Amendment 2 of the 18th Edition: What are the Main Changes?

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The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations was co-published by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) and BSI (British Standards Institution) and introduced in 2018. 

Also known as the BS 7671:2018, this set of regulations set the national standard for all new electrical installations, alterations and additions across the UK.

Major changes are now being made to the BS 7671:2018 (18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations), with the first full amendment being Amendment 2 (BS 7671:2018+A2:2022).

The content for Amendment 2 (signed off in January 2022 by the IET and BSI), includes a number of changes to regulations, including:

Additional Chapters and Overall Changes including Amendments to Terminology

  • Amendments to certain terms – in particular consumers are now referred to as “prosumers” (as users both consuming and producing electricity).
  • An additional chapter (part 8) on Prosumer’s Low Voltage Electrical Installations.
  • Section 443 reworded for ease of reading.
  • Section 422 amended to include the phrase ‘protected escape route”. Regulation 442.1 clarifies this as a route which has been designed to be protected from fire for a designated period of time by a skilled architect or fire engineer.
  • Section 712 (detailing solar PV systems) has undergone a major rewrite with more detail, new design criteria and new requirements.
  • Some wording clarified, e.g. clearer distinction made between terms like “mandatory” and “recommended”.
  • Removal of the option for regulation 411.3.3 removing the option for omitting RCDs on socket outlets not exceeding 32A in any installations apart from dwellings.
  • Sockets can now be installed 2.5 metres from a shower or bath in line with Europe where the use of appliances such as hair dryers and electric shavers in bathrooms are commonplace.
  • Modifications to certain labels, notices and identification (e.g. consumer units) which may affect how safety information is given to users of the electrical installation.
  • Reduction in the number of items on the schedule of inspections for an electrical installation certificate (also reducing paperwork for EICs.)
  • Labels on consumer units are no longer required (information must still be supplied to customers in a clearly defined format.)
  • A specific method for determining overvoltage protection requirements.
  • New wording added to Regulation 411.4.2 with a recommendation for an additional connection to earth by electrode in PME earthing systems.
  • The existing Regulation 114.1 remains unchanged. This states that where a supply is given in line with the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR), the connection between neutral and earth is permanent.
  • Any Out building on a TT or TN-S earthing system can now be bonded in line with the incoming cable protected conductor related to that building.

New Requirements

  • Fire safety design of buildings are to be documented in places of specific external influence, i.e. locations at risk of fire and protected fire escape routes.
  • A new requirement in higher risk residential buildings for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in some AC final circuits proposing that they be required on all fixed current-using equipment and single-phase final circuits supplying socket outlets (with some exceptions listed.) These will only be required in certain specific locations such as:
    • Homes in multiple occupation (HMOs)
    • Higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs)
    • Purpose built student accommodation
    • Care homes
  • SPDs (surge protection devices) required for all installations unless a written document is provided by the owner stating otherwise (for example due damage or loss.)
  • Type A RCDs to be used in place of Type AC RCDs.
  • Sleeving the green wire in a flex and using this as a live conductor (in central heating wiring) is not permitted.
  • A requirement that additional earthing (such as foundation earthing) is to be provided for new premises.
  • RCD testing requires a one-time test.
  • As per Regulation 411.3.3 – RCDs and socket outlets, risk assessments must be carried out where children or disabled persons are present, regardless of whether one has previously been carried out.

Why is the Amendment being Made?

The electrotechnical and engineering services sector is constantly evolving as new developments in technology arise. As such the Regulations for electrical installations need to adapt to ensure optimal safety and efficiency.

What Does this Mean for New Design Installations?

A further amendment to the BS 7671:2018 sets a cut-off date for compliance with the 18th Edition regardless of the date of design. This could affect the planning and completion of contracts depending on their estimated duration. 

When are the Changes Taking Place?

Amendment 1, which came into effect on 1st February 2020 was a set of regulations on electric vehicle charge points.The earlier version (BS 7671:2018+A1:2020) is due to be withdrawn on 27th September 2022.

The new revised version of the amendment was published on 28th March 2022, with Amendment 2 in effect immediately. To see the new certificates, NICEIC Certificate Software Users must run at least v.1.0.56.10 and will also need to run a certificate update.

 

 

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