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Posted By Topic: Existing Preschool. No RCD's

Jun 07 2017 13:33

I am doing some upgrade work in a pre-school on the lighting and that is all I am required to do. I have noticed that there is no RCD protection at all on the outlets in this old place. Is the school required to upgrade this? Or is the grandfather clause at play here?
Thanks Sam

Jun 07 2017 15:04

If like for like (take a light down, put a replacement up) then no.

10mA RCD's are only required for socket outlets where the kids have access to them.

Only requirement for RCD's on lighting circuits are for domestic installations.


Jun 07 2017 15:35

Sorry I may not have made myself clear. The question is not related to the work I am doing (which is only lighting). I am doing no work relating power outlets. However I do want to advise the client correctly as to whether they are or aren't obligated to have RCD protection on the existing power outlets. There is about 40 little under 5yrs olds running around this place. Thanks.

Jun 07 2017 15:59

Lighting is not required to be protected by RCDs, unless you are using mixed lighting and socket outlet final sub circuits.


Jun 07 2017 18:16

This raises a related point.

Change of Use.

What about an existing building that is being redeveloped into a child care centre, where nothing but lighting is being changed, and only heat pumps being added.

10mA rcds needed ?

Jun 07 2017 18:42

I would say that repurposing spaces or buildings within a school would trigger a requirement to fit RCD's to the socket outlets. I have done some jobs in schools where this has happened.

Don't forget that all electrical installations in Ministry of Education schools is required to comply with not only the ESR's and AS/NZS3000:2007. They must also comply with the ministries own standard as well.

It is quite detailed and uses the shall word a lot.

Jun 07 2017 19:07

Min Ed's rules may require an upgrade for change of use.
another influence will be HSW rules.
But electrical rules do not require retrofit as rules change, nor is upgrade for change of use required.

"No mandatory upgrade" is a something that gets into all sorts of NZ law, largely politically-driven.

Jun 07 2017 19:22

One area where change-of-use can trigger upgrade requirements is the Building act, eg fire alarms and other systems may be needed.

Jun 07 2017 21:00

Yep, aware of that one, and already underway, but going to be an absolute nightmare if everything else needs done as well.

Jun 08 2017 08:29

With rare exceptions, Wiring r7ules only apply to PEW actually being done.
Last time there was a mandatory upgrade was mid 19080s, when caravans were forced to upgrade their connection fittings for their next WoEF. Not a true mandatory upgrade,because there was - and remains - the option of not having a WoEF (though then you can't ;lawfully be connected to a supply); but effective enough. Though some still haven't had a WoEF so have yet to convert.

Again caravans; there's a requirement to fit RCD when removing the N-E link of an older caravan. And this is going to be extended to also require installing max demand limitation. However these are not true mandatory upgrades, because it's owner's choice whether to remove the link.

The governing "rule" for existing parts of installations is ESR 113, which says anything that complied when built, still comp;lies with those original rules, and is not electrically unsafe; can remain in service.

Jun 08 2017 20:57

Cheers Aleck

Jun 09 2017 00:00

Reg 113 covers you from a legislative point of view but the ministry of education rules may require more. And seeing as they are effectively the customer it would be best to consult with them about additional requirements for the repurposed.
But for the original question gregmcc and Pluto have given correct answers.

Jun 09 2017 18:53

This is one of those private childcare setup's, (Montessori i think) so i'm not sure if the MoE have any input into it.