The new Wiring Rules - A brief look at the changes | NECA

The new Wiring Rules - A brief look at the changes

We are all waiting for the new Wiring Rules Standard (AS/NZS 3000) to be published, with an expected print date of October.

Some indications are that it may be even later, but hopefully it will be in 2017. Queensland and Victoria have already started their Roadshows, but NECA NSW will be waiting for the book to be published with all of the changes before conducting our tour of NSW and the ACT. 

The new Standard is based on:

(a) allowance for new technology, new equipment and improved installation techniques

(b) electrical industry feedback regarding readability and compliance issues with the 2007 edition

(c) identified and clarified normative (mandatory) requirements and informative guidance throughout the book

(d) experience gained in the application of the twelfth (2007) edition as expressed to Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand.

The presentation of this edition is the same as the previous edition of 

AS/NZS 3000, in that the Standard comprises two parts but with both parts bound as one document.

Part 1 provides uniform essential elements that constitute the minimum regulatory requirements for a safe electrical installation.

It also provides an alternative regulatory vehicle for Australian and New Zealand regulators seeking to move from the present prescription of AS/NZS 3000 in electrical installation safety and licensing legislation.

Part 1 satisfies the following objectives:

  • It is generally complete in itself to avoid cross-referencing to Part 2.
  • It may be called up in regulation as a separate Part or together with Part 2.
  • It provides high level safety performance outcomes/conditions without prescriptive work methods that demonstrate means of compliance.
  • It establishes an enforcement link to Part 2. Failure to comply with a work method provision in Part 2 would breach high level safety conditions of Part 1 unless an alternative mechanism is satisfied.
  • It establishes the ‘deemed to comply’ status of Part 2, confirming that installations that comply with Part 2 comply with high level safety conditions of Part 1.
  • It maintains alignment with IEC 60364 developments at the level of essential safety.
  • It provides a mechanism for acceptance of alternative design and installation practices that are not addressed or are inconsistent with those given in the ‘deemed to comply’ Part 2. This mechanism is intended to apply where departures from the methods in Part 2 are significant rather than minor aspects that remain within the flexibility of Part 2.
  • It details responsibilities, documentation and verification criteria for designers or installers that seek to apply an alternative method to the ‘deemed to comply’ methods contained in Part 2.

 

Part 2 provides installation practices that achieve certainty of compliance with the essential safety requirements of Part 1.

It is a complete revision of the 2007 edition to provide updated work methods and installation practices that are ‘deemed to comply’ with the associated performance outcomes/safety conditions.

Part 2 satisfies the following objectives:

  • It may be called up in regulation in addition to Part 1 to reflect a range of regulatory adoption options.
  • It incorporates and elaborates on all high level performance outcomes of Part 1 with the addition of requirements and recommendations to clarify and support compliance.
  • It restores information from previous editions of the Wiring Rules as requirements, recommendations and examples of typical, effective compliant solutions.
  • Emphasis has been placed on common, practicable and          cost-effective methods that achieve safety compliance, fitness for purpose and a level of good practice rather than overly conservative or obscure measures.
  • Greater use has been made of illustrations and examples to promote understanding of common or difficult aspects, e.g. line diagrams, alternative overcurrent device locations, Ingress Protection (IP) rating summary, switchboard access.

 

Other major changes to the content of AS/NZS 3000:2007 include the following:

Section 1:

New definitions for: 

  • Accessible; Adjacent; Alteration; Alternative Supply; Arc fault detection device; De-energized; Electrical fault
  • Electrical installation—Residential; Electric vehicle; Energized; Fire mode; Functional unit; Informative; Lamp; Lift; Main switch; Neutral earthed system (Direct earthing); Normal supply; Normative; Outbuilding—Combined; Protective earth neutral (PEN); Repair; Socket outlet—Multiple combination; Socket outlet RCD (SRCD); Soft wiring; Supply supplementary and Wiring systems.
  • Revised definitions for:
  • Accessible, readily; Authorized person; Consumer mains; Cord, flexible; Insulation system; Ingress protection; Multiple earthed neutral (MEN system); Outbuilding—Individual; Protective earthing conductor and Safety service.
  • Removed definitions - Mains supply

 

Section 1 additional major changes

  • Direct contact and indirect contact now designated as basic protection and fault protection.
  • IP ratings to suit local environmental conditions.
  • Details the requirements for conductors with green/yellow insulation.
  • Removes references to AS/NZS 3018 and identifies compliance requirements with other standards.
  • Clarified requirements for alterations and repairs have been expanded through the separation of information contained in the clauses.
  • Identifies and details further requirements for Part 1 solutions including where a Part 1 solution may be used.

