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Discuss RCD protection for a temporary 16A commando socket outlet in the Commercial Electrical Advice area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Hi all,

Just a quick one regarding the need for RCD protection for socket outlets rated up to and including 32A.

I have been tasked to install temporary power in the form of a single 16A commando socket outlet for the purpose of feeding a boiler to maintain heating in a building owned by the prison service.
The existing boiler has been condemned and so, whilst the necessary changes are made to the existing boiler, a temporary boiler is to be HIAB'd into place external to the building and plumbed in as needed.
This temporary boiler requires a 16A supply from a commando socket outlet until the changes to the existing boiler are complete.
Once the changes are made, the temporary boiler is disconnected and HIAB'd out again.

The temporary socket outlet is then removed after all works on the boiler are complete.

The socket is only used for this single purpose and is wholly temporary.

Do I need to install RCD protection for this socket outlet considering the following requirements:

1. Socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32 A in locations where they are liable to be used by persons of capability BA1, BA3 or children (BA2, BA3)

2. Socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32 A in other locations

3. Mobile equipment with a rated current not exceeding 32 A for use outdoors

I personally don't feel it is necessary as the socket is for a single purpose, is temporary to be used only by the boiler engineers and will be removed after use.
The boiler manufacturer has stated that the boiler does not require RCD protection.

What are your thoughts guys?
 
For the cost of a 16A RCBO I'm amazed this thread is even a thing! But yes, it requires RCD protection. If for some reason this is a really big deal, you can circumvent the requirement by fitting a rotary isolator outlet instead and just hard wiring.
 
For the cost of a 16A RCBO I'm amazed this thread is even a thing! But yes, it requires RCD protection. If for some reason this is a really big deal, you can circumvent the requirement by fitting a rotary isolator outlet instead and just hard wiring.
I fully agree with you to be honest but the client is kicking up a fuss over costings so I'm looking at ways to circumvent this. Some of their distribution boards are 1980's era and the cost of adding an RCBO (if one can even be sourced) is problematic. I am likely going down the route of a 16A 1P+N+E 230V Interlocked Switched Socket with RCD Compartment IP44 for each install and they're moaning about the cost of that too!!

At the end of the day, my name is on the cert so therefore it has to be done correctly regardless of cost but these large businesses just see the cost and don't care about the safety side of it until something goes wrong.
 
I fully agree with you to be honest but the client is kicking up a fuss over costings so I'm looking at ways to circumvent this. Some of their distribution boards are 1980's era and the cost of adding an RCBO (if one can even be sourced) is problematic. I am likely going down the route of a 16A 1P+N+E 230V Interlocked Switched Socket with RCD Compartment IP44 for each install and they're moaning about the cost of that too!!

At the end of the day, my name is on the cert so therefore it has to be done correctly regardless of cost but these large businesses just see the cost and don't care about the safety side of it until something goes wrong.
You could also of course look at doing a small 2way enclosure for an RCD external to the panel and run cable from there - doesn't matter where the RCD actually is. That may well be cheaper on parts. There's no requirement for interlocks on commercial installs so any cheap 16a socket would theoretically do.
 
Sausages (just for tracking a min lol needed a word, I must be hungry)
You could also of course look at doing a small 2way enclosure for an RCD external to the panel and run cable from there - doesn't matter where the RCD actually is. That may well be cheaper on parts. There's no requirement for interlocks on commercial installs so any cheap 16a socket would theoretically do.
Not a bad idea actually. I just hate the fact that everything always has to come down to pennies when safety is should be the top priority before anything else. I wouldn't mind so much but these installs are funded by a very wealthy corporation so I guess shareholder profits trump all else! 🧐
Well I will spec an RCD protected install and see where it leads. I won't be installing anything other than that.
 
Sausages (just for tracking a min lol needed a word, I must be hungry)
A socket is a socket, and you have no control over who might disconnect the boiler for a few minutes while the work's going on to plug in some dubious equipment of their own.
Very true........👍
If you hard wire it and ADS is provided by an mcb or fuse then additional RCD protection is not required. The Certificate should state your responsibility stops at the boiler which would be covered by other standards anyway.
It's really difficult for me as the owner of the business to make that final decision as it could be catastrophic should I make an incorrect decision. I may seem like I am being overly dramatic about it but I have to be absolutely certain that I have covered all the bases. I know it should be a very straightforward decision and I fully understand your logic.

So if I chose to not install additional protection then I have to supply a risk assessment stating my reasons why is that correct. I will have to find a template for that online as I have not needed to do this before.
 
See, everybody has an opinion which varies and that's fair enough.

The installation satisfies clause 1 & 3:

1. Socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32 A in locations where they are liable to be used by persons of capability BA1, BA3 or children (BA2, BA3) - The socket outlet is for dedicated use and will not be used by other persons.

2. Socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32 A in other locations - Not sure about this

3. Mobile equipment with a rated current not exceeding 32 A for use outdoors - Although the boiler will be located outside, it can't really be classed as mobile equipment as it is a fixed structure that can only be moved by the use of a crane.

Each installation will be different so the requirements may change but this particular job requires a cable to be installed from a DB located in a kitchen at high level straight into a ceiling void. The cable will then need to come down an internal wall in the boiler room within trunking but then exit the trunking to be terminated into the commando socket outlet.

As long as I meet the 3 clauses and the cable is mechanically protected throughout its length then I should be good to not use an RCD. That make sense?
 
Sausages (just for tracking a min lol needed a word, I must be hungry)
2. essentially means places where ordinary persons, children and the disabled are not likely to be such as your boiler room.
The long and short of this is you are trying to justify not providing additional RCD protection because the client does not want the expense. One thing I certainly would not be doing is justifying a risk assessment, the basis of which would essentially be cost for omitting additional protection.
 
2. essentially means places where ordinary persons, children and the disabled are not likely to be such as your boiler room.
The long and short of this is you are trying to justify not providing additional RCD protection because the client does not want the expense. One thing I certainly would not be doing is justifying a risk assessment, the basis of which would essentially be cost for omitting additional protection.
Yeah true. All this effort to try to justify not using an RCD when I could've just included an RCD from the start. 🤣
 

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