The National wiring regulations committee will confirm the precise changes by the 1st November 2014 and these new changes will be published in the new book in January 2015.
So the changes will be published in January 2015 and from July 2015 all work carried out must comply with all the amendments in the book from this time. The new book will be yellow in colour which will be the third coloured book since the 17th edition wiring edition was first introduced in January 2008.
Here are some common questions many electricians are asking regarding the changes.
Do I have to update my 17th edition qualification?
The answer to this question is no you won’t have to update your 17th edition qualification as long as you currently hold a 17th edition course qualification the reason for this is because the changes are amendments only. In the past the only reason you may have had to update your qualification was if it changed from 16th edition to 17th edition. When this happened in the past City and Guilds went about introducing a course which could be completed in a day to update your qualification in order to comply with the changes. This also kept the costs down for those updating their qualifications.
What about City and Guilds and EAL, will they update their courses?
Yes they most certainly will update their current 17th edition course qualifications in the future which will take into account the changes that are currently being made to the 17th edition qualifications. More than likely it will be a few months after the new book is published containing all the changes that have been made, this will give them enough time to change their 17th edition courses.
The book keeps changing, why do they do this?
Well as technology moves forward and the environment changes it is necessary to keep up with these changes and so the introduction to new changes is needed this will include changes in design and verification of installations.
Are there any major changes?
Yes there will be one major change and that’s the numbering system. If the regulation happens to be a European CENELEC it will be changed to number 200 and if the regulation is a UK regulation the number will be 201.
Minor changes and definition changes what’s this?
Ok, so regarding definitions some of the old ways of defining a person will be changes for example the definitions used to be a competent person, skilled person and an ordinary person, each of these will be changed. So if you were defined as a competent person this will be changed to “a skilled person electrically” the previous definition would have been completely removed from the regulations.
Also every Zs value throughout BS7671 will be changed and the reason for this is that it’s changing to a new factor coming which is called Cmin and Cmin will reduce each of the current Zs values by 0.05%.
What about fire safety changes are there any?
The methods regarding escape route installations have been changed. No more can you rely on non metallic or plastic means of support which means plastic trays and plastic trunking. You still have the option of using it but it will have to be fixed with metal fixings to make sure it doesn’t come down. Another change is if you have used plastic ty raps in the past you will now have to use metal ty raps which will prevent cables form dropping down if a fire does occur. Consumer units regarding fires will also have to be changed, if it’s a consumer unit in a home then they will have to be made of non combustible material a good choice of this would be steel which is a ferrous metal this regulation though doesn’t come into force until January2016.
Are there any new sections?
Yes there are new sections within part 7 of BS7671 and these include external light installations and extra low voltage lighting. These sections have been brought from the main body of the regulations and they now have their own section within part 7.
So to sum up
The new book which will be yellow in colour is due to be published in January 2015 and from July 2015 all work that’s carried out will have to comply with the new regulations. If you currently have a 17th edition qualification then you will not have to take any more courses but you will have to comply with the changes from July 2015.
So it will be worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the new changes to make sure you’re ready when the time comes when everyone must comply with the changes. City and Guilds and EAL will also change their courses to keep up with the 17th edition changes and these courses will be introduced in 2015 probably a few months after they first introduce the changes in the new book in January.
So there you have it change is coming to the 17th edition wiring regulation in January 2015 and all work must comply with the changes from July 2015. Keep well informed with the changes to make sure you know exactly what’s happening.