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THE INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS

SRI LANKA

DOMESTIC WIRING

MAY 2009

Technical Information Series Publication


No: TIS001, Edition 1

THE INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS
SRI LANKA
Technical Information Series Publication No: TIS001,
Edition 1

DOMESTIC WIRING
MAY 2009

Sponsored by:
LANKA ELECTRICITY COMPANY (PRIVATE) LIMITED
411,Galle Road
Colombo 3.


Foreword

T his publication on ‘Domestic Wiring’ is the first in a Technical


Information Series that the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka
(IESL) has decided to publish. It was during the Session 2003/ 2004
that the then Electrical and Electronic Engineering Sectional
Committee of the IESL first decided on the need for a publication on
this subject. This was considering the fact that many who presently
undertake residential wiring and electrical installation work often
overlook certain important factors that mostly affect the safety of
the public. At present, electrical household wiring is designed and
installed generally by unqualified “Electricians” whose knowledge and
competency on the subject is questionable. In the bygone days, only
the electricians who registered themselves with the Local Authorities
were authorized to undertake household wiring. However, this rule is
not being implemented any more. With the wide scale electrification
of the country, a large number of unskilled workers have taken up
work as electricians. The sub standard designs and installations done
by these workers pose a grave risk not only to the occupants of the
houses concerned but also to those living in the neighboured of those
houses. To make matters worse, there is very little reading material
available to educate and guide those who are interested to learn and
update their knowledge so that they carry out their work according to
laid out standards.

Eng. J Mallikarachchi, who was a member of the Electrical


and Electronic Engineering Sectional Committee during the Session
2003/2004 and who was well conversant with the subject is the author
of this Monograph. He in compiling this publication has combined
his own practical experience together with the theoretical knowledge
acquired by reading various other publications available on the
subject. The main focus of the publication has been on educating the
reader on the IEE wiring regulations explained in simple terms while
retaining their meanings.

This publication on ‘Domestic Wiring’ will certainly fill this


void. While the contents are simple and easy to understand

with no complicated mathematical calculations or drawings,
it is comprehensive enough to cover all fundamental aspects that
one needs to know on the subject. The Monograph is based on the
16th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations which was the standard
that was being followed at the time of writing it although it is the
17th Edition that is now in practice. This however does not make the
contents outdated in any way.

We will also be shortly arranging for the translation of the book


in to Sinhala so as to benefit a larger cross section of readers.

Finally we take this opportunity to thank Eng. Ranjith


Gunawardana, the Immediate Past President, who as the then
Chairman of the Electrical and Electronic Sectional Committee during
the Session 2003/2004 realised the need for this publication, the
Author Eng. J Mallikarachchi, the Past Presidents, Eng. D. G.
Senadhipathi and Eng. B. R. O. Fernando who assisted the Author
in editing the publication, Eng. (Prof) J R Lucas, Eng. M Zubair and
Eng. Ranil Senaratne for their valuable contributions in making the
document more comprehensive. Finally we thank the Members of the
Library, Publications and Publicity Committee (LPP&C) of the current
session for their contributions towards making this monograph a
reality.

Eng. D P Mallawaratchie
President of IESL – Session 2008/2009

Eng (Prof) AKW Jayawardane


Vice President and Chairman LPP&C 2008/2009


CONTENTS
Scope 11
Introduction 12

Basics of electrical wiring 13


Control of supply 13
Protection 13
Conductor 13
Insulator 13
Cables 13
Additional protection for cables 13
Stranding of conductors 14
Flexible cords 14
Electric circuits 14
Relationship between voltage and current 15
The basic circuit 15
Waveform 16
Types of available a. c. supplies 16
Current carrying capacity 16
Overcurrent 17
Faults – short circuits 17
Earth faults 17
Direct and indirect contacts 18
Prevention of fires and accidents 18
Switching 19
Switches 19
Isolator 19
Fuse 19
Circuit breaker 19
Emergency disconnection 20
Voltage and current rating of equipment 20
Earth fault protection 20
Resistance area of earth electrode 21
Earth loop impedance 22
Earth leakage circuit breakers 22
Voltage operated earth leakage circuit breaker 22
Residual current circuit breaker 23
Residual current device 24
Distribution inside the house 24
Distribution board 24
Final circuit 24
Fixed wiring 24
Socket outlet 25
Electrical point 25


Different types of final circuits 25
Sequence of supply controls 26
Declared or nominal voltage 27
Accessory 27
Diversity 27
The consumer unit 27
Safety precautions 27
Types of switches 29
Wiring systems – additional protection for cables 30
Looping in system 30
Identification (Colour code) 31
Single line diagram 31
IEE Regulations 33

Summary of Regulations relevant to domestic wiring 35

Fundamental Principles 35
Protection for safety 35
Protection against electric shock 35
Protection against thermal effects 35

Requirements for safety 35


Conductors and equipment 35
Fuses and circuit breakers 36
Connection of switches 36
Emergency disconnection 36
General provision for earthing 36
Installation of equipment 36
Special conditions 36
Addition to an installation 36
Testing and inspection 36

Control distribution and over-current protection 37
Protective equipment 37
Control of supply 37
Isolation 37
Overcurrent protection 38
Protection against electric shock 39
Protection against direct contact 39
Protection against indirect contact 39
Earthed equipotential bonding 39
Circuit protective conductors 40
Connection with earth 41
Labelling 41
Maximum demand and diversity 41
Nature of demand 41
Final circuits 42
Conductors and cables: choice and construction 42


Voltage rating 42
Current rating 42
Voltage drop 42
Cross-sectional area of conductors 42
Protection against mechanical damage 42
Identification of conductors 43
Terminations 43
Installation of equipment 43
Lamp holders 43
Lighting points 44
Ceiling roses 44
Lighting fittings 44
Plugs and socket-outlets 44
Switching for safety 46

EXCERPTS FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS 47



Earth fault currents 47
Detached buildings 47
Diversity 47
Overcurrent protection 47
Provision of protective devices 47
Final circuits 48
Final circuits of rating exceeding 15A 48
Domestic ring and radial circuits 48
Bending radius of cables 49
Terminations 49
Conduit systems 49
Metal conduit systems 50
Flexible conduit systems 50
Suspension from non-metallic boxes 51
Equipment liable to cause overheating 51
Ceiling roses 51
Isolated metal 51
Electrical discharge circuits 51
Earth fault protection 51
Room containing a bath 52

From the “ON-SITE GUIDE” 53

Maximum demand and diversity 53
Conventional circuit arrangements 55
Final circuits using 13A socket-outlets 55
Circuit protection 55
Conductor size 56


Cooker circuits in household premises 56
Correction factors for current carrying capacity 56

Selection of a System 59
Conductors 59
Insulation 59
Wiring systems 60
Overcurrent Protection 60
Means of isolation 61
Earth fault protection 62
Distribution boards 62
Layout 62
Type of final circuits 65
Selection of cables 65
Voltage drop calculation 67
Lighting circuits 68
Socket outlet circuits 68
Conduit capacities 69

Planning the installation 71


Example 75

Installation 83
Conduits on walls and ceilings 84
Conduits for switches 84
Conduits for socket outlets 85
Conduits for distribution boards 86
Wiring 86
Example 88
Single line diagram 89
Conduit layout 89
Wiring procedure 90

Testing 95
Tests to be carried out 95
Continuity of earth conductors 97
Continuity of ring final circuits 98
Insulation resistance 100
Earth electrode resistance 102
Operation of residual current devices 103

New colour code for cable cores 105


Regulation on “Warning notice – Non standard colours” 106

FROM THE APPENDIX: “HARMONIZED CABLE CORE COLOURS” 107

Introduction 107
Alteration or addition to an existing installation 107
Single phase 107
Two- or three-phase installation 107
Switch wires 108
Intermediate and two-way switches 108
Phase conductors 108
Changes 108

References 112

List of Diagrams
Fig.1 Components of a cable 13
Fig.2 Stranding of conductors 14
Fig.3 Series and parallel circuits 15
Fig.4 Basic domestic circuit 15
Fig.5 A.C. Voltage Wave 16
Fig.6 Electrical faults 17
Fig.7 Direct and indirect contacts 18
Fig.8 Multi pole switches 19
Fig.9 Earth conductor 21
Fig.10 Resistance area 22
Fig.11 Voltage operated earth leakage circuit breaker 23
Fig.12 Residual current circuit breaker 23
Fig.13 Ring and radial circuits 25
Fig.14 Sequence of supply controls 26
Fig.15 Polarity: position of fuses (mcbs) and switches 28
Fig.16 Polarity: connections to screw type lamp holders 28
Fig.17 Polarity: connections to socket outlets 29
Fig.18 Circuits with two-way and intermediate switches 29
Fig.19 Looping in wiring system 30
Fig.20 Single line diagram 31
Fig.21 House – Electrical points 73, 74
Fig.22 Upper floor distribution board 79
Fig.23 Ground floor distribution board 80
Fig.24 House – Electrical layout 81, 82
Fig.25 Conduit junction boxes 83
Fig.26 Sunk box 83
Fig.27 Conduit connections to lamps and a switch 84
Fig.28 Termination for a switch on wall 84
Fig.29 Conduit connection to socket outlets at skirting level 85
Fig.30 Conduit entries to surface mounted distribution boards 86
Fig.31 Method of connecting cable to draw wire 87
Fig.32 Cables entangling in a junction box 87


Fig.33 Wiring points in a house 88
Fig.34 Single line diagram 89
Fig.35 Wiring layout 89
Fig.36 Conduit layout 90
Fig.37 Example wiring using looping in method 91
Fig.38 Connections to switches and ceiling roses 93
Fig.39 Typical layout for 13A socket outlets 94
Fig.40 Continuity test for earth conductor (Method 1) 97
Fig.41 Continuity test for earth conductor (Method 2) 97
Fig.42 Continuity test for ring final circuits (Method 1) 98
Fig.43 Continuity test for ring final circuits (Method 2) 99
Fig.44 Insulation resistance between phase and neutral conductors 101
Fig.45 Measurement of earth electrode resistance 102
Fig.46 Testing RCCB with a lamp 104
Fig.47 Addition and alteration to an existing installation 109
Fig.48 Addition of a socket-outlet using new cables 110

List of Tables

Table 1 Identification of conductors 43


Table 2 Overcurrent protection of lampholders 44
Table 3 Plugs and socket-outlets 45
Table 4 Minimum internal radii of bends in fixed wiring 49
Table 5 Current demand to be assumed for points and equipment 53
Table 6 Allowances for diversity 54
Table 7 Final circuits using 13A socket-outlets 55
Table 8 Correction factors for groups of more than one circuit 57
Table 9 Current ratings applicable when protected by circuit breakers 66
Table 10 Current ratings applicable when protected by rewirable fuses 67
Table 11 Data on Flexible Cords 67
Table 12 Conventional final circuits 69
Table 13 Conduit capacities for PVC / PVC cables 70
Table 14 Example of conductor marking at the interface 107
Table 15 Changes to cable core colour identification - rigid cables 108
Table 16 Changes to cable core colour identification - flexible cables 108

10
Scope:

This Guide is meant for electricians and covers only domestic installations
not exceeding 100 A per phase

This Guide is restricted to installations:

(a) At a supply frequency of 50 Hz.

(b) At a nominal voltage of 230 V a. c. single phase and 400 V a. c.


three phase

(c) Fed through a Supply Authority’s cut-out having a fuse or m. c. b.


of 100A or less

This Guide also contains information, which may be required in general


installation work, such as conduit capacities, bending radii of cables etc. in
order to eliminate the need for detailed calculations.

11
Introduction

The electricity supply authorities are responsible for providing


a supply of electricity to suitable terminals on a consumer’s premises; the
electrical installation in the premises provides the means of conveying the
electricity to the equipment where it is to be used. The equipment installed has
to be connected by means of cables and controlled by suitable switchgear.
No equipment can be used safely unless the installation work has been
carried out correctly. Like fire, electricity is a good servant but a bad master
and so before anyone can install a safe and efficient electrical system, it is
essential for him to be familiar with the nature of electricity and the dangers
inherent in its use.

The two main hazards involved with electricity are electric shock
and fire. Both of these could be reduced to negligible proportions by using
suitable materials and correct methods of installation. Because of the vital
need to maintain high standards in carrying out installation work various lists
of regulations, requirements and codes of practices are published, some are
enforceable by law while others are mere recommendations but accepted as
standards to which every installation should be constructed.

The most important set of regulations concerning electrical


installation is known as I.E.E. Regulations and no electrician can claim to be
fully competent if he is not familiar with its contents. The I. E. E. Regulations
are enforceable by law in Sri Lanka under the Electricity Act.

12
Basics of Electrical Wiring

Control of supply
In electrical engineering, control generally means the ability to
isolate, connect, disconnect, direct or restrain the flow of electricity.

Protection
Protection in electrical engineering means the protection of cables
and equipment, usually against damage due to overcurrent or earth faults.

Conductor
Any material which allows free passage of electric current is known
as a conductor. Conducting materials vary in the degree to which they can
conduct electricity. Good conductors are required for electric circuits so that
they convey electricity with a minimum loss of voltage.

Insulator
Any material which does not allow free flow of electric current is
known as an insulator. Insulators are used to confine electric current to the
conductors in which they are intended to flow and to prevent leakage of
electricity to adjacent conducting materials which are not intended to become
“live”. Insulators are also needed to prevent unintended interconnections
between various parts of an installation.

Cables:
Major part of the domestic wiring installation involves cables. Cables
consist essentially of conductors to carry electric current and insulation to
prevent leakage of current from conductors. They are usually provided with
some form of protection against mechanical damage.

Conductor
Insulation (Solid or stranded)
Sheath for
mechanical protection

Fig. 1. Components of a Cable

Additional protection for cables:


Cables may of course be enclosed in metal or plastic conduits. A
conduit may be defined as a tube or channel. In electrical installation work
conduits refer to metal tubing of comparatively light gauge or to non-metallic
tubing. Although not considered as a part of the cables, these are a method
of cable protection. The same applies to trunking and ducting.

13
Stranding of conductors:
To give flexibility conductors of cables are stranded. The
number of strands in a cable is chosen to have a near circular shape when
all strands are combined. This is done by having layers of 1, 6, 12, 18, …
resulting 1, 1+6, 1+6+12, 1+6+12+18, … stranded conductors. This makes
number of strands making up a cable 1, 7, 19, 37, and so on. Conductors with
3 strands were included in imperial standards but not in metric standards.

1 3 1+6 1+6+12 1+6+12+18


Fig.2 : Stranding of Conductors

Single solid wire may be used in smaller metric cables of sizes below
4 mm2 Conductor sizes are expressed either by the number of strands and
diameter of the strand or by the cross sectional area. For example: 1/044
(Imperial), 1/1.13 or 1 mm2 (Metric) cable has one strand of 0.044 inches or
1.13 mm diameter and a cross sectional area of 1 square millimetre.

Flexible cords
Conductors of flexible cables consist of large number of fine wires.
Smaller flexible cables in which the cross sectional area does not exceed
4 mm2 are known as flexible cords. Flexible cords used normally consist from
16 to 56 strands each from 0.2 to 0.3 mm diameter.

Electric circuits
An electric circuit is an arrangement of conductors for the purpose of
flow of electricity. Before an electric current can flow in a circuit two conditions
must be fulfilled. Everybody is aware that a height difference is required for
water to flow from one point to another. Similarly for electricity to flow from
one point to another an electrical potential difference is required between
the two points. The other condition is that there must be a complete path
of conducting materials through which the current can flow. This potential
difference is known as the voltage and the rate at which the electricity
flows is known as the current. There are two basic types of electric circuits.
Arrangement in which circuit components are connected in series so that the
same current flows through every one of the components is known as a series
circuit. Arrangement in which circuit components are connected in parallel
so that same voltage is applied to each component is known as a parallel
circuit. In a parallel circuit current supplied is shared by each component. In
domestic wiring parallel circuits are used.

