New cabling regulations: what's going on?

Gareth Leece
By Gareth Leece
First things first, the new cabling regulations are all about electrical wiring and fire protection.
New cabling regulations: what's going on?
According to Government Statistics, just over 1,720 accidental electrical fires were caused by issues with wiring, cabling and plugs in 2016/17. That equates to approximately 21% of all incidents reported that year.
While this is a figure that is significantly less than it was in previous years, it still represents a significant problem for the connected world and reducing safety issues related to electrical cabling continues to be a key concern for the industry.

So, with that in mind, we’re digging down into the latest changes to cabling regulations, which were announced by the IET and BSI earlier this year. The official changes to BS 7671 will appear in the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations.

This essential publication is due for release on the 2nd July this year and then from January 2019, the new requirements will be fully enforced so this is your 6 month window of opportunity to get to grips with the changes and there’s quite a few…
 
So what are the most significant changes coming into force next year?
 
Protection against electric shocks:

A new Regulation 411.3.4 requires that, within domestic (household) premises, additional protection by an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA shall be provided for AC final circuits supplying luminaires.

A new Regulation group (419) has been inserted where automatic disconnection according to Regulation 411.3.2 is not feasible, such as electronic equipment with limited short-circuit current.
 
Protection against thermal shocks:

A new Regulation 421.1.7 has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents.
 
Earthing arrangements and protective conductors:

Two new regulations (542.2.3 and 542.2.8) have been introduced concerning earth electrodes.
Two further new regulations (543.3.3.101 and 543.3.3.102) have been introduced. These give requirements for the insertion of a switching device in a protective conductor, the latter regulation relating to situations where an installation is supplied from more than one source of energy.

Chapter 53 on Protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring has also been completely revised as has Section 753 on floor and ceiling heating systems. There is also a brand new section (Section 730) dealing with Onshore units of electrical shore connections for inland navigation vessels!
 
The full list of changes to BS 7671 can be found at www.theiet.org/18th-changes-pr and will be published in the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, due for release in July 2018. Pre-orders can be placed with the IET by visiting: www.theiet.org/wiringbooks.
 
At Dynamic Networks we are NICEIC approved contractors so the work we do is always in line with the latest regulations and up to the highest industry standards. If you’re looking to upgrade your existing cabling or you have a new electrical installation in mind, why not contact our experts today? You can rest assured your electrical cabling is in safe, approved and up to date hands!
 
 

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