The Captains Journal - Electrical Blog

New wiring regulations and how they affect you

Licensed electricians in Australia must carry out work inline and complying with a range of different federal, state, and industry standards and regulations. These guidelines ensure all electrical work is carried out safely and to a high standard, protecting both residents, the public, and the tradespeople who work in and around the building in the future.

The Australian Standards which cover electrical installations are called Electrical Installations - Australia/New Zealand Wiring Rules 3000:2018. This standard was recently updated (the previous version was over ten years old) to make adjustments for new technology, equipment, and installation techniques which change and advance over time.

We’re sure you’re thinking “why do I need to know about this? Surely that’s just 578 pages of wonderful bedtime reading for electricians”. Ok, you’re partly right, most of the details are not relevant to the average property owner, there are however some points that are important for you to know about.

To save you hours of skimming through electrical jargon and more appendices than you can poke a stick at we’ve put together some key points from the updated electrical wiring rules.

Safety switches or RCDs

The new requirements state that there must be a safety switch or RCD installed on final sub-circuits in domestic and residential installations, and when switchboard replacements or electrical alterations are carried out.

New homes must have a safety switch on all circuits.

Previously other states have a minimum requirement of a safety switch on the power point circuit however up to now in NSW it has been only a recommendation. Now when an alteration (rather than like for like replacement) on circuits supplying power for things like the air conditioner, cooktop, electric hot water system, etc is carried out an RCD or safety switch needs to be added.

Arc fault protection devices

Arc fault protection devices protect the home from potentially fire causing electrical arc faults. These devices are required to be fitted to all switchboards.

Isolation switches

New guidelines for isolation switches to be fitted for electrical equipment such as:

  • hot water system fixed wired, gas or electric
  • heat pumps
  • combined gas and electric cookers
  • built-in electric oven or microwave
  • air conditioners
  • gas hob with electric ignition

Isolation switches are now mandatory and must be mounted adjacent but not on the electrical equipment.

Electric vehicle charging

If you’re one of the many who have taken the eco-friendly step of buying an electric car this new guide applies to you. Speak to our electricians about installing a charging station for your electric car at home.

Cabling in the ceiling

The new regulations provide increased mechanical protection for cables installed in the ceiling space to increase safety and reduce electrical accidents due to nailing or screwing into electrical wiring or cabling.

These updates and changes came into effect on 1 January 2019 (with a transition period from 28 June 2018) which means any work carried out on your home this year needs to comply with the new regulations. If you are unsure if this is the case in your home speak to your tradesperson or contact our licensed electricians for an electrical safety review today.

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