We recently published a video in partnership with Prysmian on Facebook. The video has had an immense response and there were a number of questions raised by viewers of varying levels of experience. So, we thought it a great idea to bring all of those questions together into one blog post.
1. When do the regulations come into effect?
From January 2019, this means electricians need to have gained the updated qualification by then.
2. What does it mean for RCD breakers and how do they work?
The RCD is broken into two devices with no overload protection, it also has a built in circuit breaker. An RCBO combines a circuit breaker characteristics with additional protection given by the residual current device (RCD), which in turn monitors the earth fault leakage. An RCD on its own will not offer overload protection.
3. Differences in Inspection & Testing?
Inspection is simply a visual assessment of the electrical installation, whereas testing involves using measuring equipment to verify it is safe to into a service.
4. How are the changes to the way the PFC is measured and the changes in the certificate?
Chapters 61, 62 and 63 have all been deleted and replaced by chapters 64 and 65. No major changes to our approach to inspection and testing except ring final circuit conductors now fall under the “continuity of conductors” regulation 643.2. Supply polarity 643.6 needs to verify before the system is energised. PFC 6184.108.40.206 is still required at all relevant points of the installation and appendix 12 goes into further details of the requirements and features for domestic installations. Regarding the new model certificates in BS7671 a few new columns have been added to the schedules of test results such as a maximum circuit Zs value, insulation resistance test voltages applied and a column for AFDD for functions tests (if applicable). A few other details have changed in the EIC, EICR and the schedule of inspections. The biggest change has to be the minor works certificate where more information is now required.
5. Why are the regulations updated so often?
The regulations are updated so often due to innovation and new and emerging technologies. The UK is a member is of Cenelec, a European committee who set the standards for electro technology which we are legally obligated to abide by. The likelihood is, we will remain in this commission post Brexit. The BSI (British Standards Institution) and IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) play a part in setting the new regulations. The IET collate new information and write the latest regulations and the BSI publish the documents.
6. When can we expect the 19th edition?
The likelihood is the first amendment will go ahead in approximately three years. Generally, looking at past editions a new edition will be published every 10 years.
7. Will the UK introduce flat twin and CPS with all conductors the same size and all insulated throughout their length?
The uninsulated CPS cable design developed and used in the UK for many years and we are unaware of any interest in changing it.
8. Are “YY type” cables allowed for fixed installations?
In BS7671, it states all equipment we install should have a BS or BSEN specification standard. YY type cables have no specification, BS or EN so their use is discouraged. Technically this would be a departure from the BS7671 and must be recorded accordingly.
9. Are AFDD Arc fault detection devices recommended?
In section 421.47 the Arc Fault is only recommended for providing additional safety against fire. However, it isn’t necessarily required for domestic properties but could be useful in the following types of premises:
- Any type of sleeping accommodation
- Fire propagating structures
- Properties such museums and art galleries with irreplaceable goods in
An AFDD will identify any Arc faults and they will isolate the circuit if any arc faults are detected to prevent fire.
10. SPD’s – what are they?
An SPD is a Search Protection Device. You have to install one of these devices when conducting an installation. If you don’t, as a qualified electrician you have to provide a risk assessment as to why you don’t need to do this. An SPD detects current surges within an electrical system, these surges are monitored/picked up by SPD’s to protect the electrical installation. This is installed to reduce the risk of fire and protecting equipment.
11. What are fire resistant fixings?
These are generally steel or copper cable supports fixed directly to the structure of the building so that in the event of a fire cables remain in place for as long as possible. Before this clause cables were fixed with plastic which would not resist the fire and fallen cables would become a hazard to fire fighters. Four fire fighters died in two separate incidents as a result of their entanglement in the prematurely collapsed cables.
If you would like to watch the video head over to the Trade Skills 4U Facebook page.
Also, if you would like to book onto an 18th Edition course we have a range of courses happening throughout the country as well as weekend courses. For more information click here.