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Posted By Topic: Switchboard Cover

Sep 20 2019 09:23

Hi Guy's, I'm looking for advice and/or guidance pointing me towards what Regulation, if any, states that an existing old style Switchboard (12 x 12 Formica Panel with surface mount Fuses/Breakers/Etc) needs to be covered ? My customer has been advised by "others" (a consulting company) that the Board needs to have a cover fitted. This is a "new one" to me, although I may be missing something ? I want to give my long standing customer good advice, so I'm just trying to get my facts straight. Funnily enough, we had a very similar issue raised by another completely separate customer regarding the old style surface mount Sw/Bd in their building a couple of months ago (consulting company again, not sure if it's the same one). The building is in use as a small Library (if that makes a difference). Thanks.

Sep 20 2019 10:36

The thing to remember is that it's not your job, nor your customer's job, to find this "rule". It's the job of the so-called consultant to tell you the rule.
Which they won't be able to do, because no such rule exists.

NZ law (Acts, Regulations, etc) is almost never retrospective. what complied when installed continues to comply. As standard 7 codes change, new work may need to be carried out to the latest rules, but existing installations don't need to be upgraded.

The most common exception to this general principle is the building code, where if there's a change of use of the building, some aspects - known as 'specified systems' - may need to be altered / extended / upgraded. SSs are things like fire alarms & emergency lighting; that affect the safety of users of the building.

For this switchboard ESR 113 specifically allows it to remain in service. The last time there was a mandated upgrade of anything electrical was several decades ago: changing caravan park sockets and caravan plugs.

Sep 23 2019 09:19

Thanks for your reply AlecK, your comments are along the lines of what I was thinking, but I was just looking for other opinions as to what I may be missing.
I will definitely be emailing the "Consultant" involved and asking him to refer me to the Regulation/Ruling/Documentation that he is referring to in this instance.
Much appreciated.

Sep 23 2019 12:09

i often hear the words from power authorities 'we don't like' or similar, i just tell them that's nice, i don't like the cheeseburgers at mcdonalds now tell me what rules/regs back you up or go away simply.