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Every few years the IEE update the wiring regulations .The latest is the 17th edition which updates on the 16th edition, due January 2008. For more information on the different editions, 1st to the 17th edition see here history of the wiring regulations
Summary on the proposed significant changes to the 16th edition. All of this is up for change so don't take it to be set in stone. The 17th edition is due to come into affect form July 2008 so any circuit designed after that should comply to the 17th version of BS 7671 and not the 16th.
A draft copy of a 17th edition C&G 2382 course is available from here.
Chapter 1 Regulation 131.6 Requirements added to protect against voltage disturbances, electromagnetic forces are the focus.
Regulation 132.13 Documentation for every installation as per chapter 51 and part 6.
Chapter 35 Draws attention to other statutory requirement such as building regulations and others affecting amongst others fire escapes, extraction, emergency lighting.
Chapter 36 Requires consideration of the life of each to be took into consideration.
Chapter 41 Direct contact now refers to basic protection and indirect contact is called fault protection
RCD required for sockets for general use as well as mobile equipment
New tables based on nominal voltage of 230 volts rather than 240 volts
Chapter 54 Allows the use of metallic pipe as an earth electrode provided precautions against removal are in place
Chapter 56 Inspection and testing and periodic inspections changed for safety service such as emergency lighting
Section 701 Bathrooms, Each circuit to require a 30mA RCD
1.Changes in zone definitions for swimming pools and other basis and sauna ZONES A B C are changed for zones 0, 1 ,2,3 respectively.
New special location added
These are only a general observation of the changes and are not complete nothing to major apart from perhaps
17th edition is due to come into affect form June 1st 2008 so any circuit designed after that should comply to the 17th version of BS 7671