I'd like your opinion on something guys. Current Regs/Standards here in NZ, require that only newly installed circuits in Domestic places be RCD protected. Now I've seen in the last week or so, some things that were installed before the Regs changed. One instance was in a kitchen where two socket-outlets were installed within 2ft of a sink with no RCD on them. I would argue that that circuit should have been RCD protected regardless of when it was installed. I've seen a lot of bathroom heaters installed without RCD protection on them too, before the Regs changed, metal body and within arm's reach. What's your opinion?. The requirement for RCD protection should be retrospect, IMO, no matter when the installation occured.
A much more relaxed approach would be to introduce an insurance condition as follows:
Any wiring must be up to the electric code in effect when the wiring was done. If the wiring is older than 50 years, it must be up to a code that was in effect no more than 50 ago. Wiring should be inspected and tested every 25 years. The cost for this should be covered by the insurance.
This would gradually force the very oldest of wiring to be upgraded. As upgrading means new work, the latest code apply. The periodic inspections will catch the work of handymen/D-I-Y and cowboy electricans that tend to accumulate over the years.
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 10-07-2005).]
Laudable as the concept is Mike, it flies in the face of one of the cornerstones of our democracies- NO retro-applicable legislation EVER. The insurance method [ coupled with proper safety inspections, of course, to protect the innocent ] route is a good concept- you are free to kill yourself after being informed- but don't expect the rest of us to pay when it all goes arse-up - and expect to be charged as culpable if anyone else gets hurt as a result of your inactions.
[This message has been edited by Alan Belson (edited 10-07-2005).]
You can _recommend_ it, but not force it. In some instances there are instant change requirements though, like the old metal 3ph sockets in Europe. They were only dangerous when seriuosly miswired (ground/phase swap), still they were banned absolutely and have to be replaced immediately.
We have a parallel problem coming up in France, concerning the famous French fosses septiques or 'septic tanks'. There are some 4.5 million of these in France, and it's reckoned that 3.5 million are defective in some way. Changes effective 2006, forced by EC directive(s), will mean much stricter rules on the size of the tank, the drains etc. and what happens to the effluent after anaerobic digestion. M. le Maire tells me me he can't force me to upgrade my system, but he can ( and will! )prosecute me if I pollute the environment outside my property, or annoy my neighbors with bad smells. My system is old, but previously complied. If I continue to pollute/annoy, then that's an on-going action not connected with the design or condition of my sewage plant, so the new arrete ( regulation ) applies. This is fair and we have just paid a specialist to design a new system, which hopefully will be installed spring 2006, after getting planning permission. I see no excuse for retaining any system, electrical of water, if it can be shown that a real danger exists to others by its continuing use. Now, are regulations, directives and the like actually 'laws'? - if not, then making updates mandatory is easier, since sidestepping the retro-applicable legislation cornerstone is possible. The French have decided that the directive is a 'law', but other countries may take an opposite view.
[This message has been edited by Alan Belson (edited 10-13-2005).]