New Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000 – Are you ready for the change?

October 30, 2018

Electrical installations are now governed by a new set of rules. The new Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000 has been developed by Standards Australia and industry experts. Compliance with the new Wiring Rules will be applied on a mandatory basis in accordance with relevant State legislation from 1 January 2019 for proposed new or alterations to an electrical installation.

AS/NZS 3000 specifies the electrical installation safety requirements for all premises in Australia and New Zealand. The new edition is a complete revision of the 2007 Standard. With over 200 changes it expands coverage on electrical installations, improves safeguards and brings industry requirements in line with best practice.

The Standard comprises two parts bound as one document.

Part 1 provides uniform essential elements that constitute the minimum regulatory requirements for a safe electrical installation.

Part 2 provides installation practices that achieve certainty of compliance with the essential safety requirements of Part 1.

The following aspects of the new Standard are notable;

Residual Current Devices – for alterations or new circuits for lighting and portable device circuits, a 30mA residual current device (RCD) is required up to 32 amps (increased from 20 amps). There is also a consideration for any fixed devices up to 32 amps to include an RCD device for the circuit.

Switchboard Accessibility – the Standard identifies that 3m is considered a safe distance for exit facilities/path from a switch room. The switchboard description is also updated; where a switchboard exceeds 3 metres in length or rated greater than 800 amps. Note that the 15kA fault rating is now removed.

The new edition also requires a minimum of 1m minimum clearance in front of a switchboard (without doors or lift-off panels), increased from 600mm.

Main Switchboard – Water Protection – a number of new measures have been included to reduce the risk of water damage from fire sprinkler systems installed near switchboards;

  • Fabrication of switchboards to be minimum International Protection Rating IPX4
  • Switchboards to be provided with shielding
  • Sprinkler heads to be installed with deflectors unless dry-type

Recessed Luminaire Installation – with recessed halogen lighting and lighting control gear implicated in a number of fires, the new Standard provides guidance for an Internally Covered (IC) rating. New symbols are included to identify IC or Non-IC type luminaires. The Standard also identifies a minimum separation of 100mm to building elements or insulation and 50mm to the control gear.

Electric Vehicle Charging Installations – the Standard provides guidance to the related Australian and International standards that apply to socket outlets and vehicle connectors. Consideration is also given to charging station design to eliminate damage to cables from vehicle run-over or pinching.

Isolation of equipment – the Standard provides examples for the requirement of lockable isolators and where warning labels are required, e.g. split unit A/C compressor unit requires the installation of a lockable isolator and the indoor unit requires a warning label indicating the isolator does not isolate any ancillary equipment.

Definitions – Additional definitions and interpretations have been added to the new Standard. The interpretation of a ‘Safety Service’ has been clarified and specific equipment that is intended to operate during an emergency to assist evacuation or fire-fighting operations including fire detection/warning and smoke control systems, as well as lifts (as designated by the National Construction Code), are described.

The new Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000 can be obtained from SAI Global www.infostore.saiglobal.com/

For guidance on design, modification, operation, maintenance, and management of electrical infrastructure within facilities contact:

John Topouzakis, Senior Engineer (Electrical)
A.G. Coombs Advisory
+61 3 9248 2700

jtopouzakis@agcoombs.com.au

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