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Thread: Earth Leakage Unit Question

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    Earth Leakage Unit Question

    Is it law that an E/L/Unit must be installed on a domestic (house) installation or can all circuits be individually protected.
    Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You certainly don't have to have ELU protection for the entire installation, just the portions that are required to have ELU protection per SANS 10124-1

    If the entire installation is on a single ELU, and you intend to only have a portion of the installation on ELU, just watch out the ELU is not also serving as the main switch.
    Last edited by Dave A; 18-Mar-14 at 11:51 AM. Reason: typo
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    You can individually protect circuits that require it using 30mA RCBO's. (if you can find a supplier). This won't really be an option if the main switch is an earth leakage unit because you won't be able to achieve discrimination.
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    Thanks guys but I have been through the book every which way and can't find any part that says an E/L/U must be installed on a domestic installation, am I missing a page or two
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Blow View Post
    Thanks guys but I have been through the book every which way and can't find any part that says an E/L/U must be installed on a domestic installation, am I missing a page or two
    Section 6.7.5 deals with Earth leakage protection.

    The section has been amended a number of times, including amendment 8 - so make sure your copy is totally up to date (Edition 1.8).
    I see amendments from the original code arising in amendments 1, 3, 5, 6 & 8.

    There are also other instances where ELU's are required or material to compliance, for example s6.16.1.4 and s6.16.3.2.3
    Not to mention s6.15 - but that should be pretty obvious
    Last edited by Dave A; 18-Mar-14 at 11:51 AM.
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    You dont have to have an earth leakage. But then you can't have plugs, pool pump, sauna, Jacuzzi etc.
    These points require earth leakage protection on them.

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    All I know is that Earth Leakage is only on sockets, not on light circuits. But I have no idea why and would like to know.
    Why would one not want a Earth Leakage?
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    Hi Houses4Rent a lot of people, I would go so far as to say that the majority of people [I]electricians [I]included do not understand the purpose of a earth leakage unit and consider it unecessary and causes nuisance tripping. Unknown to them the tripping function is there as a protective device and by functioning properly is indicating that there is a fault on the circuits or part of the circuits that are being supplied by the E.L.U. So basically an E.L.U. is a essential safety device designed to protect life and property. Lighting circuits in some installations are not covered by E.L.U. as a safety precaution (make sense, you must have illumination)

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Thanks mikilianis. I understood it to be a safety device. As an enginer i believe that everything must have a purpose and I need to understadn its purpose first before I believe anybody claiming that it has not purpose and can simply be ommited. But I am not so sure about the lighting. I rather have no light than not triggering the E/L when accidentally touching a live light circuit wire. Anyway, so far that did not happen to often. I am not a great competancy of electricity and stay away from things which are beyond basic connections.

    Something else: I was quoted 5 hours labour (excl materials) to replace a main breaker and put a surge arrestor next to it. Am I right in saying that its a matter of making a few cable connections at the board which - lets be generous - should not take more than an hour maybe?
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    Well this wonderful rain has got them E/L/U's tripping like there's no tomorrow, damp faults all over the place and money on the floor
    Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

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