 

Section 2

  • Requirement to consider operating characteristics of switchgear, control gear and switchboards.
  • Details the origin requirements of sub-mains and final subcircuits.
  • Requirements for main switch operations.
  • Positions of overload protective devices clarified.
  • Updated requirements for alternate positions of short circuit protective devices.
  • Discrimination/selectivity of protective devices.
  • Enhanced protection requirements for switchboard internal arcing faults.
  • Further requirements for RCD protected circuits in domestic, non domestic, non-residential, medical installations and RCD requirements for alterations and repairs clarified.
  • Illustration of basic clearances for switchboard access updated.
  • New clause detailing arc fault detection devices and their installation requirements.
  • Enhanced requirements for switchboard installations at 800 amp or greater, access and egress door sizes and minimum clearances around switchboards in switchrooms.
  • Enhanced requirements for switchboard installation and further clarification regarding rising mains tee-offs, switchboards ≥800 Amps minimum clearances around switchboards in switch rooms and locations of fuses and circuit breakers.
  • Existing figures updated, where required; new figures added to further assist the industry.

 

Section 3

  • Improved installation safety requirements for cables that pass through bulk thermal insulation.
  • Colour identification of active, neutral and earth conductors further clarified.
  • Requirements for wiring systems installed in positions where likely to be disturbed further clarified.
  • Cables in common enclosures of different electrical installations and segregation requirements clarified.
  • Requirements for segregation of cables of different voltage levels clarified.
  • Existing figures updated where required; new figures added to further assist the industry.

 

Section 4

  • Revised illustrations inserted to identify where IP rated equipment is to be installed.
  • Revised requirements for installation wiring connected via an installation coupler.
  • Electric vehicle socket outlet requirements now included.
  • Revised requirements for lighting equipment and accessories.
  • Enhanced installation safety requirements for recessed luminaires including updated reference listing of luminaire classifications.
  • Requirements for cooking appliance switching devices clarified for improved safety outcomes.
  • Gas appliances and equipment isolation requirements clarified.
  • Requirements for electrical equipment that may produce hot particles or hot surfaces now included.
  • Further clarification of isolator requirements for air conditioning and heat pump systems.
  • Existing figures updated where required, new figures added to further assist the industry.
  • Clause and figures relating to electrical equipment installed in locations requiring protection from the weather.
  • Installation and location of socket-outlets for electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Clearance of socket outlets and switches from open gas or electric cooking appliances.
  • Isolating switches to be installed adjacent to all fixed wired water heaters.
  • Hazardous area presented by gas relief vent terminals.
  • Requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps where the internal unit (or units) are supplied from a switchboard or circuit separate to that of the compressor, and new exceptions.
  • Lifts installed for general use and are not Emergency Lifts (Safety Services).

 

Section 5

  • MEN system further defined for clarity.
  • MEN connection to be located in an accessible position.
  • Acceptable earth electrodes types updated.
  • Earthing requirements for SELV and PELV systems updated.
  • Outbuilding earthing clarified through enhanced requirements.
  • Equipotential bonding requirements expanded and clarified through enhanced requirements for showers, bathrooms, pools and spas.
  • Existing figures updated where required, new figures added to further assist the industry.
  • Earthing of conductive building materials in combined outbuildings.
  • Earthing requirements for individual outbuildings and combined outbuildings.
  • Earthing requirements for conductive switchboard enclosures associated with unprotected consumer mains.
  • Earthing of conductive reinforcing in combined outbuildings that contain showers or baths.
  • Conductive pool structures and the bonding connection point shall be installed and bonded to the installation earthing system regardless of other specified requirements.
  • Figure showing bonding arrangements for pools and spas.
  • Reference to conductive fixtures and fittings installed within arm’s reach of the pool edge, and that are in contact with the general mass of earth, either directly or indirectly.

