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17th Edition - Advice needed please

Postby ThomsoK » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:37 pm


Currently mid-way through my re-wire and getting a bit worried about 17th Ed coming in. I'm a bit confused about whether it affects me or not. The overview page of BS7671:2008 states that any installation designed after 30th June is subject to the new standard but elsewhere in the text it says that any installation designed, constructed or tested after 30th June is affected. So does anyone know the definitive answer as to which statement is correct. My installation is designed before the cut-off date but probably won't be tested and signed off before 30th June. I've asked my local building control officer the same question and await a response. Any knowledge out there greatly welcomed (maybe can help me pushback if building control take a hard stance).

So, if 17th Ed does apply to me, does anyone have views on the following:

- I've already run normal cable throughout (not mechanically protected stuff like flexishield) and fitted non-RCD sockets everywhere. Is there a cheaper/different way I can meet the requirement for RCD protection on general use sockets (e.g. can I fit RCDs to each socket I already have in place). It appears that RCD protected sockets are circa £25 each which is pretty painful, although I guess RCDs aren't that cheap either. Also RCD protected sockets appear to generally come in one design which ain't that pretty and I'd love to keep the ones I've already got which are flush profile.

- This may seem a bit of a fudge (I'm not trying to be sneaky, just exploring the options): Can I label in some permanent way, several of the sockets so that they are not for general use e.g. sockets in the kitchen marked as microwave/kettle/toaster etc. Living room sockets as TV/video etc. Then I could leave some of my sockets as normal non-RCD type sockets.

Any other suggestions?

I've already picked up that I'll also need a 30mA RCD for the shower under 17th Ed but not such a big problem as the sockets.

P.S. For anyone that's seen my other posts will have gathered that the work is in Scotland so not Part P. However, I've had confirmed that BS7671 is the way to comply in Scotland as well.

Many thanks. Here's hoping.......
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Postby ericmark » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:04 am

As you say in the 17th Edition it does state designed after but crunch is the 17th Edition is only a recondition and it the like of electricity at work act and Part P that say what MUST be done. If your Scottish regulations say current regulations you will have to go by 17th Edition but if like English and Welsh it says 16th Edition then you may get away with it. But at some time you will do something which will need you to change so may as well do it first as last.
As to RCD’s on 17th Edition they are in the main to protect the cable so must be fitted in consumer unit. My area North Wales I can get a consumer unit to take RCBO’s at £12.5 each although double pole version of RCD is more expensive they are coming down in price. Lights and sockets in the same area should not come off the same RCD so you need at least two. If you have mains smoke alarms then three as smoke alarms can’t go on with sockets. Except for caravans they don’t have to be twin pole RCD’s. Even if you had used flexishield sockets and bathroom including lights and show are need RCD protection so only cooker and downstairs lights and smoke alarm could have used flexishield to avoid using RCD’s so would only really save on the smoke alarm RCBO so £12.5 so no real saving.
As to labelling if cable not more than 50mm deep or surface or flexishield then RCD would still be required and safety equipment only so may get away with fridge and freezer as power loss could make food dangerous to eat but not TV video microwave kettle toaster these need RCD protection unless they use over 20 amp. The big question is RCD or RCBO the latter are less likely to trip as less circuits on each one and with 6 to 7 way circuit boards very little difference in price. And still not certain if 2 RCDs will comply with 314 with special thoughts on 314.2 which says the failure of one circuit should not effect another and is the subject of debate among electricians. With large supply companies like Hagar marketing consumer units with three neutral bars fitted with 2 RCDs and main isolator it seems these will be accepted but again 17th Edition is only a recommendation. And the colours for split phase have been brown black and green/yellow for years but brown blue and green/yellow are still used nearly everywhere for 110volt supplies. So the consumer unit may be another area where everyone is going to misread the regulation.

Postby sparx » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:03 pm

Hi ThomsoK,
I initially thought that an installation designed and started b4 1/7/08 would be OK to 16Th BUT Am reading now that any Periodic Inspections done after then must be done to 17th and will incur loads of Cat[4]s as not being to latest standard.
Therefore by default, any work done from that date Must be to 17th & in fact the new regs came into play on 1/1/08 and we are already half way through our period of Grace and any new work being started now MUST be to 17th standard unles we can be sure the work will be completed by end of JUNE.
In your situation easiest way would be to fit RCBO's to all circuits but cost may be quite high depending upon make of consumer unit, on the other hand as no one checks in Scotland, if your not about to sell......
regards SPARX
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Postby ThomsoK » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:44 pm

Many thanks both, for the good advice. My building control officer has told me in writing (by email) that the regs that apply at the time of application for a warrant will apply, so for me would be 16th Ed.

However, I take on board the advice you both give about future inspections etc to 17th Ed. I will probably need to sell the place once finished, to free up some well needed cash, so I guess it might flag up on survey!

I'll need to confirm with building control if likely to cause a problem on survey. If yes, then I may well be back online for some more hand holding on 17th Ed.

Many thanks again for the help. I'm v. glad I discovered this website.
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