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Andy M

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Here's another for you to muse over.
( i can easily look this up , but i wanted to know what you guys thought)
Was asked to do a periodic inspection report today and being as my public liability insurance does give me proffesional indemnity upto 10 per cent of my turn over i thought why not!!

No RCD protection on the socket outlets, code 1 or 2

As none of the sockets are positioned such that you'd expect someone to run a lead outside the equipotential zone i thought code 2 (requires imrovement), However if someone wanted to run one outside, to maybe vacumn the car (no garden just paved area), they would have to plug it in somewhere so maybe a code 1, but then again ?

Bottom line is i'll be recommending a mains swap anyway for other reasons (IPX2, more than 1 point of isolation, no spare ways, 17th regs is 'round the corner so an upgrade by fitting rcbo's would be easier and so on)

What do you usually put?
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
I'll be interested to see what people think on this one too! Surely not a Code 1? Comment on the report though that none of the sockets should be used for supplying hand held equipment outside, unless used in conjunction with an RCD adaptor.

However, if there was a socket actually installed OUTSIDE without an RCD, then I would say that would be a Code 1, as it is bound to be used outside the equipotential zone!


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  • #3
Code 2 or you could even go for a 4

Andy M

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  • #4
I went for a 2 - report looks good currently "free" trialing some software from tysoft


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  • #5
why go for any number? EasyFox, if its a 4 then its not in accordance with the current edition of the regs, but which bit?

As things stand, whilst it may be desirable for the sockets to be RCD protected, there is no REQUIREMENT. Lets be honest, you have answered the question because there are no sockets "reasonably expected to feed equipment outdoors"!

Of course that will all change with the 17th edition, but that is a different matter!


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  • #7

dont mean to be arugumentative, but if you give it a 2, then on what justification?

Which regulation has been contravened? If you give it a 2, or any number for that instance, you must be able to justify your actions, so please, enlighten me!!!


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  • #8
for a PIR a Code 2 is for "Items that require improvement", e.g. damaged accessories, supplementary bonding not adequate...that's my understanding anyway :)

Personally would always code 2 if there's no rcd for downstairs sockets (code 1 for TT), as I believe it does need improving, assuming it's a domestic of course.

Paraphrasing 471-16-01 "a socket-outlet which may be reasonably expected to supply portable equipment outdoors should have a 30mA RCD" I'd say that quite a few ground floor sockets could be and - in my experience - often are used to supply equipment outdoors. So you could in fact argue that it does contravene a reg.

To quote the genius that is Forrest Gump, "...that's all I have to say about thaAat" :)
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  • #9

Yes you could argue that, but you could equally argue that it doesnt.

The implication of your statement is that you would always code 2 downstairs sockets without RCD's on a TN system.

The householder, on recieving the PIR, generally, would then employ you (or another sparks) to upgrade because 'they HAVE to have an RCD'. However they dont HAVE to have an RCD

My house for example, I have an RCD protected outside socket. My downstairs ring sockets doe not NEED to be on an RCD, because they would not REASONABLY expect to feed equipment outdoors. Many terraced houses i know, they step straight out the front door onto the pavement and have a small concrete yard at the back - what are they going to feed outdoors?

There are obviously exceptions either way, but i am very concious that are a number of people on this site that are new to the trade, and are often here to learn

We experienced people , i think, need to be careful that what we say can be interpretaed by less experienced installers as gospel.

And here endeth the sermon regarding RCD protected sockets!!!!


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  • #10
That's the thing though, isn't it, about the Regs to a certain degree - a lot comes down to interpretation and subjective opinion - for example - what sockets could reasonably be expected to feed outdoor equipment!

Wouldn't it be useful if there was a publication stating problems and what code they should be?
I know someone stated that the codes are in the onsite guide to the building regs, but are they in the bs7671?? what about the GN3? onsite guide?

regards Luke


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  • #13
Not seen the codes laid down anywhere, apart from on the PIR. Its down to the objectivity of the inspector.

And yes under the 17th it will be pretty much all on RCD's anyway!


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  • #14
There is some guidance in the NIC's 'Inspection, Testing and Certifcation', which gives about one page of examples - but only an A5 page, so by no means exhaustive! Nothing in GN3 - which seems ridiculous!


