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Electrical Installation

Introduction to wiring regulations

Electrical installation is an assembly of associated electrical equipments having coordinated
characteristics to fulfil specific purposes.

brakers Cables

x x x Pump

Power x Control Motor

supply Switch
box equipments

Figure: Installation assembly

Internationally and locally every electrical installation should satisfy the wiring regulations for legal
requirements, safety and better performance.

It is necessary to understand clearly the difference between a ‘standard’ and a ‘regulation’. The formal
definitions of the two words are:

Standard: A document, established by consensus and approved by a recognised body that provides, for
common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the
achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.
Note: Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and
aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.

Regulation: A document providing binding legislative rules that is adopted by an authority.


The BEC is the UK member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European
Committee for Electrotechnical Standardizations (CENELEC)


Within the UK, national standards are prepared and published by the British Standards Institution (BSI).


There are two worldwide standardization bodies. The older (dating from 1906) is the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) responsible for standardization in the fields of electrical and
electronic engineering, while the younger (postwar) International Organization for Standardisation (ISO)
is responsible for standardisation in all other fields of science and technology. The IEC is an international
non-governmental organisation whose members are the national electrotechnical committees (like the
British Electrotechnical Committee in the UK) of over 50 countries. Between them, these countries
represent more than 85% of the world’s population and account for more than 95% of the world’s total
electricity generating capacity. Located in Geneva, Switzerland, the IEC central office consists of the

General Secretary and his staff of some 100. A Council and a Council Board govern the activities of the
In recent times European standardisation has become increasingly important as the European Commission
has extended its New Approach model. This successful instrument for the establishment of the single
market has lead to a great increase in the number of standards developed in support of the various
European Directives.
On 2 October 1991, a formal agreement was signed between the British Standards Institution and the IEE
establishing the IEE Wiring Regulations as British Standard BS 7671 Requirements for electrical
installations. The British Standard also bears the original title, IEE Wiring Regulations. The technical
authority for the new standard is vested in the BSI Standards Policy Committee and the Council of the

Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) is the National Standards Body of Sri Lanka, established under
the Bureau of Ceylon Standards Act No. 38 of 1964. The Institution functioned under the name of Bureau
of Ceylon Standards until the Act was repealed and replaced by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution Act
No. 6 of 1984. The Institution now functions under the Ministry of Science and Technology and is
governed by a Council appointed by the Minister in terms of the above Act.

In Sri Lanka the legal requirement is that every electrical installation should satisfy the IEE wiring
regulations. At present 17th edition of 2003 version of regulation is followed.

Contents of IEE wiring regulations

The17th edition of IEE wiring regulations is divided into 7 parts followed by 15 appendices. The
regulations numbering follows the pattern corresponding to reference of IEC 60364.
In the numbering system used, the first digit signifies a Part, the second digit a Chapter, the third digit a
Section and the subsequent digits the regulation number.

For example, the section number 413 is made up as follows.

Chapter 41 (first chapter of part 1) - PROTECTION AGINST ELECTRIC SHOCK
Section 413 (third section of chapter 41) - PROTECTIVE MEASURE: ELECTRIC SHOCK

The followings are the 7 parts of the regulation,

Part 1: Scope, object and fundamental principles
Part 2: Definitions
Part 3: Assessment of general characteristics
Part 4: Protection for safety
Part 6: Inspection and testing
Part 7: Special installations or locations

Sequence of design steps
Any design to the 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations BS 7671 must be primarily concerned with
the safety of persons, property and livestock. All other considerations such as operation, maintenance,
aesthetics, etc., while forming an essential part of the design, should never compromise the safety of the
installation. The selection of appropriate systems and associated equipment and accessories is an integral
part of the design procedure, and as such cannot be addressed in isolation. For example, the choice of a
particular type of protective device may have a considerable effect on the calculation of cable size or
shock risk, or the integrity of conductor insulation under fault conditions. Perhaps the most difficult
installations to design are those involving additions and/or alterations to existing systems, especially
where no original details are available, and those where there is a change of usage or a refurbishment of a
premises, together with a requirement to utilize as much of the existing wiring system as possible.

The following sequence of design steps may be used after concerning the safety.

1. The types of cable permitted by the environmental conditions expected, is chosen

2. Cross sectional area of the conductors of those cables, to carry the expected load currents and
taking into account the method of installation is determined
3. The over current protective devices to be used and their rated currents are determined, and then
checked with the relevant regulations
4. Check on the possibility of using the chosen over current protective devices to give protection
against electric shock in the case of a fault taking into account the calculated earth fault loop
impedances of the circuit.
5. Check the earthing arrangements and the types of protective conductor. Check that the cross
sectional areas of all protective conductors comply with the limitation of voltage drop under
normal load conditions.
6. Choose the means of isolation to be used the devices for switching off for mechanical
maintenance and for emergency switching as appropriate.
7. Check on the measures taken for protection against direct contact and direct contact as may be