18th Edition Q & A's
18th Edition of BS7671 Wiring Regulations
When is the 18th Edition going to take affect?
The anticipated publication date of the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations is July 2018
What changes are taking place?
Four panels inform the JPEL/64 board, who are the decision-making committee of BS 7671:
⦁ Panel A – covers 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.
⦁ Panel B – covers 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).
⦁ Panel C – covers earthing installations and related matters (some of Parts 4 and 5 and some Part 7 items of BS 7671).
⦁ Panel D – covers the remainder of Parts 4 and 5, some Part 7 items and some Appendices of BS 7671).
As well as amendments to the current regulations that cater for advances in technology and technical data updates as a result of manufacturing developments there will be some brand new sections. According to the IET in feedback from their monthly sessions & communications with the committees in charge of these changes the following additional changes and additions have become apparent:
Protection against overvoltages:
Clause 443 will be changed fairly radically.
BS7671 is dependent on International (IEC) and European (CENELEC) standards.
Both IEC and CENELEC have published updates concerning overvoltage. It is also apparent that protection against transient overvoltage will be significantly changed in BS7671. Protection would have to be provided where the consequences affect human life, public services and commercial &/or industrial activity.
Risk assessment will need to be made as to whether protection is required having considered the potential human and commercial consequences of no protection.
Protection against fire
Chapter 42 concerns protection relating to fire caused by electrical equipment. BS7671:2018 will include regulations concerning the installation of arc fault detection devices – as RCDs cannot detect series or parallel arcing because these faults do not result in leakage current to earth.
Electrical Embedded heating
Section 753 will be extended to include embedded electrical heating systems for surface heating, and will include de-icing and frost prevention systems.
Revisions will include regulations relating to the protection against the effects of overheating caused by electrical short-circuits in embedded units and relating to harmful influence between the heating system and other electrical and non-electrical installations.
This will form Section 8 of the Regulations (there are currently 7 sections) and this new section will cover several energy efficient areas including electric vehicles, lighting, metering, cable losses, transformer losses, power-factor correction, and harmonics.
Will Brexit effect the new version of the Regulations?
CENELEC is a European organisation which has a membership of 33 European states. This is more than just the EU States and they all contribute to the CENELEC Standards. The consequences of Britain leaving the EU will not affect the UK membership of CENELEC. While it is correct that the 18th Edition was being written and amended before the UK left the European Union there is no significant indication at present that Brexit will change the publication dates of the 18th Edition for July 2018 or the content of the new document.
Should you take the 17th Edition training & exam if you do not already have the C&G 2382 qualification?
If you do not have the C&G 2382 in any form at this time then you should still consider taking the 17th Edition exam. It is more than 18months until the 18th Edition will be enforced, which is a long time to operate without the formal qualification required to demonstrate competency on site. If purchasing a copy of BS7671, taking the required training and then sitting the exam comes to less than £450.00 it is a relatively small investment to ensure you are correctly qualified.
From mid-2017 most reputed training companies will stop running the 17th Edition in the build-up to the advent of the 18th Edition. However, in the meantime our advice would be that any electrical personnel who do not currently hold the qualification should proceed as though the 18th Edition is not even on the horizon….