You have until August 23rd to have your say on the proposed changes to the Wiring Regulations (18TH EDITION).

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is calling on the electrical industry to have its say and influence the content of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671), following the release of the Draft for Public Comment (DPC) for BS 7671:2018.

The DPC is the culmination of all of the work so far of JPEL/64, the technical committee behind BS 7671. It brings together all of the proposed changes to the current version of BS 7671 (BS 7671:2008+A3:2015) in preparation of the 18th Edition, BS 7671:2018.

You now have the chance to look at the DPC, understand the proposed changes and submit your feedback directly to JPEL/64 for discussion before the final version is published. This gives you the opportunity to have your say on the areas that affect your work the most.

How do I comment on the DPC?

You can find out how to view the DPC and submit your comments on the IET website at www.theiet.org/BS7671-dpc

The DPC is hosted by BSI, on a new system designed to make the commenting process quick and simple.

You can add a comment to each Regulation throughout the DPC and save your comments as you go. Saved comments can be re-visited and amended as needed. Once you’re happy with your comments, you can submit them; note that comments can’t be retracted or amended once they’ve been submitted.

What should I look out for in the DPC?

The introduction to the DPC provides a quick overview of the proposed changes. These include but are by no means limited to:

  • The addition of new chapters, regulations and an entirely new part (Part 8);
  • Whole parts and sections that have been revised and restructured;
  • Changes to appendixes, including forms.

What happens next?

After the DPC closes, all comments are collated and passed to the relevant sub-committees of JPEL/64 to discuss and decide what should or shouldn’t be included in the final published version of BS 7671:2018. The sub-committees are:

  • JPEL/64/A – covering verification and inspection and testing (Part 6 and Appendix 6 of BS 7671) plus any work relating to Parts 1, 2 and 3 of BS 7671.
  • JPEL/64/B – covering cable sizing and installation and related matters (some of Parts 4 and 5, Appendices 3 and 4 and some Part 7 items of BS 7671).
  • JPEL/64/C – covering earthing installations and related matters (some of Parts 4 and 5 and some Part 7 items of BS 7671).
  • JPEL/64/D – covering the remainder of Parts 4 and 5, some Part 7 items and some Appendices of BS 7671).

A Project Team (PT) has been appointed to oversee Part 801 (energy efficiency), separate from the sub-committees. If Part 801 is approved and established in BS 7671, it will then be allocated to a sub-committee.

The sub-committees bring their findings back to JPEL/64, the draft is updated accordingly and the final version will be signed off next spring.

BS 7671:2018 is due to publish in July 2018 and will come into effect in January 2019.

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MCP, the respected training provider, says that now is a good time to review your company’s training, procedures, methods and safety overview ahead of next year’s changes. Major additions and amendments that are likely to be incorporated include:

1. Protection against overvoltage and transient overvoltage

This means protection of installations of overvoltage from within, as well as from external overvoltage, sources could be provided by Surge Protection Devices (SPDs). Overvoltages which affect human life, public services and commercial and industrial activities are included. In all other cases (i.e. domestic) a risk assessment could be required to determine whether this protection is required. It’s suggested that in these circumstances, (for a single dwelling) where the total economic value of the installation is less than five times the value of an SPD, this may not need to be used. It’ll be interesting to see how demographic differences in dwelling costs can be included in this calculation.

2. AFDD installation

Protection against fire has been around ever since electricity has been used within buildings. Although RCDs may be used to reduce the effect of fire, these don’t distinguish between series or parallel arcing between live conductors. For this reason, the BS7671:2018 will include the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDD) to reduce the risks of faults within the fixed installation.

3. Electric surface hearing

Section 753 (Floor & Ceiling Heating Systems) will be extended to include embedded electric surface heating. This will apply to electric heating systems for de-icing and frost protection for both internal and external conditions. Areas to be included are heating systems for walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, drainpipes, gutters, pipes, stairs, roadways and non-compacted outdoor areas (playgrounds and lawns). As walls are more susceptible to potential damage than floors, protection will be required to heating systems within these areas from penetration of the heating elements by (for example) earthed metallic grids.

4. Energy Efficiency

A new section to provide for Energy Efficiency will also be included which will address the ever-increasing need to reduce the energy consumption of installations. Draft proposals provide the client with the ability to specify the level of energy efficiency to be applied to the electrical installation (e.g. transformer and power factor correction). These efficiency measures can be added together to provide a class of “electrical installation efficiency”, ranging from EIEC0 to EIEC4 (dependant on the efficiency of the systems). This section will cover vehicle charging points, lighting, metering, cable losses, transformer losses, PF correction and harmonics.

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For more details about the range of training on offer from MCP visit: www.mcpeurope.com

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