16 Apr Electrical legal requirements in 2019
The legal requirements for domestic and commercial electrical work in 2019 differ from those of just a few years ago. There is now increased obligation on contractors to ensure the quality of electrical installations and testing.
This has mostly come about as a result of BS 7671:2018, which sets out requirements for electrical installations effective from January 2019.
BS 7671:2018 ‘Requirements for Electrical Installations’ as published in the IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition sets out over 20 changes over the 17th edition. These have been put in place to ensure a stricter standard for installation.
The most important changes are:
- Protection from shock. Changes relating to protecting equipotential bonding, disconnection times and safety.
- Protection from thermal effects. Changes relating to protecting electrical installations from rapid changes in temperature. Also, a new recommendation has been made for use of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in installations using ARC current.
- Protection against voltage disturbances. A new regulation stipulating transient over-voltage protection must be installed in certain cases. This largely applies to industrial and commercial installations drawing big power.
- Inspection and testing. A certificate is required for new fixed installation work or following any additions or alterations to an existing installation which involves new circuits. An electrical installation certificate must be issued to verify the design and testing of the system to comply with BS 7671:2018.
- Energy efficiency. No regulation as such but recommendations for the design of fixed installations to improve energy efficiency. An important consideration for industrial and commercial consumers.
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
In addition, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 still come into play with electrical installations and testing. These are due an update but there are no plans for an update soon or in the future that we know of.
The statutory documents of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 are considered applicable to electrical installations and the testing of electrical equipment. They are very lengthy, so we’ll link to them here. But in a nutshell:
- All systems must be designed to prevent danger
- Electrical equipment must be sufficient to meet demands
- Conductors must be adequately insulated
- Adequate measures such as earthing must be taken
- Adequate measures against excess current must be taken
There are many more, but you get the idea: The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 are relevant to employers but also contractors who install and test electrical work. Contractors need to understand their customer’s obligations to design, install, and test a safe installation or modify an existing installation to any means.
Part P of the building regulations
Since 2005, all electrical work in dwellings in England and Wales must meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations. Part P is designed to make electrical installations safe for the end user. Compliance with Part P is a legal obligation, although not all electrical work is notifiable.
The law states electrical work is notifiable if:
- The work involves the installation of a new circuit
- The work involves the replacement of a fuse box
- The work involves the alteration or addition of a circuit in a special location. A special location is a wet room. Think bathroom, shower room, swimming pool.
Electricians have a duty of care for customers and Part P helps ensure they meet that obligation. You should only ever hire an electrical contractor who is capable of meeting the obligations set out under Part P. The electrician should be certified to work with such installations. You should be given an Electrical Installation Certificate or, where applicable, a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate after the work is completed.
We meet all legal requirements
We are a professional and well-established contractor. As an NICEIC approved contractor, you can be confident that all work carried out is fully tested and certified to comply with current BS (IEE Regulations) and Part P of the Building Regulations. For a quote on electrical work, call us on 0113 8941968. Thank you.