Got asked to go to school today (first time in years!). A local Primary school(ages 6-10), to trace some faults in the wiring and find out why some things went and others didn't. An out of town person(I won't DARE call this guy an Electrician), rewired two classrooms for lights, power and Data systems. I had a look under the floor to see how the wiring was run, to get an idea of how the classrooms were fed. I can sum up what I saw by one word: Rough! Here's a couple of pics of some of the things that were under there:
That bottom picture shows a fitting that used to be used over here to connect the tails from Overhead lines into a house, what you can't see, is the 8 cables coming out on the other side of the Bearer(timber). There were no RCD's installed at the switchboard and the Mains feeding the board were way under capacity for the intended load. Also, there were 2 live bits of TPS cable hanging down, from the outside walls, that anyone could have touched and been electrocuted.
[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 08-01-2003).]
That looks very poor. Are you saying that this wiring was installed fairly recently?
Also, there were 2 live bits of TPS cable hanging down, from the outside walls, that anyone could have touched and been electrocuted.
And they have little kids running around!
I take it this is a public school. If so, I'd suggest you write the local education dept. or whatever it is called over there, with copies to the principal, minister, and any other official you can think of pointing out the dangers.
Would you want your kids attending a school where they could touch exposed energized wires?
(Seeing the state of the education system these days, I'm not sure I'd want them in school anyway, but that's another matter.)
Re: School Wiring#137839 08/02/0307:03 AM08/02/0307:03 AM
Isn't there a specific code for buildings that are open to members of the public there?
Over here cable trays would be compulsary and any surface runs (including on ceilings for lights) would have to be in heavy metal conduit capable of taking a pretty severe whacking !
I wouldn't be overly concerned about data cables though. The worst they could do is trip someone up or cause network problems.
Bare live cables anywhere, but especially in a school, are totally unacceptable.
No RCDs?? Seems a bit weird!
Primary schools over here would have mostly been rewired in the 1980s although there are still quite a few of them using wiring from the 50s and 60s although they'd have had their distribution panels (Consumer units modernised, including RCDs)
You'd still see the odd school/institution using BS546 outlets though. They're always metal sockets and light switches and are quite often surface mounted in old buildings (all metal). I think it's just sometimes not seen as a major budget priority to replace a couple of hundred BS546 (15amp) outlets that are working acceptably and safely with BS1363 just for the hell of it. They just fit the correct plugs to all mobile equipment: CD players, Tape recorders, Overhead projectors, slide projectors etc. They usually just have a few trailing sockets (BS1363) with BS546 plugs.
I recently saw an apple wireless lab (trolly load of iBooks) fitted with a big clunky BS546 plug
Schuko outlets would not generally be seen as they generally go with the era of rubber cables hence were replaced in the 50s/60s.
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 08-02-2003).]
Re: School Wiring#137840 08/16/0305:26 AM08/16/0305:26 AM
Paul, djk, I agree whole-heartedly with all of your comments. We started to tear the elderly panel out of this school, today(Saturday). I tried to find the Mains fuses for the Installation, but found that there were only the Primary DDO fuses and these were over-tapped back into the feeding Lines, so dropping these out would have de-energised the whole street, I rang the Network Operator(my Lines boss) and he gave me a Clearance to do so and fix the whole thing up. I started at 0600 this morning, looking to be finished(the S/B) about 1200, I finished as far as I could go and put the power back on to the street at 1900 tonight, I still have to go back in tomorrow to replace the darned panel. At this stage of the game I'm not very happy, I could have done w/out all this, what makes it worse, it's eating into my already short weekend, as it is. The sooner this job is finished, the better, I reckon!.
Re: School Wiring#137841 09/29/0306:05 AM09/29/0306:05 AM
This job came back to bite me in the b-side today. I was talking to a Faultsman on the 2-way radio and he said that he was trying to locate the back-fed mains that were there a few months ago as he had to disconnect them in a HURRY, by the sound of his voice I was not willing to argue, but bugger me, I couldn't find the Record No. of my new connection and all of our DDO's (Drop-outs) are numbered, found it in the nick of time (DW33360) on the CAD system, which was of NO help at all, If I had not worked on them lines, I would not have had a clue as to what he was talking about. Apparently there was a burning pad-mount Tranny on the end of the DDO's, caused by an internal short and the DDO's had welded and flashed over. These were "around the corner" from where the F/man was standing. Thank God for that, the FireService also attended this one, but weren't going to open the Xformer up until the power was cut off.