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Posted By Topic: Up grading switch board does it need RCDs?

Sep 30 2018 15:52

Recently asked to repair a switch board which is a Doctors surgery. Landlord does not want RCDs fitted under the thought that we are just repairing the existing board by replacing the porcelain fuses with MCBs. My thoughts are he is correct in that if we are just repairing existing we are not obliged to bring this up to current standards by installing 10 ma RCDs. One of the men I work with strongly disagrees in that we must upgrade this board if we work on it. Who is right here?

Sep 30 2018 15:59

Doctors office you say, might want to take a closer look at as/nzs3003, some of the areas may be classed as medical treatment areas, which is type I RCD\'s at the outlets, not the dist board, don\'t forget the cleaners outlets as well.


Sep 30 2018 22:37

AS/NZS3000:2007 should get you to installing RCD’s in this situation.
And of course throw 3003 at them as well.

Oct 01 2018 09:31

Yes current edition of applies to ALL switchboards.

So your man is partly correct; so if you replace all of the circuit protection RCDs must be fitted to any circuits that would require them if installed new today.

That does NOT mean installing any RCDs at any other locations, eg any 10 mA RCDs at sockets as suggested. Note the wording: what must be installed are RCDs \"as required by this clause 2.6 ... for the final subcircuits\".

As for 3003, it simply does not matter what \"3003\" says about areas /that can be classified as \"patient treatment areas\". What matters is ESR 60. So if the doctors do not intend to use \"electrical medical devices\", \"3003\" simply does not apply. And that\'s where most GPs\' rooms sit: no EMDs, so no areas that need to be wired to \"3003\".

And even if there do happen to be any areas that ESR 60 requires to comply with \"3003\" , does NOT trigger that. It ONLY refers to RCDs \"required by this clause\", and nothing in 2.6.3 requires RCDs for any subcircuits (or anywhere else\" in a doctors\' rooms, or even in a hospital. Those requirements are set in \"3003\" and there\'s NO link. (There is a direct link to \"3003\" in latest edition, but that\'s not cited and what matters is currently-cited edition as per Schedule 2 of ESRs. So even if 3003 calls for RCD protection of any subcircuits, does NOT trigger retro-fitting.