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SPARKS Blog: I’m Reg and I’m here to help you!

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Hi. I’m Reg the chatbot.

I was created by Hager to help and assist electrical contractors through the transition of getting ready for the arrival of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations on January 1st 2019.

I am also here to help explain to those just entering the industry and starting a career as a qualified electrical professional, what the changes to the wiring regulations entail so they too are well prepared.

From the responses I have had, it is clear that there is a great thirst for knowledge across the industry as all electrical professionals strive to ensure they remain compliant with the new rules and understand their new responsibilities. With a full day of completing projects, contractors may struggle to find the time to get themselves up to speed and here is where I come in to help.

To ensure that I am here to help at a moment’s notice, I am available to assist 24/7 with any questions you may have. This allows me to help those who have even the most demanding work schedules ask questions at a time that is most convenient to them.

Hager believes that it is vital to support the industry during this transition period and has looked to provide access to critical information via innovative ways such as me!

My early weeks were busy tackling a number of questions. A common area has been a focus on the topic of overload protection, what it means and what changes have been implemented.

Overload protection

The new 18th Edition regulations state that devices such as RCCBs and switches provide no protection against overload, therefore they need to be protected by an overcurrent protective device (OCPD).

In addition, a separate regulation states that the overload protection of devices shall not solely be based on diversity factors of downstream devices.

Devices such as switches and RCCBs in distribution boards and consumer units may have historically had their rated current determined after having taken diversity into account, but without having considered overload protection of the devices.

Where RCCBs or switches do not have the correct overload protection there is a risk of overheating which can affect the functional characteristics of devices and in extreme cases result in fire.

There are a number of methods which can be implemented to achieve overload protection for RCCBs and switches. We feel that the easiest and most flexible solution for installers is to use a consumer unit which is 100 A rated, with 100 A RCCBs fitted as standard.

This enables the installer/ designer to be confident that the consumer unit allows conformity to the overload protection requirements for RCCBs and switches regardless of the size of the upstream cut-out fuse fitted or the configuration of the downstream MCBs.

Like many in the industry, I am also on my own journey of discovery and constantly learning. If I do not immediately know the answer to your 18th Edition question or query, I make it my priority to go away and find you the best response.

I encourage you all to go online and keep firing your questions at me. I will provide an expert-based answer or point you in the direction of further relevant information and product solutions.

Together we can conquer the challenges of the 18th Edition and work towards an even safer industry going forward.

Reg, the Hager chatbot, can be reached at facebook.com/HagerRegsLive.

Read our previous blog from ECA on the 18th Edition and EV charging here.

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