With the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) recently published its second amendment to the 18th Edition Wiring Rules, Bureau Veritas encourages electrical contractors to study the new regulations and start preparing and implementing the changes before they are formally adopted in September.

The IET published Amendment 2 to BS 7671: 2020, its first changes to the document since the first amendment to the EV Charging Point Infrastructure Regulations in 2020. This second amendment is a comprehensive overview of the 18th edition, with most of the rules for wiring have undergone some changes.

The amendment introduces an entirely new chapter, changing the scope of regulations to include low-voltage electrical installations for consumers – introducing installations that both consume and produce energy for the first time. Chapter 82 provides additional requirements, measures and recommendations for the design, installation and testing of all types of low voltage electrical installations, including local production and energy storage.

The amendment to the wiring regulations also includes the requirement to protect end circuits supplying contacts with a rated current of no more than 32 amps using arc detection devices (AFDD). This move turns AFDDs from recommendation to requirement, now the technology is reduced in cost and more affordable. These changes are in line with EU standard regulations, so that despite Brexit, there is greater standardization of compliance with electricity regulatory requirements across the continent. Meanwhile, the scope of the RCD testing requirement has been reduced.

The changes in the provisions of the 18th edition are not retrospective and will thus only apply to new installations designed from 27 September this year, but can be implemented immediately. According to Bureau Veritas, it is vital that electrical contractors prepare now to understand the regulations and implement the necessary software changes and highly qualified staff.

Michael Kenyon, Head of Electrical Engineering at Bureau Veritas, said: “Amendment 2 of the IET’s 18th Edition Wiring Rules represents a significant change in electrical compliance requirements and will require companies to train and prepare their teams. The update, which includes the range of low-voltage electrical installations for consumers, certainly demonstrates a more modern approach to wiring regulations, with photovoltaic panels and battery storage devices becoming more common in homes and workplaces – as entry into electric vehicles are also growing.

“While many of the changes show tightening regulations, such as updating the AFDD requirement, there are other areas where regulations have become more relaxed. Amendment 2 reduces the requirements for testing RCDs, deleting the rules on RCD activation times. However, we recommend that contractors view these provisions as a minimum standard to work “from” rather than “to”, and that things like full RCD testing are still a best practice approach to ensure maximum safety. and risk mitigation.

“Due to the huge number of updates to the 18th Edition Wiring Rules and only five months to absorb, learn and implement such changes, this amendment may seem daunting at first glance. We would certainly advise those who have not yet done so to study the change in more detail and really understand how the changes will work in practice and what your business may need to do to catch up. A third-party compliance specialist, such as Bureau Veritas, will then be able to help further remove the changes and make recommendations to ensure compliance. “

Bureau Veritas presses electrical contractors to prioritise new 18th Edition

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