The 18th Edition Wiring Regulations brought about a whole range of new rules to the electrical industry. The regulations set out a number of significant changes and guidance on protection against overvoltage. They also instructed on EV charging point installation and guaranteed the energy-efficiency of electrical installations. The rules went into effect on January 2019. As well as the significant nature of rule changes, there was an added element of complexity. In a survey conducted by Hager, a large portion of professional electricians admitted to not understanding all the changes. This, of course, poses a problem as registered electricians are the ones who are supposed to be the most knowledgeable in this subject area. If they find the 18th Edition difficult then it must be complicated! In this article, Sparks will endeavour to explain key parts of the 18th Edition Wiring Regs in layman's terms and help everyone understand the regulations more clearly. The sections of the 18th Edition that have caused the most confusion Hager’s research indicated that an incredible 45 percent of those in the electrical trade did not completely understand all the rule changes of the 18th Edition. An entire third of those surveyed said they would not be prepared to comply with the 18th Edition’s amendments. Two topics kept coming up in regards to complex changes: Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) and surge protection laws. Nearly half of respondents pointed to AFDDs as an issue they were unclear on, whilst almost a third cited surge protection as their main concern. An AFDD is designed to detect the presence of dangerous electrical arcs (prolonged discharges) and disconnect the circuit affected. Meanwhile, a surge is a transient overvoltage that lasts for a short duration and increases in voltage measured between two or more conductors. Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) protect electrical equipment from these transient overvoltages. What the 18th Edition has to say on SPDs and AFFDs Section 443 is very clear in outlining the importance of protection against overvoltages, and the entire section has been re-written in the 18th Edition. These changes include surge protection rules for all kinds of dwellings, except where the value of the property does not warrant the protection. This section states that overvoltage protection: shall be provided where the result of an overvoltage would affect different aspects; such as danger to life, public services, commercial or industrial activity and more The requirements also stipulate they are needed where there is a large number of co-located individuals, for instance, in social housing. This has greatly increased the need to install SPDs in all manners of facilities. Sparks sells all manners of SPDs that are compliant with the 18th Edition.Classification of SPDs and AFFDs - important details contractors must get right Confusion may arise from the different ‘types’ of SPDs which are available - for instance, the Hager 14 described above is classified as Type 2. Type 2 SPDs are used in primary distribution boards when there is no need for a Type 1 SPD. Type 1 SPDs can discharge only partial lighting current and, like the Type 2, are used mainly on primary distribution boards. However, unlike the Type 2, these SPDs do not offer an adequate amount of protection level to prevent overvoltage. They must be used in conjunction with Type 2 SPDs. Type 3 SPDs, however, have a relatively low discharge capacity. This means they are not used on primary distribution keyboards and only in a supplementary way - for ‘sensitive loads’. It is essential that contractors understand the different classifications of SPDs. Primary distribution keyboards provide and regulate power throughout your home through a multi-core run cable. The 18th Edition six months later - has the industry got to grips with it? Reaction to the changes made by the 18th Edition have been largely positive. Michael Kenyon, the technical engineer at Bureau Veritas, said: The introduction of the 18th Edition regulations has ushered in a new era of best practice for surge protection, EV charging point installation and energy efficiency. Michael goes on to say that these new rules on surge protection are making a huge impact in public sector buildings such as hospitals. Demand for charging points is massively on the rise, so it is essential that contractors have an understanding of how to test them. The initial benefit is the added peace of mind this knowledge of surge protection grants to hospitals. However, there are other benefits that are already being welcomed. Electrical installations made under 18th Edition guidelines are proven to be more eco-efficient. They have lessened their environmental impact and saved copious amounts of energy - and money - for public sector buildings. Mr Kenyon admits there have been some growing pains in administering all the 18th Edition regulations. However, he also believes that they are on the road to ‘best practice by achieving compliance’. It is his belief, and ours at Sparks too, that increased compliance with surge protection laws will improve electrical safety for years to come.
