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Topic Title: Do RCDs require to be Periodically Electrically Tested
Topic Summary: Where is the Guidance in the REGS
Created On: 20 September 2009 07:36 PM
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 20 September 2009 07:36 PM
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keithredpath

Posts: 426
Joined: 30 March 2002

I know RCDs need to be tested (By manually tripping)every 3 months but where is the guidance for the inspection frequency for the electrical testing i.e. The x1 and the x5 Tests.

Should we be testing them at all when we dont electrically test their very close neighbours the MCB.

Keith Redpath

-------------------------
keithredpath
 20 September 2009 08:07 PM
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perspicacious

Posts: 7267
Joined: 18 April 2006

" but where is the guidance for the inspection frequency for the electrical testing i.e. The x1 and the x5 Tests."

The Guidance is in GN3 Table 3.3 (apologies to those having a passing interest in this thread for me not typing it out to save you the £25 ) and should generate some discussion about the content of 612.13.1 and 415.1.1

Regards

BOD
 20 September 2009 08:26 PM
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intrinsic4225B

Posts: 1626
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Perspicacious,

Surely everyone carrying out the inspection and testing of electrical installations would have in their possession, or at least access to a copy of Guidance Note 3?
 20 September 2009 08:49 PM
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Phillron

Posts: 1261
Joined: 18 January 2007

Originally posted by: keithredpath

I know RCDs need to be tested (By manually tripping)every 3 months but where is the guidance for the inspection frequency for the electrical testing i.e. The x1 and the x5 Tests.



Should we be testing them at all when we dont electrically test their very close neighbours the MCB.



Keith Redpath


The RCD test is not a requirement,its a recomendation
The test button may be though
 20 September 2009 10:58 PM
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mark2spark

Posts: 1444
Joined: 15 November 2006


My apologies for joining the thread late, I was in the garden.
You see, whilst walking the dog late at night during the week, on a clear starry night, i'd remarked to the missus (who was walking the dog with me) how bright a particular star was, and further wondered what the name of the star was.

Two days later a large book of astronomy appeared, as a present from the missus, which included southern sky star charts (as viewed from australia) if I ever happened to be there musing about star's names.
The book cost £29.00.
I therefore felt obliged to go into the garden and discover that the rather bright star that I first saw was called the North star, also the Pole Star, and also called Polaris.
It is located virtually overhead, and almost aligns from ground to heaven with the right outer edge of the outermost stars forming the right hand side of the 'bucket' part of the constellation known as the Plough, or the Big Dipper, or the Great Bear.

Just in case any member of the forum wishes to save themselves £29 on a book that reveals an answer to something that they only have a passing interest in

217 seconds, the time taken to type this response to the thread.
Hope that someone, not just the OP, gains something from my musings, given freely during my free time for the sole purpose of perhaps helping others

-------------------------
I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 20 September 2009 11:18 PM
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chesterb

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As I see it, 612.8.1 on p160 makes it fairly crystal that, "This verification SHALL be made..."
"The effectiveness of disconnection od supply.... SHALL BE VERIFIED usin suitable test equipment... to confirm that the relevent requirements in Ch 41 are met"
And last of all... "The disconnection times required by Chapter 41 SHALL BE VERIFIED."
I do agree that the waffle in GN3 is less than helpful.
 20 September 2009 11:34 PM
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mark2spark

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chesterb, none of your replies point to the frequency that such tests need to be made (verified) (time period, 3 months, 10 years, etc) which is where I think the OP is looking for.

-------------------------
I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 20 September 2009 11:35 PM
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micjamesq

Posts: 777
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Today's new word BODism:

BODism - to not type complete reference material into a forum so as to generate more income to said reference.

I also will be using a BODism:

621.2
612.8.1
612.10
Chapter 41



Carry on.

P.S. Mark2Spark - does this mean that the Lockheed UGM-27 Polaris missile was never intended for use on earth, but merely as a code name for an operation to blow the North Star out of the sky which would in effect render the operational navigation of less technically minded countries, who still use old fashioned methods, useless and hence prevent them from being able to reach the "civilised" countries of the West and evoking world domination

Regards

-------------------------
E & OE

Edited: 20 September 2009 at 11:48 PM by micjamesq
 20 September 2009 11:55 PM
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chesterb

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Maybe I've missed his point - but if you're testing for a PIR, (frequency according to site, conditions etc) then you should be conducting ALL the tests recommended under "Inspection & Testing".
I cannot see the point in ignoring the viability of what is probably the most effective bit of life saving equipment in any electrical system these days.
Surely, if you know how important an RCD is, you test it.
Cheers, CB.
 21 September 2009 12:11 AM
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mark2spark

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micjames, I think your right... so i'll take some time off tomorrow and go to a bookshop and see if i can get a book for under 25 quid to verify the facts

Yes chesterb, understood. Do rcd's only need to be manually tested by function every 90 days or so? Or does a time period of less than 10 years need to occur for suitable test equipment need to come out of the box and verify said disconnection time?

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I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 21 September 2009 12:17 AM
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Testit

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I think GN3 table 3.2 indicates frequency of testing but in relation to safety it assumes quarterly functional tests of the mechanical trip.

MCBs are an anomaly in relation to I&T, just the other day I was confused as to why a smoke alarm was buzzing, only to find the mcb had no continuity and was defunct...

