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Highlights of the 18th Edition - Part 1

The Draft for Public Comment highlights some of the suggested potential changes to be in place for the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations from the 1st July 2018, coming into effect from January 2019.

Paul Collins, Technical and Training Manager at Hager, begins a series of analysis into some of the key changes that could come into place.
The Draft for Public Comment on the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations has now been published and highlights potential changes to the regulations in the years to come.

It is important to make clear that this is a draft. Although this document gives us an indication of what may come, anything can be changed and nothing is set in stone at this stage.

We have delved deeper into some of these proposed changes to see what could be in store.

Chapter 41 – Protection against electric shock
The protective measure of Automatic Disconnection of supply gives maximum disconnection times in Table 41.1. This table at present applies to final circuits up to and including 32A.

It's proposed that this table will apply to final circuits up to 63A that have one or more socket outlets and up to 32A if only fixed equipment is connected. The usual time of 0.4s for systems where the U0 is 230V remains unchanged for a TN system.

The requirements of regulation 411.3.3 for protection by means of an RCD up to 30mA currently includes socket outlets up to 20A rating or for mobile equipment used outdoors up to 32A rating.

There is also currently an exception allowed by labelling socket outlets for a particular use or by carrying out a risk assessment to alleviate the requirement of using RCD’s where the installation is not a dwelling.

The proposed change will now include socket outlets up to 32A and there is no exception allowed, which essentially means that every socket outlet up to the rating of 32A will require RCD protection no matter what type of installation or equipment it is supplying.

A new regulation 411.3.4 will require RCD protection up to 30mA of circuits supplying luminaires in domestic installations regardless of their wiring method.

Chapter 42 – Protection against thermal effects
Section 421, Protection against fire caused by electrical equipment could have a new regulation.

The proposed 421.1.7 introduces Arc Fault Detection Devices saying they may be used to provide additional protection against fire caused by arc faults.

Section 443 – Protection against overvoltage’s
This section has been rewritten, with the exception for dwellings where the value of the installation does not justify the inclusion of overvoltage protection.

The draft suggests that they shall be provided where the result of an overvoltage would affect different aspects; such as danger to life, public services, commercial or industrial activity and more.

This is likely to mean there will be more of a need to install Surge Protection devices.

Read more about what you has been highlighted in the Draft for Public Comment here.

You can view and have your say on the Draft for Public Comment here.
Author: Paul Collins
Posted: 28th June 2017
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