Wiring Rules 2018: Part 2, Section 4
Downlights are still a concern, lifts are classified in two types and general equipment requirements get an update.
These are only some of the topics changed in the ‘Selection and installation of electrical equipment‘, or Section 4. This is the important business-end of the installation, where the energy so far distributed in Sections 2 and 3 is finally put to use; the purpose for which the whole installation exists in the first place.
The selection and installation of luminaires, downlights, electric vehicle charging points and other equipment items require care and attention.
There are no less than 15 pages on luminaires, most dealing with recessed downlights which are still seen as a risk area. Considerable detail, much of it from work done in NZ, has been included as guidance for electricians.
Compliance with IP ratings is also of concern. Some electricians are unaware that untested modifications such as drilling for a mounting bolt or cable entry can affect IP integrity with serious consequences. This can create considerable problems for themselves and their customers.
Lifts are now also in the spotlight. Gone are the days of ‘in case of fire do not use lift’. Many of buildings rely on lifts to get fire fighters up to the fire and get occupants down (especially those requiring assistance).
So, there are now two types: emergency lifts and (just plain) lifts.
Because not every lift in a building needs to be an emergency lift, requirements for the two types are different. Emergency lifts have to be installed in accordance with ‘safety services’ in Section 7 and lifts installed in accordance with this Section 4.
Requirements for the installation of electric vehicle charging outlets are now included.
The effect of these can be considerable. The electricity needed to replace the energy from 1L of petrol would affect the maximum demand, cable size and socket-outlet size a great deal when based on a charging window (when the vehicle is at home) that may be only 12 hours a day.
Changes listed in the ‘preface’ include:
- revision to figures for IP ratings;
- revision on use of installation couplers;
- inclusion of electric vehicle charging outlets;
- revision to lighting equipment and accessories;
- enhanced and updated safe installation of recessed luminaires;
- clarification of the location of accessories near cooking appliances;
- isolation requirements of gas appliances;
- clarification for air-conditioning and heat pumps;
- clarification of protection from weather locations;
- location and requirements for electric vehicle charging added;
- isolation of individual hot water systems added;
- hazardous areas at gas-relief vents; and
- installation of non-emergency lifts.
Substantial changes from the 2007 edition in Part 2 Section 4 in page order include:
- Under ‘selection and installation’, the previous note has been renumbered Note 1 with Notes 2, 3, 4 added. These reference electrical equipment installation requirements near cook tops, in damp areas and for NZ-only situations. (p213)
- Under ‘external influences’, the previous note is renumbered Note 1 with notes 2 and 3 added referencing electrical installation requirements for purpose-made anti-condensation and water drains that maintain IP ratings. There is a statement that drilling a hole in the bottom will destroy the IP rating.
- Two paragraphs are added dealing with weather protection within a 30o building edge, installation requirements outside of these ‘protected areas’, and special requirements for metering enclosures and line-connector boxes. Figures are also included. (p214-215)
- For ‘installation wiring connected by an installation coupler(s)’, the requirements ‘general’ are slotted in before ‘socket outlets’. The requirements for the couplers are sets out. ‘Socket-outlets’ are slotted in after ‘installation wiring connected by an installation coupler(s)’ from after ‘equipment wiring’ to before it. The text of ‘socket-outlets’ and ‘socket-outlets in installation wiring’ is considerably revised. Users should make themselves aware of the new requirements. (p220-221)
- The clause ‘other connection devices’ in the 2007 edition (p183) is deleted.
- Under ‘equipment wiring’ (e) the requirement is added that installation wiring passing through luminaires must not suffer damage or deterioration from luminaire UV radiation. This was at least in part brought about by use of wiring not resistant to UV thru fluorescent fittings. (p222)
- Under socket-outlets (a) a reference to AS/NZS60864 is added and a new heading ‘socket-outlets – alternative pin configurations’ added with the requirements more clearly defined. Subject to the socket-outlets meeting all these requirements they (e.g.: sockets with other-country pin configurations) can be used in any electrical installation in Australia, but not in NZ where the limitations and additional requirements set out must be complied with. (p223-224)
- A new heading ‘low-voltage fixed socket outlets’ has been added. This prohibits socket-outlets also having a combination telco, data, television, radio or similar wiring system socket-outlet. (P224)
- A new heading ‘socket-outlets for electric vehicle charging’ is added referencing Appendix P and setting out the NZ requirement for installation of these outlets. (p224)
- Under ‘location’, ‘accessibility’, a note has been added under (a) for Standards applicable to socket-outlets mounted in a floor. (p225)
- Under ‘lighting equipment and accessories’ a new heading ‘lamp holders, including lamp holders incorporated in a luminaire’ is added. There is a change to Figure 4.9 and an exception to the requirement for the warning sign where specifically identified luminaires are exclusively installed. The previous heading ‘installation precautions’ has been renamed ‘installation’ and precautions changed to requirements. The requirements are substantially changed. (p232-243)
- The previous heading ‘smoke and fire detectors’ is changed to ‘smoke alarms’ and the term ‘fire detectors’ deleted from the text. (p243)
- Under ‘cooking appliances’, ‘switching devices’ the text is considerably changed and Australia-only and NZ-only clauses added. A new figure is also included. (p243-245)
- Under ‘water heaters’ a requirement for an independent isolation switch for each heater adjacent – but not on – the heater is now included. (p246)
- Under ‘electricity converters’, ‘selection and installation’ item (d) is revised to show the current Standards series that applies. (p250)
- Under ‘overcurrent protection’, ‘general’, the text is changed with no real ramifications except that RCDs are now under their own heading. There is a more detailed explanation and a requirement for the correct type to suit the waveform of the converter to be selected. (p252)
- Under ‘gas appliances and equipment’ there are new Australia-only and NZ-only requirements for the means of isolation via a plug in a socket-outlet (with a separate switch if the socket-outlet is not accessible) or where an isolating switch is included. (p261)
- Under ‘gas cylinders containing heavier than air gases’, ‘hot particles and surfaces’ requirements have been changed, Australia-only and NZ-only. Additional figures are included. (p261-264)
- A further paragraph is added under ‘air-conditioning and heat pump systems’ requiring a warning notice adjacent to the isolators for these systems if there are other points of isolation for ancillary associated devices. A second exception is added. (p264-265)
- A new heading ‘lifts’ is included. This requires lifts to comply with AS/NZS3000. As a point of interest, users should note there are now different requirements for lifts, emergency lifts and (presumably) non-emergency or (normal) lifts. This has come about at least in part due to many buildings being too tall for evacuation without lifts. So, the old ‘in case of fire do not use lifts’ is no longer the case for many buildings. Imagine people needing assistance or in wheel-chairs faced with 20 or more flights of steep stairs. Consequently, when there is more than one lift, building designers, owners or occupiers must nominate the type. Both types are to be installed with the requirement of the National Construction Code (in Australia) or the New Zealand Building Code. In AS/NZS3000 the emergency lifts are now treated as safety services, and the other lifts typically as any other part of the installation. (p265-266)