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Online Services - http://propertydevelopment.org.uk

Experience can sometimes show that cost prevails over quality and safety, such little self-value that people hold.
 21 September 2009 12:55 AM
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Phillron

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Originally posted by: micjamesq

Today's new word BODism:



BODism - to not type complete reference material into a forum so as to generate more income to said reference.

I also will be using a BODism:
621.2

612.8.1

612.10

Chapter 41



carry on.



Regards


Would have been an impressive reply to the question asked by BOD, except nowhere does it say or state that the RCD has to be tested by the recomended procedure,only that the test should verify the effectiveness of that RCD by visual inspection and test(the test button)

RCDs are no different to MCBs regarding their effectiveness in operation,their suitability per manufacturers instructions and the reliance on the BS to stipulate the right part for the job
The test is recomendation only
 21 September 2009 01:29 AM
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Legh

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I started reading this thread and then I got this:
You see, whilst walking the dog late at night during the week, on a clear starry night, i'd remarked to the missus (who was walking the dog with me) how bright a particular star was, and further wondered what the name of the star was.


and then I thought who was actually walking the dog?
Was it You or your missus?
Can you say for definite who held onto the lead and therefore was walking the dog?



Legh

-------------------------
Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

http://www.leghrichardson.co.uk

"Science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space - but any objections."
 21 September 2009 10:16 AM
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mark2spark

Posts: 1444
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dog is off the lead out in the sticks where I am (although with lead on normally the dog walks me! )

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I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 21 September 2009 11:00 AM
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ACKS72

Posts: 241
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I wonder what the manufacturers of the RCD suggest?.

I would say that if an RCD is being used as additional protection then it would need to be verified that it meets the requirements of chapter 41 on installation, and 622 would set when this needs to be reviewed/re-verified.

Acks
 21 September 2009 12:16 PM
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John Peckham

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I would agree with BOD in that GN3 provides guidance on how tests should be carried out.

Regulation 621.2 (iv) requires during Peridic Inspetion and Testing to identify departures and defects from the regulations that may give rise to danger.

It would be reasonable to conclude that the presence of an RCD is installed to prevent danger to the users of the installation.

411.3.3 makes a requirement for 30mA to be installed under various conditions.

415.1.1 requires 30mA RCDs to trip at less than 40mS at 150mA.

So to verify compliance with BS7671:2008 you need to apply a 5X test to a 30mA RCD.

Where an RCD is fitted to meet the requirements of ADS then the RCd will need to be tested to confirm the requirements for ADS have been met Regulation 621.2(i)

Appendix 3 table 3A sets out tripping times for BSEN 61008 and 61009 RCDs.

So there would be a need to check for compliance with this requirement.

Aside from the requirements of BS7671, EAWR and PUWER why would you not want to test an RCD with a test meter?

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 21 September 2009 06:48 PM
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Phillron

Posts: 1261
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Originally posted by: John Peckham

I would agree with BOD in that GN3 provides guidance on how tests should be carried out.



Regulation 621.2 (iv) requires during Peridic Inspetion and Testing to identify departures and defects from the regulations that may give rise to danger.



It would be reasonable to conclude that the presence of an RCD is installed to prevent danger to the users of the installation.



411.3.3 makes a requirement for 30mA to be installed under various conditions.



415.1.1 requires 30mA RCDs to trip at less than 40mS at 150mA.



So to verify compliance with BS7671:2008 you need to apply a 5X test to a 30mA RCD.



Where an RCD is fitted to meet the requirements of ADS then the RCd will need to be tested to confirm the requirements for ADS have been met Regulation 621.2(i)



Appendix 3 table 3A sets out tripping times for BSEN 61008 and 61009 RCDs.



So there would be a need to check for compliance with this requirement.



Aside from the requirements of BS7671, EAWR and PUWER why would you not want to test an RCD with a test meter?


John
In answer to your common sense and structured reasoning

I wouldn't for one moment contemplate not testing an RCD as per recomendations,however , the original question and the response that an RCD test is a recomendation only, was based on giving a reason for there being no guidance/regulation as per the frequency of that RCD testing

Guidance note 3 is the IEEs method of recommending how to put into practice test procedures, in order to comply with BS7671
As part of that guidance,on page 55(2.17.18)the following paragraph can be read

While the following tests are not a specific requirement of BS7671,it is recomended that they are carried out

However well thought out your step procedure for the requirement of the test,it is virtually from the horses mouth that the test is a recomendation only

If that were not the case ,why does the IEE go to the trouble of contradicting its own guidance and regulations by including that paragraph in the first place
 21 September 2009 07:08 PM
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peeterwolfe

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why complicate matters. it needs manually testing every 3 months. if it does not trip manually then replace it and test the new rcd trip times x1 and x5 if 30mA.
the frequency of trip time testing is not mentioned in gn3 apart from when conducting the testing of the rcd where relevant to the type of certification being undertaken.

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its only difficult when you dont know how
 26 September 2009 07:21 PM
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StewartNewlands

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I thought we tested RCDs regularly at work as under EAWR 1989 Reg 4 (4) "safety equipment protecting persons at work to be maintained, suitable and properly used." they are provided as safety devices for protecting people. "Regulation 4(4) is NOT qualified by "so far as reasonably practicable" - HSE Memorandum of Guidance on the Electricity at work Regulations.

Now free: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsr25.pdf

They may also fall under PUWER 5 (1)'Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and good repair'. In this regulation 'efficient' means the condition of the equipment in relation to health and safety."

I think they need to be tested to to check they will operate and have not seized.

Edited: 26 September 2009 at 07:47 PM by StewartNewlands
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