Need help with cracking those EICR codes? The technical team at NAPIT, with the help of the 18th Edition Codebreakers publication, answer your latest coding queries. Click on the photos for a closer look!
SNOWY: ON THE FACE OF IT, THIS LOOKED LIKE THE CONDITIONS FOR SELV WERE MET. THAT WAS UNTIL WE OPENED THE TRANSFORMER AND FOUND IT HAD BEEN JOINED THROUGH TO RUN A 240 V FAN IN ZONE 2!
Although we hear this numerous times, BS 7671 actually allows 230 V AC extractor fans to be in Zone 2, of special location 701: Locations containing a bath or shower; providing the manufacturer has stated they meet the minimum IP rating required.
That said, there aren’t many extractor fans that wouldn’t meet the required IP rating for use in Zone 2 of special location 701. Given the design of most flush fit wall mount type extractor fans, it’s very likely that they will be IP rated for use in Zone 2, regardless of their operational voltage.
As we look at this, the only issue, which isn’t strictly an issue, is the SELV supply being used as a junction box. It’s very likely the original SELV extractor fan has stopped working and has been replaced with a 230 V variant. The incoming supply has been joined to the new 230 V extractor supply cables, with insulated through terminals. A simple fix would be to replace the SELV enclosure with a similar joint box (a plastic surface mount pattress box with a blanking plate cover would likely suffice).
Looking at things from a safety perspective, is it potentially dangerous? No, the connections seem sound and adequately made in an enclosure designed for this purpose.
Does it merit any coding on an EICR? Probably not, at the most you could argue a C3 to remove the old SELV equipment, but you’d struggle to find an acceptable Regulation to justify that. There may be a label or markings on the cover of that enclosure identifying it as SELV, which would need to be changed, but again it’s hard to Code more than a C3 with any kind of meaningful Regulation.
There’s an argument that as it’s marked as SELV, anyone carrying out maintenance could access the fan and receive a shock, as it is 230 V and not SELV. That’s a non-argument, though, because you should always exercise safe isolation and check for dead before doing any work, at which point it would be obvious that this fan was now 230 V.
That said, it’s about the only viable option for coding, albeit a C3, to label the SELV enclosure as 230 V unless the junction box was changed, and then there would be no issue at all.
The best approach is to recommend that the enclosure would benefit from being changed or relabelled.
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