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Posted By Topic: Who can issue a WoEF on a caravan

Feb 23 2020 13:30

Can an electrician who does additional work or alters an existing electrical installation on a caravan issue a WoEF or must it be issued by an electrical inspector

Feb 23 2020 13:44

This is for NZ, it seems to me that a an electrician can issue the WoEF if the installation is new, what i am having trouble finding is can an electrician issue a WoEF if they are carrying out addition works?

Feb 23 2020 14:11

It would be an electrical inspector only to issue an electrical warrant with the electrician issuing a coc for the PEW after completing works

Feb 23 2020 14:32

another interesting thing i have just discovered ESR 78(1) a person who, immediately before the ESR2010 came into effect, is authorised by the secretary to issue WoEF

Feb 23 2020 15:32

I guess even acquiring an ewof form and sticker as an electrician would be the challenging part?, on the back of the sticker it only asks for an “issuers electrical registration number”
I guess fundamentally you can’t inspect your own PEW anyway?


Feb 23 2020 17:55

Correct that the electrician who certifies a (complete) new caravan can issue 1st WoEF. Which is a direct replacement of previous old rule that said no WoEF req'd when new, for 1st 4 years.

After that re-issue needs an inspector. Or one of those other near-mythical people who were authorised directly by the Secretary of Energy under very old rules - I doubt there are any left these days.

Alterations just need CoC.

Feb 23 2020 20:00

Cookies - issuing a WoEF is not an "inspection", so if an Inspector done some work on a caravan, issued the CoC for the work they can also do the WoEF

Feb 23 2020 21:33

And just to add some spice to the mix, sighting a COC isn't a requirement to issue a WoEF. So the inspector can roll up to a newly wired unit and have no idea who did the work or the state of the wiring, other than passing his basic tests.

Feb 24 2020 06:50

Hmm interesting, so just wondering how do you actually acquire the documents and sticker as an electrician?

I personally have never known of an inspector completing PEW and then issuing a warrant of fitness but I still think it’s good practice to involve an electrician anyway as two sets of eyes is always good.

Feb 24 2020 08:27

Many Inspectors are happy to do minor remedial work to enable issue of WoEF.

One of the most common is where someone has removed N-E link; requiring it to be re-fitted. Another is where an RCD has been installed, but not current limitation. Or corroded earthing links between cladding & chassis. Simple stuff that has a simple fix doesn't justify making the customer find an electrician to do the work, then get the Inspector back & re-check. And as DougP said, because WoEF is not "inspection of PEW" there's no legal restriction.

Just have to manage perceptions, to avoid any accusation of "making work" by failing WoEF.

Feb 24 2020 08:28

Whoops, that was gregmcc, not DougP.

Feb 29 2020 15:01

AlecK,can you clarify please about the removal of the N-E link in a caravan instalation? As far as I'm aware, but could be wrong, it has to be removed so the onsite rcd protection can work properly. What I'm missing?

Feb 29 2020 21:47

If a caravan DOES have an MEN link, it's fine and passes a WoEF (as long as no RCD is fitted)

Once the MEN link is removed an RCD MUST be fitted, and (at least to my interpretation of AS/NZS 3001 3.3.5) the MEN link can't be put back in.

That being said, if a van has an MEN link and is fed from an RCD protected supply, it will trip the supplying RCD, which means the caravan park manager goes "Oh, I know how to fix that" and kindly pulls the MEN link so the people can have a nice holiday, but invalidates the WoEF at the same time. Next WoEF you need to RCD it, because if you reinsert the MEN link, it will pop the supply RCD and start the cycle again. I explain this when I do WoEF and I've only had one customer decline an RCD (They still had the MEN link fitted)

As usual, happy to be wrong.

Mar 01 2020 08:14

That's nearly right ; though only part of it.

Yes a caravan can pass WoEF with a link; , and even with a link and RCD downstream of the link. But it can't pass WoEF without a link unless RCD proections is in place for ALL final subcircuits.

The other bit us that caravans with N-E links are of an age when the incoming "PEC was connected to the N-bar, just like a MEC for a house was back then.

So if the link is removed, nothing is connected to earth any more. Sockets, lights, appliances and bodywork all connected together ant to chassis, but not connected to E. As soon as an earth fault happens, the whole lot becomes a man-trap. True if someone touches the man-trap and completes circuit to ground; the RCD should save their life. but it won't operate "properly" because to operate as intended it has to trip as soon as the fault happens.And then the caravan moves somewhwere else, to a supply with no RCD, and there's NO fault protection at all.

Removing N-E links is PEW (so caravan park owners should NOT be doing it, and if they know what to do it's because some "sparky" with only half a brain showed them how). Putting links in is also PEW (which then has to be certified).

So C 6.9 requires a N-E bar to be in place for any unit that doesn't have RCD protection for all final subcircuits.

Also C 6.4 requires current limitation of the supply for any unit that doesn't have a N-E link.

If the link causes tripping of caravan park's RCD, the answer is to find a campsite that still has a non-RCD outlet. Removing the link without upgrading fully is illegal and dangerous.


Mar 01 2020 20:49

What is the reason for caravans to have inspection (by an inspector)? I've had customers who have caravans ask me to do eWofs and I've had to refuse and refer them elsewhere. And I can't really explain to them the reasons why.

Is it because of the N-E link or the caravan inlet (plug)?

Mar 02 2020 00:24

daniel2 - A woef has to be done by an inspector/a person who is authorised to inspect mains work, as per ESR78(1)

Pretty sure you can issue the initial woef as an electrician, assuming you’re the electrician that completely wired the entire installation. Refer to ESR78(1)(c)

All the details are in ESR78.

Mar 02 2020 07:11

Nickg - yes, but that's not explaining the reason for it.

Mar 02 2020 08:55

That question should be asked of Energy Safety; as it was their decision. It's a long-standing requirement; but presumably supported by their current risk assessment approach.
I see WoEFs as being approximately equivalent to other forms of periodic verification required by ESR 75. Of 6 types of PV required under that Reg, 3 require an inspector and the other 3 require a "competent person" (as determined by the relevant standard).
The other related matter is reconnection after 6 months, which changed from needing an inspector (authorised to inspect mains work" to any PL "authorised to certify mains work" - which shows that these things can, and sometimes do, change.

The inference I draw from all that is that ES don't believe the average electrician is competent to conduct the woEF checks & tests.

What I know for certain, from personal experience, is that many certainly are not; and nor are many Inspectors.

Mar 02 2020 09:15

Sorry, I misunderstood your question. All I can say is, that’s what the law says. It’s like asking, why is the sky blue? There’s a reason for it, but it’s over my head :)

Mar 02 2020 11:19

It's been Inspectors since 1993.
Before that, WoEFs were issued by Electrical Supply Authorities [R 125 (1976)]; which in practice was Inspectors.

Mar 02 2020 18:10

Okay, cheers.