18th Edition Wiring Regulations Changes Overview

18th Edition Wiring Regulations Changes Overview

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18th edition wiring regulations on site guide

The 18th edition wiring regulations changes are set to come into effect on the 1st of 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? The big question that everyone is asking. There were some significant changes last time with metal consumer units 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 newest 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 are skyrocketing. What used to be a rare sight is now much more commonplace, electricians are now 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.

The exception for a dwelling if none of (i), (ii), or(iii) is reasonably practicable now deleted. Meaning 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. A significant change is that the rule 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 fixed.

The regulations also bring about more requirements in regards to solid foreign body protection IP4X and impact protection AG2.

RCD protection

Regulation 722.531.2.101  redrafts 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 labelled 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 need to be fit for purpose. You are verifying it is 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 

underfloor electric heating 18th edition wiring regulations changes

Section 753 of the 18th edition wiring regulations changes now include electric floor heating. They also apply to electrical heating systems for de-icing or frost prevention or similar applications and cover both indoor and outdoor systems, which could be floors, walls, and ceilings. Outdoor or indoor. Compacted areas such as roadways or football field, for example,e are covered under section 753.

There are more requirements 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 about 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 apply 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 phases (400v) is now required. Furthermore, where PME exists, no neutral should be connected to the metal work of any caravan or boat.

Additionally, there are now requirements for the use of isolating transformers

To prevent circulating galvanic currents between vessels and metallic parts of the shore side. Also,  protection of IP44 will now apply to equipment that's 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 put at a depth that will avoid damage from such things as vehicle movement. Overhead wires are not allowed to be installed above waterways. If overhead wires are used, they must be insulated. Any support for them must also be adequate protection. The conductors must also be at the 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 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

boat in land 18th edition wiring regulations changes

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 four sockets in one enclosure.

(e) Each socket-outlet should only supply one electric circuit of a vessel.

(f) Socket-outlets shall be placed at the 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 following 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.

See here for courses to make sure you are up to date.

EDB Electrical Services are your local electricians based In West Sussex.


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