14
Lamp 1
Current 1

Voltage 1 Voltage 2 Voltage 3


Lamp 2
Current 2

Current 3 Lamp 3

Total Current
Lamp 1 Lamp 2 Lamp 3

Total Voltage
Total Voltage
Current

Voltage source Voltage source


Fig.3 Series and Parallel Circuits

Relationship between voltage and current:


Any conductor in which a current flows offers some resistance to
the flow of current. Consequently there is a drop in voltage between the two
ends of the conductor. This voltage drop is said to be proportional both to the
current as well as to the resistance. In d. c. circuits this relationship is given
by Ohm’s law as V=IR where V is the voltage between the two ends, I is the
current and R is the resistance of the conductor.
In a .c. circuits there are two more phenomena known as inductance
and capacitance which oppose rapid changes in current and voltage
respectively. The combined effect of resistance, inductance and capacitance
is known as impedance and is denoted by Z. The relationship of voltage
current and impedance of a. c. circuits is given by V=IZ.
Line I = Current

Phase (Line) Conductor


Supply
Transformer Z = Impedance
V = Voltage

Neutral Conductor
Neutral
Transformer neutral
earth point
Flg.4: Basic Domestic Circuit
The basic circuit:
The basic a. c. circuit used in domestic wiring has two conductors
and the current consuming equipment. The equipment is generally known
as the load. The conductors are connected to the transformer at the supply
end. One of the conductors is connected to the earth at the transformer for
safety reasons. It is known as the neutral point as its voltage with respect
to earth is zero. The conductor between the neutral point and load is called
the Neutral Conductor while the other is called the Phase Conductor. (Earlier
the phase conductor was also known as the Live Conductor, but the current
IEE Regulations considers both Phase and Neutral conductors as Live
Conductors).
15
Waveform:
The voltage between the phase conductor and the neutral rapidly
alternates between two values Vm and -Vm. (Vm is known as the Peak Voltage).
Time taken to travel from a particular value to the two extremities and returning
to the original value is known as a cycle. Number of such cycles per second
is called the frequency of the supply. Voltage, current and resistance are
measured in volt, ampere and ohm respectively and frequency is measured
in hertz or cycles per second.

1 Cycle
VOLTAGE

TIME

Fig. 5: A.C. Voltage Wave

Types of available a. c. supplies:


There are two types of a. c. supplies, available in Sri Lanka, which are
known as single phase 2 wire and three phase 4 wire systems. Single phase
supply has one phase (or line) conductor and a neutral conductor while three
phase supply has three phase conductors and a neutral conductor. The three
phases are designated as Red (R), Yellow (Y) and Blue (B) by convention.
(This would be changed to Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 with the change of
cable core colour code explained later).

Current carrying capacity:


Like any conductor a cable offers some resistance to flow of electric
current. This produces heat. The amount of heat produced depends on the
value of the current and the duration it flows. The insulation of the cable traps
this heat, which causes the temperature of the insulation to rise. Temperature
of the cable insulation cannot be allowed to rise to very high values since it
causes deterioration of insulation properties. When the current flow is very
high, overheating and possible destruction of the insulation could result. The
maximum current that can be taken through a cable without damaging it is
known as the current carrying capacity of the cable. The current carrying
capacity of a cable is determined by the cross section area of its conductor,
by the type of insulation and by the condition of the installation.
16
Overcurrent:
If the insulation of a cable is damaged conducting parts could
make unwanted contacts. Such contacts sometimes draw very high currents
causing further overheating and deterioration. These could heat up the
surrounding materials and end up in fires. When the current drawn in a circuit
is more than the current carrying capacity of the cable, it is known as an
overcurrent.

Faults - short circuits:


Contacts made between conductors bypassing the load are known
as faults. If the contact is made between phase conductors (In 3 phase circuits)
or between phase and neutral conductors bypassing the load extremely high
currents can flow. These are called short circuits. Over currents caused by
short circuits are called short circuit currents.

fault

Earthed
metal
parts

fault

(a) Short circuit (b) Earth fault

Fig. 6: Electrical Faults

Earth faults:
Earth is a very good conductor offering practically no resistance to
flow of current. Since the neutral point is already earthed, if a phase conductor
accidentally makes contact with earth, the current will flow through the earth
to the neutral point bypassing the load. Metal parts in contact with earth will
also help to carry these currents. The value of current varies depending on the
resistances of the contacts. Therefore if a current carrying conductor makes
contact with such metals fault currents could result. Such fault currents are
called earth fault currents. When contact between the metal part and earth is
not perfect (where the resistance between the two is more than zero) metal
part could gain a voltage due to the earth fault current. If a person touches
such a metal part he could get an electric shock.

17
Direct and indirect contacts:
Electric shock is caused by touch. It can be divided into two main
groups. If a person touches a current carrying component direct, it is called
direct contact. An example would be a person removing a switch plate and
accidentally touching the phase conductor. If a person touches an exposed
metal which is not normally live, but has become so under fault conditions,
it is called indirect contact. An example would be contact with the metal
case of an electric iron having both a phase to earth fault and a significant
resistance to earth.
conductor
Phase
To lamp

Phase
Neutral
Earth
(High
Switch
Impedance)
Earth
Fault

(a) Direct Contact (b) Indirect Contact

Fig. 7: Direct and Indirect Contacts

Prevention of fires and accidents:


In electrical installations fires could be started due to three reasons.
They are overloads, short circuits and earth faults. Overloading is caused by
drawing electricity through a circuit more than it is designed to carry, while,
short circuits or earth leakages are caused by insulation failures. If electricity
is allowed to flow through a fault for a considerable time, it could result in
a disaster. So, one of the prime requirements of an electrical installation is
to have a device in a readily accessible position to disconnect the supply
in case of an emergency. On the other hand an overload or an earth fault
may not be readily noticeable but still could lead to a disaster. Therefore it is
necessary to provide devices to automatically disconnect the supply in such
cases.

Switching:
It must be evident now that there should be a complete path of
conducting materials from the phase point to the neutral point of the
transformer for a current to flow. Any discontinuity of the arrangement of
conductors would stop the flow of current. This fact is utilised to control
electric circuits. The simplest device used to achieve this function is called
a switch while switchgear is a broad term applied to equipment used for
controlling the flow of electricity.

18
Switches
The switch is used to manually open or close a circuit carrying a
normal current. It is capable of closing and opening a circuit under specified
overload conditions also. There are two types of switches employed in electric
wiring. One type opens only one conductor (known as single pole switches)
and the other opens all the conductors (2 pole, 3 pole and 4 pole switches).
A switch in which it is arranged to open all the conductors together is known
as a linked switch.
Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase Phase 3

Phase Neutral Neutral

Single Pole Double Pole Four Pole


Switch Switch Switch

Fig. 8: Multi-Pole Switches


Isolator:
This is a mechanical switching device capable of opening or closing
a circuit under condition of no load or negligible current. It is used to provide
the function of isolation. Isolation is to cut off the supply from all or a section
of the installation by separating the installation or the section from every
source of electrical energy. An isolator defers from a switch in that it is to be
opened only when the circuit concerned is not taking current. Its purpose is
to ensure that the supply cannot be restored by switching the circuit on from
somewhere else. It implies that some other device needs to be incorporated
in the circuit along with the isolator to control the circuit in normal use.

Fuse:
This is a device inserted in a circuit to interrupt an overcurrent flowing
in it. It opens the circuit by melting the fuse-element by such overcurrent. A fuse
element is a conductor designed to melt when an overcurrent flows. Thus a
fuse can be used to automatically open the circuit when an overcurrent flows,
but it has to be replaced (after eliminating the fault) to restore the supply. If
it is necessary to open and close the circuit a switch is also required. Thus a
commonly used device to control circuits is a switchfuse which incorporates
a switch and a fuse (or fuses) together.

Circuit breaker:
This is a mechanical device for making and breaking a circuit, both
under normal conditions and abnormal conditions, such as those of a short
circuit. It can be used to open and close a circuit in normal use as well as
19
to automatically open a circuit in case of faults. There are many types of
circuit breakers such as oil circuit breakers (OCB), air circuit breakers (ACB),
moulded case circuit breakers (MCCB), miniature circuit breakers (MCB) etc.
in use.

Emergency disconnection:
The device to cut off the supply in case of an emergency could be
a switchfuse or a circuit breaker. Fuses or circuit breakers could be used to
automatically disconnect the supply in cases of overloads and short circuits.
The same devices could be used for earth faults as well when the earth fault
current is high, but some other device need to be employed to automatically
disconnect earth faults when the earth resistance is high.

Voltage and current rating of equipment:


One of the precautions that can be taken to prevent development of
faults during normal use is to use proper materials. There are standards set
up for selection of proper materials. Voltage rating and current rating are two
of such standards of importance in electrical wiring.
The voltage rating of equipment or cables indicates their safe working
voltage. In case of cables it is determined by the type and thickness of the
insulation. Standard voltage rating of most wiring cables is 600/1000V. 600V
is the safe working voltage to earth and 1000V is that between conductors.
(It must be mentioned here that safe working voltage does not mean that
one can safely touch a conductor energized to that voltage, but one can
safely touch a cable insulated to 600/1000V whilst its internal conductors are
energized to 600V to earth).
The maximum current that can be permitted to flow in equipment
without overheating is known as the current rating. The current rating of a
cable is determined not only by its physical properties but also the conditions
of installation. Whether it is installed in direct contact with air, touching a
surface, in a duct or a conduit, embedded in wall or buried underground,
temperature of the surroundings, thermal insulation properties of surrounding
materials and whether there are other cables around it, are some of those
properties which affects the current rating.
Current rating of a fuse is the maximum current, which can
continuously flow in the circuit, and not the current at which the fuse will
blow off. A fuse normally blows off almost immediately at around 3 times the
rated current. This value is known as the fusing current.

Earth fault protection:


A shock risk arises whenever accidental contact is made between a
live conductor and exposed metal work. At the same time earth fault currents
can give rise to fire risks. Therefore reliable protection is required against
possibilities of electric shock and fire risks from earth faults. These risks can
be guarded against by efficient earthing.

20
Method adopted in domestic wiring to minimise shock risk is to
earth all accessible metal parts and arrange to cut off the supply when the
metalwork is liable to be dangerously live due to a fault. For this purpose a
separate conductor is run throughout the installation along with the phase
and the neutral conductor. One end of this is earthed and it is known as the
earthing conductor.
L
Phase (Line) Conductor
Phase R
Main L Protected
Supply Earthing O Metal
Transformer Terminal A Work

Earthing Conductor
D
Phase B Phase Y
Neutral Conductor
Transformer
neutral Circuit Protective Conductor
earth (cpc)
point

Earth return path

SUPPLY AUTHORITY CONSUMER


Fig. 9: Earth Conductor
Resistance area of earth electrode:
The term “earthed” implies effective connection to the general mass
of the earth with adequate area of contact. This contact is usually achieved
by means of an earth electrode which could be a metal pipe, metal rod or
a metal plate or some other conducting object. Every earth electrode has a
definite electrical resistance to “true” earth. The current flow to the general
mass of the earth has to overcome not only the resistance of the conductor
forming the earth electrodes at the consumer’s end as well as the transformer
end, but also the resistance of the surrounding soil. Soil is a relatively poor
electrical conductor. As the current leaves the electrode it fans out and as the
current travels farther from the electrode, the effective cross sectional area
of the soil through which it flows is increased. This causes the resistance to
decrease. The overall effect is to produce a graded resistance concentrated
mainly in the soil surrounding the electrode and diminishing to near zero
around 1.5m away. The area containing virtually all the resistance is known
as the resistance area of the earth electrode.
As in the case of any conductor, when a fault current flows through
the earth electrode to the general mass of the earth, a voltage gradient is
produced in this resistance area. When the resistance and also the fault
current are high, the associated voltage difference may be large enough to
give a lethal shock through the two feet of a person standing on this area. For
this reason it is advisable to bury the electrode (about 150mm) beneath the
surface of the ground and the earthing lead connected to the electrode needs
to be insulated. Vertical electrodes to be most effective should cover this total
resistance area, which means they should be buried up to a depth of about
1.5m.

21
Soil
Fault Layers
Current
Ground

Earth
Electrode

Paths of
Fault
Current
Soil
Layers
(a) Sectional Elevation (b) Plan View
Fig. 10: Resistance Area
Earth loop impedance:
The earth electrode is only one part of the earth fault current loop
which determines the value of the current drawn. The fault current flows from
the transformer through the phase conductor to the fault and back to the
transformer neutral point through the earth conductor, earthing terminal,
earthing lead, earth electrode and soil path to neutral earth. The overall
resistance of this path will determine the magnitude of the fault current. Since
the voltage applied is alternating, it will depend not only on the resistance, but
also on the overall inductance and capacitance as well. The overall impedance
of the path that determines the magnitude of the earth fault current is called
the earth loop impedance.

Earth leakage circuit breakers;


A fuse or a circuit breaker can be used to disconnect the supply,
only if, a sufficiently high current flows long enough to operate them. When
the earth loop impedance is very high a fuse or a circuit breaker may not
provide the necessary earth leakage protection. In such an instance, a device
known as an earth leakage circuit breaker (e. l. c. b.) (Popularly known as
a trip switch) is used. The reason for e. l. c. b. s to be more effective when
connected to circuits with relatively poor earths is that they operate on very
low leakage currents. There are two types of e. l. c. b. s: voltage operated and
current operated (or current balance).

Voltage operated earth leakage circuit breaker


In the voltage operated e. l. c. b. the trip coil is connected between
the metalwork and the earth electrode. If a fault occurs from a current
carrying part to the metal frame, the fault current would flow through the
earth conductor, trip coil, insulated earth lead, consumer’s earth electrode to
earth. When the fault current is large enough the trip coil would operate and
disconnect the supply from the load.
22
Supply
Test
Resistance Protected
L Metal
Trip
Coil
O work
A
D

Insulated
Earth
Lead

Consumer’s Auxiliary
Earth Earth
Electrode Electrode

Fig. 11: Voltage Operated Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker

(Note: It should be noted that the current IEE Regulations do not permit the
use of voltage operated e.l.c.b. s and therefore they shall not be incorporated
to new installations.)

Supply Multiplier
Search Test
Coil Button Protected
L Metal
Trip Test O
Coil Resistance Work
A
D

Fig. 12: Residual Current Circuit Breaker


Earth
Electrode
Residual current circuit breaker
The current operated type e. l. c. b. operates by detecting the out of
balance current. The load is fed through two equal coils wound on a common
core on which a third coil is also wound. The third coil which is known as
search coil is connected to the trip coil of the e. l. c. b. through a voltage
amplifier. Under normal conditions the phase and the neutral current are equal
and there is no current flowing in the trip coil. When there is an earth fault
all the current flown through the phase conductor will not flow through the
neutral conductor as a portion will leak to the earth through the fault. Hence
there will be an imbalance and a current will flow in the search coil and trip
coil. This is known as the residual current. When the residual current is large
enough the trip coil will operate the e. l. c. b. Though this device was initially
called current operated e. l. c. b. the earth conductor is not going through it
and the term is somewhat erroneous. It is now known as a Residual Current
Circuit Breaker (r. c. c. b.).
23
Residual current device:
This is a mechanical device or a combination of devices which
opens the contacts when the residual current attains a given value under
specified conditions. The r. c. c. b. is a common particular implementation of
the residual current device.

Distribution inside the house:


Theoretically the whole installation in a house starting from the
supply authority’s fuse and ending up at its neutral terminal could be a single
circuit. Such a circuit could be very complex offering many parallel paths and
difficult to understand. Therefore it is usually divided into several sub circuits.
This is done by introducing one or more distribution boards with a number
of fuses on the live side and equal number of terminals on the neutral side.
Each sub circuit starts from a fuse and ends up at the corresponding neutral
terminal. (IEE Regulations define each of these sub circuits as a final circuit.)

Distribution board:
This is an assembly of parts including one or more fuses (or other
protective devices) arranged for the distribution of electrical energy to
final circuits or other distribution boards. Every distribution board must be
connected to and controlled by the main switchgear controlling the supply or
a separate way on a larger distribution board.

