Seventeenth edition

I went to a local IEE (oh, sorry, IET) branch meeting this week about "the wiring regulations and Part P." The speaker was John Ware (senior engineer in the IET standards and compliance department). The interesting part was the introduction given to the forthcoming "17th Edition."
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.
Discuss...
--
Andy

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Thanks for that - makes for interesting reading !
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Sounds a sensible set of revisions.
Which IET/IEE local group was it? Is the presentation likely to tour round other local groups?
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snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

Cambridge: http://www.iee.org/OnComms/Branches/UK/England/EastAng/Camb/events.cfm
Pass.
--
Andy

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Damn - my next to local group.
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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 12:27:18 +0000, Andy Wade

<snip>
Are electrically skilled persons exempt from shocks?
:-)
--
Frank Erskine

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Andy Wade wrote:

This will also include BS4343 16A sockets (if for "general use")

Would this be for final circuits only, or include submains? It's usually desirable to *not* RCD protect a submain to an outbuilding and allow the use of local RCD protection with discrimination (particularly to a workshop with rotating machinery)

Whilst I can see the wisdom of that, especially as illuminated mirrors etc are very popular, and rather more reachable than the single ceiling battenholder with the Home Office skirt, I would hope that lighting wouold be on a *separate* RCD.
I hope this isn't going to encourage the use of whole-house 30mA RCDs again.

Will we still be expected to bond the kitchen sink though :-)
Please do keep us informed.
Owain
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Owain wrote:
[RCDs for 'all' sockets]

Yes, good point.
[RCDs for outdoor equipment]

I would think final circuits only, for the reasons you give.
[RCDs for all bathroom ccts]

Separate from what though, _all_ other equipment, or just other final circuits? That level of detail remains to be seen, as does how this will be implemented in practice. Will it become standard to have a separate lighting/fan/shaver/mirror circuit from the RCD of the CU, or will an in-room (or nearby) bathroom RCD wiring accessory become available (like an 'RCD spur')?

I don't see why it should. You can expect a new set of Guidance Notes and OSG to appear, all to swell the coffers of IET Publishing...
["Bathroom bonding to be abolished"]

And how long will some people carry on unnecessarily bonding the bathroom and interconnecting it to the main bonding...?

I'll certainly try.
--
Andy

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Andy Wade wrote:

Sufficiently separate that someone cutting through the lawnmover cable doesn't dim the lights in the en-suite just as I'm shaving round my jugular.

If it;'s spurred off a socket circuit it will be RCD'd anyway.

It all makes work for the working man to do...
Owain
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Andy Wade wrote:

A RCBO on the non RCD side of the CU feeding all "special location" lighting circuits might be one way.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Maybe it will increase demand and reduce price of RCBO's. Last 3 domestic CU's I've fitted have all been non-split load, but with around 4-5 RCBO's, which does work out very expensive. Split-loads have long since had their day.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Or you need a three way split, using two RCDs...
--
Cheers,

John.

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Andy Wade wrote:

See http://www.iee.org//Publish/WireRegs/DPC /
Alas, the DPC[1] will cost GBP50. However there is a useful free summary here http://www.iee.org//Publish/WireRegs/DPC/DPC_Introduction.pdf
This is what it says about bathrooms, confirming that sockets will be allowed (but only 3m horizontally beyond the boundary of zone 1):
The following major changes are incorporated in Part 7:
Section 701 Locations containing a bath tub or shower basin. Zone 3 is no longer defined.
Each circuit in the special location must have 30 mA RCD protection.
Supplementary bonding is no longer required providing the installation has main bonding in accordance with Chapter 41.
This section now allows socket-outlets (other than SELV and shaver supply units to BS EN 60742) to be installed in locations containing a bath or shower 3m horizontally beyond the boundary of zone 1.
[1] That's draft for public comment, not damp proof course :-)
--
Andy

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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 12:27:18 +0000, Andy Wade

As a punter I can't do detailed comments, but here is my thought for what it's worth.
In the beginning was the 15 amp/5 amp plug with many adapters.
This was replaced by ring mains and many plugs with less adapters.
Then the RCD was born and reasonable safety became available for every consumer.
Now we seem to be going back to the early days with single use plugs, duly labeled, on their own circuits and the ring main is being killed off.
As people will largely ignore this and use a convenient socket, it seems pointless overkill?
For example garages were required to have sophisticated installations, which are largely ignored. When faced with the cost, a cheap long lead was bought from a shed, the plug removed, the lead pushed through a hole in the garage wall, up the garden, through a hole in the house wall, plug replaced and put into the first convenient socket. Instant garage electrification!
New builds will be fine as it will be compulsory to meet these requirements, but it will be snowflake in hell for existing houses, mine included.
Does the word "Overkill" figure in these peoples vocabulary? Particularly on bathroom electrics.
We seem to be in a situation in many fields where the natural desire to save lives has eclipsed common sense. The logical progress seems to be banning cars from the roads will result in nil road deaths, restrict use of household electricity so much that it has no practical use results in nil electrical deaths. Crucify any use of CO2 producing resources saves the world, without considering local consequences.
The above is obviously simplistic and just intended as such since detailed comment would require it's own news group.
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EricP wrote:

Which lines did you read between to arive at that conclusion? ISTM that ring final circuits are still very much the order of the day (and with time they become ever more suited to modern patterns of use). However if you mandate RCD protection for all such circuits (sensible IMHO), then you need to introduce an allowable exception for circuits which are low risk and where it would be counter productive to have RCD protection (the freezer example springs to mind)

Would they though? if your kitchen has only one sensible place to stand the freezer and the socket next to it is marked "For Freezer Only"...

