installed.There are also now further requirements on using suitable cables which will not deteriorate under mechanical and environmental stresses, for distribution circuits in berths and ports and floating land stages.
Furthermore, underground distribution cables must be buried at a depth that will avoid damage from such things as vehicle movement. Overhead cables are not allowed to be installed above waterways. If overhead cables are used they must be insulated. Any support for them must also be adequate protection. The conductors must also be at a height of at least 6m in areas where there could be vehicle moment and 3.5m without.
Isolation, switching and control (automatic disconnection of supply) RCD protection
Section 730 gives additional requirements concerning RCD protection. Particularly the use of RCDs protecting each individual circuit up to 63a. Isolation and over-current protection are also included.
Socket outlets in section 730 of the 18th edition wiring regulations changes will now include further requirements
(a) Socket-outlets shall comply with BS EN 60309-1 and BS EN 60309-4 and socket-outlets w
ith a current rating up to and including 125 A shall comply with EN 60309-2.
(b) Where interchangeability is not required, socket-outlets shall comply with BS EN 60309-1 and BS EN 60309-4 and need not comply with BS EN 60309-2.
(c) Sockets need to be as close to the berth are reasonably practical.
(d)There should not be more than 4 sockets in one enclosure.
(e) Each socket-outlet should only supply one electric circuit of a vessel.
(f) Socket-outlets shall be placed at a height of not less than 1 m above the highest water level.
(g) In the case of floating pontoons or walkways only, this height may be reduced to 0.3 m above the highest water level provided that appropriate additional measures are taken to protect against the effects of splashing.
(h) Socket-outlets shall be placed in an enclosure in accordance with BS EN 15869-2. Conclusion This article only gives an overview of draft proposals, which may or may not be included in the 18th edition (BS 7671:2018), depending on the decision of the national committee, JPEL/64. The DPC (draft for public comment) is now available to the public (on the BSI website) for comment.
So that’s the overall changes which will come into effect with the 18th edition wiring regulations changes, although it’s important to keep in the mind that the changes listed are still in draft stage. We will found out on July 1st 2018 the final requirements of the 18th edition wiring regulations.
The photograph shown is of a Wylex 3036 re-wireable consumer unit; EDB Electrical Services gave a quote to carry out the task of replacing the consumer unit and carrying out the upgrading of the bonding to the oil and gas supplies. The old consumer unit was replaced with a Hager 6×6 split load 60898 consumer unit as shown. The whole installation was then protected by RCDs and 60898 MCB’s.
The replacement of the consumer unit was carried out by one of our fully qualified electricians and took 6 hours to complete, including a full test of the property and the upgrading of the bonding with little disturbance the customer.
The installation was orginally given an EICR which it failed. Now with the new fuseboard the electrical installation passed with flying colours.
What is the cost of having a new fuse board installed? There are numerous motivations to overhaul your fuse board, possibly your current unit is old and outdated with fuses you have to rewire after they trip and is giving you steady cerebral pains. Perhaps you have a more present day sort of fuse board yet you have no RCD (Residual Current Device) – more on that later. BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations state ‘ where a fuse board is being installed, extra assurance by methods for RCD’s ought to be given to the degree required by the present directions of BS7671, for example, for:
· Socket outlets
· Mobile hardware for utilization outside
· Cables that are buried inside walls or partitions
· Circuits of areas containing a wet area i.e shower or bath
Circuits that are to be furnished with RCD assurance must be separated between an adequate number of RCD’s or generally composed as to maintain a strategic distance from perils and limit bother in case of a trip.
What is a RCD (Residual Current Device)?
An RCD is a device that can detect imbalances between the live and neutral conductors. I.E If the current is going somewhere it shouldn’t be. They can be very sensitive and can trip much faster than traditonal circuit breakers. They are essential in hazardous places. You may not know you have an electrical fault till you install an RCD as traditional circuit breakers cannot detect leakage current.
Consistently in the UK around 70 individuals kick the bucket and 350,000 are harmed because of electrical mischances at home. A Government report additionally demonstrated that, every year, around 4,000 flames caused by power in homes may have been counteracted if RCD insurance had been fitted in the fuse board. In spite of this, the greater part of UK homes – that is 13 million – don’t yet have any, or a sufficient level of, such extra insurance.
RCDs have been compulsory on all recently introduced circuits in England since 2008 (17th edition wiring directions).
The person carrying out the installation must verify that: · The main earthing terminal of the installation is connected to an adequate means of earthing via a suitably sized earthing conductor · The main protective bonding conductor is adequate · If any the above conditions are not met then the customer must be informed immediately that upgrading is required. If the customer refuses then the installer should not proceed with the installation of the consumer unit
Before doing the work
Upgrading a consumer unit in a household commenced in England or Wales is notifiable work with Building Regulations. Unless the work is done by an installer who can self affirm his/her own work from one of the different confirmation bodies ie NICEIC, NAPIT, ELECSA then nearby building specialist control must be told before work starts.
Before doing the work the installer ought to urge the client to have an electrical condition inspection report carried out to check whether there are any dangers that exist which will cause the RCD to trip. The minimum that should be inspected:
· Making enquiries with the client if there are any current issues
· A visual review of the current wiring framework to check the sort and state of the wiring
· A visual investigation of every outside piece of the wiring
· An test to find the value of Ze (The resistance back to the local substation)
·Check on all CPCs (Circuit protective conductors)
On the off chance that any faults or flaws which would cause stumbling of a RCD are discovered then we will inform the client of required remedial work before work is undertaken.
This would add additional cost, but if there are existing faults it would be very wise to correct these.
After the new fuseboard is installed, the entire installation is inspected and tested and you will be issued with an electrical installation certificate.
Not many people realize that your electrical installation needs regular maintenance just like a boiler. Time can loosen connections, degrade cables and the weather can rust away protective enclosure exposing live conductors. It’s so important to have an electrical inspection done!
What you may need can vary, there are different terms for inspections and you may be confused as to the difference between an EICR, Periodic inspection and fixed wire testing. Fixed wire and period inspections now both mean EICR.
What does an EICR Involve?
During an EICR, every part of the electrical installation is tested and inspected. All equipment that may be installed such as outdoor lights or sockets. The condition and integrity of the wiring. Specialist tests are performed to make sure the wiring is in a suitable and safe condition.
But why should I have one? Is it required? EICRs will stress test your whole system, which will point out defects and deterioration. Sometimes due to bad workmanship or age conductors and enclosures break down, and real risks to health can emerge. As part of the testing, all parts of the installation are checked to make sure they meet the required BS7671 regulations.
EICRS can reveal a wide range of issues: • Any problems with the circuits that could lead to overload or short circuiting. • Parts of an installation that pose a real risk of electrocution or fire. •Make sure the installation has suitable earthing arrangements.
EICR results Faults are coded, in order of how dangerous it is to least.
C1 – Danger is present, risk of injury is likely and MUST BE rectified. C2 – Potentially dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently C3 – Improvement to your electrical system is recommended
Keep a look out on our pages for electrical updates, we sometimes post electrical installation work that may not be quite up to standard that we discover and how we put it right. We plan to have more outlets that you can find us on so keep posted!