A change to our current Regulations, over here, have required an Earth Fault Loop test, be carried out after the installation of electrical equipment, in any Domestic,Commercial or Industrial installation. This test requires that the Installing Electrician, after the new work is energised, a test shall be done, that effectively tests the integrity of the Phase-Earth and the Phase-Neutral resistance, as this will find the final size of the O/C protection and also it will give the size of the expected Fault Current, under Fault conditions, Is there a comparative test in the USA and England?,it's just that now, we are required to do these tests. Personally, I have been doing these tests since I started my time, as an electrical Boy. But, what are your thoughts on increased use of complex test-equipment, to fault-find power supply problems, your input, please.
Paul, I have always maintained the idea,that New Zealand has always been "behind the times", as far as Electrical Safety, is concerned, don't get me wrong, this is not from the people who install, repair and service, electrical gear over here, this comes from the Regulators, We now have a totally botched system over here and only the Registered Electricians of NZ are keeping the system honest. Over here, Paul,we wait for something to happen, before we do anything about it, wether it costs a life or not
I think it a fine test to have included, but can find no mention of it becoming compulsory. Either in the Regs or AS/NZ3000 (mine turned up today) :-) I can’t understand why not, I think our apprentices are very well trained (being one of them) and safety and testing are things that are hammered home at every opportunity.
That sounds very much like the same principle that most British councils apply to roads. It doesn't matter how much people complain about something being unsafe, it's not until there's a serious accident that anything is done.
As far as making certain tests a requirement under U.K. IEE Wiring Regs. is concerned, the problem there is that as far as residential work is concerned, there is no legal requirement to follow the Regs.
With respect to my earlier comments on Earth-loop testing, there are a whole heap of tests required for the Certification of an Electrical Installation these days. In New Zealand, you are required to do the following tests: Before livening: 1)Insulation resistance tests w/ a 500V Megohm meter 2)Continuity tests w/ a reliable ohm-meter 3)Earth electrode resistance test, done with a dedicated test instrument and electrodes. After livening: 4)Polarity tests, to ensure correct sequence of supply, done at all socket- outlets, light fittings and fixed-wired appliances. 5) Voltage test- to ensure that the voltage is within a certain range for the area of installation.(This must be done with a voltage meter that is calibrated by the local supply authority, this is a local thing,as the S/A wants to know of any voltage anomalies). 6) Phase Sequence- As we all know,a motor will run backwards if hooked up around the wrong way,but if this 3 phase supply feeds a large transformer for a rectifier system supplying a large Emergency lighting Plant, then you have problems. 7)Earth-Loop Resistance- We've all heard about this!. 8)RCD Tests- All installed RCD's, must be tested with an approved RCD tester, using the test button on the RCD(GFCI),is not considered to be a test. The RCD must trip in under 300 milli-seconds @ a trip current of 30 milliamperes. 9)Operational tests- These are done on all fixed-wired appliances,to make sure that they work properly and safely. With all these tests required, consumers do not want to pay for the time needed to actaully do them, but they are the end users of the said safety tests. What are we supposed to do, put in the work then run away, quickly?
All of those you've listed are also "required" by British IEE Regulations, with the exception of #5. (Although naturally a voltage check is made automatically while hooking up the meter for some of the other checks.)
As I've said many times, for residential here it's anything goes. Commercial is another matter, not specifically because of our electrical regulations but because of the "Health & Safety at Work" rules which are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive. Under these rules, many work places now require a full set of annual tests and for records to be kept of the results of earth impedance, insulation values, etc.
Craig, Under AS/NZS 3000, the new code, they have just made Earth-loop impedance tests mandatory. Its a shame when non-electrical people start writing our Regs, it's just like the whole Downlight thing over again.