BS 7671 18th Edition Wiring Regulations: What’s new?

With the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations due to be published next year, we have an insight into what some of the key changes included in BS 7671 are and the expected dates to be aware of.

BS 7671 Wiring Regulations are mostly based on the IEC (International Electrotechnical Committee) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical standardisation) standards. With every update made to BS 7671, a committee of experts and professional always considers any recent updates made to the International and European electrical installation standards.

Recently updates have been made to the IEC and CENELEC standards, which presents the perfect timing for the Wiring Regulations to be updated and harmonised.

The 18th Edition also includes a brand new section based around energy efficiency and the technology to install smart devices.

Overvoltage protection

Clause 443, which is the protection of electrical installation against transient overvoltages, is one update linked to the recently newly amended International and European standards.

Overvoltage protection refers to a surge protection device to protect from large disturbances of atmospheric origin, like lightning.

It is expected that protection against transient overvoltage will have to be supplied where the outcomes caused by overvoltage affects the following:

  • Human life (hospitals and medical facilities, safety services)
  • Public Services and Cultural Heritage (loss of public services, IT centres and museums)
  • Commercial or industrial activity (farms, industries, hotels, banks, etc)

For anything else, a risk assessment would have to be carried out in order to decide if protection against transient overvoltage is needed.

Fire protection

Increased fire protection for electrical installations were part of the 17th Edition 3rd Amendment update, but the 18th Edition has further improved fire protection requirements.

Arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) will be advised, in order to counteract the risk of an electrical fires starting in a final circuit of a fixed installation, which could be the cause of currents from the arc faults.

Section 753 changes – Heating

Section 753 is expected to be expanded further in the 18th Edition to include embedded electric heating systems for surface heating.

This section will apply to electric heating systems for de-icing and frost prevention, and will also include heating systems for floors, roofs, walls, ceiling, stairs, roadways, etc.

Energy efficiency – New Part 8

With the UK trying to reduce its overall energy consumption, it is fitting that the 18th Edition would incorporate energy efficiency measures in a brand new section of the Wiring Regulations.

The section aims to ensure that smart and energy conscious electrical installations are safe and given the same level of service.

It will also cover how installations will be awarded points for their “energy efficiency performance levels”. The points are added up along with points for “efficiency measures”, which the installer can then give the electrical installation an overall efficiency class (EIEC0 to EIEC4).

Customers will be able to request certain energy efficiency measures to be included in their electrical installation during a draft proposal.

The brand new section will also be covering various topics, such as: electric vehicles, smart metering, lighting, cable losses (loss of energy through cable), transformer losses (loss of energy through the transformer) and power-factor correction (how efficient the power generated is being converted into useful energy).

18th Edition date

18th Edition will be released on 1st July 2018, with the aim of being implemented on 1st January 2019.

Until then, the 17th Edition will still be in full effect and you will still need your 17th Edition for any electrical work you wish to carry out.

We have been in contact with NICEIC, ELECSA, EAL and City & Guilds for further updates and dates, and will keep you updated when they happen.

Keep an eye out on our blog for any new 18th Edition updates in the future months!

If you want to read more about energy efficiency and going green, then take a look at our report into if there are enough electric charging points for electric cars in the UK!

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