Final circuit:
The portion of the circuit between the distribution board fuse and the
neutral terminal is known as the final circuit. Every final circuit is connected
either to one way of a distribution board or to a switchfuse. The sizes of
the circuit fuses in a distribution board depend upon the ratings of the final
circuits.

Fixed wiring
Electricity consuming equipment in a household can be broadly
divided into two categories. Items like lights, ceiling fans etc. which generally
need not be moved about are known as fixed equipment. Other items like
table lamps, table fans, immersion heaters, electric irons, refrigerators etc.
which are moved around are called movable equipment. (Out of these items
which are not heavy and frequently moved items are known as portable
equipment). Usually fixed equipment are directly connected to the wiring
system while movable equipment are wired up to a certain point and are
provided a means to connect and disconnect the movable portion at will.
24
Radial
Circuit

Ring
Circuit

Distribution
Board
Spur

Fig. 13: Ring and Radial Circuits

Socket-outlet
The part of the facility to connect and disconnect the movable
equipment connected to the fixed wiring portion is known as a socket-
outlet. A socket-outlet is usually provided with protected contacts to make
connections for line, neutral and earth conductors. The part of the facility
connected to the movable equipment is known as a plug. It has protruded
pins to make connections with the line, neutral and earth contacts of the
socket-outlet. The plug is usually connected to the movable equipment by
a flexible cable or flexible cord. The movable equipment is usually required
to be used at different locations at different times. Therefore socket-outlets
need to be provided at all those different locations.
As there is a wide range of equipment drawing varying currents there
are socket-outlets of different capacities to choose from. The most common
socket-outlets found in domestic wiring in Sri Lanka are either 5A or 15A.
Also there are 13 A socket-outlets and fused plugs which can be used in
place of both 5A and 15A socket-outlets with suitable selection of the fuse in
the plug. In a ring circuit components of the circuit are arranged in a ring and
both ends of the ring are connected to a single point of supply. If the socket-
outlets are arranged in a chain with only one point connected to the supply
point, it is known as a radial circuit.

Electrical point:
Termination of the fixed wiring intended for the attachment of a
lighting fitting or of a device for connecting to the supply a current-using-
appliance is known as a point.

Different types of final circuits:


In configuring final circuits it is usual to group similar type of
equipment separately (such as lamps, 5A socket-outlets, 15A socket-outlets,
13 A socket-outlets etc.) to final circuits so that fuses and cables could be
chosen appropriately.
25
Final
Circuits

Sub
Distribution
Board

Sub-main Cables
to another
Sub-distribution board

Final
Circuits

Service Main Main


Distribution
Board

Service
Fuse

Residual Current Device

Main Switchfuse
Meter or
DP MCB
Consumer’s
Supply Terminals ORIGIN OF THE
Authority’s INSTALLATION
Terminals

Consumer’s
Load Cables Earth
Electrode
Supply Authority’s Equipment Consumer’s Terminals

Fig. 14: Sequence of Supply Controls

Sequence of supply controls:


The supply authority sells the electricity to the consumers. Therefore
a prime requirement for them is to provide an energy meter to measure the
amount of electricity consumed. They also provide a fuse cut out or a circuit
breaker to protect the meter. These items are sealed to prevent tampering
with the meter. Though mounted inside the consumer’s premises, equipment
up to and including the meter belongs to the supply authority.
The cable connecting the meter to the main switch is known as
the meter tails or load cables. Terminals of the meter connected to the load
cable are known as supply authority’s terminals, while terminals of the main
switch connected to the load cable are known as consumer’s terminals. This
is the position at which electrical energy is delivered to the consumer and it
is known as the origin of the installation.

26
Declared or nominal voltage:
As in the case of any conductor there will be a drop of voltage along
the service line from the transformer to the supply authority’s terminals. As
the distance from the transformer varies from house to house, the voltage
available at the consumer’s terminal varies due to this voltage drop. In order
to overcome this problem service lines are designed to maintain the voltage
within a reasonable range rather than at a constant value. The voltage
expected at the origin of the installation is known as the Declared Voltage
(or Nominal Voltage). The declared voltage in Sri Lanka is 230 V Single phase
and 400 V three phase. The voltage between any two phases is 400 V and
between any of the phases and the neutral is 230 V.

Accessory:
Any device other than a lighting fitting, associated with the wiring of
the installation, e.g. a switch, a fuse, a plug, a socket-outlet, a lamp holder or
a ceiling rose is known as an accessory.

Diversity:
In normal use it is very unlikely to switch on all the lamps and other
current consuming appliances (such as electric oven, hot plate, kettle, water
heater, iron, toaster, water pump, etc.) at the same time. Therefore it is not
necessary to provide cables and switchgear large enough to supply the
maximum possible load. Thus, it is possible to reduce the size of cables and
switchgear to cater to the maximum likely load. This is known as allowing for
diversity.

The consumer unit:


In the past individual items with rewireable fuses were used as main
switches and distribution boards, while voltage operated earth leakage circuit
breakers were used for earth leakage protection. The present practice is to
use miniature circuit breakers (MCB) instead of fuses and residual current
circuit breakers (RCCB) for earth fault protection. Another popular item in use
is the Consumer Unit with main switch, RCCBs and MCBs in one enclosure
instead of three separate units.

Thus a distribution system in a house would consist of A Main


Switch, a Residual Current Device, One or more Distribution Boards, (Or a
consumer unit), Sub Main Cables and final circuits.

Safety precautions
If a fuse or a circuit breaker is fitted on the neutral side of a distribution
board it will interrupt the supply in case of an overload, but it will not be
effective for other faults. Even when the circuit is disconnected at the neutral
fuse, the wiring and fittings will be live and there is a danger of receiving a
27
shock by anyone attempting to repair an electrical item. Therefore fuses or
single pole circuit breakers are never connected on the neutral side. However
there was a practice long ago to have fuses on the neutral side for additional
safety. But it has been discontinued now because sometimes the neutral
fuse blows without affecting the fuse on the live side creating the dangerous
condition described above.
A switch connected in any position in a lamp circuit can be used to
switch on and off the lamp. But if the switch is on the neutral side from the
lamp, the wiring and the fitting will remain “live” even when the switch is off
although the lamp will also be off. Therefore there would be a considerable
risk of electric shock if any one attempts to replace the lamp with only the
switch off. On the other hand, if the switch is on the live side of the lamp the
circuit will be dead when the switch is in off position and it will be possible
to replace the lamp or do other work on the circuit without electric shock.
Therefore switches are always connected on the live side (phase conductor)
in the interest of safety.

MCB on Neutral side Switch on Neutral side


Incorrect Incorrect
Correct
Fig. 15: Polarity: Position of Fuses (mcbs) and Switches

For similar reasons, when connecting socket-outlets and plug tops,


live conductor is always connected to the terminal marked “L”, Neutral
conductor to the terminal marked “N” and earth conductor to the terminal
marked “E”. Similarly live conductor on the screw lamp holders must be
connected to the centre contact in order to reduce danger of shock should
the fitting touched while the lamps are on.

Phase to
centre contact
Neutral to
Screw

Fig. 16: Polarity: Connections to screw type lamp holders

28
Fig. 17: Polarity: Connections to socket outlets

Type of switches
Lighting circuits are generally controlled by ( i ) One way switches,
( ii ) Two way switches and ( iii) Intermediate switches. One way switch is the
most commonly used item. This has a single contact point which makes (on)
and breaks (off) depending on the position of the toggle. Two way switches
have three contact points with one point making or braking contact with other
points depending on the position of the toggle. These are used to control
lamps from two different positions such as from either floor of a two-storied
building (Usually located at the entrance to the staircase). Intermediate
switches have four contact points which changes contact position from two
parallel lines to a cross (see figure) as the toggle is operated. They are used
to control lamps from three or more points in association with two, two way
switches.

Two Lamp Two Lamp


way way
switch switch

Lamp
Intermediate
switch

Two
way
SWITCHING switch
POSITIONS Lamp

(b) Two way and Intermediate swiches


(a) Two way swiches
Fig. 18: Circuits with two way and intermediate switches

29
Wiring systems – additional protection for cables
There are many types of wiring systems that can be used to provide
safe, efficient and economical installations. The principal types in use are:
Screwed metal (Steel, Copper or Aluminium) conduit, Plain unscrewed metal
conduit, Non-metallic (PVC,PE) conduit, Armoured cable, Mineral insulated
copper sheathed cable, Cable duct, Bus-bar and Wood casing systems.

Looping in system
An opening in cable insulation always makes a weak point and
reduces the insulation resistance. It is also necessary to minimise the number
of joints in an electrical installation since in addition to the aforementioned,
the effective current carrying capacity of the cable reduces at the joint. In
practise this is achieved by avoiding midway joints and making them only at
switches, socket-outlets, ceiling roses, lamp holders and similar accessories.
This will require more length of cables than if midway joints are allowed, but
extra cost is justifiable in the long run. This is called the looping in system.
The term, looping in, gives the erroneous impression that one length of cable
is bared at intervals and looped in at switch and lamp terminals. It is not
practicable. In practice, when wiring in conduit, necessary numbers of cables
are drawn through the conduits and the joints are made at the switches,
lamps or other terminals. (Note: In ring circuits it is necessary to keep the
loops avoiding joints as much as possible, in order not to reduce the current
carrying capacity of the cables.)

To Upper
Floor
Circuit

Distribution
Board

Fig. 19: Looping in Wiring System

30
Identification (Colour code).
There are three kinds of conductors involved in electrical installations
described earlier. They are the phase (line), the neutral and the earth
conductors. When there are a large number of cables involved, it is useful,
if these can be readily identified. This is achieved in practice by having a
different colour for each type of conductor. The colours used at present are
Red (Phase or Line), Black (Neutral) and Green or Green-and-Yellow (Earth).
In the case of flexible cables Brown (Phase), Blue (Neutral) and Green-and-
Yellow (Earth) is adopted. (The latest amendments to IEE Regulations have
changed the colour coding as Brown (phase), Blue (neutral) and Green-and-
Yellow (Earth) for rigid cables as well, effective from 1st April 2006.)

Single line diagram


The readers may have already noted that it is easier to present the
items in an electrical installation in a diagram rather than a verbal description.
Further such information can be presented more clearly in symbols rather
than drawing the actual items. The connection details are usually shown in
what is called a “Single Line Diagram”. Here the circuits are shown in single
line form irrespective of the number of conductors involved. The actual
number is usually indicated by a set of short cross lines.

Layout drawing has been already shown in Fig. 19 and a typical


single diagram is shown in Fig 20 and a set of symbols used is shown
overleaf.

2x6

30 A DP
MCB

40 A DP
30 mA
RCCB

2x1
Lamps

2 x 2.5 Ring
Socket Outlets

Fig. 20: Single Line Diagram

31
STANDARD SYMBOLS
Symbol Description
Switch (General)
Triple Pole Switch
Circuit Breaker
Single Pole MCB

Fuse
Link ( Neutral)

On Push Button
Off Push Button
Filament Lamp

Distribution Board
Residual Current Device

Electricity Meter
Pendent or Ceiling Lamp

Wall Bracket
Single Fluorescent Lamp
Twin Fluorescent Lamp

Ceiling Fan
13A Socket Outlet

5A Socket Outlet
15A Socket Outlet
One way Switch
Two way Switch

Electric Bell
Bell Push

Earth Connection

32
I.E.E. Regulations

The I.E.E. Regulations (or more specifically, BS 7671: 2001


Requirements for Electrical Installations, will hereinafter be referred to as
the Regulations) provides a comprehensive list of the requirements which
experience has shown to be necessary for a safe and efficient electrical
installation. They cover the whole field of installation work and if an installation
complies with the regulations it can be certain that the installation will be
acceptable to every one concerned.

Since, the Regulations are recognised as a National Code in the


United Kingdom it has been necessary to write them in precise form. Therefore
the first time readers may find the formalised wording difficult to understand.
Further, the Regulations themselves state that they are not intended to instruct
untrained persons. An average electrician sometimes may have difficulty in
knowing what a regulation requires as well as the reason why a particular
requirement is necessary. Therefore, a summary of more important points of
the Regulations are included in this chapter in order for an electrician to get
a general idea of the requirements. However more enthusiastic readers are
advised to refer to the Regulations to gain a more precise knowledge.

First edition of the Regulations was issued more than 100 years ago
in 1882 by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London. Thereafter, several
editions and amendments have been issued from time to time to revise and
update to suit changes in technology and attitudes towards safety. Its 15th
Edition issued in 1981 drastically changed the layout maintained up to the
14th Edition, but there was no appreciable change of the contents from the
14th Edition. This was done in order to fall in line with international bodies like
International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and European Committee
for Electro-technical Standardisation (CENELEC) aiming at a common set of
wiring regulations. Then another change took place in 1992 when the 16th
Edition was published as a British Standard jointly by the British Standards
Institution and I.E.E. There were several subsequent amendments and a
document has been published incorporating amendments up to 2004.
It is the latest edition at present and it is referred to as, “BS 7671: 2001
(2004), Requirements for Electrical Installations, formerly the I.E.E. Wiring
Regulations”.
33
Apart from the small changes that took place to cater to the
changes in technology and attitudes towards safety, the fundamentals of
14th and 16th Editions are the same. The layout used in the 14th Edition
(Metric Supplement issued in 1970) is in a more logical sequence and easier
to follow for an average electrician engaged in domestic wiring and it is used
in presenting the summary of the Regulations in this Chapter. But changes
have been made to incorporate the alterations and additions included in the
16th Edition.
There are some clauses in the 14th Edition which cannot be
correlated directly to any clause in the 16th Edition. But closer inspection
of some clauses in the 16th Edition permits, application of those clauses in
the 14th Edition for domestic wiring in Sri Lanka. These clauses have been
included separately at the end of the Chapter.

Note: The IEE Regulations have been revised and 17th Edition has
been issued after this monograph was drafted but before it was printed. The
current edition is referred to as BS7671 (2008), Requirements for Electrical
Installations IEE wiring Regulations. 17th Edition.

34
Summary of Regulations Relevant to Domestic Wiring
Fundamental Principles

Protection These requirements are for providing safety to people and


for
safety property when using electricity from:
i. shock currents
ii. high temperature
iii. moving electrical equipment
iv. explosion

Protection Persons shall be protected against dangers that may arise


against from contact with (a) live parts of the installation and
electric (b) exposed metal parts during a fault.
shock
Protection can be achieved by:
i. preventing a current from passing through the
body
ii. limiting the current which can pass through a
body to a safe value
iii. automatic disconnection of supply under fault
conditions

Protection The electrical installation shall be arranged to avoid causing


against fires due to high temperature or electric arc.
thermal
effects Persons, equipment and material adjacent to electrical
equipment shall be protected against, burns, fires, and harm
due to heat emitted by the electrical equipment.

Requirements for Safety

Conductors All electrical conductors shall be of sufficient size and


and current rating for the purpose for which they are to be
equipment used.

All equipment shall be suitable for the maximum power


demanded by the current using equipment.

All conductors shall either be insulated or so placed to


prevent danger.

Every electrical joint and connection shall be of proper


construction as regards conductance, insulation,
mechanical strength and protection.

35
Good workmanship and proper materials shall be used.

All equipment shall be constructed, installed and protected


to prevent danger.

Fuses and Every Electric circuit and sub-circuit shall be protected by


circuit a suitable fuse or a circuit-breaker.
breakers
If an installation is protected by a single residual current
device, this shall be placed at the origin of the installation.

No fuse or single pole circuit breaker shall be inserted in


the neutral conductor.

Connection All fuses and single pole control devices such as switches,
of switches circuit-breakers, thermostats etc. shall be connected in the
phase conductor only.

Emergency There should be a main switch or a circuit breaker at a


disconnection readily accessible position to cut-off the supply in case of
an emergency.

