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Posted By Topic: Switchboards in cupboards

Jun 25 2019 09:05

Replacing multiple switchboards for apartment fire rating.We need to replace these switchboards to get a bit more capacity for ventilation and air con and new power circuits .
After reading 2.9.2 I believe non compliant if i replace and may fail inspection ROI .
The cupboards have double sliding doors and built in storage units as per pic

-Can I do the following

-Notify fire engineer and architect off possible non compliance and point to the issues 2.9.2 .if reluctant to move they will be as there is no space on internal walls all kitchens bathroom or toilet or cupboards .
or concrete fire rated external walls or windows

is a solution as below

-Assume to be compliant at time of install
leave in place not altering mains or earthing etc

-Replace all circuit breakers needing rcd protection with single din RCBO,s freeing up 4 din space from removing existing RCCB,s

-Sighn COC referencing and documenting existing location

Not a ideal solution there is just limited space avalible.
There is around 250 of these like this in one location .
and similar locations in other buildings of same group .


Jun 25 2019 09:58

Be VERY cautious about assuming anything. Definitely advise both architect and fire engineer, in writing, of your concerns. If possible, also copy the owner/property manager/BWOF company, to protect yourself. An apartment bldg will be covered by much more than electrical laws. If there is a risk of the cupboard being used for storing flammable goods, it may violate the Fire Safety & Evacuation of Bldgs Regs. Remember the Greenfell Tower fire. Try to get someone else to make the decision.

Jun 25 2019 10:19

From what I can work out, it was allowed under 3000:1997.

It wasn't allowed under 3000:2000, but that version of the standard, or some clauses were never cited, so the 1997 version was in effect until 2010 when 3000:2007 was cited.

I'm sure someone will clarify further.

Jun 25 2019 11:32

3000: 1997 was cited by 1999 Regs Amendment, as deemed-to-comply (with basic requirement, R 87, to be electrically safe).

3000: 2000 had some clauses mandatory and the rest as deemed-to-comply.
The swbd location bits were deemed-to-comply.

There is no requirement for inspection of replacing a swbd; most of the work is low risk and the rest (eg installing RCDs) is general. There should be no "mains work" that isn't low risk (replacement).

Being replacement, the swbd location rules that matter most are those that applied when installed; rather than today's rules. This is allowed under ESR 59(3)(b).
You can choose to maintain as per 59(3)(a); in which case today's rules would apply.
Point being it's a choice.