Bureau Veritas prompts firms to comply with 18th Edition changes

With changes to the IET 18th Edition Wiring Regulations now in force, Bureau Veritas is stressing the urgency of complying with the new regulations amongst electrical contractors and building designers.

The second amendment to the regulations was officially introduced in March this year, however until now the former regulations – BS 7671:2018+A1:2020 – were still applicable. The recent changes represent a full-scale holistic review of the 18th Edition, with most parts of the wiring regulations having seen some changes.

The amendments to 18th Edition regulations are not retrospective and apply only to new installations designed from 27 September this year. However, with the changes having been published six months ago, many businesses will have been getting ahead of the curve and implementing changes over the past few months.

Now, Martin Sampson, Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas, is urging any firms not yet compliant with the new 18th Edition changes to get up to speed, with the deadline now passed.

Martin comments: “Whilst electrical contractors and building designers have had a number of months now to get their heads around the new changes to the IET wiring regulations, for some there will still remain a challenge in fully understanding and implementing the amendments into future designs and installations. As well as business leaders understanding the changes, it’s also their responsibility to educate and prepare their teams, embedding compliance to these regulations into business best practice going forward.”

The second amendment to the 18th Edition has introduced a new chapter, changing the scope of the regulations to include prosumer’s low-voltage electrical installations – bringing in installations which both consume and produce energy for the first time. This provides additional requirements, measures and recommendations for the design, erection, and verification of all types of low voltage electrical installations, including local production and storage of energy.

It also includes the requirement to protect final circuits supplying socket outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32A, using arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) in high rise buildings, houses of multiple occupancy, student accommodation and care homes. AFDDs remains a recommendation for final circuits supplying socket outlets with rated current not exceeding 32A for all other locations.

Martin continues: “Whilst many of the changes demonstrate tightening regulations, such as the introduction of prosumer’s low voltage installations and updates to the AFDD requirement, there are other areas where the regulations have become more relaxed. Amendment 2 reduces the requirements around RCD testing with rules around the tripping times of RCDs deleted. We however recommend that electrical contractors see these regulations as a minimum standard, to work ‘from’ not ‘to’, and that the full testing of RCDs is still a best practice approach to ensure maximum safety and mitigate risk.

“With the deadline now passed, there is no more time for businesses to get up to speed on the new 18th Edition wiring regulations, so we’d urgently advise those that haven’t done so already to examine the amendment to truly understand how the changes work in practice and what your business may need to do to catch up. Following that, a third-party compliance specialist, such as Bureau Veritas, will be able to help to further unpick the changes and put in place recommendations to ensure compliance.”

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