General In every installation, a consumer’s earthing terminal shall


provision be provided adjacent to the consumer’s terminal. An earth
for earthing conductor (now known as circuit protective conductor)
shall be provided through out the installation which shall
be connected to the earthing terminal.

Installation Every piece of equipment which requires operation or


of attention of a person shall be so installed that adequate and
equipment safe means of access and working space are available.

Special All equipment likely to be exposed to weather shall be


conditions so constructed and protected as may be necessary to
prevent danger from such exposure.

Additions to Before adding any new load to an existing installation the


an current rating and condition of the cables and switchgear
installation should be checked to make sure that they could carry the
additional load.
Testing and On completion of an installation or an extension or
Inspection alteration of an installation appropriate tests and inspection
shall be carried out.

36
Control, Distribution and Overcurrent Protection

Protective Protective equipment shall be selected to provide:


equipment i. overcurrent (overload, short circuit) protection
ii. earth fault protection
iii. overvoltage protection
iv. undervoltage and no-voltage protection.

The protective devices shall operate at values of current,


voltage and time which are suitably related to the circuits
and danger.

Control of Every consumer’s installation should have switchgear


supply at a readily accessible position with means of isolation,
overcurrent protection and protection against electric shock.

Isolation A linked main switch or circuit-breaker shall be provided as


near as practicable to the origin of every installation as a
means of switching the supply (on and off) on load and as
a means of isolation.

Where an installation is supplied from two sources, a main


switch shall be provided for each source of supply and a
notice shall be fixed near these switches to indicate that
both should be switched off to isolate the installation.
Alternatively a suitable interlock system shall be provided.

The device for isolation shall isolate all live supply


conductors from the circuit concerned.

A main switch intended for operation by unskilled persons


e. g. household or similar installation, shall interrupt both
live conductors of a single phase supply.

Means of isolation shall preferably be provided by a


multipole device which disconnects all poles of the relevant
supply, but use of single pole devices situated adjacent to
each other is not excluded.

Provision shall be made for disconnecting the


neutral conductor. Where there is a joint, it shall be such
that it is in an accessible position, can only be disconnected
by means of a tool, is mechanically strong and will reliably
maintain electrical continuity

37
Where an installation is supplied from two sources and one
of them requires independent earthing and it is necessary to
ensure that only one means of earthing is applied at anytime,
a switch may be inserted between the neutral point and the
earthing, provided that the switch is a linked switch
arranged to disconnect and connect the earthing conductor
for the appropriate source at the same time as the live
conductors.

Overcurrent A fuse or a circuit-breaker shall be provided to break any


protection overload current flowing in the circuit conductors before
such a current causes a damage. Every circuit shall be
designed so that a small overload of long duration is
unlikely to occur.

The fuse or the circuit-breaker shall satisfy the following


conditions:
i. nominal current of the fuse or current setting of the
circuit-breaker is not less than the design current
of the circuit
ii. nominal current of the fuse or current setting of
the circuit-breaker does not exceed the current
carrying capacity of the lowest-rated conductor of
the circuit.
iii.tripping current of the protective device does not
exceed 1.45 times the current carrying capacity of
the lowest-rated conductor of the circuit.

For a circuir-breaker compliance with condition (ii) above


also results in compliance with condition (iii).

For a rewirable fuse to satisfy the condition (iii), its nominal


current shall not exceed 0.725 times the current rating of
the lowest-rated conductor in the circuit.

The protective device shall be placed at the point where a


reduction occurs in the value of current carrying capacity
of the conductors of the installation due to a change in
cross-sectional area, method of installation, type of cable or

38
conductor, or in environmental conditions. This requirement
does not apply for a conductor of length not exceeding 3m,
when the overload protective device is placed along the run
of the conductor, provided there is no branch circuit or a
current using outlet between the point where the current
carrying capacity of the conductor is reduced and the
position of the protective device.

Protection Protection against electric shock shall be provided by


against appropriate measures providing protection against direct
electric shock contact and indirect contact.

Protection For protection against direct contact one or more of the



against following measures shall be used: protection by
direct i. insulation of live parts
contact ii. barrier or enclosure
iii. obstacles
iv. placing out of reach

Supplementary protection can be provided by a residual


current device but it shall not be used as the sole means of
providing protection against direct contact. Such a residual
current device shall have a maximum sensitivity of 30 mA.

Protection For protection against indirect contact one of the following


against measures shall be used: protection by
indirect i. earthed equipotential bonding and automatic
contact disconnection of supply
ii. Class II equipment
iii. Non-conducting location
iv. earth-free local equipotential bonding
v. electrical separation

Earthed This measure is generally applicable and is intended to


equipotential prevent occurrence of a voltage between two simultaneously
bonding accessible metal parts that could give electric shock.

All non-current carrying metal work shall be connected via


main earthing terminal to a common earth electrode.

All exposed metal parts of other services (water, gas etc.)


in within reach should be connected to the main earthing
terminal.

39
One or more of the following types of protective devices
shall be used:
i. residual current device
ii. an overcurrent protective device
(Residual current device is preferred)

The following condition should be fulfilled for each circuit:


RA Ia ≤ 50V
Where
RA is the sum of the resistances of earth electrode
and the protective conductors connecting to the
exposed metal part.
Ia is the current causing the automatic operation of
the protective device within 5 s.
In case of a residual current device, Ia is the residual
operating current

Every socket-outlet circuit shall be protected by a residual


current device.

A circuit protective conductor shall be provided in every


final circuit.

Earthing terminal of every socket-outlet shall be connected


to the circuit protective conductor.

All lighting points shall be provided with an earthing terminal


and connected to the circuit protective conductor.

All switches shall be provided with an earthing terminal and


connected to the circuit protective conductor.

Circuit Cross sectional area of every circuit protective conductor


protective not contained in a multi core cable shall have the cross
conductors section as follows:

40
Cross sectional area Cross sectional area of
of phase conductor circuit protective conductor
(S) (Sp)
mm2 mm2

S ≤ 16 S
16 < S < 35 16
S ≥ 35 S/2

(A complicated formula is available in the Regulations to


determine a more accurate smaller cross sectional area
for earth conductor to be used by competent persons if
desired.)

Connection Main earthing terminal shall be connected via an earthing


with earth conductor to an earth electrode.

Every protective conductor up to and including 6 mm2


other than copper strip shall be insulated.

The connection of an earthing conductor to an earth


electrode should be soundly made and be mechanically
and electrically satisfactory.

Every connection of an earthing conductor to an earth


electrode shall be readily accessible.

Labelling When the purpose of a switch or a circuit-breaker is not


obvious, a label to indicate the equipment it controls shall
be provided. An indication of the circuit protected and the
appropriate current rating of the fuse or circuit-breaker shall
be provided in the cover / case of every distribution board.

Maximum The maximum demand of an installation shall be assessed.


demand and Diversity may be taken into account for the purpose.
diversity

Nature of The number and type of circuits shall be determined from


demand the knowledge of:
i. location of points of power demand
ii. loads to be expected on the various circuits.

41
Final circuits Where an installation has more than one final circuit, each
final circuit shall be connected to a separate way of the
distribution board. The wiring of each final circuit shall be
electrically separate from that of every other final circuit.

Conductors and Cables: Choice and Construction

Voltage rating The voltage rating of every cable shall be not less than the
declared or nominal voltage of the circuit.

Current rating The current rating of every cable shall be suitable for the
design current and the current which will likely to flow
through it in abnormal conditions, for such periods of time
as are determined by the characteristics of the protective
devices concerned.

Voltage drop The size of every conductor shall be such that the drop
in voltage from the consumer’s terminal to any point in
the installation does not exceed 4 % of the declared or
nominal voltage when the conductors are carrying the full
load current.

Cross- The cross-sectional area of conductors shall be determined


sectional according to:
area of i. the maximum temperature
conductors ii. the voltage drop
iii. effects of short-circuit and earth fault currents
iv. other mechanical stresses
v. the maximum impedance for operation of short-
circuit and earth fault protection

Protection A wiring system shall be selected and erected so as to


against minimize damage to sheath and insulation of cables
mechanical and insulated conductors and their terminations, during
damage installation, use and maintenance.

The conduits for each circuit shall be completely erected


before any cable is drawn in.

The radius of every bend in a wiring system shall be such


that conductors and cables shall not suffer damage.

A flexible wiring system shall be installed so that extensive


tensile and torsional stresses to the conductors and
connections are avoided.

42
Identification Every single core cable and every core of a twin or multi core
of conductors cable shall be identifiable at its terminations and preferably
throughout its length as prescribed in Table 1.
TABLE 1. Identification of conductors

Function Colour Identification


Protective (including earthing) conductor Green or Green and yellow
Phase of a. c. single phase circuit Red (or yellow or blue*)
Neutral of a. c. single phase or three
Black
phase circuit
Phase R of a. c. three phase circuit Red
Phase Y of a. c. three phase circuit Yellow
Phase B of a. c. three phase circuit Blue
* As alternative to the red in large installations, on the supply side of the final
distribution board.
(Information from TABLE 51A, BS 7671: 1992)

The latest amendments to the Regulations have changed the colour coding
as indicated in Table 1A. It will be mandatory to follow this new colour code
for installations commencing on site after 31st March 2006.

TABLE 1A. Identification of conductors (Mandatory for new installations from


1st April 2006)

Function Colour Identification


Protective (including earthing) conductor Green and yellow
Phase of a. c. single phase circuit Brown
Neutral of a. c. single phase or three phase circuit Blue
Phase 1 of a. c. three phase circuit Brown
Phase 2 of a. c. three phase circuit Black
Phase 3 of a. c. three phase circuit Grey
(Information from TABLE 51, BS 7671:2001(2004)

Terminations All terminations of cable conductors shall be mechanically


and electrically sound.

Installation of Equipment

Lamp A lamp holder shall not be connected to any circuit where


holders the rated current of the fuse or circuit-breaker exceeds
value given in Table 2.

43
TABLE 2. Overcurrent protection of lampholders

Type of Lampholder Maximum rating (amperes) of


fuse or circuit-breaker
Small Bayonet Cap B15 SBC 6
Bayonet Cap B22 BC 16
Small Edison Screw E14 SES 6
Edison Screw E27 ES 16
Goliath Edison Screw E40 GES 16
(Information from TABLE 55B, 16th Edition of IEE Regulations)

A lampholder for a filament circuit shall not be installed in a


circuit operating at a voltage exceeding 250 V.

The outer contact of every Edison screw or single centre


bayonet cap type holder shall be connected to the neutral
conductor.

Lighting At each of the fixed lighting point one of the following shall
points be used:
i. a ceiling rose
ii. a luminaire supporting coupler
iii. a batten lampholder
iv. a luminaire designed to be connected directly to the
circuit wiring

A lighting accessory or luminaire shall be controlled by a


switch or combination of switches.

Ceiling Ceiling roses shall not be installed in circuits operating at a


roses voltage exceeding 250 V.

Not more than one flexible cord shall be connected to a


ceiling rose.

Lighting Accessories used in pendent lights shall be suitable for the


fittings weight of the suspended light.

Plugs and Every plug and socket-outlet shall confirm with the
socket-outlets applicable British Standard listed in Table 3.

44
TABLE 3. Plugs and socket-outlets

Type of plug and socket-outlet Rating (amperes) Applicable


British Standard
Fused plugs and shuttered socket-
outlets, 2-pole and earth 13 BS 1363
Plugs, fused or non-fused, and
socket-outlets, 2-pole and earth 2,5,15,30 BS 546
Plugs, fused or non-fused, and
socket-outlets protected type,
2-pole and earth 5,15,30 BS 196
Plugs and socket-outlets
(industrial type) 16,32,63,125 BS EN 60309-2
(Information from TABLE 55A, 16th Edition of IEE Regulations)

A plug and socket-outlet not complying with above may be


used for:
i. the connection of an electric clock, provided that it is
designed for the purpose and the plug incorporates a
fuse of rating not exceeding 3 amperes.
ii. the connection of an electric shaver, provided that the
socket-outlet is incorporated in a shaver supply unit.

Every plug and socket-outlet shall comply with the


following:
It shall not be possible for any pin of a plug to make
contact with any live contact of the socket-outlet while
any other pin of the plug is exposed.
It shall not be possible for any pin of a plug to make
contact with any live contact of any socket-outlet within
the same installation other than for which the plug is
designed.

Every plug and socket-outlet shall be of the non-reversible


type, with provision for connection of a protective
conductor.

Every socket-outlet for household use shall be of the


shuttered type.

A socket-outlet on a wall or similar structure shall be


mounted at a height above the floor or any working surface
to minimize the mechanical damage to the socket-outlet or
the plug.
45
Socket-outlets shall be provided at conveniently accessible
places, where portable equipment is likely to be used.

Switching for A fireman’s switch shall be provided in the low voltage


safety circuit supplying;
i. exterior electrical installations
ii. interior discharge lighting operating at a voltage
exceeding 1000V.

For an exterior installation, fireman’s switch shall be outside


the building and adjacent to the equipment.

For an interior installation, fireman’s switch shall be in the


main entrance to the building

46
Excerpts from Previous Editions

th th
The Regulations listed below were in the 14 /15 Editions but cannot be
th
directly referred to a clause in the 16 Edition. But these can be considered
still applicable to domestic wiring in Sri Lanka, when the Regulations in the
16th Edition are studied in detail.

Earth fault Every circuit shall be arranged so as to prevent dangerous


currents earth fault currents.

Where the earth resistance is high a residual current device


or an equally effective device shall be provided.

Detached Where a consumer’s installation is in two or more detached


buildings
buildings, separate means of isolation shall be provided.

Diversity When calculating the size of the conductors and switchgear


of final circuits, total current of the connected load shall be
taken into account.

Overcurrent Every means of overcurrent protection shall be suitable for


protection the maximum short circuit current attainable.

Provision of Every conductor in the installation shall be protected


protective against overcurrent by either a fuse inserted in every live
devices
conductor of the supply or a circuit-breaker having an
overcurrent release fitted in each phase conductor of the
supply. The devise shall be fitted at the origin of the circuit
which the conductor forms part. The current rating of
every fuse used for this purpose shall not exceed, that of
the lowest rated conductor in the circuit protected. Every
circuit-breaker used for this purpose shall operate when the
circuit protected is subjected to a sustained overcurrent of
1.5 times the rating of the lowest rated conductor.

47
Exemptions:
i. circuits in which omission of overcurrent protection
is required to prevent damage: e.g. the shunt trip
circuit of a circuit-breaker
ii. auxiliary circuits of equipment contained entirely
within the equipment
iii. radial or ring circuits and spurs installed in accordance
with the Regulations
iv. 0.5 mm2 flexible cord protected by a 5A fuse or
circuit-breaker in a distribution board
v. 0.75 mm2 or 1.0 mm2 flexible cord protected by a
13A fuse in a 13A fused plug or a fused spur-box
2
vi. 1.0 mm flexible cord protected by a 20A circuit-
breaker in a distribution board

Final circuits To facilitate disconnection of each final circuit for testing,


the neutral conductors shall be connected at the same
order as that in which the live conductors are connected to
the fuses or circuit breakers.

Final circuits The circuits shall not supply more than one point, with the
of rating following exceptions:
exceeding 15A
Final circuits of ratings in the range of 15 to 30A may
be used to supply a number of 13A socket-outlets with
fused plugs

Domestic Radial or ring circuits may be installed to serve 13A Socket-


ring and outlets.
radial circuits
Each circuit conductor of a ring final circuit shall be run in
a form of a ring, commencing from a way in the distribution
board, looping into the terminals of the socket-outlets and
joint boxes (if any) connected in the ring and returning to
the same way of the distribution board.
The circuit protective (earth) conductor shall also be run
in the form of the ring having both ends connected to the
earth terminal at the distribution board.
Each ring final circuit conductor shall be looped into every

48
socket-outlet or joint box and shall remain unbroken
throughout its length or, alternatively, if the conductor is
cut its electrical continuity shall be ensured by appropriate
joints complying with the regulations.

