Wiring Rules 2018: An introduction from EL001 chairman Gary Busbridge
Technological developments and input from stakeholders make revision of the industry bible quite a task. Gary Busbridge reports on the 2018 update.
By now I trust that all stakeholders in the electrical industry have their own genuine copy of the 2018 Wiring Rules.
Unfortunately, a couple of counterfeit versions have been floating around. This is very disappointing but par for the course in these times of non-conforming products.
It has been a long ride since the 2007 edition. The revision, which started about seven years ago, has been the focus of many long debates at committee level. Our first meetings were about setting the scope of the revision, with all parties providing information and detail on changes and additions.
Technological and work practice changes were required, and there was also a call for more clarity in the Wiring Rules.
The EL001 committee has about 35 members from all sectors of the industry. The representation includes unions, electrical contracting and engineering associations, educators, regulators, consumer advocates, manufacturers, testing and certification specialists, and network associations in Australia and New Zealand.
About 20% of the members hail from the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Thanks go to our hard-working Standards Australia project managers and to the committee for all their intense hard work to bring this publication to completion.
This was also a ‘first’ in that many members took the proposals for change and clarity to the electrical industry, in essence to get crucial feedback. Much information was gleaned, helping us to finesse the changes as much as possible before the public comment phase.
Ah, but the best laid plans … there was an unprecedented number of public comments to that draft, and I thank all of you in the industry for your input.
Unfortunately, the process for adding comments was a little clumsy and many comments were not registered. However, there were more than 2000 comments – huge by any measure – and we tried our best to deal with them.
Implementing more RCDs in buildings is seen as the big-ticket item, but the addition of electric vehicle charging, arc fault detection and DC installations is necessary to keep abreast of emerging technologies.
The loss of power due to disaster – and potential effects on the aged, infirm or disabled – are important matters and we have added some detail.
Further detail on discrimination and selectivity of control devices has also been provided.
There are about 200 changes or additions, many providing clarity for everyday work practices. To make things easier a red asterisk on the left side of the page indicates the changes.
Rest assured that work has started on an amendment to add many of the public comments (made as the revision was under way) and feedback from the release of the 2018 edition. Most of these comments were parked during the process, as they were seen to be out of scope and needed much research.
No rest for the wicked, they say. The EL001 committee is facing the challenge to continue providing up-to-date and technologically advanced detail for AS/NZS 3000.