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Posted By Topic: Using flex for a power point

Oct 24 2018 06:52

Recently did some work on a friend\'s house installing some new lights and power points.

Went to add another power point to the end of a circuit and found flex had been used previously to add a power point in.

Do I need to replace the flex for TPS or as long as it is sized correctly is it allowed to stay there?


Oct 24 2018 07:23

AS/NZS 3000

\"Flexible cords used as installation wiring shall be of the heavy-duty
sheathed type and installed in the same manner as insulated sheathed

From what I\'ve read it\'s fine provided it\'s heavy duty flex or installed in a wiring enclosure. Have a read and see what you think though.

Oct 24 2018 08:39

Usually the neutral conductor in flexible cords is \"blue\".
How could this be reconciled with ESR 20(2)(c)(i) which says that an installation is unsafe if \"the neutral conductor is identified by any colour except black\"?

Oct 24 2018 09:08

Table 3.4 says that neutral can be black or light blue which contradicts ESR 20?

The only thing I can see tripping that up is where TPS has a black neutral and the Flex has a light blue neutral because note 3 of 3.8.1 says
\"Where colors are used for the identification of cable cores, AS/NZS cable identification colors and European cable identification colors shall not be combined in the same wiring enclosure or the same multi-core cable\"

Oct 24 2018 10:13

Neutral is black is only for domestic installations, it does NOT extend to commerical installations.

Oct 24 2018 14:24

Blue coloured neutrals cannot be used in domestic fixed wiring, keep in mind it doesn\'t matter what AS/NZS300 says, the ESR\'s need to be followed.

Oct 24 2018 16:19

There is no contradiction, as ESRs over-ride Standards. The answer is simple: it\'s known as sleeving. So even in a domestic, the blue core of a (HD) flex can be used as N, as long as it is sleeved black.


Oct 24 2018 17:06

Is it ok to simply sleeve the light blue neutral black? Or must you sleeve each core to so that they are all the NZ colours?

I\'m just trying to make sense and understand table 3.4 note 3 if someone would care to explain, maybe I\'m over thinking it
\"3 Where colours are used for the identification of cable cores, AS/NZS cable
identification colours and European cable identification colours shall not be
combined within the same wiring enclosure or the same multi-core cable.\"

Oct 24 2018 19:51

Splitting hairs.

This is nutty. How many sparkies have you seen sleeve light blue as black? How many heat pump installers have you seen sleeve the blue in a 3 c + E TPS black?

Not many, if any.

Oct 24 2018 22:12

Most heat pump installers i know practice the 1,2,3, Red,White,Blue \'rule\', meaning that the neutral invariably winds up being the White. (1 and 2 are phase and neutral and 3 is the signal in most heatpumps), and youre right, its a stupid rule. Since both phase and neutral are live conductors it shouldnt matter what colour they are as long as theyre not green/yellow.

Oct 24 2018 23:36

dnaiel2 , most, a vivid marker will be
in your tool belt, no worries

Oct 25 2018 01:22

The wiring run connecting the two units of a split heatpump is appliance wiring. That\'s a follow the manufacturer guides situation.


Oct 25 2018 03:49

If the separate parts of the heat pump are supplied with a wiring loom, which the installer just plugs in, it would be \'equipment wiring\'.
But normally the evaporator and the condensor are remote from each other, and the fixed wiring has to be supplied and installed by the contractor. Don\'t the manufacturers instructions say that that electrical work must comply with local codes and standards?


Oct 25 2018 04:13

The circuit supplying has to comply, yes.

But my understanding, for residential systems at least, is it\'s normally a single supply to one unit. With the second one getting its power from the first. They work as one appliance after all.

The interconnect won\'t be a kit provided loom because the distance between the two units isn\'t a rigid number. The pipe work, the gas amount, and the wiring will all be adjusted to suit the install. The install crew will have a reel of cable and cut what they need.


Oct 26 2018 19:51

Came across two caravan park service pillars last week, the neutral screen in one was simply taped up with yellow insulation tape, which was sliding off and going all sticky leaving exposed copper. The second pillar along the same circuit had the neutral screen taped up with green insulation tape, this was also turning into a mess, the last pillar on the circuit actually had black heat shrink on the neutral screen as did the supply switchboard end.

Oct 29 2018 11:23

may have been old, and so may have been compliant when installed. Tape coming unstuck is why the rule used to require \"colourfast, permanent, non-conducting, compatible with insulation and suitable for location\" . Tape is not \"permanent\". But somehow that bit got lost in 2007 edition.

Oct 29 2018 11:49

Octane Outlaw\'s latest question is a good one (surprising how often it takes someone prepared to ask a seemingly \"silly\" question to make us think about things).

The fundamental rule [3.8.1, para 1] is that conductors be clearly identified as to their function (A,N or E). Where colour is used as the means of ID, the standard colour code (Table 3.4) applies. That code allows neutrals to be either black or light blue, but for domestic ESRs take away the light blue option. For actives, any colour except the 5 listed is OK. So no, we don;t have to sleeve the active if we use a flex as fixed wiring in a domestic installation.
Note 3 to the Table says the AS/NZS colours and the european colour can\'t be mixed within any cable; regardless of what sort of cable is used. Or, for individual conductors (eg conduit wires), within a wiring enclosure. But since there is no particular colour under AS/NZS for active, a flex with neutral sleeved black and active left brown is compliant, it;s following AS/NZS code.
What we can\'t do is use (for example) black N (AS/NZS code) and black active (european code, but forbidden under AS/NZS code) in the same wiring system.