Bending The internal radius of every bend in a cable shall not be


radius of less than the appropriate value stated in Table 4.
cables

TABLE 4. Minimum internal radii of bends in fixed wiring

Insulation Finish Overall diameter Minimum bending radius


Rubber or PVC Non-armoured Not exceeding 10 mm 3 times the overall dia.
Between 10 and 25 mm 4 times the overall dia.
Exceeding 25 mm 6 times the overall dia.
Armoured Any 6 times the overall dia.
(Information from TABLE B1.M, 14th Edition of IEE Regulations)

Terminations Every connection at a cable termination shall be made


by means of a terminal, soldering or compression type
socket. The socket shall securely contain and anchor all
the wires of the conductor and the cable shall not impose
any appreciable mechanical strain on the terminal or the
socket.

Conduit Conduits shall be securely fixed and adequately protected


systems where they are liable to mechanical damage.

Inspection boxes, draw in boxes, etc. should be so situated


that they remain accessible throughout the life of the
installation.

The number of cables run in a conduit shall be such as to


permit easy drawing-in. The number and sizes of cables
shall be such that a space factor of 40% is not exceeded.

The inner radius of a conduit bend must not be less than


2 1/2 times the outside diameter of the conduit and also
should not be less than 4 times the diameter of the largest
cable installed.
Solid elbows and tees may only be used at ends of conduits
immediately behind accessories or lighting fittings.

49
All burrs shall be removed from the ends of lengths of
conduits and outlets must be bushed to guard against the
possibility of abrasion of the cables.

Where joints in the cables are required substantial boxes


should be used. At every termination the cables must be
enclosed in an enclosure of incombustible material.

Conduit system shall be self-ventilating and drainage


outlets should be provided wherever condensed moisture
might collect.

Metal conduit systems shall be efficiently earthed.

Metal conduit In metal conduit systems all phase conductors, the neutral
systems conductor and the circuit protective (earth) conductor of
each circuit must be drawn into the same conduit.

Where the conduits themselves are particularly liable to


mechanical damage adequate extra protection against the
damage should be provided.

Where conduits pass through floors, walls, partitions or


ceilings the holes should be made good with cement or
similar material.

Where conduit is installed in a damp situation or is exposed


to the weather, heavy gauge conduit should be used and
this should have a corrosion resistant finish.

Flexible Flexible metal conduit is not suitable for use as a circuit


conduit protective (earth) conductor. A separate circuit protective
systems conductor is required.

Flexible cable or cords shall be used for all connections to


moving apparatus
Flexible cable or flexible cords shall not be used as fixed
wiring unless contained in earthed metal or other non-
combustible and mechanically strong enclosure. This
requirement does not apply to short lengths of flexible
cables or cords used for final connections to fixed
apparatus. Non-sheathed flexible cables or cords shall not
be drawn into conduits or ducts.

50
Suspensions Where a non-metallic outlet box of thermo plastic material
from non- (e.g. PVC) is used for suspension of a lighting fitting, care
metallic shall be taken to ensure that the temperature of the box
boxes: 0
does not exceed 60 C. The mass suspended from the box
shall not exceed 3 kg.

Equipment All filament lamps shall be placed or guarded against


liable to ignition of any flammable material.
cause
overheating
When a distribution board without a back or side is installed,
it shall be fitted only to a non-combustible surface.

Ceiling No terminal shall remain live in a ceiling rose when the


roses switch is off.

Isolated Following metal components may be isolated without


metal connecting to the circuit protective (earth) conductor:
Short isolated lengths of metal used for protection of
cables with non-metallic sheath
Metal cable clips
Metal lamp caps
Screws or Nameplates
Metal chains used to suspend lighting fittings
Metal lighting fittings which cannot be touched

Electrical Every switch used to control a discharge lighting circuit


discharge (including fluorescent lighting) shall have a current rating
circuits
of not less than twice the total steady current which it is
required to carry.

In a discharge lighting circuit the neutral conductor shall


have a cross section area not less than that of the phase
conductors.

Earth fault Earth fault protection may be given by fuses or circuit


protection breakers if the leakage current is more than:
(a) 3 times the current rating of any semi enclosed fuse
(b) 1.5 times the tripping current of any circuit breaker

51
Room The latest amendments to the 16th Edition of the
containing a Regulations have changed the requirements apply to
bath rooms containing baths, showers and cabinets containing
shower and/or bath. The areas are divided into four zones
basically containing the bath or shower basin, immediate
vicinity and two outer areas, allowing some submersible,
jet-proof and waterproof equipment and accessories to
be installed in these areas. However, for domestic wiring
utilising normal accessories the previous requirements
stated below could be considered valid:

No switches or socket-outlets should be installed in a


bathroom. Switches operated by insulated cords and
shaver outlets incorporating isolating transformers are
permitted.

Electric shavers with isolating transformers may be installed


in a room containing a bath or a shower.

52
From the “On-site Guide”

When the Regulations became a British Standard some of the


appendices published up to then with the Regulations were removed
as they were not falling in line with the format of British Standard
publications. IEE published a separate document called “On-site guide”
to expand and clarify some aspects of the 16th Edition incorporating
the material not included in the Edition, but which was included in
earlier issues. The following are some excerpts.

Maximum Demand and Diversity

The current demand of a final circuit is determined by adding up


the demands of all points and equipment in the circuit and where
appropriate making an allowance for diversity. Typical current demands
to be used in this summation are given in Table 5.
TABLE 5. Current demand to be assumed for points and equipment
Point or equipment Current demand to be assumed
15A Socket-outlet 15 ampere
13A Socket-outlet 13 ampere*
5A Socket-outlet 5 ampere
Lighting point** Current equivalent to the connected load
with a minimum of 100 watt per lamp
holder
Household cooking appliance The first 10A of the rated current plus 30%
of the remainder plus 5A if a socket-outlet
is incorporated in the control unit
Electric clock, or electric shaver
supply unit, bell transformer May be neglected
All other fixed or free standing appliances British Standard rated current

Note:
* For ring and radial final circuits with many 13A socket-outlets current
demand to be assumed is the rating of the fuse or m. c. b. of that
particular circuit.

** Final circuits of discharge lights are arranged so as to be able


to carrying the total steady current (current drawn by the lamp,
controlgear and harmonic currents). Where more exact information
is not available, the demand in volt-amperes is taken as the rated
lamp watts multiplied not less than 1.8.
(Source: Table 1A, Appendix 1, “On-Site Guide”)

The current demand of a circuit supplying a number of final circuits


may be assessed by using the allowances for diversity given in Table 6.
This should be applied to the total current demand of all the equipment
supplied and not by adding up the current demand of individual final
circuits.
53
TABLE 6. Allowances for diversity

Purpose of final circuit Types of premises

Houses Small shops, stores, Small hotels,


offices boarding houses,
guest houses

1. Lighting 66% of total current 90% of total current 75% of total


demand demand current demand

2. Cooking appliances 10 amperes + 30% 100% full load of 100% full load of
of full load of cooking largest appliance largest appliance
appliances in excess + 80% f. l. of 2nd + 80% f. l. of 2nd
of 10 amperes + largest appliance + largest appliance +
5A if socket-outlet 60% f. l. of remaining 60% f. l. of remaining
incorporated in unit appliances appliances

3. Motors 100% full load of 100% full load


largest motor + 80% of largest motor
f. l. of 2nd largest + 50% f. l. of
motor + 60% f. l. of remaining motors
remaining motors
4. Water Heaters 100% full load of 100% full load of 100% full load of
(instantaneous type) largest appliance largest appliance largest appliance +
+ 100% f. l. of 2nd + 100% f. l. of 2nd 100% f. l. of 2nd
largest appliance + largest appliance + largest appliance +
25% f. l. of remaining 25% f. l. of remaining 25% f. l. of remaining
appliances appliances appliances
5. Water heaters No diversity allowable
(thermostatically
controlled)

6. Conventional 100% current demand 100% current demand of largest circuit +


arrangement of final of largest circuit + 40% 40% of the current demand of every other
circuits as given below of the current demand circuit
of every other circuit

7. Socket-outlets other 100% current demand 100% current demand 100% current demand
of largest point + 75% of largest point + 75%
than those included in of largest point + 40%
6 above of the current demand of the current demand of the current demand
of every other point of every other point of every point in main
rooms (dining rooms
etc.) + 40% of the
current demand of
every other point
(Source: Table 1B, Appendix 1, “On-Site Guide”)

54
Conventional circuit arrangements;

Conventional circuits given below satisfy the Regulations for overload


protection, isolation and switching, together with requirements as regards
current-carrying capacities of conductors.

Final circuits using 13A socket-outlets

A radial or ring circuit with spurs if any permanently connected equipment


and unlimited number of socket-outlets.

The floor area served by the circuit is determined by the known or estimated
load but does not exceed the value given in Table 7.

For household installations a single 30A ring circuit may serve a floor area up
to 100 mm2 but consideration should be given to the loading in kitchen which
may require a separate circuit

Each socket-outlet of a twin or multiple socket-outlet unit should be counted


as one socket-outlet

Diversity between socket-outlets and fixed equipment has already been


taken into in Table. 7 and no further diversity should be applied.

TABLE 7. Final circuits using 13A socket-outlets

Type of Overcurrent protective Minmum Maximum floor


device
circuit conductor size* area served
Rating Type
A mm2 m2
A1 Ring 30 or 32 Any 2.5 100
A2 Radial 30 or 32 Cartridge fuse or 4 50
circuit-breaker
A3 Radial 20 Any 2.5 20

* The tabulated values of conductor size may be reduced for fused spurs.
(Source: Table 9A, Appendix 9, “On-Site Guide”)

Where two or more ring final circuits are installed the socket-outlets are
reasonably distributed among the circuits.

Circuit protection
The overcurrent protective device is of the type, and has the rating, given in
Table 7
55
Conductor size

The minimum size of the conductor in the circuits and non-fused


spurs is given in Table 7. However, if the cables of more than two circuits
are bunched together or ambient temperature exceeds 300C, the size of
the conductor is increased and is determined by applying the appropriate
correction factors from Table 8, so that the conductor size is then corresponds
to a current-carrying capacity not less than:
i. 20A for circuit A1
ii. 30A or 32A for circuit A2
iii. 20A for circuit A3
The conductor size of a fused spur is determined from the total
current demand served by that spur, which is limited to a 13A.
iv. when such a spur serves socket-outlets the minimum conductor
size is 1.5 mm2 for pvc insulated cables with copper conductors

Cooker circuits in household premises

The circuit supplies a control switch or a cooker unit which


incorporates a socket-outlet.

The rating of the circuit is determined by the assessment of the


current demand of the cooking appliance(s) and control unit socket-outlet if
any, in accordance with Table 6.

A circuit of rating exceeding 15A but not exceeding 50A may supply
two or more cooking appliances where these are installed in one room. The
control switch should be placed within two metres of the appliance. Where
two stationary appliances are installed in one room, one switch may be used
to control both appliances provided that neither appliance is more than two
metres from the switch.

Correction factors for current carrying capacity

The current-carrying capacity of a cable for continuous service is


affected by ambient temperature, by grouping and by enclosing in a thermal
insulation material. The cables are rated for 30oC and domestic wiring in Sri
Lanka is unlikely to exceed this temperature. Enclosing in a thermal insulation
would also be a rare occurrence. The correction factors for grouping are given
in Table 8.

56
TABLE 8. Correction factors for groups of more than one circuit

Method of Correction factor


Installation Number of circuits
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Single core cables
in conduit or 0.8 0.7 0.65 0.60 0.57 0.54 0.52 0.50 0.48 0.45 0.43
trunking on a wall
or ceiling

Single layer
clipped to a non- 0.85 0.79 0.75 0.73 0.72 0.71 0.70 - - - -
metallic surface
(Touching)

Single layer
clipped to a non- 0.94 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90
metallic surface
(Spaced)
(Source: Table 4B1, Appendix 4, 16th Edition of IEE Regulations)

57
58
Selection of a System

In deciding on a wiring system factors such as type of load to


be supplied, type of building in which the installation is to be done, cost,
durability, appearance, any adverse conditions and expected life of the
installation should be considered. To facilitate this task one should have
some knowledge of materials and systems employed in this kind of work.

Conductors
Some of the materials used as conductors in electrical engineering
are silver, cooper, aluminium, brass, nichrome, manganin, tungsten and
carbon. Silver is the best known conductor of electricity, but it is too expensive
for general use. The contacts of some switches are plated with silver to
make better contact. Copper is the material widely used in electric wires and
cables. It has a low resistance, not very expensive, can be easily formed into
wires and can be soldered easily. Aluminium is also used in electric wires
and cables, but it is not suitable for smaller sizes. Brass is often used for
terminals and various electrical fittings and accessories. Brass is harder than
copper, can be easily machined, readily cast and easily soldered. Nichrome
and manganin are used in heaters and resisters. Tungsten is used in electric
lamp filaments and carbon is used in brushes.

Insulation
Rubber, PVC, XLPE, ceramic, bakelite and Perspex are some of
the insulating materials used in electrical engineering. Most widely used
cable insulation for many years was rubber (Natural rubber vulcanized to
give strength). Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), which has now practically replaced
rubber, is a plastic compound impervious to moisture and resistant to most
chemicals. It has the disadvantage that it softens at high temperatures and
it becomes brittle at very low temperatures. Though it can be produced in a
form which is suitable for higher temperatures, it cannot be used in very low
temperatures. Cross Linked Polyethylene (XLPE) is also now used as cable
insulation.
Some of the materials used as cable insulation can be modified
for use as protective sheathing. Toughened rubber was used as a sheath in
rubber insulated cables and PVC modified to make it mechanically stronger
is used for PVC cables. PVC has the advantages being resistant to oils and
most chemicals and being self extinguishing. PVC sheathing is often of a
softer composition than PVC insulation, which facilitates its stripping.

59
Wiring systems
Bare conductor, cleated wiring, wood casing, armoured cable,
mineral insulated copper sheathed cable (MICC), catenary supported wiring,
metal conduit, insulated conduit, cable duct, bus-bar trunking and under
floor concealed ducts are some of the wiring systems in use.
The most popular wiring system for permanent wiring is the conduit
system. The practice of threading the cables through the conduits and
conduit fittings and then connecting elbows and tees to the conduit was
customary in the early days of electrical wiring where the first cost was
the only consideration. After the completion of the building it was quite
impossible to withdraw or rewire any of the cables when faults developed,
as they frequently did. This method of wiring is contrary to the Regulations
which require that the conduit system to be complete, before the cables are
drawn in.
The screwed steel conduit system is popular for industrial
applications. Screwed steel conduits are made to standard sizes with
standard threads, standard conduit fittings, saddles and other accessories.
Advantages of screwed steel conduit system are that it affords good
mechanical protection, permits easy re-wiring when necessary, minimizes fire
risks, provides efficient earth continuity and presents a pleasing appearance
if properly installed. But in domestic wiring screwed steel conduits are hardly
used nowadays.
The advantages of PVC conduit system are that it is less costly, can
be installed much more quickly than steel conduits, non corrosive, impervious
to most chemicals, weather proof and will not support combustion. The
disadvantages are that it is not suitable to be exposed to temperatures below
o
15oC or above 65 C and will not withstand blows and strains as much as
steel conduits.
PVC conduits are available in sizes of 16mm(5/8”), 20mm(3/4”),
25mm(1”), and 32mm(1 1/4”) of nominal diameter. It is generally the insulated
conduits used in domestic wiring these days. In this system circuits are
wired with single core PVC insulted cables in PVC conduits for mechanical
protection. The Regulations allow using PVC cables without a sheath in
conduits. But this type of cables is not readily available in the market in
this country and is not normally used in domestic wiring. What is generally
used is PVC insulated PVC sheathed cables with copper conductor in PVC
conduits.

