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#136074 - 03/08/03 09:12 PM RCD's in Australia?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Dapo,
I am looking to ask you a question and a half.
Could you please tell me when the requirement came in for the use of RCD's on Domestic lighting and socket-outlet circuits,
in Australia?
I've seen HPM ads as far back as 1994, showing RCD's in a modular switch-board, but when was it an actual requirement to install these devices?.
Is this the same all around Australia?, with respect to the State laws?.
Your help please,Graham!.
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#136075 - 03/13/03 04:37 AM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Dapo Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Australia
Safety switches became mandatory in new houses for power point circuits in 1991 and for lighting circuits in December 2000.

Most states have similar Regs as far for the requirements of safety switches.

Although Queensland, my home state introduced a new Electrical Safety Act 2002.

This act introduced the requirment for domestic dwellings sold after Sept 2002 to be fitted with a safety switch on the power circuit within three motnths of purchase if they didn't already have one.

Eletricians may only do emergency repairs on these premises until a safety switch is fitted. A fine has been also introduced, for the owner if a safety switch is not fitted.

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#136076 - 03/13/03 10:13 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Graham,
It must have worked, mate!
Just to change the subject, slightly, I read in Silicon Chip mag, that these new rules did not go down too well, especially from the Electronic Technicians in Queensland, I didn't get the full story, but, I took the story to mean that you had to have a Full Electrician's Ticket to service appliances,
am I right?.(Electrical Safety Act 2002)
Could you please expand on this, as it sounds really ridiculous?.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 03-14-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 03-14-2003).]
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#136077 - 03/14/03 02:54 AM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Dapo Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Australia
The Mag, has had a bit of thing about electricians being the only ones allowed to do work for a while now.
Unfortunately they don't see the results of people overstepping their boundries, there are many nasty pieces of work around waiting to bite someone.
A person with a restricted license is allowed to repair appliances. But the new act introduced a restricted type of contractors license for repairers of appliances. These are people who repair appliances outside of their registered workplace. This is to ensure repairers of electrical/electronic goods, (which plug into 240v) are covered under the safety act and meet public liability insurance and business requirements.
They don't have to have a full electrical license.

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#136078 - 03/15/03 06:57 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Dapo,
Thanks for clarifying that point for me.
There was a lot of "jumping up and down", over this subject in the said mag, mainly from TV repairmen, who did not need a licence like this.
Back to the RCD question, how do you fella's get on over in Australia, with retro-fitting RCD's to older type switch-boards?.
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#136079 - 03/17/03 12:52 AM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Dapo Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Australia
Mostly it is pretty easy with enough care, an RCD can be fitted to most boards. Some boards you have to remove the old 55 Amp main switch and the 15A round Hot water switch and the hot water fuse. This usually gives you enough room on the board to fit a four pole cover, and allows you to fit the new Main switch, Hot water C/B and a two pole RCD ( and still keep the required distances from the edge of the panel and the meters). Then there are some of the older installations with rubber wiring, which you would try not to touch unless you are rewiring as well. It will be interesting to see how many people who have bought a new house and need to fit a safety switch to meet the new Act, try and get sparkies to fiddle with older boards with perished rubber wiring to fit a safety switch.

I guess we may need some more fire fighters here then, if they bend to pressure.

[This message has been edited by Dapo (edited 03-17-2003).]

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#136080 - 03/17/03 02:00 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
On old Irish boards you usually have a wooden panel on the wall.. with the main supply sealed fuse, meter and diazed fuse board. Some of the oldish ones are pretty much DIN standard so are relatively easy to retrofit with RCDs.

Older boards (usually black in colour) tended not to have a main switch on the board itself, instead having a large double pole high rated switch wired in after the meter. the RCD just goes in as a stand alone unit before distribution board. Most of those old systems wouldn't have hot water or electric cookers just sockets and lights.

Pretty easily done though.

You'll sometimes see extra diazed single fuses added in as individual units too for cookers and showers.

Sometimes there is a single 63amp diazed fuse on its own individual board before the main distribution diazed board too. Depends on the age of the system but they're usually retrofittable without messing around with the distribution board itself too much.

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#136081 - 03/17/03 02:21 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
In the U.K., boards utilizing DIN rails have become incrteasingly common. Most manufacturers offer versions with both D.P. main switch or RCD, so swapping isn't too much of a problem.

On older installations, the RCD (or it's predecessor, the voltage-operated ELCB) is fitted as a separate device wired between the meter and distribution panel.

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#136082 - 03/18/03 11:43 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Dapo,
You mention TRS wiring in your reply.
Have you ever had the un-fortunate experience of opening up an old type board, to find all of the wires in such a bad state, that you have to turn off the Mains to go any further?.
I hate this wire, but there's still heaps of it out there.


[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 03-19-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 03-21-2003).]
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Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#136083 - 03/21/03 07:53 PM Re: RCD's in Australia?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
In some areas, over here, we used to have what was known as a Voltage Controlled Leakage Breaker, these were a real pain in the rear, they were only installed where the basics of Earthing could not be maintained, like really stony soil.
This device used to have a seperate Electrode, spaced outside the Earth Radii(normally on the other side of the house).
And it would trip on the Earth leakage between the rods,reaching 26V RMS, but it would cut the supply to the whole house,
this is one reason why I am against the use of an RCD as a main switch.
I would personally use a minimum of 4 RCD's in a house, saves call-outs, late at night, when the faulty kettle(and there are a few),
keeps tripping the whole house.
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