The revision to the Wiring Regulations means, from the beginning of next year, all work carried out by electrical contractors will need to fully comply with the new regulations. It’s therefore important electrical contractors take the time now to understand the upcoming changes to ensure the transition to the 18th Edition is a smooth one.
What are the IET Wiring Regulations?
While the outlined changes are important, it’s also essential for electrical contractors to understand the rationale behind the changes in order to ensure they remain compliant. Referred to as ‘The Regs’ throughout the industry, the IET Wiring Regulations are the national standard for the design and erection of electrical installations in domestic, commercial and other buildings and installations.
Why are they changing?
The changes outlined in the 18th Edition were undertaken for a number of reasons: to ensure harmonisation with current European CENELEC standards; to further clarify existing IEC regulations; to further improve safety standards; and to allow for new technology and methods to be used in future years.
The need for the changes comes in response to the ways in which technology continues to develop and evolve. However, while a large part of the changes outlined in the 18th Edition are as a result of technological advancements, another key driver here is to fall in line with European standards. Largely based on an IEC and on European CENELEC harmonised documents (HDs).
As a full member of the European Standard CENELEC, the UK is required to publish an equivalent to the 60364 standard published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to ensure harmonisation.
Will Brexit change anything?
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, there will be no change to the UK’s involvement in international standards such as IEC. The UK intends to remain a full member of CEN and CENELEC, enabling UK experts to continue to inﬂuence standards that are used voluntarily across Europe.
What are the proposed changes?
In March, the IET and BSI announced the oﬃcial list of changes to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, or BS 7671 as it’s otherwise known.
At Hager, we believe some of the most signiﬁcant changes include: recommendations for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in AC ﬁnal circuits, changes to the requirements for the inclusion of surge protection devices, supporting wiring systems within buildings against their premature collapse in the event of a ﬁre, provision of overload protection of devices within assemblies, and a consideration for the use of diﬀerent types of RCDs. There are of course many others.
With a number of key areas in the spotlight, Hager is committed to helping ensure electrical contractors have a full working understanding of what will be diﬀerent once the new regulations come into full force on 1st January 2019.