The IEE Wiring Regulations, published in January 2008, are soon to be changed as revisions are taking place. New regulations, known as the IET Regulations, will be published any day now and will include several changes. These changes include revision on medical locations, measures against electromagnetic influence and devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection).
These changes are not certain as the revision is only a proposal but it is more than likely that the regulation amends will take place.
The largest revision is to Section 710 which deals with medical locations. This not only covers hospitals but other healthcare facilities such as doctor and dentist surgeries. The new regulations will deal with the reliability of supply in these locations, and to reduce the risk of electric shock.
As there are particular risks associated with medical locations, additional measures are now to be taken to ensure a patients safety.
Section 710 divides medical locations into three groups:
Group 0 locations – no applied parts (medical instruments and devices) are intended to be used, and supply failure will not endanger life.
Group 1 locations – applied parts are intended to be used, but again supply failure will not normally endanger life.
Group 2 locations – applied parts are used and supply failures can cause danger to life.
The measures attached to these groups will relate to the new regs and include things as medical IT distribution systems with special isolating transformers, supplementary equipotential bonding and “safety service” power sources that will ensure continuity of supply.
Another big change in the regulations will be to Section 534. This is the section that covers the selection and applications of surge protection devices. These devices are used to minimise the effects of voltage transients produced by natural phenomena, such as lightning and by switching operations. This section will now divide the protection devices into three categories will explain how a device should be selected and how all three types much be co-ordinated in an installation.
Amongst the many revisions, a fresh section that will cover operating and maintenance gangways and measures against electromagnetic influences will be included in the new 17th Edition amendments.
The timetable is subject to change, but the present schedule calls for it to be published in June 2011, and for it to come into force on 1 January 2012.
As there are a lot of specific changes it is likely that it will affect a lot of practising electricians.
Below we have listed the changes and who they will affect.
• Protection against electric shock - Chapter 41 will affect all persons carrying out alteration work on installations under the control of ordinary persons such as domestic installations
• Measures against electromagnetic disturbances - new section 444 will affect anyone involved in the design, erection, and verification of affected electrical installations need to be familiar with this section.
• Selection and erection of wiring systems - Chapter 52 is a significant change from the 17th Edition and affects all persons carrying out alteration work on concealing installations such as domestic installations.
• Devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection) - new section 534 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of these types of electrical installations needs to be familiar with section 534.
• Medical Locations - new section 710 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of electrical installations in medical locations need to be familiar with the draft requirements contained in this new section of the first amendment.
• Operating or maintenance gangways - new section 729 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of restricted areas such switch rooms with switchgear and control gear assemblies need to be familiar with the new requirements.
• Model forms for certification and reporting - Appendix 6 will affect all persons involved in the periodic inspection of electrical installations need to be familiar with this.