Over here in New Zealand, we have just had the latest run of Regulations. Part of these, is the requirement to have an RCD fitted to the switchboard in all residential places, where Electrical work has taken place. Some people are not very happy, about this new law, I have been verbally abused, because I have required them to have their old s/board panel, taken out, and a new one installed, because the old one will not allow a DIN rail-mount RCD, to be fitted. Who makes these laws?. If you were a home-owner in this situation, How would you feel about this?.
Paul, This new law, is going to be a real Headache for anyone who installs new work in existing installations, over here. As the Regs read,at the moment, an RCD is required to be fitted to switch-boards, where new work has been installed, to that new circuit only. When the new Standard comes in, if you show up at a customers house, you are required to protect all of the circuits in the house, bar the Range and the Water Heater(Leakage Currents), with an RCD. This has to be the biggest load of Crap, as far as my line of work goes, as this is the biggest part of my work(existing installations). And with respect to the replacement of switch-boards, how do you fit a DIN Rail only RCD to a surface bakelite panel?, as all of the terminals are un-shrouded, a real no-no, over here, especially in Domestic situations. Total Rubbish!
#134705 - 11/28/0207:38 AMRe: New RCD Requirement?
Over here we can get small plastic enclosures which will accept a DIN-rail RCD, with space for just one or two MCBs, often used in a garage or workshop these days.
I use such an enclosure with a new RCD (and the MCB spaces blanked off) to replace the older voltage-operated ELCBs. That way the main panel doesn't need to be replaced. (Unless there are other reasons for changing it, of course.)
But I agree with you that these new NZ regulations seem ridiculously over-the-top. Requiring an RCD on new installations, or on a major rewire is one thing, but specify that a perfectly serviceable and safe main panel has to be changed just because you've replaced a light switch is crazy.
Once this new rule becomes known to householders, I can see the situation developing where people with no electrical knowledge will be forced to "have a go" themselves simply because they're not going to (or cannot afford to) pay a sparky for what starts out as a simple 10-minute job and turns into a major panel change.
#134706 - 11/28/0206:19 PMRe: New RCD Requirement?
Paul, I don't think you have to install an RCD for replacing accessories on an existing circuit, only installing new circuits. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Trumpy.)
Trumpy, I have seen the ammendment to AS/NZS 3000 requiring 30mA RCD protection for lighting & socket circuits in domestic premises. Does this mean a single RCD may be used to protect all power & light circuits, or do you have to install 2 RCD's to prevent a single fault causing loss all of power & lights. Over here it is considered bad practice under current regs to feed the entire installation through a 30mA RCD. Split load boards are the most popular these days; lights, cooker & water heater on the non RCD protected side and sockets, shower & garage on the 30mA RCD protected side. Where RCD protection is required on all circuits (TT installations), boards with 2 RCD's are available.
I think the idea of RCD protection for all light & socket circuits is basically good from a safety point of view, but separate RCD's or RCBO's for light & power would be necessary. Otherwise the inconvenience & potential danger of losing light & sockets together could be too much to bear for many consumers.
#134707 - 11/29/0201:48 AMRe: New RCD Requirement?
David, Only where new wiring is installed does an RCD have to be installed for that particular circuit,that you have installed,it does not apply to replacement of accessories, Thank God!. A single RCD for a whole installation is considered bad Practice over here, too. If I was wiring a new house, I would generally allow 2 RCD's for the Lighting circuits and 3 or 4 for the Socket Outlets, depending on the number of circuits. Paul, that's a cool idea of using a Sub-Panel type arrangement, for the RCD's, I can almost hear a Huge sigh of relief, from the Sparkies of NZ, never thought of that angle!. One thing I don't like about this whole RCD legislation thing, is if Joe Bloggs, wants a Shaver point, installed in his Bathroom (these have an integral RCD any way), you are now required to use a normal socket outlet, and fit an RCD at the s/board!. I have seen RCD's bypassed at the switch board, because of nuisance tripping, done courtesy of your friendly Homeowner, one actually killed a 13 y/o boy, who touched a live washing machine body.
#134708 - 11/29/0206:17 PMRe: New RCD Requirement?
No Paul, you have not mis-understood this, When the New Standard comes in, this will be the case, 1st of January 2003, will be the day of reckoning for the Electrical Contracting Industry of NZ, there will be two types of Contractor after this date: A)The contractor, who does not recognise the EWRB, or the Rules that they set down as law. These contractors, will be able to put in lower quotes, as they do not even recognise the use of RCD's, let alone the testing of the former. This type, also does not recognise the Certificate of Compliance System, so they do not bother using them either. B)The Honest Contractor, He requires that all of his work is certified, and fills out CoC's for all of of their work. This person, has all of the required test equipment, even though it may have cost NZ$2000-3000, this is a small price to pay for Peace of Mind and Customers Safety!. He will also lose out on Existing Wiring work, among other work , because of the Type A Contractor,because he is cheaper, Who would you have do your work?.
#134710 - 11/30/0212:18 PMRe: New RCD Requirement?
Hmm, retro-active regulations. I don't like the whole sound of the way this is going.
Obviously I'm not saying that RCD protection isn't a good thing, but I start to get worried over regulations forcing people to spend a lot of money to "correct" a "problem" that isn't really there.
I wonder how our American friends would feel if local codes specified that whenever they turned up to do any work at a house, they would be require to fit an AFCI to all bedroom outlets, GFI on kitchen outlets, add a 20A dedicated bathroom receptacle, and so forth to bring the wiring up to the current NEC standards. Suddenly a $100 add-a-light call has become a $1000 project.
As somebody else has said, how would it be if you took your car in to have new brake pads fitted and the mechanic told you that because of new laws he couldn't do it unless you also have ABS brakes, air bags, and a whole load of other stuff fitted at the same time?
In NZ you are talking about these rules being law are you not, not just required by a non-mandatory electrical code?
If you stick to the law, I can see you showing up at a lot of houses, explaining the situation and then being told "Sorry, I can't give you the job then." If all qualified electricians follow this letter of the law, what is going to happen? Either the person will find someone with little knowledge who might well do a dangerous job on the original work, or he'll have a go himself.
I'm all for improving safety, but I can't see that this law will cause anything but trouble and resentment.
#134711 - 12/01/0202:43 AMRe: New RCD Requirement?
Time will tell indeed as to how this affects the industry, i see a lot of the new S/B are coming out with split neutral bars, i have just relocated the M/B and S/B here at home. they where the old combined type out the back of the house, not good for the reader with the dogs. i added a 32A RCD unit to protect the outlets in the bathroom,laundry and kids bedrooms. was easy to do on a new board, but to have to do it on an old type board ... hmmmm. they normally cluttered up and have tails way to shorts to open fully.. the bill goes up.