Overcurrent protection
The ordinary rewirable fuse is still used in many switchgear. Its
advantages are that it is cheap and costs practically nothing to replace
but there is nothing very much more that can be said in favour of them. It
is unreliable as it is subject to deterioration due to oxidation and scaling,
and this may result in reducing its current carrying capacity and which in
turn might cause overheating, and further deterioration and overheating

60
until serious damage is caused to the switchgear before the fusing element
reaches sufficient temperature to melt and open the circuit. Some of the other
disadvantages are that inability to clear heavy faults and the ease with which
the fuse may be replaced by an unskilled person using one of incorrect size.
Fuse elements which are made of the same material and having
the same thickness and length do not always blow off at the same value of
the current. One reason is that they can carry some overcurrent for some
time. Therefore they blow off at different times depending on the value of
the overcurrent. The other reason is ageing. The fuse element is heated up
to some extent when carrying current and cooled again when the flow is
stopped. This causes deterioration and ultimate blowing of the fusing element
at a lesser current, sometimes even below the rated value.
Modern circuit breakers of reputable makes are designed to handle
safely heavy short-circuit currents within their rated breaking capacities.
Circuit-breaker has several advantages over any type of fuse. The major two
are:
1. In an event of overload all poles are simultaneously opened.
2. The circuit can be closed again quickly.
A remarkable difference between a fuse and a circuit-breaker is
the time that it takes to operate in an overload. The circuit-breakers can be
designed to operate at a predetermined time for a given overcurrent. A fuse
will take more than four hours to operate when an overcurrent of 1.5 times the
rated current flows continuously. On the other hand a circuit-breaker would
trip in less than four hours in a similar situation. The time taken would vary
depending on the type of the circuit-breaker. This fact is taken into account
in the Regulations and it requires the current carrying capacity of a cable
protected by a semi-enclosed fuse to be reduced to a half of the capacity of
the same cable protected by a circuit-breaker of the same rating.
The miniature circuit breaker is more expensive in first cost but it
has much to commend it especially as it can be made to incorporate an earth
leakage trip. If they operate due to overload they can readily be reset. In
domestic wiring the main switch used nowadays is generally a MCB. MCCB
is also sometimes used in large houses.

Means isolation
The Regulations allow the consumer not to provide a main switch if
the supply authority agrees for the consumer to use their equipment to protect
the installation. But the consumer needs to provide a means to isolation at
a readily accessible position. Therefore it is allowed to use an isolator which
opens all the poles (i.e. double pole for single phase and four pole for three
phase supplies) in place of the main switch. But it must be noted that most
isolators may not effectively open the circuits in case of a heavy short circuit
and it is not advisable to use an isolator for the purpose.

61
Earth fault protection
In the early days, current operated e.l.c.b.s were much more
expensive and less sensitive than voltage operated e.l.c.b.s and the latter
were extensively used. With the development of electronic devices, sensitivity
of the residual current detection devices was greatly improved and the cost
has been appreciably reduced. Now there are devices combining both
overcurrent and earth fault protection in the same unit. The device generally
used for earth fault protection in domestic wiring nowadays is RCCB, but
voltage operated earth leakage circuit breakers are still in use in most of the
old installations. (Note: 15th edition of the Regulations refer to them as Fault
Voltage Operated Circuit Breakers, but 16th Edition makes no reference at all
implying that the use of voltage operated circuit breakers is now obsolete).

Distribution boards
There are many types of distribution boards available in the market
and it is wise to select one which provides plenty of wiring space and is of
sufficient size to accommodate the cables, which have to be connected to
them. Two main categories are those that are surface mounted and those
mounted flush with the surface. The selection in this regard lies basically with
the likings of the owner of the dwelling.
Distribution boards can be divided to three different categories
when based on the protective device used for final circuits: Those fitted with
(1) rewirable fuses, (2) HRC fuses and (3) miniature circuit-breakers (MCB).
HRC fuses are not likely to be present in domestic installations in Sri Lanka.
The trend now is to use distribution boards with MCBs in place of rewirable
fuses. However fuses are still used in some installations.
An interesting point about fusing and fuse protection is that circuit
fuses protect the circuit cables being overloaded and should also prevent
main fuses from operating in case of a local short circuit. There is however
no guarantee that circuit fuses will protect any current consuming device
from becoming overloaded, especially on circuits consisting of more than
one point.

Layout
After the positions of the electrical points, switches, DB etc. are
finalized it is possible to decide on the conduit layout which gives the shortest
cable paths. When choosing the route to be followed by the wiring in a
building the following factors must be taken into account as far as possible:
i. Cables should not be located in positions where they are subject to
the risk of mechanical damage or liable to deteriorate because of
vibrations, moisture, heat, corrosive environment etc.
ii. It is an advantage if the runs are easily accessible both for installation
and maintenance, at the same time wiring should be as unobtrusive
as possible.

62
iii. The routes chosen should run as directly as possible, so avoiding
the use of an excessive quantity of materials and keeping voltage
drops to a minimum.
The relative importance of these factors varies so much from one
installation to another and no hard and fast rule can be laid down.
The Regulations state that every cable and flexible cord shall have
a current rating either not less than that of the fuse element or not less than
two-thirds of the operating current of an instantaneous circuit breaker.
If a circuit designed to carry 15A wired with 2.5 mm2 cable it could be
protected by a fuse rated to carry 15A (fusing current of a 15A fuse element
would be around 29A). If a pendent consisting of a 0.5 mm2 flexible cord
is connected to this circuit and a 15A heater is connected to the pendent
by an adapter, the fuse would not operate, but the flexible cable would get
dangerously hot, as it is rated to carry only 3A. It is a well known fact that this
kind of heater should not be connected to a lamp holder, but it is very often
done and circuits must be protected to ‘prevent danger’ from such misuse,
by choosing a suitable fuse rating to protect the flexible cord.
The Regulations divide the final circuits to two broad categories:
those rated less than 15A and those rated equal or more than 15A. A circuit
feeding more than 15A is not permitted to be connected to any other point.
(Except in the case of 13A socket-outlets and cookers). Therefore a separate
circuit is required for each point drawing more than 15A.
If the lighting load in a house does not exceed 15A, all points may
be wired on one circuit. Then the circuit need to be wired with 1.5 mm2 cable
and protected by a 15A fuse, but it would also be necessary to use 1.5 mm2
flexible chord for all pendants.
This rather extreme example shows that although the Regulations
would permit such a circuit, it would prove very inconvenient to the user
and there would be no saving in materials or labour. Such single circuits are
generally discouraged in domestic installations.
In actual practice domestic lighting circuits are now generally rated
at 5A. This means that they are controlled by a 5 or 6A fuse or a MCB, wired
with 1.0 mm2 cable and 0.75 mm2 flexible cords together with ordinary B.C.
lamp holders. (For pendent lamps 0.5 mm2 flexible cords are allowed as an
exception).
If all lights in a house are wired on to a single circuit the whole
premises will be plunged into total darkness when the final circuit fuse or
MCB operates. Therefore it is always advisable to provide at least two lighting
circuits, however small the premises is.
If 5A socket-outlets are to be installed then only one may be installed
to a 5A circuit, two to a 10A circuit and three to a 15A circuit. The usual
practice is to provide two 5A socket-outlets protected by a 10A fuse or a
MCB in a circuit wired with 1 mm2 cable.
63
In the case of final circuits with rated capacity exceeding 15A, no
diversity factor can be applied as it serves only one point. But cable size may
have to be increased to prevent excessive voltage drop. The cables must be
rated to take the full current of the point or equipment which will be fed by the
point, whichever is greater.
There are socket-outlets and plugs of different ratings used for
various current ratings of equipment in use. This had been a nuisance for the
average householder in finding the correct type of accessory for each kind
of equipment. An opportunity arose to get rid of this problem in the United
Kingdom soon after the Second World War when most of the buildings had to
be reconstructed. The 13A socket-outlet with a fused plug was introduced for
the first time as a solution and to keep the cost of wiring as low as possible.
Having long lengths of flexible cable leads from socket-outlets to
portable equipment spreading all over the house is a nuisance and bound
to create accidents. In order to avoid this, one would like to have as many
socket-outlets as possible, close to positions where such equipment is in use.
For example, in a kitchen or a pantry, every worktop should be provided with
a number of outlets and in a living room it will be convenient and safe to have
different outlets for the TV set, the booster, the radio, the audio equipment,
the table lamp, the table fan and so on. These suggest a large number of
closely spaced outlets. If they are to be wired back separately, the cost of
cables would be prohibitive. Therefore many people are not willing to install
the necessary number of outlets. Since these outlets, if provided, are closely
spaced, most probably only a small portion of them would be in use at any
given time. Thus, the principle of diversity could be applied to this situation
to bring down the size of the feeding cable. Because the outlets are spread
over a large area, it is possible to form them into a ring by bringing the both
ends of the cables to the distribution board by introducing small lengths of
cables. This makes each outlet to have two parallel paths of supply, which
enables to reduce the size of the cable further. Thus a 30A fuse or a MCB
could easily feed a circuit with twenty outlets. This makes it necessary to
provide a fuse of appropriate rating at the outlet to protect the flexible lead
to the portable equipment and therefore a fuse is inserted inside the plug
top. By selection of the rating of this fuse suitably, both the flexible cable and
the equipment could be protected. This could be used for any equipment
drawing less than 13A by changing the fuse in the plug to an appropriate
rating. The main advantages are that any appliance can be with a load not
exceeding 3 kW could be connected with perfect safety to any socket and as

64
many as ten socket-outlets could be wired to a circuit. With this system cost
of providing three 13A socket-outlets in a room would not exceed the cost of
installing one 15A socket-outlet plus a three-way adapter.
The Regulations regarding circuits containing 13A socket-outlets
have been changed from 14th to 16th editions. Earlier there was a limit to the
number of outlets connected to a particular circuit, now it has been amended
to limit the area served instead of outlets connected. The Appendix relevant to
this stipulation has now been shifted from the Regulations proper to the “On
Site Guide” as per British Standards Institution requirements. (The relevant
particulars were given earlier).

Types of final circuits


Final circuits found in domestic wiring can be divided into the
following groups and each of which needs different treatment at the planning
stage:
Those feeding lighting points
Those with 5A socket-outlets
Those with one 15A socket-outlet
Those with 13A socket-outlets
Note: One 5A socket-outlet could be incorporated into a lighting circuit
provided that the total demand does not exceed the rating of the circuit.

Selection of cables
The current ratings of cables depend on their physical properties
as well as the installation conditions. In deciding the size of the cable for a
particular purpose, it is necessary to consider the voltage drop in addition
to the current rating. IEE Regulations include tables giving the values of
voltage drop per ampere per metre. It is indicated that the values have to
be modified to allow for ambient temperature, grouping of cables, installing
methods and the Regulations give correction factors which have to be used
to multiply the given value to arrive at the corrected value. It also requires
applying different ratings on the type of protective devices. If MCBs are used
to provide overcurrent protection, supplied tables can be applied direct and
when semi-enclosed fuses are used the values have to be multiplied by a
factor of 0.725. Table 9 gives the relevant particulars for most commonly
used cables for domestic wiring.

65
TABLE 9. Current ratings applicable when protected by circuit breakers

Installed in conduits or trunking Clipped direct to surface or


cable tray
Nominal Number Two Cables 3 or 4 Cables 3 or 4 Cables
Two Cables
cross and
sectional diameter Single phase Three phase Single phase Three phase
Volt
area of wires Current Volt drop Current Volt drop Current Volt Current drop
mm No./mm rating
2 mV per rating mV per rating drop rating mV per
A Amp per Amp per mV per A Amp
Metre A A
Metre Amp per per
Metre Metre
1 1/1.13 14 42 12 37 17 42 16 37
1.5 1/1.38 17 28 14 24 21 28 20 24
2.5 1/1.78, 24 17 21 15 30 17 26 15
7/0.67
4 7/0.85 32 11 29 9.2 40 11 36 9.2
6 7/1.04 41 7.1 37 6.2 50 7.1 45 6.2
10 7/1.35 55 4.2 51 3.7 68 4.2 61 3.7
16 7/1.70 74 2.7 66 2.3 90 2.7 81 2.3
25 7/2.14 97 1.7 87 1.5 118 1.7 106 1.5
35 19/1.53 119 1.3 106 1.1 145 1.3 130 1.1
(Source: IEE Regulations - 15th Edition)

(Note: Tables published in the 16th Editions have a slightly different format.
Current ratings and volt drops are given in two separate sets of tables and
for cables above 16 mm2 voltage drop has been divided into resistive and
reactive components.)

Table 10 which was extracted from the data published in the 14th edition
of the Regulations can be applied direct when rewirable fuses are used for
protection of final circuits.

66
TABLE 10. Current Ratings applicable when protected by semi-enclosed
(rewirable) fuses
3 or 4 cables in conduits or 3 or 4 cables clipped direct to a
Nominal cross Number and trunking surface or cable tray
section Area diameter of
Current Rating Volt drop Current Rating Volt drop
mm2 wires mV per Amp
mV per Amp
No./mm A per Metre A per Metre
1 1/1.13 9 35 12 35
1.5 1/1.38 11 23 15 23
2.5 1/1.78,
7/0.67 16 14 20 14
4 7/0.85 22 8.8 27 8.8
6 7/1.04 28 5.9 34 5.9
10 7/1.35 39 3.9 46 3.5
16 7/1.70 53 2.2 61 2.2
25 7/2.14 71 1.4 80 1.4
35 19/1.53 88 1.0 98 1.0
(Source: IEE Regulations - 14th Edition)

TABLE 11 Data on Flexible Cords


Number and Nominal cross Current Rating Maximum weight
diameter of wires section Area A supported by
No./mm twin flex cord
mm2 Kg.
0.5 16/0.20 3 2
0.75 24/0.20 6 3
1.0 32/0.20 10 5
1.5 30/0.25 15 5
2.5 50/0.25 20 5
4.0 56/0.30 25 5

Voltage drop calculation


In calculating the voltage drop in the cables in the following example,
it is assumed that the circuits are wired from the distribution board which is
located at the origin of the installation. If there is a long length of sub-main
cable from the origin of the installation, then the voltage drop along the sub-
main cable also has to be calculated in a similar manner and added to the
voltage drop of the circuit wiring. The total voltage drop from the origin to the
end of the circuit should not exceed 4% of the nominal voltage to comply
with the 16th Edition of the Regulations. For 230V supply this amounts to
9.2V. The voltage drop in a circuit is ascertained by first multiplying the length

67
of the run in the circuit in metres by the current in the circuit in amperes. This
gives a product in Metre Amperes. When 9.2V is divided by this product, the
maximum allowable voltage in volts per ampere per metre is found. As the
values in the table are given in millivolt the result should be multiplied by 1000
to select the cable. The smallest cable having the voltage drop per ampere
per metre value less than the figure arrived from the calculations should be
selected. (The normal practice would be to tentatively select the cable on the
basis of current carrying capacity and calculate the voltage drop at the rated
current. If the voltage drop is excessive a larger cable is selected using the
aforementioned calculation method.)
Example:
Find a suitable cable to carry a current of 20A in a circuit with a
length of 25 metres connected to 230V supply. The metre-ampere figure will
be 20*25 = 500. Therefore maximum allowable mV/A/m will be 9.2 * 1000 /
500 = 18.4. From the table for two wire single phase wiring in conduits the
smallest cable satisfying the requirement will be 2.5 mm2 (1/1.78 or 7/0.67)
having a voltage drop of 17 mV/A/m. The voltage drop when carrying rated
current will be 17*20*25 = 8.5V. (Before using this value it has to be checked
whether it can safely carry 20A under installation conditions. Example is to
show voltage drop calculation only.)

Lighting circuits
The major component of domestic wiring involves lamps which are
normally wired into 5A circuits using 1 mm2 cable. As per the Regulations,
each lamp holder needs to be allowed 100 W. Therefore maximum number
of lamp points that can be allowed to a 5A circuit will be 11 Nos. Allowing for
20% for future use, only 8 o 9 lamp points can be connected to a circuit.
Voltage drop of a 1 mm2 cable is 37 mV per ampere per metre. Thus
the maximum length that is permissible for a 5A circuit is about 50 metres.
This is applicable only to final circuits from the main switchboard. For final
circuits of sub distribution boards, voltage drop along the sub-man cable also
need to be taken into account.
Thus a lamp circuit in a house could consist of 8 lamp points and
wired up to a maximum length of 50 metres measured along the cable path.
Using this criterion the number of circuits to be wired and the position of the
distribution board can be decided.
A ceiling fan also consumes about 100 W and can be allocated to
circuits on the same basis.

