Here's a summary:
- BS 7671:2008 will be published on 1st January 2008 and will come into effect on 1st June. It will have a red cover.
- the subtitle will be "*IEE* Wiring Regulations 17th Edition" - not the "IET Wiring Regs" :~o
- a draft for public comment will be published by the end of this year, with three months allowed for comments; (these drafts are usually available as free downloads, but will this one be?)
- the familiar concepts of [protection against] electric shock by direct contact and indirect contact will disappear and be replaced by new terminology "basic [shock] protection" and "fault [shock] protection";
- the numbering system appears to change from its present hyphenated form to a decimal one (closer harmonisation with IEC 60364 here). The 600s and 700s will change round, so 600.x.x regulatations will be inspection and testing and 700.x.x will be the special locations;
- there will be several new sections in the 700s, including requirements for small-scale embedded generators (i.e. micro-CHP, wind, solar PV, etc.), exhibition stands, underfloor & ceiling heating systems, marinas, fairgrounds(!) and possibly others I can't remember. The scope of the construction sites section will extend to include demolition activities. The present Section 607 (high protective conductor currents) will be absorbed into the main earthing rules (54.x.x);
- there will be a new section on luminaires and lighting under the selection and erection heading;
- *all* socket-outlets rated at 20 A or less (i.e. 13 A sockets) and intended for _general_use_ will require 30 mA RCD protection. Exceptions will be allowed (a) for labelled sockets for specific equipment (the freezer was used as an example here) and (b) for situations where the sockets are only for use by electrically skilled persons;
- 30 mA RCD protection will also be required for circuits of up to 32 A feeding equipment outdoors, whether fixed or portable and even if not connected via a socket-outlet (I think, but this might not be 100% right).
There are some very significant changes affecting bathrooms:
- zone 3 will disappear. There will only be zones 0, 1 and 2 (there was no mention of the zone definitions changing);
- *all* circuits feeding equipment (anywhere?) in a bath or shower room will require 30 mA protection - including lighting;
- mains voltage socket outlets will be allowed - beyond the zones, presumably, and 30 mA RCD protected. This is already widely rumoured but actually it was only after the lecture and question session finished I realised that he hadn't mentioned it. It's clearly controversial (even though most of the rest of the world allows it) so maybe they're having second thoughts? We may just have to wait for the public draft;
- provided that the new requirement for RCD protection of all circuits has been complied with, and compliant main equipotential bonding is in place then [fx: fanfare] there will no longer be any requirement for supplementary bonding in a bath or shower room.