Additional Protection For All Low Voltage Circuits By RCD Not Exceeding 30mA
This particular inspection is the first in the section relating to special locations.
In this particular instance it relates to “locations which contain a bath or shower“
This includes bathrooms, shower rooms and wet rooms for domestic properties. In commercial properties it can also include changing rooms, washing stations or any other area which contains a bath or shower facility.
The applicable regulations were changed under AMD3 of the 17th edition to include not only circuits which “serve” the area, but also circuits whose cables pass through such locations.
No RCD for circuits serving a bathroom
So if you are completing an EICR and need to check whether there is an RCD for circuits serving a bathroom we will explain the process.
In every instance, the lighting circuit will serve the bathroom. I haven’t come across a bathroom which doesn’t have a light fitting installed yet!
However there are other items which may be present in a bathroom and may be fed from their own, or indeed a shared circuit with other items.
This can include:
- Electric Showers
- Shaver Points
- Towel Rails
- Whirlpool Baths
- Electric Heating
It is important when completing this inspection to be sure that each particular circuit which feeds an item within the bathroom is covered by 30mA RCD protection.
The easiest way to check this is by visually checking the consumer unit to see if RCD protection is installed for those particular circuits.
However, there may be some instances when you are not sure what circuit feeds a particular item. This can occur when the consumer unit is poorly labelled.
In these instances, using an RCD tester on the item in question should trip the appropriate RCD for that circuit (if one is fitted).
It is often easier to use the RCD tester on ramp mode in order to facilitate a quick trip test of the supply circuit to see if it is indeed covered by an RCD.
In the event of the bathroom circuits not being served by an RCD, the severity of the code issued depends on another important point, that being the presence of supplementary bonding
Additional Protection For All Low Voltage Circuits By RCD Not Exceeding 30mA – EICR Coding
During an EICR, this is one of the few items where the classification code depends on the outcome of another inspection.
This can be rather confusing, particularly as the inspection in question (presence of supplementary bonding) is actually completed AFTER this inspection on the form.
The 17th edition of BS7671 brought some changes which affected the need to install supplementary bonding. Prior to this it was a requirement for supplementary bonding to be fitted in locations containing a bath or shower.
After the introduction of the 17th edition, there was a clause which allowed for the omission of supplementary bonding, as long as certain conditions were met. The main of these conditions was that each circuit serving the location had to be protected by an RCD not exceeding 30mA.
Of course, when we complete inspection & testing on an installation to produce an EICR, we have to ascertain whether this condition is met.
If you come across a bathroom where supplementary bonding IS present, however the circuits are not protected by an RCD, then this would generally be a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED issue.
If the supplementary bonding IS NOT present, and the circuit are still not protected by an RCD then this would be a C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS issue.
This is of critical importance and should be double checked whenever you are inspecting “Additional Protection For All Low Voltage Circuits By RCD Not Exceeding 30mA”