RCD Protection of lighting sockets


M

Mike Hall

Here's one for a little debate:
As part of our overall rewiring project I'm about to rewire the lounge
and intend to put in some, (5A round pin), lighting sockets switched
from a wall switch. It's been much trumpeted in this newsgroup about
the safety advantages of having the lighting circuits on the non-RCD
side of a split load CU, - and that is indeed how my lighting is
wired. However, what is the esteemed panels view on the fact that
the, (in my case), floor lamps will also then be fed from a non-RCD'd
outlet. Does anyone see this as a problem with them being (almost) a
portable item? and if so what are the other options.

Another thought that crosses my mind is that 'plug in' lights are
normally only fused at 3A and potentially only have cable rated at 3A.
If I replace their standard fused square pin plug with a 5A round pin
plug then I am not protecting that 3A cable with anything other than a
6A MCB. - What is the norm in this case? - to 'gloss over' it, or can
you in fact get hold of fused round pin plugs?
 
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B

BigWallop

Mike Hall said:
Here's one for a little debate:
As part of our overall rewiring project I'm about to rewire the lounge
and intend to put in some, (5A round pin), lighting sockets switched
from a wall switch. It's been much trumpeted in this newsgroup about
the safety advantages of having the lighting circuits on the non-RCD
side of a split load CU, - and that is indeed how my lighting is
wired. However, what is the esteemed panels view on the fact that
the, (in my case), floor lamps will also then be fed from a non-RCD'd
outlet. Does anyone see this as a problem with them being (almost) a
portable item? and if so what are the other options.

Another thought that crosses my mind is that 'plug in' lights are
normally only fused at 3A and potentially only have cable rated at 3A.
If I replace their standard fused square pin plug with a 5A round pin
plug then I am not protecting that 3A cable with anything other than a
6A MCB. - What is the norm in this case? - to 'gloss over' it, or can
you in fact get hold of fused round pin plugs?
If you're taking the supply from the existing consumer unit lighting circuit
breaker, then the consumer unit is, or should be, already giving the proper
protection to them.

If you're creating a new supply from the mains ring circuit, then the new
lighting circuit supply should be created through a fused spur unit fitted
with the correct rated fuse for the proper protection it needs.
 
A

Andrew Gabriel

Here's one for a little debate:
As part of our overall rewiring project I'm about to rewire the lounge
and intend to put in some, (5A round pin), lighting sockets switched
from a wall switch. It's been much trumpeted in this newsgroup about
the safety advantages of having the lighting circuits on the non-RCD
side of a split load CU, - and that is indeed how my lighting is
wired. However, what is the esteemed panels view on the fact that
the, (in my case), floor lamps will also then be fed from a non-RCD'd
outlet. Does anyone see this as a problem with them being (almost) a
portable item? and if so what are the other options.
I have a couple of room lights on such outlets, but they are never
moved around. I would suggest that's unlikely to happen for the
room lighting you switch at the doorway.

BTW, 2A sockets are fine. It's gone from the regs now because
they no longer specify such things, but 2A sockets were allowed
on circuits fused at up to 10A (as commonly found in commercial
premises for lighting circuits).
Another thought that crosses my mind is that 'plug in' lights are
normally only fused at 3A and potentially only have cable rated at 3A.
If I replace their standard fused square pin plug with a 5A round pin
plug then I am not protecting that 3A cable with anything other than a
6A MCB. - What is the norm in this case? - to 'gloss over' it, or can
you in fact get hold of fused round pin plugs?
Actually, all appliances sold in the EU have to be safe with
16A protection, as used in some other countries. The effect is
to limit the length of 0.5mm² flex to a couple of metres
(can't recall the exact value) so that in the event of a short
circuit, the cable resistance is low enough to allow a 16A
breaker to clear the fault quickly before the cable overheats.
If you have an older pre-EEC appliance with a long flex, then
this might be a problem.
 
M

Mike Hall

Actually, all appliances sold in the EU have to be safe with
16A protection, as used in some other countries. The effect is
to limit the length of 0.5mm² flex to a couple of metres
(can't recall the exact value) so that in the event of a short
circuit, the cable resistance is low enough to allow a 16A
breaker to clear the fault quickly before the cable overheats.
If you have an older pre-EEC appliance with a long flex, then
this might be a problem.
That's fascinatingI didn't know that! - one lamp is an Ikea circa 2001
and the other an M&S circa 1995 so I think that solves the 'fusing'
aspect quite nicely. Thanks Andrew
 
L

Lurch

It's been much trumpeted in this newsgroup about
the safety advantages of having the lighting circuits on the non-RCD
side of a split load CU, - and that is indeed how my lighting is
wired. However, what is the esteemed panels view on the fact that
the, (in my case), floor lamps will also then be fed from a non-RCD'd
outlet. Does anyone see this as a problem with them being (almost) a
portable item? and if so what are the other options.
Doesn't matter, you've obviouisly been fed duff information. It's not
portable equipment that requires RCD protection, it's outlets that are
reasonably expected to supply portable equipment used outdoors. As it
is highly unlikely that you will plugging outdoor electrical
appliances into the 5A sockets then no RCD protection is required.
Also, you don't actually need RCD protection on any other sockets
technically, unless you're likely to be plugging in portable
appliances used outdoors, but most people do.
So in summary, no RCD protection for 5A sockets.
 
L

Lee

Lurch said:
Doesn't matter, you've obviouisly been fed duff information. It's not
portable equipment that requires RCD protection, it's outlets that are
reasonably expected to supply portable equipment used outdoors. As it
is highly unlikely that you will plugging outdoor electrical
appliances into the 5A sockets then no RCD protection is required.
Also, you don't actually need RCD protection on any other sockets
technically, unless you're likely to be plugging in portable
appliances used outdoors, but most people do.
So in summary, no RCD protection for 5A sockets.
Whilst I accept that it would have to be a somewhat unusual situation
for a RCD to ever actually be useful in this case, I'd *personally*
still protect them with an RCD.
Mainly because then I'd feel safer plugging lamps in that had metal
parts - DI or not. Or should that be particularly if they *are* DI ;)

Also they are not likely to be the only source of light so even that
argument doesn't really apply.

Lee
 
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L

Lurch

Whilst I accept that it would have to be a somewhat unusual situation
for a RCD to ever actually be useful in this case, I'd *personally*
still protect them with an RCD.
Each to their own.
Mainly because then I'd feel safer plugging lamps in that had metal
parts - DI or not. Or should that be particularly if they *are* DI ;)
Fair point.
Also they are not likely to be the only source of light so even that
argument doesn't really apply.
Although, the chances are that the 5A sockets are fed from the
lighting circuit so there probably wouldn't be any lighting in the
vicinity in the event of the RCD tripping.
 
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L

Lee

Lurch said:
Although, the chances are that the 5A sockets are fed from the
lighting circuit so there probably wouldn't be any lighting in the
vicinity in the event of the RCD tripping.
Fairy Nuff.
Was assuming they were on a separate circuit.

Lee
 

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