In the 2018 edition this clause has been re-written to improve clarity.

Oct 29 2018 11:50

the rule requiring black for domestic neutrals is far from a \"stupid\" one. It\'s there because NZ allows PEW to be done by homeowners, and avoids such people having to deal with blue neutrals. The wider case of identifying actives from neutrals is even less \"stupid\"; because (mostly) only actives are required to be switched and have overcurrent protection, while neutrals must never be switched unless the active is switched simultaneously. This is fundamental safety stuff; so what\'s \"stupid\" is to suggest correct ID doesn\'t matter.

Oct 29 2018 13:37

I should probably clarify that it was the bare neutral screens functioning as neutrals that were wrapped up with yellow and green insulation tape. The work was done around 6 years ago and was done by one of those franchise electrical companies.

Oct 29 2018 18:28

Thank you very much for that AlecK

Explains what I wanted to know, appreciate it

Been a very informative post this one

Oct 29 2018 22:58

@ AlecK \"This is fundamental safety stuff; so what\'s \"stupid\" is to suggest correct ID doesn\'t matter\"

Only because we let average joe muppet do their own electrical work, which is fundamentally stupid to begin with, but since mr muppet isnt allowed to liven anything without inspection, it shouldnt be an issue.

Oct 30 2018 08:26

The need to distinguish between active & neutral has absolutely nothing to do with letting homeowners do some types of PEW. Yes they are both \"live\" conductors, but - as I already reminded - control and over-current protection is required to be in the active. If we followed your suggestion that \"it shouldn\'t matter what colour they are\" we\'d be unable to tell which wire(s) to switch.


Oct 30 2018 21:28

Absolute bullshit and you know it !!

We\'ve All done our apprenticeships, or whatever substitutes for that these days, and we\'ve All been taught what each wire is for, and what bloody colour they are. To have arbitrary rules to dictate what is obvious to a properly trained professional is a sad indictment on the calibre of the training, and the quality of tradesmen being turned out now.

I accept that some may need led by the nose to do their jobs, but the majority of us are sufficiently trained to know that many of the \'rules\' are \'stupid\'!

Oct 30 2018 21:35

So if the primary insulation of conductors were all random colours you\'d know what was what? There are reasons for standardisation and regulation.

Oct 30 2018 21:59

Oh Great, another idiot statement.

Play semantics as much as you like, you know damn well what i mean.

We all know the standard colour codes commonly used here and to have a rule to say that they can be mixed in some situations but not in others is just rules for rules sake, and in my view, Stupid.

Oct 30 2018 23:30

We could, of course, throwing in a grenade, adopt the IEC 60446 colours...

Oct 31 2018 08:37

Why are you being such an obnoxious dick head?

Oct 31 2018 08:47

Unfortunately Symon is not alone in the philosopy:
Whatever I agree with is \"common sense\", so doesn\'t need to have rules.
Everything I don\'t agree with (or don\'t understand) is \"stupid\"; so those rules should be abolished.

Most of those thinking that way are also anti competence /refresher training; \'cos they managed to pass an exam once and therefore know everything they\'ll ever need to.


Oct 31 2018 09:01

SymonS Take the situation I mentioned above about the neutrals in a caravan service pillar being taped up with green insulation tape. The work was done by an electrician. Both the the neutral and earth can be attached to the neutral bar in some situations. We all come across dangerous situations and work that have been created by other electricians never mind home owners.

Oct 31 2018 22:35

Found in a Chinese Takeaway:

Nov 01 2018 21:17

Today\'s discovery: red & green wires connected together.

Nov 01 2018 21:42

Done by a licensed electrician who should know better, or by some muppet homeowner or landlord who not only doesnt know the rules, but doesnt care that there is any?

No amount of stupid rules will make a blind bit of difference to those who dont know or dont care.

The only thing some rules Actually do is make it harder for competently trained people to do their jobs.

Stop fuckwits from doing our job and we wont need any where near the number of rules we have know.

Electricity hasnt changed for 500 years. but the number of idiots we let play with it sure as hell has !!

Hence the number of stupid rules we have now.

Nov 02 2018 18:04

Looks like it could have been old enough to fall under sleeving it to red.

Had to be sleeved, of course, but it\'s not one of those things that\'s never been legal.

Nov 02 2018 20:26

I agree with Someone.

Nov 02 2018 21:48

When did sleeving become mandatory? This wiring looks about 10 – 15 years old. The earth is grn/yellow. And it isn’t sleeving you can see – it’s only a bit of insulation tape. This work was obviously done by someone who had just enough knowledge of electricity to be dangerous, and zilch knowledge of the rules. Idiots playing with wiring aren’t exempt from the rules. When they get prosecuted, they will be charged with both doing unauthorised work AND with doing it wrong. Ignorance is not a defence.

Nov 03 2018 10:39

I\'ve seen some remarkably silly things done by homeowners / handypersons.
But then I\'ve seen an awful lot of silly and dangerous stuff done by people who held a licence and should have known better.
And I\'ve had some homeowners who followed the rules and got everything right - including hiring an Inspector to check, test, and certify what they did. It\'s NOT the fact of having a homeowner exemption that causes problems. It\'s people - regardless of their qualifications / licensing status - who don\'t follow the (allegedly) \"silly\" rules that cause problems.
Most dangerous of all are the licenced people who don\'t bother to test, because they don\'t believe they are capable of making a mistake.