Electrical Faults Which Are Prone To Affect The Home-Based Electrical System

This article is designed to offer you some valuable information on common inadequacies within a domestic electrical installation.

Although electrical Inspections are usually conducted by any competent electrician with the correct equipment, remedial works, particularly notifiable ones will need to be conducted by a part P qualified electrician and the appropriate building controllers notified.

Should your electrician be a member of any of the below competent persons schemes, they are allowed to self certify the installation.

Competent persons schemes members.

British Standards Institution (BSI)

EC Certification Limited / ELECSA

NAPIT Registration Limited (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers)

NICEIC Group Limited

Common fault No.1 – Lack of RCD protection on fuseboard.

One of the commonest defects with domestic electrical systems is the lack of RCD protection on your consumer unit. The latest Wiring Regulations BS 7671 came into force at the end of June 2008, requiring a lot more extensive provision for RCD (residual circuit protection) of both domestic and non-domestic dwellings. The practicalities of meeting those requirements for protection are varied and too numerous to list within article but examples of the implications are below.

All power sockets sockets from 13Amp – 20Amp to be used by 'ordinary persons' should normally be protected by a 30mA RCD.

In bathrooms for instance RCD protection is now required for all circuits.

In summary, you will discover a number of approaches to fuse board design to fulfill the latest regulations, some of which utilize traditional RCD main switch consumer units and split load consumer units, whilst others rely on the new style of dual RCD protected consumer units. In general the use of RCDs and RCBOs is now greater and there is mostly a trend towards larger consumer units with more ways available.

Common fault No.2 – Partial or incomplete bonding.

Electric shocks attributable to faulty appliances and charged metallic objects may be fatal. Therefore it is of paramount importance all metallic items like gas and water pipes within a property are properly earthed in order for electricity to be dispersed safely. Bonding is the term used for connecting all metallic items that usually do not normally carry a current (pipes etc) within a property, and to the mains earth to prevent electric shocks.

In each electrical installation, mains bonding conductors (earthing wires) are required to connect to the main earthing terminal for the installation of these following items:

metal water service pipes
metal gas installation pipes
other metal service pipes and ducting
metal central heating and air con systems
exposed metal structural parts of the building
lightning protection systems

Common fault NO.3 – Inappropriate fittings in bathroom.

For Electrical safety, bathrooms pose a higher risk of electrocution due to the proximity of water. Electrical appliances commonly found here will need to demonstrate higher levels of protection in compliance with section 601 in the new wiring regulations.

Lighting
Extractor fans
Shaver sockets
Towel rails
Electrical equipment used in bathrooms must not be adversely effected by environmental factors.
Condensation
Humidity / steam
Drops of water
Sprays from showers

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