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EIS 007: Solar Victoria Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Program common electrical defects

The top 5 defects identified by Solar Victoria's audit of SSAC installations and Energy Safe's COES data.

Top 5 audit defects

Solar Victoria continues to complete the auditing of split systems air-conditioner (SSAC) installations associated with the Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Program (HHCU) and with the information gathered from Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES) issued in the last 12 months, the auditing data has identified a number of common defects.

To assist registered electrical contractors and licensed electricians with compliance in relation to these installations, Energy Safe Victoria has compiled a list of the top 5 defects most commonly identified.

Number 1 top defect

Equipment

Manufactures instructions:

The Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) Clause 4.1.2 (e)

Equipment must be installed in accordance with the requirements of section 4, including any additional requirements as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.

This means that if the manufacturer’s specifications require an air conditioner to be installed on a dedicated circuit or protected by a residual current device then they must be adhered to.

Furthermore, if the manufacturer specifies a particular cable size over and above AS/NZS3000 or AS/NZS3008, this must also be adhered to.

In addition not adhering to the manufactures instructions may cause the equipment to not operate as intended.

Number 2 top defect

Switchboards

Fire-protective measures:

The Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) Clause 2.10.7

Where a switchboard is enclosed in a case or surround, any wiring systems entering the switchboard enclosure shall pass through openings that provide a close fit so in the event of a fire originating at the switchboard the spread of fire is kept to a minimum.

The use of fire rated sealant to seal openings greater than 5mm is considered be an appropriate method.

A photograph of a switchboard with a wide opening. A graphic arrow element points at the opening, marked 'opening'.

The wiring entering this switchboard does not pass through an opening that provides a close fit.

An image of a switchboard and wires, including fire sealant, with a graphic overlay of an arrow pointing to the sealant with the text

The wiring entering this switchboard does pass through an opening that provides a close fit using sealant.

Number 3 top defect

Switchboards

Relationship to Electrical Equipment:

The Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) Clause 2.10.5.2

This defect is repeatedly identified at switchboards where the installing electrician fails to adequately label circuit breakers and/or RCBO’s to show their relationship to the various sections of the electrical installation or the electrical equipment they supply.

A photograph of a switchboard with incorrect labels for the switches.

This switchboard has not been labelled correctly as the means of identification does not enable persons to readily identify the equipment supplied and the corresponding circuit protective devices.

A photograph of a switchboard with correct labels for the switches.

This switchboard has been labelled correctly as the means of identification does enable persons to readily identify the equipment supplied and the corresponding circuit protective devices.

Number 4 top defect

Switchboards

Terminals of switchboard equipment:

The Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) Clause 2.10.5.4

This defect is repeatedly identified at switchboards where the installing electrician fails to mark or arrange terminals of bars and circuit breakers to identify the corresponding active and neutral connection for each circuit.

In particular connecting the neutral conductor of a final sub-circuit to a terminal of a neutral bar that does not correspond with its corresponding active conductor protective device.

A photograph detailing netural conductors of final sub-circuits. Two arrows point to 'C1' and 'C2'. Both 'C1' and 'C2' are labelled as

The neutral conductors of final sub-circuits C1 and C2 are not marked or arranged at the neutral bar of this switchboard to correspond with their active conductors

Number 5 top defect

Neutral bar:

The Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) Clause 2.10.4.3 (d) (ii)

This defect is repeatedly identified at switchboards where the installing electrician fails to provide a separate terminal for each individual neutral conductor associated with each outgoing circuit originating at the switchboard.

A photograph of a sub-circuit without a separate terminal for each individual neutral conductor.

The outgoing final sub-circuit neutral conductors connected to the far right terminal of this neutral bar at this switchboard have not each been provided with a separate terminal.

A photograph showing each sub-circuit neutral conductor connected to a neutral bar having been provided with a separate terminal.

Each individual outgoing final sub-circuit neutral conductor connected to this neutral bar has been provided with a separate terminal.

Date: 22/02/2024 5:27

The currency and accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the Energy Safe Victoria website for the current version.

Reviewed 08 June 2023

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