Socket-outlet circuits
If 13A socket-outlets are to be wired, a ring circuit using 2.5 mm2
cable can be provided for each 100 square metres of area. However, it would
be better to provide the kitchen with a separate circuit.

68
5A socket-outlets can be wired with 1 mm2 cable protected by a 10A
fuse/mcb with one or two outlets in the circuit. Three 5A socket-outlets can
be wired with 1.5 mm2 cable protected by a 15A fuse/mcb. The maximum
length of the circuit will depend on the number of outlets as the Regulations
require us to assume a demand of 5A for each outlet.
15A socket-outlets can be wired using 1.5 mm2 cable up to 13
metres and using 2.5 mm2 cable up to 21 metres. Cable sizes need to be
increased for longer lengths to compensate for the voltage drop.
It is not intended to mix 5A and 15A socket-outlets with 13A socket-
outlets in the same premises. Using air conditioners with 13A socket-outlets
has been a problem, due to the fuse being blown sometimes due to the starting
current. To overcome this problem a 20A DP switch can be incorporated to
the ring circuit to feed air conditioners.

Schedule of Final Circuits


Details of the components related to final circuits can be summarized
as given in Table 12.

TABLE 12. Conventional final circuits

Rating of the Fuse or Minimum size of Minimum size of Suitable Socket-


M.C.B. Cable Flexible Cord outlet
Amperes Square Millimetre Square Millimetre Amperes

5 1.0 0.75* 5
10 1.0 1.0 5
13 1.5 1.5 5
15 2.5 1.5 5/15
20 2.5 2.5 13/15
30 2.5 (ring) - 13
30 4.0 (radial) - 13

* It is permissible to use 0.5 sq. mm. flexible cord for a pendent which is
connected to a circuit controlled by a 5A fuse / mcb as an exemption.

Conduit Capacities

The “On-Site Guide” include tables giving details to determine the
number of each size of cable that can be drawn into various sizes of conduits.
These tables have been prepared allowing 40% free space so that the cables
can be drawn into the conduits easily. But these are not directly applicable
since they are based on the dimensions of PVC insulated (only) cables, where
as cables used in Sri Lanka are PVC insulated and sheathed cables. However
these tables could be modified and used taking the overall diameter of the
cables into consideration.
69
The Tables in the Regulations provide different values for different
sizes of conduits and cables for different distances between the adjacent
draw-in boxes. They are further divided based on the nature of the run,
straight, with one ninety degree bend, with two ninety degree bends and so
on.
A table can be prepared for insulated and sheathed cables
interpolating the values given for the insulated cables using the overall
diameter as the base. Table 13 indicates the number of such cables of each
cross section area that can be drawn into the indicated sizes of conduits for
straight runs and incorporating three, ninety-degree bends between draw-in
boxes where the draw-in boxes are not more than three meter apart.

TABLE 13. Conduit capacities for PVC / PVC cables

Cable size in Straight runs With Three Bends


Sq. mm. Conduit diameter in mm

16 20 25 32 16 20 25 32
1 5 8 14 25 4 7 12 22
1.5 4 7 12 22 3 5 10 18
2.5 2 4 7 12 1 2 5 9
4 1 3 5 9 1 2 3 6
6 1 2 4 8 - 1 2 5

When light fittings are installed underneath PVC conduits, care


should be taken to ensure that the heat from the lamp does not result in the
o
PVC being subject to a temperature exceeding 65 C. For surface installations
it is recommended that the saddles should be fixed at intervals of 800 mm for
up to 20 mm diameter and at 600 mm for larger sizes.
Flexible PVC conduits are also available and they can be used
where there are awkward bends and other locations where rigid PVC would
be difficult to install.

70
Planning the Installation

As the first step in starting wiring an installation one has to check


from the supply authority whether the required supply is available and whether
there are any temporary limitations on the load which can be connected.
Then it is necessary to find out, whether the service cable will be taken
underground or overhead, as this will influence the position of the meter and
main switch.
The meter and the main switch should be located so as to give easy
access at all times and also to avoid positions which cause disfigurement.
For example a cupboard under the stairs does not always provide easy
access, whilst a meter and cut-outs mounted at the entrance look unsightly.
In deciding the position of the meter, the direction from which the service
lines of the supply authority are likely to enter the premises also must be
considered. It is also necessary to remember that the supply authority needs
the access at all times.
Any apparatus used to control the supply in a house should be
readily accessible to the occupant because rapid disconnection from the
supply could be required in case of an emergency. The Regulations require
the main switch to be at the origin of the installation.
The main switch should be located inside the house as close as
possible to the meter cut-out, so that the meter tails are kept as short as
possible. But the location of the distribution board will depend upon the size
of the installation and other factors. For small houses it is preferable for the
distribution board to be near the main switch, but for larger houses it may be
preferable for the distribution board to be located centrally to enable all final
circuits to be kept as short as possible. This will be a matter of balancing the
cost of sub-main cable length against the saving of additional lengths of final
circuit wiring.
Other factors which will help to decide the best position are the
availability of a suitable wall or stanchion, the ease with which circuits can be
run to the position chosen, accessibility for replacement of fuses, freedom
from dampness and adverse conditions etc.
It must be remembered that the regulations require that all equipment
must be sufficient in size and power for the work they are called upon to
do. This specially applies to main switchgear. The size and type of main
71
switchgear to be installed will depend on the anticipated load. To determine
the size it is necessary to add up the total connected lighting, heating and
cooker loads and then calculate the maximum current which will normally
flow in the installation. This will depend upon how the premises will be used,
the number of people who will use the premises, whether there are alternative
or supplementary means of cooking and many other considerations which
can be learnt by experience.
To estimate the maximum load a schedule should be made of the
lamps and other current using equipment which are likely to be installed.
From this schedule it is possible to calculate the total demand using the
value given in the Table 5. “Current demand to be assumed for points and
equipment” which was given earlier. The diversity factor may be applied to
obtain the possible maximum demand of the installation. The applicable
diversity factors are given in Table 6. It must be remembered that the diversity
factors should be applied to the totals of the whole installation and not to
individual final circuits. Another 20% should be added to this to cater to any
future additions.
Capacity of the main switch can be decided from this maximum
demand. For an average house 30A single phase supply would be sufficient.
In case of large houses it may be necessary to bring in a 3 phase 4-wire
supply and to balance the single phase loads. In the case of 3 phase supplies
special precautions have to be taken to avoid shock risk at 400 V as most of
the people would not expect this voltage in a house where only single phase
appliances are used. The voltage between conductors connected to two
different phases would be 400 V and therefore taking two different phases
to nearby places should be avoided. When more than one phase has to be
brought into a multi-gang box, the accessories and wiring connected to each
phase should be separated by fixed barriers.
When planning an installation, at least 20 per cent should be left as
spare ways in every distribution board, and the metal clad type should be
provided with plugged holes suitable for accommodating additional conduits
for the future circuits.
Deciding on the position of lamps in a domestic dwelling will be done
by the occupant mainly on aesthetic considerations rather than illumination.
Therefore the lamp points need to be decided accordingly. In deciding

72
the positions of socket-outlets, the object should be to provide outlets at
convenient positions to feed all portable lamps, table fans, electric irons and
other appliances that are likely to be used. If 5A and 15A socket-outlets are to
be used it would be expensive to provide an outlet at each possible location,
but if 13A ring circuits are to be used it would be economical.
The size of each conduit run can be decided depending on the sizes
and the number of cables to be drawn in each length. Once the correct sizes
of the cables for the circuits are determined it will be necessary to decide the
size of conduits to be used to accommodate the cables.

UPPER FLOOR PLAN

Fig. 21a House - Electrical points

73
GROUND FLOOR PLAN

Fig. 21b House - Electrical points

74
Example
Let us now consider designing electrical installation for the two
storey house shown in Fig. 21. This is a true plan prepared by an architect
and the electrical points are designed according to his wishes and may be
representing a house existing in Colombo. This house has eighty two lamps
points, six ceiling fans, one electric bell, one cooker control unit, thirty six
13A socket-outlets, four 20A DP switches and four shaver outlets. The lamps
numbered 1-6, 15, 43-52, 55, 56, 59, 71, 76 and the bell push are exposed to
weather and they need to be weatherproof.
Power supply would be brought along the road and the meter point
has been chosen near a corner in the garage. The main switch could be
located on the wall in one of the positions marked as A, B, C or D. When
the lengths of final circuits are considered most economical position would
be somewhere on the wall A as it is closer to the centre of the building. But
it is very unlikely that the occupant would like to have the switchgear in his
living room. If the client has no objection you could locate the main switch
there. The next best position on economic consideration would be on the
wall along point B, but this is on the landing and may not be convenient in
accessing in case of an emergency as you need to climb several steps to
reach it. Besides this is in the lobby for the first floor entrance and there is a
possibility of the door being locked at times. Thus it could not be described
as a readily accessible position as required by the Regulations. The next best
is the location C. Presuming that the occupant has no objection in locating
the switchgear in his dining room, this position is selected for our design. If
the client objects you could choose the wall D. On the other hand, kitchen
being a place with heavy consumers it could be the load centre and the most
suitable place.
Let us now estimate the maximum demand. Assuming that the
house belongs to an affluent owner (results in a very high demand), the list of
equipment likely to be used in this house could be as follows:
1. Incandescent lamps 73 Nos.
2. 1 x 20w fluorescent lamps 7 Nos.
3. 1 x 40w fluorescent lamps 2 Nos.
4. Ceiling fans 6 Nos.
5. Electric bell 1 No.
6. 4 burner cooker with oven 1 No.
7. Refrigerator 1 No.
8. Deep freezer 1 No.
9. Electric kettle 1 No.
10. Blender/Grinder 1 No.
11. Mixer 1 No.
12. Toaster 1 No.
13. Washing Machine 1 No.
14. Television 5 Sets
15. Audio 1 Setup
16. Electric Iron 1 No.
17. Air conditioner 4 Nos.
18. Computer 4 Nos.
19. Electric shaver 4 Nos.

75
The maximum demand occurs when the most of the current
consuming equipment are in use at the same time. In Sri Lanka this normally
occurs during the period 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. and equipment likely to used at
that time need to be considered for computing maximum demand.

Lighting
Incandescent lamps 73 Nos. Regulation requires to assume a minimum of
100 W for each lamp holder (assuming 2 chandeliers have 3 holders each)
Total load = 7700 W
Fluorescent lamps 1 x 20 W 7 Nos. = 140 W x 1.8 (for control
gear)
1 x 40 W 2 Nos. = 80 W x 1.8
Total lighting = 8096 W
Allowance for diversity = 8096 x 66/100 W
= 8096 x 66 / 100 x 230 A
= 23.23 A
Ceiling fans 6 Nos.
Since air conditioners are available it is unlikely that ceiling fans in the bed
rooms will be used. Therefore only two fans need to be considered.
Maximum demand = 2 x 100 /230 A = 0.87 A)
Electric bell may be neglected.
4 Burner cooker with oven
Assume cooker has two 1500W and two 1000W burners and an oven with
1500W element and a socket-outlet at the control unit
Total load = 6500 W = 6500/230 A = 28.26 A
Allowance for diversity = 10 + (28.26-10) x 30/100 + 5A
= 20.48 A
Refrigerator (150 W) 1 No.
Load = 150 / 230 = 0.65 A

Deep freezer (300 W) 1 No.


Load = 300 / 230 = 1.3 A

Electric kettle (1000 W) 1 No.


Load = 1000 / 230 = 4.35 A

Blender/Grinder (100 W) 1 No.


Load = 100 / 230 = 0.44 A
Mixer (100 W ) 1 No.
Toaster (400 W) 1 No.
May be ignored because it is unlikely that these could be used with others at
the same time

76
Washing Machine (1000 W) 1 No.
Load = 1000 / 230 = 4.35 A

Television (200 W) 5 Sets


Load = 200 x 5 /230 = 4.35 A

Audio (100 W) 1 Setup


May be ignored because it is unlikely that audio will be used when 5 TV sets
are in use.

Electric Iron 1 No.


Load = 1000 / 230 = 4.35 A

Air conditioner (1500 W) 4 Nos.


Load = 1500 x 4 / 230 = 26 A

Computer (200 W) 1 No.


Load = 200 / 230 = 0.87 A

Electric shaver 4 Nos.


May be neglected.

Total demand = 23.23+0.87+20.48+0.65+1.3+4.35+0.44+4.35+4.35+


4.35+26+0.87A
= 91.34 A
Another 20% need to be added to this total to allow for future
extensions. (A water pump, hot water geezers, air conditioning living and
dining rooms, flood lighting the garden, swimming pool or a water pond
equipment etc. could be considered as future additions and also alterations
and additions to the building also could take place.)
Estimated maximum demand = 91.34 x 120/ 100 = 109. 61 A

It is obvious that the supply authority would not allow such a big
single phase supply and the house needs a three phase supply with capacity
of 36.54 A per phase. The supply authorities usually provide either a 30A or
a 60A three phase supply and a 60A three phase supply need to be obtained
for this house. Therefore a 60A TP MCB shall be provided as the main switch.
At this stage it is necessary to verify from the supply authority whether a
60A three phase supply could be obtained from the location and if it is not
possible the client should be advised to curtail his demand to reduce to 30A
three phase. Perhaps it may be necessary to delete some of the socket-outlets
proposed to avoid simultaneous use of some equipment (e.g. in the kitchen).
When the distribution is considered it can be seen that a fair amount
of points are in the upper floor and a three phase supply can be taken there.
The distribution board for the upper floor can be located in the lobby at

77
F since it is more or less at the centre. Repeating the calculation of the
maximum demand for the upper floor would result a need of 12A three phase
supply. However, there are 13A socket-outlets and size of the main switch
need to be considered only after deciding the final circuit arrangement. It
is necessary to divide the load among the phases as much as possible.
When you examine the layout you would notice that the three bedrooms are
similar and the equipment in each room could be assigned to final circuits
connected to the three different phases. All the lamp points in a bed room
could be allocated to a single circuit. The ceiling fan and the shaver-outlet
could also be assigned to the same final circuit. The total demand of these
circuits would be less than 6A. Thus they can be protected by 6A MCBs and
wired with 1 mm2 cable. The floor area of each bedroom is more than 20 m2
but is less than 50 m2. Therefore the socket-outlets in each room could be
assigned to a final circuit protected by a 30 or 32A MCB. It could be wired
as a radial circuit using 4 mm2 cable or a ring circuit using 2.5 mm2 cable.
The 20A DP switch provided for the air conditioner also can be connected
to this circuit. As the socket-outlets are at least on three walls of the room
wiring in a ring circuit with cables of lesser cross-section area would be more
economical and it would permit easy addition of future extensions. Therefore
they are assigned to a ring circuit protected with a 30A MCB and wired with
2.5 mm2. What remains is the lobby area and the lamps of the area could
be served by a separate final circuit protected by a 6A MCB and wired with
1 mm2 cable. The two socket-outlets could be connected to the ring circuit
of the adjacent room. Thus we would end up with seven final circuits divide
as 3, 2, 2 to the different phases. The Regulations require to provide a further
20% for the future additions and this could be satisfied by adding two more
final circuits making it possible to balance the number of circuits connected
to each phase. The three ring circuits provided cover the entire upper floor
and each circuit serves a floor area of less than 100 m2 and therefore there
is no need to provide spare circuits to connect 13A socket-outlets. Therefore
two 6A MCBs could be provided to protect the spare circuits.
Since there are socket-outlet circuits needing protection with
30A breakers, the main switch also need to be a 30A TP MCB. To provide
protection against earth fault currents a residual current device need to be
provided. This could be a 4 pole RCD connected after the main switch. But
as all the loads are single phase, it would be more prudent to provide three
double pole RCDs on the three phases so that only one phase is affected in
case a RCD trips due to an earth fault. An important thing to remember in this
type of arrangement is to separate the three neutral conductors connected
to each phase throughout the installation beyond the RCDs. Three separate
neutral bars shall be provided at the distribution board for this purpose. The
complete distribution board for the upper floor is shown in FIG. 22.