Hager 18th Edition Consumer Units
Hager Arc Fault Detection Device (AFDD)
Hager Ashley Junction Boxes
Hager Domestic Consumer Units
Hager Isolators TP&N
Hager Klik Marshalling Boxes
Hager MCBs, RCBOs, SPDs and AFDDs
Hager Plug-in Ceiling Roses
Hager RCDs and Contactors
Hager Surge Protection
Hager TP&N Distribution BoardsSee more
After speaking of the 3rd Amendment to the 17th Edition Regs (which came into full application in the beginning of 2016), we need to pay attention to what kind of consumer units we install in new built properties, HMOs, or when we replace a consumer unit. The main considerations with these new boards is the protection against thermal effects (protection against fire) for a longer period of time and the protection against electrical shock (via an RCD). It used to be that the consumer units could use a plastic enclosure, but starting from the 1st of January 2016 ALL the consumer units installed have to be of metal and need to have an RCD protection. Most of the consumer unit manufacturers came out with a range of Metal Consumer Units (RCD protected, fireproof), and in this article, we would like to introduce some of the most popular ones from MK and Hager. MK 10 Way Metal Consumer Unit (Amendment 3 Compliant) - Best Value for Money! The MK Sentry K7666sMET consumer unit is a 17th Edition Amendment 3 compliant metal board, a 16-way enclosure with 10 useable ways. It comes fully populated with 10 MCBs (3 x 6A, 2 x 16A, 4 x 32A, 1 x 40A) and it has a 100A switch disconnector.This metal consumer unit has a stylish design, curved, and it makes full use of the floating bus bar system, offering you ample wiring space. This unit comes in a white colored metal and comes pre-fitted with a switch disconnector and RCD together with all the necessary split-load cabling. The flexible design allows you to position the RCD to suit the required configuration. At Sparks this MK board is now at a reduced price - it is the best Amendment 3 consumer unit value for money! Hager Design 10 Consumer Units - Reliable and Supportive Hager came out with quite a few ranges of consumer units to comply with the third amendment to the 17th edition regulations, one of which is Hager Design 10. This range is designed for safety, installation, and aesthetics, and it is reliable and supportive. Here are some of the key points concerning these Amendment 3 compliant boards: Cable Space - Maximum cable space is available even with RCBOs fitted to make installation easier. Terminal bar - The top-mounted terminal rail makes the wiring of the neutral and earth connections neat and simple. Fixings - Multiple points allow the use of No.8 or No.10 fixings giving a range of fixing options. Full metal DIN rail - Minimised distortion to ensure the devices sit square and are not easily displaced. Snap-able busbar - Provides quick and easy configuration of circuits. Enjoy a video presentation of this great range from Hager below: See the entire range of Hager Design 10 - from 2-way to 20-way boards (all of them Amendment 3 Compliant and with 63A/100A switch disconnector incomer) at Sparks.
We have noticed a video recently put online by Hager outlining the main features and benefits of their consumer units, and after watching the 1.07 min video we thought that our readers and customers would also benefit from watching it. We have spoken extensively about the Hager Domestic and Commercial Consumer units on our blog, but there's always something new and special that we find out about them.Update: the video has been made private by Hager, but the main benefits and features of these boards from Hager still stand Hager Consumer Units - Features and Benefits When we talk about the consumer units from Hager, we mean especially the domestic distribution boards. Take a look at this short video and don't forget to read the comments below. Removable Top Wall - removes easily to provide cable access and re-seals to IP4X when used with the two foam strips provided. Cable Space - maximum cable space is available even with the RCBOs fitted so that the installation and the wiring would be much easier. The Terminal Bars - the top-mounted terminal rail makes the wiring of the neutral and earth connections easier and neater. Meter Tail Kit - an optional meter tail kit is available to make the wiring and termination on the incoming cables easier to install. Snap-able Busbar - a snap-able busbar provides a quick and simple configuration of the devices. You can purchase Hager Domestic Consumer Units via Sparks - or read more on our blog concerning these devices.