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Earth Link, Am I going overboard


roys

Question

What's your opinion, so a few of us were talking the other day and we are 50 50 split. I was taught and have always done (28 years sparkying but often proved wrong:)) to put an earth link between a metal B/Box and a metal face plate whether it be a socket or switch.

Half of the sparks do and half don't with arguments going along the lines of the screws do the earthing, do which I reply what if someone nicks the screws or they are slack / corroded that is your earth gone. Then they reply show us where it is written down and that is where I struggle cos I can't find it written down anywhere.

What do you guys think?

Cheers Steve

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16 answers to this question

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I personally always earth back boxes and metalclad switches and sockets for the extra time and cost of the bit of cable whats the problem.

Batty

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I know a lot of sparks that dont for various reasons. I always do because when doing a PIR and using either NICEIC or ESC advise its a code 4 (not up to current regs) if not done. So if my customer sells and buyer gets thier sparks to do a PIR it will have code 4's. I think my customer may be suprised at least that my just complete job is not up to current regs.

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Andy™
I know a lot of sparks that dont for various reasons. I always do because when doing a PIR and using either NICEIC or ESC advise its a code 4 (not up to current regs) if not done. So if my customer sells and buyer gets thier sparks to do a PIR it will have code 4's. I think my customer may be suprised at least that my just complete job is not up to current regs.

how can you give something a code 4 if its fully complaint with 7671?

if doing a PIR, you should be testing to 7671, not an NIC or ESC guide

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To be honest the sparks I know that dont do it just cant be arsed same with grometts and sheathing. not a reason I dont think.

The wording is the thing, You have to garuntee the fixed lug for its lifetime. I couldnt, some of the boxs nowadays seem half the thickness they used to be

I joined the NIC for variuos reasons so i try to stick to thier rules. ESC is a fairly well respected body and thier guides are useful and may improve standards.

Not trying to make a big thing about it just answering a question with my opinion

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green-hornet

There is no requirement, however I have always done this by habbit, I have a reel of 1.5mm earth and always earth the backboxes.

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Thanks all for your valued opinions, so you have made up my mind, I will do what I have always done for many years and keep fitting the earth flying lead.

Sorry for the late thanks, been on hols.

Cheers Steve

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Late post on this one re. earth links - many switches/sockets come with manufacturers instructions that require link installed (especially metal faced accessories). Reg 510.2 requires compliance with those instructions - so not fitting link is breach of regs. for those accessories.

Well OK then - how many sparks ever read instructions that come with switches and sockets?

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Andy™

If the backbox has at least 1 fixed lug (i.e not both 'free' type), then you dont need to earth the box (unless the accessory doesnt have an earth - i.e light switch)

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NozSpark

If you are talking about MC sockets/switches, then you do need a fly lead...

But the reg says that you don't need one if you have at least 1 fixed lug!!

Personally I don't use a fly lead for KO boxes, as you shouldn't be removing the face plate with the power still on anyway!

But with MC accesories I do use fly leads!! as the backbox is still accessible..

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NozSpark is correct. the theory being the recessed back box is not an exposed conductive part, and it only becomes one if you remove the front, which accoding to H&S; us pampered Sparks are highly restricted from working on or near live parts [with exceptions}The point about the front metallic screws being accesible is covered by the requirement for at least one fixed lug.It is, however, a requirement to install fly leads if the wiring system is metallic conduit.

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Revved Up Sparky
What's your opinion, so a few of us were talking the other day and we are 50 50 split. I was taught and have always done (28 years sparkying but often proved wrong:)) to put an earth link between a metal B/Box and a metal face plate whether it be a socket or switch.

Half of the sparks do and half don't with arguments going along the lines of the screws do the earthing, do which I reply what if someone nicks the screws or they are slack / corroded that is your earth gone. Then they reply show us where it is written down and that is where I struggle cos I can't find it written down anywhere.

What do you guys think?

Cheers Steve

My view is that you are not going overboard Steve. It might not be a requirement in the regs but I still think it is still good - belt and braces - practice and whenever practicable I do it. NozSpark is quite right about sparks not removing faceplates with the power on but the brutal truth is that many sparks do just that when fault finding etc and if there is no rubber grommet in the knockout then there is always a slight possibility that a poorly insulated live conductor will touch the box and make it live. My general motto is that if metal can reasonably be expected to ever become live under fault conditions - earth it.

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