NAPIT Codebreakers #8

NAPIT Codebreakers #8

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.

JOHN COLLINS: I came across this when carrying out an EICR. Apparently, it had been like it for years and when I broke it open it consisted of three plastic strip connectors wrapped in a load of mastic tape. Ironically the insulation reading was 200+

Although this may seem very eclectic and ingenious, it’s not really up to the rigors and external influences it needs to protect against. First of all, where there are joints and terminals in a cable, they need to be accessible for inspection and maintenance, unless they are maintenance-free (MF), which strip connector is not. As John had to break into this, to inspect it, it was obviously not designed with inspection in mind.

The cables coming into the bottom appear to be a twin & earth and an SWA. The SWA is not terminated adequately; this will need to be checked to ensure that the other end of the cable is not in the same state. The twin & earth may well cause a strain on the terminations due to the large loop into the enclosure and the lack of adequate mounting of the strip connector.

Providing the SWA is correctly terminated at the end we can’t see, this observation can be remedied neatly and safely with an adaptable box enclosure, and some tidying of the twin & earth, taking account of the gas pipe above and ensuring a segregation distance of 25mm is maintained, in accordance with BS 6891.

JAMIE BEST: The client complained of a funny smell and lights flickering. The CU was fitted as part of a kitchen refurb.

Codebreakers: I have to say, that’s a first for me!! I’ve seen a few “alternative” bus bars used when the OEM parts weren’t available for whatever reason, but here we have the correct part (bus bar) which has been fitted incorrectly. I can only assume that a lack of experience or knowledge of this equipment type, and good working practices were the overriding issue here.

The section of bus bar to the right of this seems to be fitted correctly, so I’m lost for words as to how the fitter has installed the offending burnt section so incorrectly. Instead of using the correct terminal area to secure the bus bar, the actual exterior screw head of the circuit breaker (CB) terminal has been used. Attaining the correct torque in this instance is virtually impossible, as the two surfaces aren’t designed for this kind of joining. The resulting failure to use the correct termination, and torque, has resulted in overheating and damage, due to loose connections. This could easily have started a fire.

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