What to expect from the 18th Edition

With the 18th Edition BS 7671:2018 due to be launched in July here is an overview of the changes and updates that have recently been announced. As well as the changes to the regulations and chapters we have also noticed that there will be significant changes to the structure and layout of the book. The book now has a much larger contents section which should make it easier to navigate through the book to find a regulation, rather than using the existing fragmented, sectioned based multiple contents guide found in the 17th edition. Now onto the regulation changes, here is just some of what is predicted to be part of the changes that will be released in July*.    Part 1 Scope, object and fundamental principles Regulation 133.1.3 (Selection of equipment) has been modified and now requires a statement on the Electrical Installation Certificate. Chapter 41 Protection against electric shock Section 411 contains a number of significant changes. Some of the most noteworthy are:

  • The maximum disconnection times stated in Table 41.1 now apply for final circuits up to 63 A with one or more socket-outlets and 32 A for final circuits supplying only fixed connected current-using equipment (Regulation 411.3.2.2).
  • Regulation 411.3.3 has been revised and now applies to socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32A. There is an exception to omit RCD protection where, other than a dwelling, a documented risk assessment determines that RCD protection is not necessary.
  • A new Regulation 411.3.4 requires that, within domestic (household) premises, additional protection by an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA shall be provided for AC final circuits supplying luminaires.
  • Regulation 411.4.3 has been modified to include that no switching or isolating device shall be inserted in a PEN conductor.
Chapter 42 Protection against thermal effects
  • A new Regulation 421.1.7 has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents.
  • Regulation 422.2.1 has been redrafted. Reference to conditions BD2, BD3 and BD4 has been deleted. A note has been added stating that cables need to satisfy the requirements of the CPR in respect of their reaction to fire.
Chapter 44 Protection against voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances
  • Section 443, which deals with protection against overvoltages of atmospheric origin or due to switching, has been redrafted.
  • The AQ criteria (conditions of external influence for lightning) for determining if protection against transient overvoltages is needed are no longer included in BS 7671. Instead, protection against transient overvoltages has to be provided where the consequence caused by overvoltage (see Regulation 443.4)
(a) results in serious injury to, or loss of, human life, or (b) results in interruption of public services/or damage to and cultural heritage, or (c) results in interruption of commercial or industrial activity, or (d) affects a large number of co-located individuals. For all other cases, a risk assessment has to be performed in order to determine if protection against transient overvoltage is required. There is an exception not to provide protection for single dwelling units in certain situations. Chapter 46 Devices for isolation and switching - A new Chapter 46 has been introduced. This deals with non-automatic local and remote isolation and switching measures for the prevention or removal of dangers associated with electrical installations or electrically powered equipment. Chapter 52 Selection and erection of wiring systems
  • Regulation 521.11.201 which gives requirements for the methods of support of wiring systems in escape routes, has been replaced by a new Regulation 521.10.202. This is a significant change.
  • Regulation 521.10.202 requires cables to be adequately supported against their premature collapse in the event of a fire. This applies throughout the installation and not just in escape routes.
  • Regulation 527.1.3 has also been modified, and a note added stating that cables also need to satisfy the requirements of the CPR in respect of their reaction to fire.
Chapter 53 Protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring This chapter has been completely revised and deals with general requirements for protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring and with the requirements for selection and erection of the devices provided to fulfil such functions. Chapter 54 Earthing arrangements and protective conductors
  • Two new regulations (542.2.3 and 542.2.8) have been introduced concerning earth electrodes.
  • Two further new regulations (543.3.3.101 and 543.3.3.102) have been introduced.
These give requirements for the insertion of a switching device in a protective conductor, the latter regulation relating to situations where an installation is supplied from more than one source of energy. Chapter 55 Other equipment
  • New Regulation 559.10 refers to ground-recessed luminaires, the selection and erection of which shall take account of the guidance given in Table A.1 of BS EN 60598-2-13.
Part 6 Inspection and testing
  • Part 6 has been completely restructured, including the regulation numbering to align with the CENELEC standard.
Section 722 Electric vehicle charging installations
  • This section contains significant changes to Regulation 722.411.4.1 concerning the use of a PME supply.
  • The exception concerning reasonably practicable has been deleted.
  • Changes have also been made to requirements for external influences, RCDs, socket outlets and connectors.
Section 753 Floor and ceiling heating systems This section has been completely revised.
  • The scope of Section 753 has been extended to apply to embedded electric heating systems for surface heating.
  • The requirements also apply to electric heating systems for de-icing or frost prevention or similar applications, and cover both indoor and outdoor systems.
  • Heating systems for industrial and commercial applications complying with IEC 60519, IEC 62395 and IEC 60079 are not covered.
This is just a snapshot of the changes that have been announced but you can already see that there are some significant changes in the 18th Edition which will impact electricians on site. So this is more than a small amendment or update, and as such it is important that electricians update to the latest version of the 18th edition wiring regulations as soon as they can. You will have until January 2019 to complete the update but here are Brian Scaddan Electrical we already have lots of dates planned ready for the launch in July.

So why not get yourself prepared, pre-register now and reward yourself with a 10% off the total price! 

*changes as stated by the ECA https://www.eca.co.uk/updatemarch17?dm_i=36D7,NULO,4O1KJQ,2GAK5,1