Getting up to speed in a new era

Paul Collins, Technical and Training Manager at Hager, highlights areas of concern and provides help for electrical professionals coming to terms with the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.

Following the mandatory introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations on January 1st this year, much focus has been placed on how the industry will undertake its responsibilities to ensure future installations remain compliant.

Two of the key areas which have been subject to a high degree of scrutiny have been surge protection and the use of AFDDs, and Hager’s team of experts has been busy helping electrical professionals better understand the new regulations. In addition, the need to get up to speed remains paramount, as exclusive research from Hager reveals that many in the industry do not yet feel fully prepared for the new regulatory landscape.

Be sure on surge protection

As far as surge protection is concerned, the 18th Edition seeks to simplify previously issued guidance so that there is clarity about what needs to be considered for the installation of surge protection devices.

In overview, the regulations state that protection against short, disruptive, transient or excessive voltage levels should be provided where the consequence of an overvoltage could be damaging to human life, interrupt public services or adversely affect commercial or industrial activities.

An example would be the strong recommendation to fit surge protection devices for installations exposed to transients and needed to protect sensitive and expensive electrical equipment such as TVs, PCs, alarms and other essential household appliances.

The surge protection device should, therefore, be fitted as close as possible to the incomer with the shortest, straightest cable links between the circuit protection device and the surge protection device.

Containing all the answers to the requirements, Hager’s surge protection kit includes a circuit protection device, surge protection device and all the relevant busbars and cables.

The perfect answer

Design 50, Hager’s market-leading consumer unit, not only offers clean aesthetics and numerous design options for seamless integration into the home; it is also compliant with the new 18th Edition standard when it comes to surge protection.

Providing peace-of-mind for both homeowners and electrical professionals, compliant solutions such as Design 50 can help overcome the issue of potential damage that transient overvoltages can inflict upon prized and popular electrical equipment.

AFDDs for added protection

The new regulations regarding Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) say that arc fault detection devices are recommended as a means of providing additional protection against fire caused by arc faults in AC final circuits. It is another level of protection for electrical circuits and further improves the safety standards for homes and commercial electrical installations.

An AFDD offers enhanced protection to complement measures already in place, as they are designed to detect low level hazardous arcing which other devices such as circuit breakers, fuses and RCDs are not able to detect.

If used, the AFDD should be placed at the origin of the circuit to be protected, and some primary examples of where such devices can be used include:

  • Premises with sleeping accommodation
  • Locations with a risk of fire due to the nature of processed or stored materials, such as wood working shops or stores on combustible materials
  • Locations with combustible constructional materials such as wooden buildings
  • Fire propagating structures
  • Locations housing irreplaceable goods

We’re here to help

Following the introduction of the new wiring regulations, we understand through our own research that many electrical contractors still do not feel ready for the mandatory changes. We’ve gathered feedback from across the industry and we continue to listen to electricians’ concerns regarding the changes.

Any electrical professionals who feel they need more support can access help and advice from Hager. For example, our 18th Edition Hub is home to several ‘at a glance’ flyers that cover topics ranging from overload protection to types of RCDs, while our training academy hosts several 18th Edition themed training courses at our Telford HQ throughout the year that have proven to be very popular.

For more information, click here

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