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Thread: Using the earth wire of the twin+E as alive conductor

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derlyn View Post
    Granted, work must be carried out correctly and according to regs, however, here's the other side of the coin.

    When I am called on to do an inspection for coc purposes, I always hope that I'm gonna find as many faults as possible. I hate those inspections where one has to really go out of one's way to find a fault.

    One doesn't make money by inspecting and issuing a coc. The money is in the repairs.
    The problem with the sale of a property, the seller doesnt want to spend any money on the repairs, so the inspector takes short cuts and works on a numbers game, the chance of getting caught is so small that it works in your favour.

    This industry is a joke.

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    Gold Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    so the inspector takes short cuts and works on a numbers game
    Not this "inspector".

    This "inspector" either makes money or doesn't get the job.

    BTW, I do not see an electrical contractor doing a COC as an inspector.
    The reason the industry is a joke as you say, is because of a lack of inspectors.

    The Municipalities used to have real inspectors who would go behind the contractors
    to make sure that the work was carried out correctly. Since this fell away, so did the quality of the work done.

    Any operation without genuine inspectors is doomed to fail.

  3. #13
    Gold Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    One thing this small brain of mine cannot understand is the following.

    Each municipality has a building inspector. Without inspections being done by same, building a house cannot take place. Included in his duties are the inspection and approval of sewerage works.

    Why do the municipalities not have an electrical and plumbing inspector as well ?

    They do not trust the builders but for some or other unexplained reason, they trust the electrician and plumber.

    Can someone explain this line of thinking to me please ?

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    Agreed. Crazy! The newly introduced latent defect legislation is going to bite both the seller and the estate agent (and hopefully the bakkie COC issuers) in such cases.

    I was at a townhouse in Paulshof where EVERY earth conductor had been cut - incoming, geyser, all earths in the DB. Owner told me his great electrician sorted out a tripping issue very quickly. I was nauseous at hearing this!

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    That was an interesting discussion, I needed to clear up a few things.

    Fact according to the ECA

    - A light fitting mounted higher than 2.5 m (out of arms reach) does not have to be earthed.

    - The ECA do not carry out random checks on any COC's issued, unless you report an illegal COC, however it will be suggested at the next meeting.

    - If your COC is older than 2 years, you are on your own, it would be extremely difficult to prove the COC's is non compliant and difficult to get the AIA to respond to a non compliant query.

    - It seems that we all agree that it is extremely dangerous to use the earth of the twin+E as a live conductor, even though we have now identified that ECA members are issuing COC's were this type of wiring is passed as compliant.

    The bottom line my customer will have to fork out 10's of thousands of rand to make the installation compliant, and I feel a full inspection report would be required for the entire site, which could identify even more no compliant issues.

    Another fact not discussed, but I am sure we can all agree that the protection of a mixed circuit must be able to protect the smallest conductor. If a 1.5 mm T&E is used the breaker should be not exceed 16 amps., not 20 or 25 amps ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    That was an interesting discussion, I needed to clear up a few things.

    Fact according to the ECA

    - A light fitting mounted higher than 2.5 m (out of arms reach) does not have to be earthed.
    Not sure how ECA got to that statement and would be interested as to who made that statement

    SANS 10142-1 Ed3.1 Clause 6.12.3.2 (e) is pretty clear that all earth terminals shall have an earth - To make a statement that any fitting above 2,5m does not have to be earthed , in my opinion, means that person has not understood what he read. Feel free to correct me



    6.12.3.1 The following conductive parts shall be earthed:
    a) all exposed conductive parts of an installation other than those described
    in 6.12.3.2;
    NOTE Metal enclosures on PVC conduit should be earthed if they can become live
    and can be touched.
    b) all conductive cable sheaths and armouring, wireways and catenary wires;
    c) the earthing terminal of a socket-outlet;
    d) the secondary winding of a transformer if it is not a safety transformer;
    e) earthing terminals of all permanently connected electrical equipment and
    appliances;

    f) conductive parts of discharge luminaires and equipment that need special
    earthing arrangements; and
    g) all class I equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    Would you regard using the bare earth wire in a twin+E cable illegal or dangerous?
    While searching for another answer , I came across this part of the regulation which besides dangerous it is illegal according to 6.12.1.9

    6.12.1.9 An earth continuity conductor shall not be used to carry any current
    (other than fault currents)
    . For equipment intended for permanent connection
    and with an earth continuity conductor current exceeding 10 mA, reinforced
    earth continuity conductors shall be designed as follows:

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    Quote Originally Posted by GCE View Post
    Not sure how ECA got to that statement and would be interested as to who made that statement
    I found the ECA contact number at the top of page 2 Test report (for use by ECA members only) of the latest COC I am busy auditing. I was told to contact my local ECA branch.

    I wonder if Carte Blanche would investigate a story about non compliant COC's and how this whole process works.

  9. #19
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    I am so tired of whining on this forum about this industry, maybe it is time to get a journalist to join me on a few site visits, make a few calls.

    Maybe contact a few of these companies who sign over COC's without visiting the sites, or ones where their staff have installed PVC sockets and not extended the earth tail from the metal box and record the conversation.

    Setup site cameras to look like normal CCTV with microphones call a few electrical contractors, and check the ones which leave staff on site, check their qualifications compared to the type of work they are expected to perform on site.

    Check isolation procedures are followed correctly.

    Request the documentation for the approved materials delivered to site.

    Check the signature on the COC compared to the person who carries out the inspection report on site.

    Maybe contact the DOL, the AIA, ECA,ECB and Investigate a few of these non complaint COC's and how they tackle these issues and what measures they have in place to prevent these issues from happening.

    Do random checks on COC's issued in the past 6 months to see how many pass the document stage.

    Take a non compliant COC and follow the procedure the customer is required to follow and get a first hand experience what they go through when a problem or non compliance is identified.

    This could be quite a story, instead of picking on the little guy like they did last time, this time just do random interviews with ALL parties involved in the elctrical industry. Randomly record calls.

    This could shake up this industry, and maybe steer it in the right direction.

  10. #20
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    Fact according to the ECA

    - A light fitting mounted higher than 2.5 m (out of arms reach) does not have to be earthed.
    It is statements like this that trouble me.

    Was it also pointed out that if there is an earth terminal, it must be connected?
    And who at the ECA would have said such a thing?

    Every time the issue has ever come up at the ECA SA that has crossed my desk, or at a meeting that I have attended, the emphasis has been just what GCE has pointed to - that the "out of arms reach" is not an exemption from the earthing requirements of 6.12.3.1.

    My experience is the drive at the ECA SA is the very opposite of what you have suggested here.

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