It would seem like BS7671:2001 where although still called the 16th there were many changes the BS7671:2008 amendment 3 also has many changes to the point where colleges are running courses on the changes.
The fire prevention requirements seem to be a major part with metal consumer units and steel cable ties and saddles meaning major changes in design.
The completing of an electrical installation condition report is going to change but as yet few if any of the organisations seem willing to stick out their neck and say what if any coding should be given to items which will fall foul of amendment 3 but would be considered OK with amendment 2.
Clearly the whole idea of metal consumer units and metal cable retention is because unless this is done it causes a danger. But as to if code 1, 2, or 3 or if no code should be raised it would seem is uncertain.
OK like with the RCD we will have to modify our installation methods but it's not the new installation but the old one which raises the bulk of the questions. My two Wylex consumer units have stud the test of time, both fed with RCD's in their own enclosure all installed in a garage which clearly is designed to withstand fire far longer than other areas of the house. But it seems I must now fit a tin box over this to comply.
I see the problem with a plastic consumer unit under the stairs but in a garage it seems really OTT to enclose it in a metal box.
As to the PIR/EICR that's a real problem with no one sticking their neck out and saying what codes if any to give to items which no longer comply under amendment 3.
OK the manufacturers clearly made some huge errors producing consumer units which needed torque screwdrivers to ensure they were safe. Some are now returning to double screws in terminals but clearly closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The use of dissimilar metals in terminals has resulted in the connection being compromised due to being either too slack or too tight warping the terminal.
Some of the changes are due to not making installers aware of the problems. I would consider the occupants of a building escaping what I never considered was 1/2 hour latter fire fighters re-entering the building and having their BA equipment entangled in falling cables.
Banning fitting consumer units under stairs unless xzy was done makes sense but the rules on fire resistance materials leave many unanswered questions including the use of plastic glands and how to deal with TT installations.
To increase safety is good but to write a set of regulations where even the writers have to admit they are waiting for clarification on what is going to be required is to me daft.
I had hoped that once I attended the IET lecture on amendment 3 my questions would be answered but all the lecture did was to raise more questions.
So the major question is what do others think about the changes and how do they intend to apply them?
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