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Thread: COC and Brass Heritage switch

  1. #1
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    COC and Brass Heritage switch

    Had a phone call this morning in connection with a COC inspection being done in an old house , all refurbished with oregan pine wooden doors , floors etc.

    Need to ask all the clever people what you would do if you came across the old type Heritage brass switches ( similar to pic ) in an installation The switches fit in beautifully with the finishes and anything else will ruin the finished look.
    The outer brass cover screws onto the brass toggle - The switches are mounted on the wooden door frame

    My feeling is that the switches need to be replaced with something as it is not possible to earth.
    I know Clipsal used to do the heritage range which made life simple , but it has been discontinued

    Interested to know what you would do

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    The same thing happened to me when I did a COC in Johannesburg about 12 to 13 years ago.
    I called my contact at the ECA and was given the following advice.
    There is a space between where the wires are connected and the outer metal Parts Of The Switch. There was also a piece of porcelain distancing the actual switch rocker from the workings of the actual switch.
    I was advised to pass it as being reasonably safe which I did.

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    Also see SANS 6.12.3.2
    Neither of the cover nor the toggle switch are touching a conductive surface and meet requirements in parts C4

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    HI

    Also looked at 6.12.3.2 -(2) - need not be earth if ,2) out of arms reach from a structure that is bonded to earth

    Then read a bit further to 6.12.3.3 - Metallic frames and enclosures of electrical equipment shall be made electrically continuous

    Decide to check on definition of electrical equipment - item or combination of items , including wireways, which is used for generation , conversion, transmission or distribution of electrical energy.

    Seems that 6.12.3.3 is in direct contradiction to 6.12.3.2

    Wonder why I became a Sparky when I actually need to be an English professor, or Lawyer to try and understand what we can and can't do.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Can the toggle and cover no9t be classed as an extraneous conductive component if the IR to the MET is >7.6kΩ? I'd be tempted to hold it to a far higher standard of IR though if there's any other conductive items within reach that weren't extraneous.
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    It seems there is a mistake in the SANS
    6.12.3.2 has two part C,s and one part A
    However.....

    6.12.3.2 The following do not need to be earthed:
    b) Exposed conductive parts of fixed electrical equipment that are
    4) not touching a conductive surface.( The bell cover is usually screwed onto a bakerlite base)

    6.12.3.3 deals with metallic frames and metallic enclosures
    6.12.3.3 Metalic frames and metallic enclosures of electrical equipment shall be made electrically continuous
    The bell cover is not a frame.
    The bell cover is part of the electrical equipment as a whole. An enclosure is a part that protects the electrical equipment from exposure such as a metal box or a DB

    Just my two cents worth
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leecatt View Post
    It seems there is a mistake in the SANS
    6.12.3.2 has two part C,s and one part A
    And no part b.
    Quite clearly a typo and needs to be passed onto the technical committee, I suggest.
    Good spot, Leecatt

    Question - When you remove that metallic cover, doesn't this expose conductive / current carrying parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    And no part b.
    Quite clearly a typo and needs to be passed onto the technical committee, I suggest.
    Good spot, Leecatt

    Question - When you remove that metallic cover, doesn't this expose conductive / current carrying parts?
    Yes, the conductive parts would be exposed, which would put it in contravention of SANS 5.2.1 b)
    Perhaps a strategically placed screw?
    To make a mistake is human, to learn from that mistake is knowledge and knowledge is strength.

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    GCE (26-Apr-18)

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    Hi Leecatt

    Thanks , I think you are spot on and that under 5.2.1 the old type heritage switches would need to be removed .

    Somebody will come back with the date of installation and that therefore they were allowed to be used then - I would agree as long as no rewiring has happened.
    Most of those switches where installed in the day of VIR wiring so there would have been alterations to the installation.

    I was contacted yesterday and told that GLO electric have a new heritage type switch with an earth pin.I would rather replace all the switches and sleep at night

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    Hi

    Thought I would resurrect this conversation to see if anybody had a new view or idea

    We have just been asked the question again and I still seem to think that VIR and old brass switches should be replaced

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