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  • #15
have a good list that I was given by 2391 tutor few yrs back...v.helpful indeed....don't know where it comes from tho i'm afraid....altho have seen same list in IET forum....will try and find again and paste here for ya... :)

Below are examples of departures from BS 7671 listed under the recommended code.
Only one code per departure Is allowed
Code 1. Items that require urgent attention
1 Main bonding to incoming extraneous services (eg,water, steel etc) not evident
2 Means of earthing to the premises not evident
3 Incorrect polarity
4 Barriers, blanks or insulation missing from equipment, allowing access to live parts (IP2X not
5 Class 1 items of electrical equipment installed on circuits without a circuit protective conductor
6 Extraneous-conductive-part being used as means of earthing, e.g. water or gas pipe
7 Circuit cables overloaded to such an extent that they may pose a fire risk (cables max operating
current exceeded)
8 Measured /calculated earth loop values that exceed max disconnection time allowed and there is not evidence of any supplementary method of protection
9 Touch voltage too high on a TT installation (refer to Regulation 413-02-20)
10 Insulation resistance values less than 0.5 M? on any circuit, 2 M? on a combined installation, or
0.25 M? on a SELV/PELV circuit
11 Fixed heating generating equipment focused on, or adjacent to, combustible material
13 Inadequate fault current protection of cables
14 Inadequate fault breaking capacity of protective device
15 Green/yellow insulated or a bare CPC in a twin & earth cable used as a live conductor.
16 Neutral to earth faults on a system
17 Wiring or equipment connection that could result in overheating
18 Socket outlets not provided with RCD protection on a TT installation
19 Socket outlet, without the defined method of protection (see Regulation 601-08), installed in a room containing a bath of shower
20Touring caravan points supplied via a PME supply

Code 2 - Items that require improvement
1 Electrical connections not within a suitable enclosure for preventing ingress of moisture or solid
2 CPC not provided on cirouit(s) supplying insulated or Class n equipment
3 Supplementary earth equipotential bonding in bath /shower room not evident, or has been omitted on some items may require it
4 Supplementary earth equipotential bonding not carried out between equipment in Zones A ,B & C of a swimming pool installation
5 Electrical connections not contained within a suitable enclosure having Class P fire characteristics
6 Damaged equipment, unless that damage allows access to live parts.
7 Cables installed outside of mechanical protection zones without additional protection
8 Socket outlets provided for use of 230 volt hand held equipment on a construction site.
9 Total leakage current on a circuit supplying IT equipment has not been allowed for, as required by Section 607
10 RCD protection not provided for socket outlets that may reasonably be expected to supply
portable equipment outdoors.
11 Insufficient detail on Distribution Board Schedules
12 Isolators not identified
13 Voltage Warning Notice not evident on equipment where the operating voltage exceeds 230 volts
14 RCD Test Notice not provided
15 Cable(s) has inadequate means of support
16Cable entries to equipment/enclosure are not provided with mechanical damage protection
for cables
17 Excessive sheath removed from cable(s), resulting in exposure of insulated cores outside of
18 Earth electrode connection inadequately protected against mechanical damage

Code3 - Items that require farther investigation to resolve
These are items where some of the installation or circuit integrity cannot be readily assessed during the inspection.

Code 4 - Items that do not comply to the current requirements and is not unsafe
1. Main bonding conductors not sized in accordance with the current edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations.
2. Supplementary earth equipotential bonding in a room containing a bath or shower, does not meet with all the requirements of Section 607 in the current edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations
3. CPC identified green and not green /yellow
4. Unsleeved CPC evident at equipment/accessory connection point
5. Periodic Inspection and Testing Notice not provided
6. Periodic Inspection and Testing Notice inadequately completed
7. "Safety Do Not Remove" labels not evident at earth connection points
8. One RCD used to protect all circuits within an installation
9. Discrimination not achieved between protective devices where necessary to meet requirements


enjoy :)
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  • #16
Cheers for that Grae,

will probably print that off and use it a guide for my 2391 students.




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  • #17
That's great - I've printed it off already! Thanks.

Andy M

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  • #18
Thanks I have printed it off also.

Out off interest, i have been told by the NIC that 16th and 17th(when they come out) will both be current until july (but you mustn't pick bits out of both, just work to one or the other) So can you still do a PIR to the 16th until then? i would think not, so do we all put PIRs on hold untill we have had chance to fully digest the changes? i guess some of you guys are already up to speed?


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  • #19

PIR's are going to be fun

There will be a hell of a lot of code 4's

i would still PIR to the 16th - its still a valid document, and anyway, the GN3 based on BS7671:2008 isnt out yet (I have heard Oct for the new OSG!) so you wont have a guidance note for the 17th edition anyway!


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  • #20
whats to stop you throwing an extension lead out of the top window lol

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