Water Softner Install In Electrics Cupboard? - What Laws Or Rules

Postby AjayK46 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:46 am

I am considering having a water softener installed that is of the type that uses block salt. The only place this can be installed is in the cupboard where the consumer units and meter are etc.

Are there any restrictions on having such water based appliances very near to this electrical equipment?

The water softener itself does not need any electrical connection as it works off the pressure from the mains.

Advice much appreciated.
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Postby AjayK46 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:58 pm

Any help much appreciated
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Postby ericmark » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:03 am

[quote]522.3.1 A wiring system shall be selected and erected so that no damage is caused by condensation or ingress of water during installation, use and maintenance. The completed wiring system shall comply with the IP degree of protection relevant to the particular location.
NOTE: Special considerations apply to wiring systems liable to frequent splashing, immersion or submersion.[/quote]
[quote]522.5.1 Where the presence of corrosive or polluting substances, including water. is likely to give rise to corrosion or deterioration, parts of the wring system likely to be affected shall be suitably protected or manufactured from a material resistant to such substances.
NOTE: Suitable protection for application during erection may include protective tapes, paints or grease.[/quote]
The question is would if the water softener had already been installed an electrician have fitted the consumer unit? Since I no idea as to what spills are normal from the water softener I can't comment as to if allowed but the fact you ask the question makes it seem unlikely that it should be fitted.

If the water is contained it is no problem only if water and salt spray everywhere during normal use is there a problem.

Personally a cupboard designed to contain the electrical equipment should be used just for that. Fitting any item which in turn restricts access would also be a problem.

[quote]513.1 Except for a joint in cables where Section 526 allows such a joint to be inaccessible. every item of equipment shall be arranged so as to facilitate its operation, inspection and maintenance and access to each connection. Such facility shall not be significantly impaired by mounting equipment in an enclosure or a compartment.[/quote]
[quote]529.3 Provision shall be made for safe and adequate access to all parts of a wiring system which may maintenance.
NOTE: In some situations. it may be necessary to provide permanent means of access by ladders, walkways, etc.[/quote]

Electrical regulations have to cover all situations and there may be places where water and electric item need to be close. One hears people quoting rules like socket must be 1.5 meters from sink but it does not exist in that form as if you for example fitted a waste disposal unit under a sink then to have a socket also under the sink to power it would make sense even if only 1.5mm from sink as under the sink it would not get any splashes.

What you need to do is assess the risk of water and salt spills plus will it restrict access to electrical equipment?
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Postby AjayK46 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:41 pm

Many thanks for your advice, it is much appreciated.
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