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Posted By Topic: Is a RCD required back to back power point

Slowfingers
Jan 28 2014 23:37

Hi experts - I don't have my reg book could one or all let me know if a RCD is required when installing a new power point at the back of an existing power point in a domestic home... cheers
   

Russ1
Jan 29 2014 06:59

With only very few exceptions the answer is yes, RCD is required.


   

Huntly
Jan 29 2014 07:04

Yes crazy as it sounds instead of a job costing $100 now costs over $200 can get tricky explaining to a customer who has never needed it in the past
   

Slowfingers
Jan 29 2014 18:59

Thanks guys - amazing! I've always put one on because you're putting new wiring in, then another sparky mate says "na we don't and we won't"..... he quoted a regulation, which I can't remember... and his interpretation hence my query cheers:)
   

AlecK
Jan 30 2014 08:28

Maybe he's just out of date.
The requirement came in in 2010.
   

BubbaB
May 27 2017 18:24

Russ1, exceptions?
   

BubbaB
May 27 2017 18:25

Also would you need to have ALL the power outlets and lighting points then protected by RCD's to bring installation up to code?
   

ppaw1965
May 27 2017 19:44

No. Just what you did needs to be protected. But realistically you would at least cover the whole circuit from the board if you can. You could just fit a RCD outlet if you wanted.
   

BrianW
May 27 2017 22:21

No Bubba, completely incorrect. As stated above, you only have to ensure the work You have done is compliant with the current regs.

The rest of the installation only has to comply with the regs under which it was installed, and not your problem.
   

mowgli
May 27 2017 22:48

"The rest of the installation only has to comply with the regs under which it was installed, and not your problem."

Don't forget that ESR73A makes specific parts of the installation your problem on every job.
   

ShaneR
May 28 2017 08:38

"Don't forget that ESR73A makes specific parts of the installation your problem on every job."

Can you provide more details?


In ESR73A the only thing I could see that needed to be checked outside the circuit being worked on is "main earthing system"?




   

mowgli
May 28 2017 09:03

ShaneR,
Pick any old house where the main earth was attached to the pipework. You install a new socket then during testing discover that the main earth is floating. You can't connect without fixing the main earthing system. Similarly if the SERF is cracked then you have to replace before you can be satisfied that it is safe to connect. Checking polarity if you discover the main neutral has gone high impedance then you have to fix before you can connect the "$100 add a socket" job. Hopefully you allowed for these possibilities when quoting or otherwise have an understanding client.

We may not be obliged to upgrade but we have to be concerned with the integrity of the installation before we can connect and complete the job.
   

ShaneR
May 28 2017 09:46

Point taken

It could get a little subjective........

In the worst case scenario we isolate the circuit and install a $100 power point. We then find a fault that is electrically unsafe but not to the imminent danger level.

At that point we advise the owner of the problem. Leave the circuit we have worked on un-livened. Then leave

This is the minimum requirement?


   

ShaneR
May 28 2017 09:51

I guess my point is how much liability is there on equipment we don't work on even if we do identify it as electrically unsafe? (Outside of imminent danger)
   

rarrar
May 28 2017 10:31

why check the main earth, there is no requirement to and it can only bring you greif
   

AlecK
May 28 2017 11:00

" You install a new socket then during testing discover that the main earth is floating. You can't connect without fixing the main earthing system. Similarly if the SERF is cracked then you have to replace before you can be satisfied that it is safe to connect. "

You don't even bother checking to see if the SERF is cracked or otherwise unfit. It's non-compliant to use a SERF to protect the bit of new cable you installed; as SERFs are not allowed to be used for either short circuit or fault protection.
And since there's also a need to fit RCD protection for added sockets; it never was a "$100 job" in the first place.
   

mowgli
May 28 2017 11:49

AlecK good point. A poor example on my part but your reply is consistent with the point I was making.

If the client accepts a quote to install a gpo for $100 and we've cut a hole and installed one. Implicit in the quote is that the gpo will be livened and available for use. If we didn't do out homework then any additional cost should be on us. The client may well have decided not to install the gpo if they knew up front it would cost $250. Unfair to expect them to pay for our stuff up.
   

mowgli
May 28 2017 12:08

"why check the main earth, there is no requirement to and it can only bring you greif"
How else do you confirm the presence of a main earthing system? You've run a trailing earth to check polarity. No trouble really to check that the MEC is connected to the mass of earth.
   

mowgli
May 28 2017 12:19

The requirement in ESR73A is to "verify that there is a main earthing system." Verififiction of a main earthing system is covered 3000 Section 8.
   

AlecK
May 29 2017 09:10

"you only have to ensure the work You have done is compliant with the current regs."

True - if the "only" is removed from the statement.

ESR 13 is the top-level rule here; and yes what we do must be electrically safe (and, via other ESRs, also must be compliant).
But also what we do must not adversely affect the safety of the rest of the installation.

So while there's no general requirement to bring existing stuff up to compliance with latest rules, we can't let it become less safe because of what we do.

Prime example is a mains replacement. If the new mains is bigger than the old, it will increase prospective fault current. If the change is big enough, old circuit protection (eg SERFs or older mcbs) may not be rated to cope; so an upgrade could be needed.


   

ShaneR
May 29 2017 10:48

Thank you AlecK

In my last refresher coarse they indicated liability due to association.

What I understood was if are an electrician and you joined a sports club you could be held liable for any electrical accident.

I now don't think this statement is correct. But I now think if you do PEW (for free) for the sports club there could be some liability for work you didn't directly do. Your example is a good one.

ESR 13.1(b)
if the work is on only part of any works or installation, that the work has not adversely affected the electrical safety of the rest of the works or installation.

   

AlecK
May 29 2017 11:57

The responsibility / liability comes from doing the work, not from whether you're paid or not, and certainly not from whether you're a member or not.

Doing PEW doesn't make you responsible for existing stuff, EXCEPT if the work you do reduces the safety of some other part of the installation.