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AFDD's coming to the UK #219922 02/01/19 05:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,277
Trumpy Offline OP
Hi Folks,
I've been watching the videos of John Ward as of late, on YouTube.
His latest video struck me as strange, because I was not aware that AFDD's (AFCI's that our US members know so well), are now mandated in the latest change to the Regulations in the UK.

Here is a link to the video, where he tests one of these devices and gives his thoughts on it.


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Re: AFDD's coming to the UK [Re: Trumpy] #219927 02/05/19 06:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,466
Texas_Ranger Offline
They're slowly spreading across Europe. Germany's had (and cursed) them for a few years, although I've gathered they're no longer required, only recommended. I'm quite curious about Austria's new regs, I'll hopefully get some info on them next week. The last thing I've read about AFDDs is that there isn't much evidence of advantages in fire safety over blanket RCD protection. Most of the data seem to be from the US where, as we all know, earth leakage protection of entire circuits is fairly uncommon.

Re: AFDD's coming to the UK [Re: Trumpy] #219945 02/12/19 07:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 58
andey Offline
Germany got a new national standard in 2016 requiring them for special places like laboratories, childcare, retirement homes, museums, public buildings with irreplaceable goods (like a historic library), wooden homes (which are the minority here), wood working businesses etc.
The standard is applicable for new planning. There is no obligation to update existing buildings.

Of course we had discussions about the new standard only being implemented because the manufacturers want to sell afdds... I haven't had any experience yet and don't know about any nuisance tripping.

Last edited by andey; 02/12/19 07:40 AM.
Re: AFDD's coming to the UK [Re: andey] #219955 02/14/19 12:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,277
Trumpy Offline OP
In the second video that JW posted, which I will link to below,
he tried the over-voltage test (device is meant to trip @ 270VAC)
and then there was the actual arc-fault trip test, where loose connections SHOULD
cause the device to trip.
The results are quite disappointing, especially from a company that I thought made quality
electrical controls equipment.

Have a look:
JW 2nd set of tests

Re: AFDD's coming to the UK [Re: Trumpy] #219963 02/18/19 02:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,466
Texas_Ranger Offline
They're coming to Austria as well... the new standard (OVE E-8101) is already published but not yet mandatory. They're required in sleeping quarters of nursing homes and kindergartens (essentially any building where the inhabitants are considered less likely to escape a fire, not that that makes much sense, no one is likely to survive a fire while asleep) and recommended for essentially the same building types as in Germany.

Re: AFDD's coming to the UK [Re: Trumpy] #220447 01/14/20 07:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,250
djk Offline
They've been introduced in the recent update to wiring rules in Ireland too IS 10101 (a rather heafty 700 page tome or digital download!)

There was also a change to the wiring regulations being controlled by the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland), whereas previously it had been a managed by a body called the ETCI (Electrotechnical Council of Ireland) which has been scrapped. Also the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) has taken over parts of the inspection regimes etc.

AFDDs are recommended for all circuits where there is a particular risk. Now required in all sleeping accommodation and in areas with things like fuel storage, wooden structures, irreplaceable valuables etc etc.

It also extended RCDs to all circuits in residential type premises. Lighting circuits (other than outdoors and in bathrooms) had not required RCDs in previous rules.

AC Type RCDs are banned in residential and similar work.

We've also banned plastic distribution boards (consumer units). From this point on they must be made from materials that are completely non-combustable, which in practical reality means metal boards from now on in residential and small business etc.

Other than that the major updates are a requirement for cables to be CPR compliant, with a minimum rating of Class Dca s1b,d2,a2 as per EN 50575

There's some extra specifications for residential / small commercial electric vehicle charge points.

Also inspection and testing processes have been completely redesigned to bring them into full alignment with CENELEC standards and residential installation sign off must now also include checks for compliance with the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU.

Rings were banned in kitchen / laundry rooms in previous revisions back in 2008, so now the minimum requirement for a kitchen is two 20amp radials (with a recommendation of at least 10 sockets). Obviously this does not include fixed appliances etc.

The old British-type "Twin and earth" is no longer allowed either (previous updates to the wiring regs). The earth conductor must be the same size as the live and neutral conductor and must be separately insulated.

The other recent changes (going back a few years at this stage, I haven't posted here in a while!) has been the banning of DIY work other than like-for-like replacement of fittings and minor additions to existing circuits. Anything involving the distribution board is now off-limits, other than to licensed Electrical Contractors and you can be charged in court for doing so. There have been a few €3000 fines and one 6 month prison sentence so far, but this was for someone falsely portraying themselves as an EC and leaving a system in a highly dangerous situation, but at least the regulations are tightening.

Last edited by djk; 01/14/20 07:29 PM.


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