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Posted By Topic: Switchboard Clearance

Nov 20 2018 15:08

A main switchboard was installed back in 2003-2004 - was the clearance requirement only 600mm in front of the switchboard or 600mm in front of the switchgear door open in 90-degree?

Nov 20 2018 15:20

No change in the 600 mm (min) clearance infront of the switchbaord between the 2000 and 2007 copies of AS/NZS 3000.

Nov 20 2018 15:25

At that time the ESRs 2010 had yet to be published; we were working under the 1997 Regulations inc amendments issued in 1999 & 2002 (the 2002 amendment applied form 1/1/03).
The status of "3000" was that the 2000 edition was cited by R 69A; with some clause mandatory and the rest deemed to satisfy the requirement of R 69 that installations be electrically safe.
The particular clause for clearance around switchboards was not mandated; , but unless complied with could be argued installation was not electrically safe.

The flexibility to adopt site-specific design for special cases under this system was very useful. Unfortunately far too many people took the view that anything not explicitly mandatory could just be ignored. Which is why the 2010 ESRs brought us back to a more prescriptive set of rules.


Nov 20 2018 15:38

Further to prev post;
R 41 required new & replacement main switchboards to be inspected, and the inspection had to be i.a.w NZS "3019". That standard required compliance with "3000" for switchboards .
So a sort of back-door mandating; but many Inspectors would have just been doing what they'd always done and wouldn't have known let alone understood.

The specifics for access were in 2.9.9 of "3000": being "adequat" space around a switchboard on all sides where persons are able to pass to enable all electrical equipment to be safely and effectively operated and adjusted".