I have been reading a bit lately about the moves toward international standardization, and code correlation, and it seems that there are performance-based ("This is what we're trying to do.") standards being used instead of prescriptive (Thou shalt do it THIS way!) standards. To get a better picture, I'm hoping that others here might be able to tell me the titles of any prescriptive codes which are used on the job, like the NEC is used in the U.S.
I think here in Ireland it's a bit of a combination of both absolute directives which have to be followed to the letter and best practice type standards that aim to achieve things but don't necessarily specify exactly how just set requirments and minimum standards.
Some things have to be layed down in codes, use of standard colours, correct cabling etc.
On a different point ?
Ireland doesn't allow a few things that I see elsewhere:
1) skirting sockets (they must be wall mounted at a minimum height) Partly to remove requirments to bend down too low (elderly / disabled access) and partly to prevent damage from vacuum cleaners/water. Was common to have them just above the skirting board in the past, now not allowed. (you can't fit them flat to the floor as the cables need to come out through the bottoms, although i've seen sockets installed upsidedown or sideways where they directly replaced schuko outlets)
2) UK style cooker isolation switch and socket combination. Considered to be dangerous to have a single socket on a very large rated circuit.
3) Lightswitches now have to be at wheelchair / child accessable heights so they're now moved much lower down the wall.
4) they seem to be getting much fussier about access to sockets for built under/built in appliences like washing machines, dishwashers etc, it used to be standard practice to put a socket behind the applience which was inaccessable unless u pulled it out. They now have to be located in a cupboard nearby or else wired via an isolating switch that's accessable from near by.
Re: What's the title of your "code"?#135973 02/25/0309:17 AM02/25/0309:17 AM
The current code here is officially titled Requirements for Electrical Installations, BS7671: 2001\" although people still commonly refer to the "IEE Wiring Regs." The BS part means British Standards, into which the IEE Regs. were adopted a few years ago (although people come up with other meanings for BS as well! ).
The big change in format occurred with the 15th Edition in 1981. This was supposedly to convert our code into a more international format which could lead to the eventual adoption of a common European code.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 02-25-2003).]
Re: What's the title of your "code"?#135975 02/25/0311:24 PM02/25/0311:24 PM
And how are these codes or standards enforced? How is it decided that certain decisions are adequate for how a task is safely accomplished? I'm having a hard time understanding how these regulations or standards are practically applied.
For those who are familiar with how the inspections are done in the states, how different is it in other countries?
What I am concerned with is the trend towards talking about electrical installers as "professionals" (and holding them legally responsible), while not allowing professional engineering judgement to be exercised. The more prescriptive the code, the less professional; the more performance-based, the more professional(= sound independent judgement is required). What I find to be a basic issue in the States is that the engineering data, the UL and NEMA data for how the electrical equipment, devices and methods are tested and approved, is prohibitively expensive to acquire or access. So, we can only "go by the rules" without knowing how the rules were established. In such cases, it is impossible to make a "professional" judgement call.
The way I see it, with the effort to create an international standardized code, there is going to be even more arcane rule following, since engineering sources, or archives about the origins of certain requirements, might be burried in some other untranslated languge. So, when a customer asks "Why do you have to do it that way?" we can only answer "I don't know!" And yet, we are increasingly expected to be held legally accountable for our decisions. How can decisions be made without technical criteria?
It appears likely that international standardization will hve to resort to a prescriptive code, as in the NEC, and that the "professionalization" of electricians will fall by the wayside in the process.
How do you all feel about the impact of standardization?
Re: What's the title of your "code"?#135976 02/26/0311:43 AM02/26/0311:43 AM
No inspections here. Every licensed electrician is an authority and responsible for the wiring. If a homeowner wants to do any wiring s/he has to get an electrician who inspects the wiring and is then reponsible himself, as though s/he'd done the wiring. Well, in court s/he DID the wiring, as officially there's no untrained person doing any electrical work.
Re: What's the title of your "code"?#135977 02/27/0312:48 AM02/27/0312:48 AM
Elzappr, Over here in NZ, we are just starting with this preformance-based rubbish, the Regulations, are becoming less and less in number, while these are slowly being replaced by Standards. I hate these new Standards, they confuse apprentices, cost far too much for what they are(NZ$20-45 each) and they can be made redundant with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen, forcing you to buy more of these things. We are currently being aligned with the Australian Standards, as has been our Registration requirements, etc, I hate the way things are going, not because of the fact that NZ contractors will lose thier identity, but because of the extra charges, if Oz has it, we will be bound to get it!