 

Section 6

  • Additional intent included for this section to also only apply to water containers into which persons do not normally put a part or all of their body.
  • Installation requirements for deluge showers clarified.
  • Showers Zone 1 further clarified for different shower head configurations.
  • Fixed water container size reduced from 45 litres to 40 litres.
  • A switchboard shall not be located within any wet area classified zone.
  • Existing figures updated where required, new figures added to further assist the industry.
  • Classified zones for fixed shower plumbing connections on the ceiling and for showers with a hinged door.
  • Specified capacity for spa pools or tubs increased from 500 litres to 680 litres.
  • Clause excluding electricity generation systems, including inverters from being installed in classified zones.
  • Clause excluding pools and spas from being located in areas containing electrical equipment owned by the electricity distributor, that result in such equipment being incorporated into any classified zone.
  • Table defining classified zones for fountains and water features.

 

Section 7

  • Entire restructure of Clause 7.2, Safety services: now provides concise installation requirements for each type of safety service.
  • Normative, Informative and Installation requirements for electricity generation systems reviewed and clarified in line with applicable standards.
  • Deemed to comply standards reviewed and updated where required.
  • Existing figures updated where required, new figures added to further assist the industry.
  • Electric vehicle charging systems have been added.

 

Section 8

  • A number of clauses split into subclauses to differentiate between general, application, visual inspection, test requirements and accepted values.
  • Extra low voltage installation testing requirements clarified.
  • Clarification of RCD testing and EFLI testing for circuits not protected by an RCD when supply is and is not available.
  • The date of initial energisation is now mandatory to be recorded at the installation switchboard.

 

Appendices

  • Appendix A, all listed standards checked for currency and is now a list of referenced standards only.
  • Appendix B, circuit protection guide, Table from FAQ34 (Voltage drop and EFLI values comparison) added for further guidance.
  • Appendix C, circuit arrangements. Appendix C has been expanded to cover more than the calculation of maximum demand and the information provided on maximum demand has been clarified and updated.
  • Appendix D, minimum sizes of posts, poles and struts for aerial line conductors, has been reviewed to provide more comprehensive guidance information for the construction of private aerial lines.
  • Appendix E, electrical installation requirements in National Construction Codes reviewed for currency.
  • Appendix F, Installation of surge protective devices, reviewed for currency.
  • Appendix G, degrees of protection of enclosed equipment.
  • Appendix H, WS classification of wiring systems, reviewed for currency and clarity.
  • Appendix I, protective device ratings and metric equivalent sizes for imperial cables used in alterations and repairs.
  • Appendix J, symbols used in this Standard.
  • Appendix K, switchboard equipment summary has been added to provide a checklist of requirements for switchboards.
  • Appendix L, first aid requirements for Australia have been deleted.
  • Appendix M, deleted first aid requirements for NZ and added new appendix. Reducing the impact of power supply outages. Continuity of supply for active assisted living and homecare medical situations added to provide guidance on continuity of supply and back up plans.
  • Appendix N, electrical conduits added to provide guidance on the types and variations of conduit available for electrical installations.
  • Appendix O, installation of arc fault detection devices added to provide guidance on the installation of these devices.
  • Appendix P, guidance for installation and location of electrical vehicle socket-outlets and charging stations added to provide guidance for circuits intended to supply energy to electric vehicles.
  • Appendix Q, D.C. circuit protection application guide added to provide guidance for the selection of circuit protection and switching devices when being operated on a d.c. supply that would be deemed to meet the design, equipment selection and installation criteria of this standard.

 

This standard may be applied through legislative requirements, as indicated in Clause 1.2. As this standard supersedes AS/NZS 3000:2007, it would usually apply to electrical installations from its date of publication, but it is recommended that it not be applied on a mandatory basis before a date of at least six months after publication. However, if work on an installation was commenced before publication of this edition, the relevant regulatory authority or electricity distributor may grant permission for the installation to be completed in accordance with AS/NZS 3000:2007.

Statements expressed in mandatory terms in notes to tables and figures are deemed to be requirements of this standard.

The term, ‘informative’ has been used in this Standard to define the application of the appendix to which it applies. An ‘informative’ appendix is only for information and guidance.

Leon Dickson
Member Services & Technical Advisor
NECA NSW, ACT & TAS

Contacts
NECA
☎:1300 361 099
@:memberservices
✉: 122 Hume Highway, Chullora NSW 2190

 

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