Plugging in to the 2015 wiring regulations | EEF

Plugging in to the 2015 wiring regulations

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January 2015 saw the publication of the 3rd Amendment to the 17th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. Electricians, Contractors and Managers now have until 1st July 2015 to get up to speed with the latest amendment and make any amendments to how they approach and execute their work.

Neil is responsible for the commercial management of EEF’s Apprentice and Skills Technology Centre in the Midlands.

He leads on the development and delivery of EEF’s range of technical services, helping business access a range of qualifications and technical skills training. From Apprenticeships based at the centre or nationally through our partner network, through to a range of technical solutions including electrical installation programmes and electronic control systems.

Prior to this Neil help establish a commercial business within Coventry University engaging with employers to develop and deliver a range of Higher Education services and qualifications through work based learning working with many clients including JLR, Ford and TNT.

The 17th Edition of the Wiring Regulations sets the standard for electrical installations in the UK.  In the latest revision, published in January 2015, IET has worked alongside partner organisations such as London Fire Brigade to revise and update the standard.  New installations designed after 30th June 2015 will have to comply with Amendment 3 so it’s important to know what to expect and where to prepare.

A single shade of yellow

The first thing that you’ll notice about Amendment 3 is the colour.  Amendment 1 was bound in a green jacket, Amendment 3 comes in striking yellow.  So, if the regulations book you’re referring to isn’t yellow, you’re referring to the wrong one. 

The main areas of change

Amendment 3 is a wide-ranging update.  The London Fire Brigade’s influence has seen specific amendments with regard to wiring in escape routes and consumer unit enclosures.  There are also changes to earth fault loop impedances for all protective devices and updates to the EIC and EICR forms. 

Consumer units

The changes that effect consumer units come in to effect from January 2016.  One of the largest driving forces behind this aspect of the amendment is the London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) recent ignition source review.  They highlighted that around five fires every week where a consumer unit was identified as the ignition source.  That’s an increase from one per fortnight in 2005/06.

Escape routes

LFB have also influenced changes to the wiring regulations around fire escape routes.  The death of two firefighters in a blaze at Shirley Towers in Southampton was one of the most compelling reasons for this change.  All wiring systems around escape routes will now have to be encased in metal rather than plastic.

Earth fault loop impedances

Amendment 3 recognises that not every supply voltage is 230V.  In the past, the regulations have not allowed for this variation in supply voltage and therefore disconnection times of the protected circuits may not be achieved.  To address this, the Amendment now includes a minimum voltage factor in the tables.

Building your knowledge

All users of the IET Wiring Regulations need to be aware of the coming changes in Amendment 3 to the 17th Edition (BS 7671:2008+A3:2015).  Some of the changes to the regulations have the potential to save lives and this makes the update vital.  EEF has developed a half day 17th Edition Wiring Regulations Update training course to bring you up-to-speed with all the changes in Amendment 3.

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