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The 18th Edition of Wiring Regulations (British Standard BS7671) will be released to the public on the 1st of July 2018 and will become mandatory starting the 1st of January 2019. Compared to the 17th Edition, the new wiring regulations will bring changes in 4 main aspects:

– Protection against overvoltages. New installations will have to have fitted surge protectors if overvoltage can affect human life, public services and cultural heritage or commercial / industrial activity, as well as in other situations where this kind of protection is deemed necessary.

– Protection against fire. In an effort to reduce the risk of electrical fire, more importance will be given to RCDs. In order to mitigate the risk in situations where a fault is present between live conductors, Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) will be introduced.

– Section 753 now includes embedded electric heating systems for surface heating. These will require a protective earthed conductive shield.

– Energy efficiency. The 18th Edition introduces electrical installation efficiency classes, depending on installation characteristics such as lighting, metering, cable or transformer losses, power-factor correction or harmonics.

So how will the 18th Edition affect testing ?

From all the information available, it looks like from 2019 onwards there will be some small changes in electrical installation testing. The good news is you won’t need to replace your brand new 17th Edition multifunction tester and manufacturers won’t bring out new models of testers that will make the current ones obsolete.

However, more importance will be given to RCD testing and Earth Resistance Testing, so if you are in the market for a new Multifunction Tester you should pay attention to those features. For example, the following Multifunction Testers support Earth testing:

Fluke 1664FC
Fluke 1663
Megger MFT1741
Megger MFT1735 (complete Earth Testing Kit)
Megger MFT1731
Martindale ET4500 PRO (complete Earth Testing Kit)
Martindale ET4500

For more details on the equipment that is ready for 18th Edition testing, head over to our website and check out the 18th Edition category.

The 18th (BS7671) Edition Wiring Regulations book is also available to order.