After more than a decade, Ireland’s National Rules for Electrical Installations seen the first major revision to the old standard with the publication of the I.S. 10101:2020, which will replace the ET 101:2008.
Now accessible online, the new standards can be easily searched using keywords. “This is a major change,” says Tadgh Kirwan. There’s no need to sift through the 764 pages of text that make up the new standard book. Just key in the name of whatever it is you need information and the search engine will bring up all mentions of it within the I.S. 10101:2020.”
This standard now addresses changes and updates in important areas including a greater emphasis on safety, new technologies and energy efficiency. Tadgh has picked out what will have the biggest impact on your day-to-day work, and offers an explanation in his own words.
“A massive change in domestic installations is that all lighting circuits in domestic installations now must be RCD protected, which is a positive safety feature. However, that’s an extra component, which means an extra cost. They also take up more space on the distribution board, so you might need to install a larger distribution board.”
Surge Protection Devices
“Surge protection will now be installed as standard in distribution boards. If the installer does not wish to use surge protection, a risk assessment must be completed stating that surge protection is not necessary in that case.”
“The new standard includes a far more comprehensive section about solar PV, providing greater detail about how to install them and what safety issues you need to be aware of. This is a fantastic development.”
Arc Fault Detection Devices
“One of the recommendations (not compulsory) is the introduction of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs). This is new for Ireland, but in the US they’ve been used for a long
time. AFDDs are recommended to prevent electrical fires in premises where there is sleeping accommodation such as houses, hotels and hostels. Also, in locations where there is a higher risk of fire – timber constructed premises for example.
“Depending on the manufacturer, An MCB with AFDD costs about €100 at present. You need one per circuit, so to kit out a full house would be extremely expensive. I imagine contractors will start putting in one or two for now, but there will be greater demand for AFDD devices year on year, which will hopefully make them less expensive.”
“There’s a whole new chapter that focuses on energy efficiency. It offers guidelines for design and build of installations and gives examples about what you should do in different scenarios. It’s very useful and a good read and it’s going to be really helpful to electricians.”
You can buy a hard copy of the I.S. 10101:2020 online for €120 at shop.standards.ie. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive login details to set up an account on NSAI Global’s website. From that point on you can look up the regulations online and also on your mobile device.
“The regulations are in a transition period allowing everyone time to get used to them,” says Tadgh. “If you’ve already started on an installation you can continue working to the old regulations. We can start working to the new standard from April 1, 2020, but they’re not going to be implemented until September 30, 2020.
“If you have priced a job and it’s going to take two years to go on site then you can still work to the old standard. But after March 31, 2022 everything has to comply to the new Regulations.”
Training courses and Safe Electric Roadshows have been planned to provide further guidance on the new regulations, but these have been postponed due to the current restrictions on mass gatherings because of COVID-19. Tadgh has this advice: “While we’re all in isolation during the coronavirus situation, set up an account on SAI Globals online portal, i2i, to gain online access to the standard on your computer or mobile device.”
Tadhg has developed a guide to the new standards and Metac Training will offer a training course on the changes from ET:101:2008 to I.S.10101:2020.