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Posted By Topic: When is upgrade required?

Apr 25 2018 18:01

I am looking at the distinction between altering a circuit and replacing an existing appliance or light etc with respect to upgrading to latest requirement.
If I was replacing a hot water cylinder for someone there is no way I would leave the 1960 connection in place with metal conduit and 10 amp round switch. If I am replacing a range I would upgrade to plug and socket. If I am replacing a light I will make sure the new light complies with the latest requirements.
My question: is there an \"out\" for this somewhere in AS/NZS because there seems to be a lot of confusion over this


Apr 25 2018 21:08

I think the clause you are looking for is in the Electrical Safety Regs and not AS/NZS3000. Check out ESR113.

Apr 25 2018 22:23

While you may choose to replace the existing hot water switch and flexible conduit it is not required as long as it is still electrically safe.
Same situation with replacing a stove. As long as the cable is in good condition there is no requirement to fit a plug and socket.

As the electrician you should be giving the options to the customer along with your upgrade recommendations and your reasons.

ESR 113 gives you the information regarding this.

ESR 59(3) also allows repair to the standards that applied when the equipment was installed.


Apr 26 2018 09:15

The biggest reason you would change the 10 amp switch for the hot water is that most elements in hot water cylinders would be 12 amps. Some people also forget the 10 amp switch on the switchboard for some reason in the old instalations.
Give the customer the choice when you think it benefits. The worst clients for upgrades can sometimes be landlords but most are great and want to protect the house and tenants

Apr 26 2018 10:06

I would make the following comment, \"if replacing any item of electrical equipment which requires increased current it is essentail that checks, and testing if required, be carried out to ensure the increased demand is able to be supplied\"

And is referred in an above post, the change of water heater element size upwards is a typical example;
Is the final subcircuit large enough to supply the increased demand?
Are the over current devices large enough to supply the increased demand?
Is the control or isolatiing switches large enough to supply the increased demand?.

Apr 26 2018 10:24

I was about to say something very similar Pluto... ESR 113 doesn\'t apply if an increased load means the old installation no longer complies with the rules of the time - but even increased load might only require replacing a switch, or changing coarse protection to close protection, rather than replacing the whole sub-circuit.