This picture got posted on a DIY forum, a guy had found it in his new house and wanted to know what it all was, what the general opinion on it was, I can see quite a few violations here, but I'll let others have a go before I list the ones I can see.
Adam, I'm not sure what sort of an idiot installed this, but they were way off the mark. The bends in the SWA (Steel-Wire-Armoured) This message has been edited by Trumpy (edicable tend to give the show away. Call that an explosion in a few months time. You can't kink cables like that and expect current to flow through them, without a build up of heat. I take it that this work was not done all at the same time, the reason I say that is because any electrician worth thier salt would protect them wires between the meters with some sort of covering. Finger-strip from Legrand, springs to mind. If you've ever worked in an Industrial Panel, you've seen this stuff. The Neutral on Device C seems rather light or does it just give a neutral from Device B?. This makes me wonder what the rest of the house looks like.
In my opinion, I don't think a lot of planning happened here.
[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 04-03-2006).]
#110360 - 04/03/0604:47 AMRe: UK Service Intake Violations
It's messy for sure, but not at all untypical for a service which has been changed around over the years.
I is the PoCo's service fuse/cut-out, and the cable snaking its way into the top is their property.
Meter A is a modern type, as is the main RCD (GFI equiv.)which it feeds at H. It's quite common to see a modern RCD added to an older system in this way. Boxes D and F coming off of this RCD are much older.
This looks as though it's in a garage, or some similar location, so I'd guess that F is probably just feeding sockets and/or lights within this building.
Meter B is feeding into timeswitch/contactor C. As Adam says, the neutral is just providing power for the timer & control circuit. The unit this feeds at E is one of the older voltage-operated ELCBs (Earth-Leakage Circuit Breakers), which relies on a solenoid coil to trip on sensing voltage on the building earth conductors relative to its reference ground rod. Note the two earth conductors running to it. Voltage ELCBs have been obsolete for over 30 years, but there are still a lot in service. The cabling from E to G has been there a while -- Note the plain green earths instead of green/yellow.
#110362 - 04/05/0607:21 AMRe: UK Service Intake Violations
Ah, H is an RCD?, it just didn't look too much like one tbh...but if it is then thats one thing off my volation list
The ELCB is still a violation because they arn't recognised anymore, and while a lot of them are still in use, sometimes with them being old they will have jammed up, also with parallel paths due to bonding, etc, they aren't always too effective
Oh and the BS951 pipe bonding clamps are a violation when used to ground the armour on SWA, they are liable to crush the cable, a proper SWA gland is the correct way to do it
#110364 - 04/06/0609:10 AMRe: UK Service Intake Violations
I can't make out the model from the photo, but there are a few RCDs which look like that. The operating handle is pivoted in the top corner, the "on" position as pictured and "off" has the handle rotate down by anything from 45 to 90 degrees. The black square at the lower right is almost certainly the test button. I can't think of anything else that unit could/would be.
The ELCB is still a violation because they arn't recognised anymore
They've not been recognized for new installs for 30+ years, that's true, but if the system complied with the current edition of IEE Regs. at the time it was installed, can we really call it a violation?
I agree entirely with your basic premise though. I've never liked the voltage-ELCB arrangement anyway. Given the way that the earthing/bonding has clearly been modified in more recent times, there may well be so many parallel paths around that the ELCB has been severely de-sensitized. It's a pity we can't see more detail of where all those earth cables run.