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17th edition ammendments

The latest ammendments to the 17th edition, and how it will affect you!

What's changing in the 17th edition and who needs to know?

17th edition amendment - Measures against electromagnetic disturbances - new section 444
Welding machines, lifts, transformers and switching of inductive loads such as electric motors, fluorescent lighting etc are all sources of electromagnetic disturbances within an installation. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) may disturb or damage IT systems/equipment as well as electronic components or circuits.

Any change in an electric current will cause a change in the strength of its associated electromagnetic field which in turn can induce voltages and currents in other conductors in the field.

Amendment one of BS 7671:2008 contains requirements in a new section 444 which also provides recommendations to enable the avoidance and reduction of electromagnetic disturbances.

Who needs to know?
All persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of affected electrical installations need to be familiar with this section.

17th edition amendment -Devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection) - new section 534

Both lightning strikes and electrical switching can inject what are called transient overvoltages into installations. Transient voltages are usually only a few micro seconds in duration. However their peak value can reach 6 kV.

Amendment one of BS 7671:2008 has requirements in a new section, 534, for the installation of SPDs to limit transient overvoltages and divert damaging surge current away from sensitive equipment such as computers, electronic process controls etc which are now widespread in electrical installations.

Who needs to know?
All persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of these types of electrical installations needs to be familiar with section 534.

17th edition amendment - Medical locations - new section 710
There are particular risks associated with medical locations. Therefore stringent measures are necessary to ensure the safety of patients likely to be subjected to the application of medical electrical equipment.

Who needs to know?
All persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of electrical installations in medical locations need to be familiar with the draft requirements contained in this new section of the first amendment.

17th edition amendment - Operating or maintenance gangways - new section 729
Regulation 15 of the Electricity at work Regulations has requirements for working space, access and lighting and requires that, for the purposes of enabling injury to be prevented, adequate working space, adequate means of access and adequate lighting shall be provided at all electrical equipment on which or near which work is being done in circumstances which may give rise to danger.

Amendment one of BS 7671:2008 now has requirements in a new section 729 including width of gangways, access areas adequate for work, operational access, emergency access, and emergency evacuation etc.

Who needs to know?
All persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of restricted areas such switch rooms with switchgear and controlgear assemblies need to be familiar with the new requirements.

17th edition amendment - Model forms for certification and reporting - Appendix 6
Periodic inspection and testing is necessary because all electrical installations deteriorate due to a number of factors such as damage, wear, tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading, ageing and environmental influences. Legislation requires that electrical installations are maintained in a safe condition and therefore must be periodically inspected and tested.

Amendment number one introduces an electrical installation condition report that replaces the periodic inspection report.

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posted on: 05 May 2011

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