While I am sure that doess happen, I must confess to never having seen it done as a long term solution.

In reality I don't see actual practice changing much anyway since it is largely in line with what is being proposed (i.e. All new installations I have seen (and done) include all the general purpose socket circuits on the RCD protected side anyway even though there is currently no requirement to do so in the 16th edition)
As with any existing install there is no requirement to bring it up to modern standards.

Again, with the possible exception of RCD protected lighting circuits in the bathroom, I don't see much change here on a practical level. Removing the need for suplimentary bonding and moving some of the responsibility for protection over to RCDs seems more in line with current practice (i.e. RCD protecting power used in bathrooms) and current error (i.e. not having suplimentary bonding up to scratch).

While I agree there is far to much nannyism about, I don't see the proposed changes to the wiring regs[1] as adding to it in any significant way. Which aspect in particular were you thinking of?
[1] This assumes you are taking the 16th edition as your baseline. If you are taking how a typical 1950's property was originally wired as a basline, then I can see that the new edition would appear to be a very significant change in policy! ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

Don't think I have either, but a few times I have seen an old practice that must date from what one might call the F. J. Camm era. The shed or garage installation consisted of a few round-pin sockets, together with a light or two. When electricity was required a special extension lead would appear, one with a plug at each end...

Except insofar as the safety of new work isn't compromised. Adding, say, a fan or shaver point to an existing lighting circuit under the proposed new rules will presumably mean adding RCD protection for the whole circuit. And most new work relies on existing earthing and bonding which often has to be upgraded to the current standard.

That's what people were saying in 1966 when lighting circuits were required, for the first time, to have earth continuity conductors (as CPCs were called at that time).
--
Andy

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John Rumm wrote:

OK, not in a garage, but I have seen this done... An aquaintance works as a secretary in an office. I saw that she had at home a roll of perhaps 5m of cable with a plug at both ends. Horrified, I asked what it was for. "it's to make the photocopier work". Apparently, when the office electrical system had its last periodic inspection, one circuit was disconnected because it was deemed unsafe. So to get around this problem, she constructed this extension lead to go from one side of the office to the other, plugging the "extension" into the same double socket outlet as the photocopier.
When asked if she thought it could be dangerous she replied, "No, no. I take it home with me every weekend so the cleaner won't have an accident." It turns out she had been electricuted twice already by this contraption.
Perhaps public information films or something is a better idea to stop these things from happening than more regulation?
Jon.
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I wonder how many people a year fry themselves on bathroom ceiling lights.
--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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Andy Wade wrote:

What (if anything) did they have to say about Part P then?

They probably could not face the barrage of questions about where the regs have gone!

Would be nice if they did a version available as a paid for download. I would really like an electronically searchable version, and would be happy to pay for one, but not at the level they currently charge for the CD based version!
(I have found dodgy scanned copies available for download in the past, but those are entirely graphic and not searchable)

Probably makes more sense...

It will be interesting to see what requirements they place in these sections. Also interesting to see how many of the current B&Q wind turbine type devices comply.
> exhibition stands, underfloor & ceiling heating systems, marinas,

Any idea as to content?

That was predictable enough... more a case of the regs catching up with current practice.
> (b) for situations where the

Who are presuably used to getting shocks by now ;-)

Be interesting to see if that does apply to submains.

> - *all* circuits feeding equipment (anywhere?) in a bath or shower > room will require 30 mA protection - including lighting;
If you assume mandated RCD protection, then Zone 3 as a concept becomes almost indistinguisable from the practices which are currently permitted "outside" the zones. So one presumes what was Zone 3 becomes outside.

You can see the logic of allowing power sockets for connection of things like washing machines in large bathrooms (or very small flats!) for example.
However I anticipate that the one place Jo Public would probably really like to have a socket would be next to the basin for feeding their hair dryer etc. It will be interesting to see if they perhaps extend Zone 2 to include basins so as to prevent this while allowing the former. (although if as you say there is no suggestion of changing the zone definitions then perhaps this would become alowed)

What will we have left to talk about then! ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.

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I was trying to think of the logic behind this exception. One that springs to mind is diagnostics on known faulty equipment. Particularly an intermittent RCD tripping fault might be hard to track down with a loss of state the moment the fault occurs. Another would be max earth loop current testing (though probbaly only a very temporary setup). Others?
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