78
From DB - G

4x6 mm2 + 6 mm2E

DB-U
30A TP MCB

RCCB 40A DP 30mA RCCB 40A DP 30mA RCCB 40A DP 30mA


(6A) (6A) Lamps 66-73, 1CF, 1Sh (6A)
Lamps 57-65, 1CF, 1Sh Lamps 74-82, 1CF, 1Sh

(30A) (30A) (30A)


S/O 23-28, 1 AC S/O 29-32, 1 AC S/O 33-36, 1 AC

(6A) (6A) (6A) Spare


spare Lamps 49-56

Fig. 22 - Upper Floor Distribution Board

A sub-main cable need to be drawn from the main switch at the ground floor
to the distribution board to supply electricty. The length would be around
15m and the maximum current would be about 15A (allowing for future
expansions as well). This gives a product of 225 metre amperes. The voltage
drop allowable is 4% of the nominal voltage from the main switch to the end
of the circuit. So in this case let us assume half of that is allowed to drop
along the sub-main cable leaving the other half for the final circuit. So the
voltage drop allowable is (230 x 2/100 =) 4.6V. Thus the maximum allowable
voltage drop would be 4.6/225 = 0.0204 V/A/m = 20.4 milli volts per ampere
per metre. This would allow us to use a cable with a cross-section area of
2.5 mm2. But since the main switch of the distribution board is 30A the sub-
main cable need to be capable of drawing that current. Therefore the cable
cross-section need to be at least 6 mm2. (It is presumed that the sub-main
cable is drawn in a separate conduit and no external influences requiring to
apply derating factors are present.) Since the sub-main cable is of more than
3 metres in length another 30A TP MCB need to be provided at the origin
of the installation (Distribution board at the ground floor). A separate earth
cable of the same cross-sectional area (6mm2) of green-and-yellow colour
also needs to be drawn along with these cables to connect the to earthing
terminals of the distribution board
Maximum demand for the ground floor distribution could also be
similarly computed to be around 25A. There are 48 lamp points and these
could be wired to six final circuits each having around eight lamps per circuit.
It should be noted that the Lamps No. 9 and 10 are chandeliers and they would
demand more current. Therefore the circuit containing them should have less
number of points. (each holder need to be allowed 100W). This would allow
them to be wired with 1 mm2 cable protected with 6A MCBs and easily be
balanced between the phases. Another important point to be considered
in dividing lighting points to final circuits is the location of their switches.

79
It is better if only one circuit is assigned to switches ganged at one place.
(There is no Regulation to prevent such use except to say that a warning
notice need to be provided if 400V could be present at adjacent switches.)
Assignment final circuits can be done as follows:
1. Lamps 1-6, 11, 12 and 15
2. Lamps 7-10, 13 and 14
3. Lamps 16-23 and two ceiling fans in the living room
4. Lamps 28-33, ceilng fan and the shaver-outlet in the bed room
5. Lamps 34-42
6. Lamps 24-27, 43-48
7. The cooker control unit
8. Socket-outlets (in the Kitchen)16-18
9. Socket-outlets 1-8
10. Socket-outlets 9-15 and the AC in the bedroom
Requirement for the additional circuits for future extensions could
be fulfilled by adding another two circuits.
The cooker control unit needs a 30A MCB for protection and should
be wired with 6 mm2 cable. Socket-outlets in the kitchen can be wired as
a radial circuit using 4 mm2 cable with 30A MCB protection and other two
socket-outlet circuits could be wired as ring circuits using 2.5 mm2 cable with
30A MCB protection. Additional circuits could be protected with 6A MCBs
allowing for lamp circuits, since the entire floor has been covered with13A
circuits as in the first floor. When distributing these final circuits among the
phases, it is better if the cooker control and the socket-outlets in the kitchen
are assigned to the same phase to avoid presence of 400V. At the same time
it is better if the lamps in the kitchen are assigned to a different phase so
that even if the RCD connected to the kitchen appliances trip due to a fault
there would be light in the kitchen. Thus the distribution could be as shown
in Fig.23.

To meter point
2
4x16 mm

DB-G
60A TP MCB

30A
TP RCCB 40A DP 30mA RCCB 40A DP 30mA RCCB 40A DP 30mA
MCB (6A) (6A) Lamps 34-42
(6A) Lamps 1-6, 11, 12,15 Lamps 28-33, 1CF, 1Sh
To DB U
(6A) Lamps 7-10,13,14 (6A) Lamps 24-27, 43-48, 1bell (6A)
Spare
(30A) (30A) (30A)
S/O 1-8 S/O 9-15, 1AC 1 Cooker
(6A) (6A) Spare (30A)
Lamp 16-23, 2 CF S/O 16-22

Fig. 23 - Ground Floor Distribution Board

80
Since the main switch for the whole house is installed in this
distribution board, there is no need to provide another device to isolate the
ground floor installation. As explained in the first floor, earth fault protection is
preferably provided to individual phases. Considering the diversity of individual
phases a 40A DP RCD shall be provided for each phase. As socket-outlets
are fed from all RCDs their sensitivity should be 30mA. The arrangements of
these circuits are shown in the layouts in Fig. 24. The load cables from the
meter point should be able to carry 60A and 16 mm2 cables should be used
for the purpose. The earthing conductor should also be 16 mm2. The earth
electrode could be located at E in the garden behind the kitchen.

UPPER FLOOR PLAN

Fig. 24a House - Electrical Layout

81
GROUND FLOOR PLAN

Fig. 24b House - Electrical Layout

82
Installation

Conduits are mainly run concealed in walls and floors, above ceiling
spaces and sometimes on the surface. PVC casing and capping is now
available and they are used for surface applications. Surface wiring system is
fairly straight forward and is not described any further. However a good deal
of planning and skill is required to produce a first class installation with a neat
appearance.
PVC conduits can be easily formed into required shape by heating.
However it is important to avoid forming wrinkles as it would make the drawing
in of cables difficult. As the walls of the conduits are thin, usually sand is
rammed in and both ends are plugged before heating to retain the circular
shape. Area to be bent is uniformly heated up by carefully exposing to a mild
heat source and formed the required shape and then cooled with a wet cloth
or alike so that the shape is retained. However this is a tedious process and
some skill is required to avoid deforming or burning the conduits.

TWO-WAY THREE-WAY FOUR-WAY END ANGLE

Fig. 25 - Conduit Junction Boxes

Now there are manufactured bends and junction boxes to suit


the requirements. Junction boxes are available with 2, 3 or 4 holes so that
conduits can be connected in the required direction. Boxes are also available
to terminate conduits at the wiring point. Sunk boxes are now available with
knock out on all side walls as well as on the back. These boxes are designed
to accept standard switches and socket-outlets. Good quality sunk boxes
have two screwed metal holes to accept standard screws of the switch or
socket-outlet plate.

Flg. 26: Sunk Box

83
The conduits in the concealed wiring system is usually installed
during the building construction in walls and floors in such a manner that the
cables can be drawn in at any time after the completion of the building.
In installation of conduits it is required to decide the most suitable
runs for the conduits. The routes should be chosen so as to keep the conduits
as straight as possible. However it is a good practice to keep the concealed
conduits in walls only on horizontal and vertical direction in order to minimize
subsequent damage. It must be remembered that the Regulations do not
permit to draw cables through more than two right angle bends or their
equivalent. Therefore additional junction boxes may be required at places
other than where accessories or wiring points are present.

Conduits on walls and ceilings


When laying conduits on floors to serve the room above it is not
practicable to leave junction boxes on the floor. Therefore the conduit system
has to be arranged so that cables can be drawn through ceiling or walls.

Floor

Junction Box Junction Box

Wall

Sunk Box

Fig. 27 - Conduit connection to lamps and a switch

Conduits for switches

Sunk Conduit set Conduit Box


Box out Bend buried
to clear wall too deep

CORRECT INCORRECT METHODS


METHOD

Fig. 28 - Termination for a switch on a wall

84
The Regulations require that at the switch points the conduit is
terminated a box or similar enclosure. When run buried, taking the conduit
out to the surface through a bend or a set in the conduit is not appropriate.
On the other hand the sunk box shall not be buried too deep leaving a gap
between the box and the switch plate.
When conduits are run to switches or other positions on a wall, they
are usually run in chases cut into the wall. These chases, which will be filled
after the conduits are laid, must be deep enough to allow at least 10 mm
of plaster covering the conduit, to avoid plaster cracks appearing in a later
stage. Sunk boxes fitted to these conduits should be placed allowing for the
plaster cover. These will be applicable to conduits and sunk boxes on ceiling
soffit as well.

Conduits for socket-outlets


Socket-outlets near the skirting level shall be preferably be fed
from floor above rather than from floor below, in order to avoid traps where
moisture could get collected. On reinforced concrete floors conduits have to
be laid on shuttering and secured in position before the concrete is poured.
Care must be taken while concrete is being poured, because, if not securely
fixed, conduit may move out of position or lift and then, once the concrete is
set, it will be too late to rectify matters. Whenever conduits are to be buried in
cement, special care should be taken to see that the joints are tight. Otherwise
liquid cement may enter the conduit and form a solid block inside.

Junction Box Junction Box

Floor

Incorrect Method Trap for Moisture

Floor above

Looping Box Looping Box

Box for S/O Box for S/O


Floor Below

Correct Method

Fig. 29 - Conduit connection to socket outlets at skirting level

85
Conduits for distribution boards
When surface mounted distribution boards are used with a buried
conduit system, the best method to take the cables from the conduits to
the DB is to fit an adaptable box in the wall to take the conduits into it. The
conduits can be taken out of the plaster and enter the DB direct with a set
on the conduits but this method is not recommended. Alternatively adapter
boxes can be mounted on top or bottom or both on the DB to take the cables.
Adapter box can be mounted partially buried so that the conduit can enter it
easily.

Flush mounted box Conduit set-out Partially sunk


to enter DB Adapter box

Distribution Board Distribution Distribution


Board Board

Best Method Not Recommended Recommended

Fig. 30 - Conduit Entries to Surface Mounted Distribution Boards

Before drawing the cables, the installation of the conduits must be


complete and also must be clean and dry. No attempt should be made to wire
conduits which are buried in concrete until the building has been dried out
and conduits swabbed out to remove any moisture and obstructions which
may have entered the conduits. A draw wire with a swab at the end should be
drawn through the conduit for this purpose. It is a good practice to keep the
open ends of the conduits plugged as soon as they are laid before concreting
to prevent any foreign matter entering them.

Wiring
Wiring is carried on each conduit run from draw-in box to draw-in
box in sequence usually starting from a mid-point in the conduit system so
as to reduce the length of cables which have to be drawn-in. A draw-wire has
to be inserted into the conduit run to draw in the cables. It is a good practice
to keep a draw-wire drawn inside the conduit whilst it being laid. However,
o
if the number of bends do not exceed the stipulated equivalent of two 90
bends and the length is not excessive, it is not difficult to insert the wire at a
later stage. If it is difficult, two wires from either end of conduit run, with small
hooks at the ends could be inserted. Once the two ends reach each other
wires could be twisted so that the two hooks get entangled and one wire
could be pulled out from one end until the draw-wire fed from the other end
comes out. Obviously two persons are required to do this operation.
86
Once the draw-wire is inserted and the conduit is cleaned if
necessary, the required number of cables should be tied to one end of the
draw-wire. The ends of the cables to be tied must be bared for a distance of
about 50 mm and threaded through a loop in the draw wire for this purpose.
When drawing in a number of cables, they must be carefully fed in from the
sending end whilst one pulls them at the receiving end.

Draw
wire

Cables
Fig. 31 - Method of connecting cables to draw wire

Before drawing in the cables into the conduits they must be run off
the reels. If the cables are allowed to spiral off the reels they would become
twisted and kinked inside the conduits.
The cables should be fed into the conduits in such a manner as to
prevent any cables crossing and also to avoid them being pulled against the
sides of the openings of the draw-in boxes. Always some slack has to be left
at the draw-in boxes and it has to be ensured that the cables are fed to the
conduit in such a way that no twisted cables will be left at the draw-in point.
This is particularly applicable when the cables have to be pulled out from one
conduit and fed to another connected to the same draw-in box.

Fig. 32 - Cables entangling in a junction box

87
This operation needs care and synchronization between the persons
who are feeding and pulling. Sometimes a third person may be required to
be stationed mid-way to relay messages if the persons at both ends are not
within earshot. If the cables are not drawn carefully in this manner, they are
almost certain to become crossed and might result in the cables becoming
jammed inside the conduit. Also the insulation of the cable is liable to get
damaged in the process.

GROUND FLOOR UPPER FLOOR


Fig. 33 - Wiring points in a house
Example
Let us now consider wiring of the two-storied house shown in Fig.
33 as an example. This house has 9 lighting points in the ground floor and
5 in the upper floor. The light in the staircase is to be controlled by two-way
switches in both floors. The obvious choice of lighting circuits will be to have
one for the ground floor nine lights and another for the five lights in the upper
floor. There are four 13A socket-outlets in the kitchen and another sixteen in
other areas. Thus the logical distribution of the socket-outlets will be to have
one final circuit for the kitchen and to have another for other areas. Allowing
another circuit for future expansions the distribution board can consist of five
final circuits. Thus the final circuits of the house would be as follows:
Lighting circuits with lamps No. 1 to No. 9 wired using 1 mm2
cable fed through a 5 or 6A MCB
Lighting circuits with lamps No. 10 to No. 14 wired using 1 mm2
cable fed through a 5 or 6A MCB
Four socket-outlets in the kitchen wired using 4 mm2 cable in a
radial circuit fed through a 30 or 32A MCB
Other socket-outlets wired using 2.5 mm2 cable in a ring circuit
fed through a 30A MCB. (This would be possible only if the floor
area served by the socket-outlets other than the kitchen is not
more than 100 m2).
This will usually be fed from a 30 or 32A DP MCB or an isolator and
a 40A DP 30mA RCCB (because 30A RCCB is a non standard unit) using
88
6 mm2 cable. (Use of an isolator is not recommended. Actual required capacity
of the main switch need to be determined by estimating the maximum demand
considering the equipment to be used in the house.)
Single line diagram
The arrangement can be shown in a single line diagram as in Fig. 34.
2x6

30 A DP
MCB

40 A DP
RCCB 30 mA

(6A) 2x1
LIGHTS 1-9

2x1
(6A) LIGHTS 10-14

(30A) 2 x 4 Radial
SOCKET OUTLETS IN KITCHEN

(30A) 2 x 2.5 Ring OTHER SOCKET OUTLETS

(6A) SPARE

Fig. 34 - Single Line Diagram

Conduit layout
A suitable method of wiring the lighting circuits and connected
conduit layout is shown in Fig. 35 and 36. Numbers of cables between
respective points are shown in by the number of lines in the Fig. 35 and the
number inside the parenthesis in Fig. 36. A three dimensional view of the
conduits for the lighting circuits are shown in Fig.37.

GROUND FLOOR UPPER FLOOR


Fig. 35 - Wiring Layout

89
GROUND FLOOR UPPER FLOOR
Fig. 36 - Conduit Layout

Wiring procedure
The practical method of wiring a conduit installation such as this is
briefly as follows: A start is usually made from the three way box nearest to
the DB (D). There will be four red cables going from this box to the switch
(C) and one black cable going to the DB. Therefore one more draw-in box (E)
is required at the wall above the switch position to separate the two sets of
cables. So the distance along the conduit path from (D) to (C) is measured
and four red cables are reeled off equal to this length and some extra slack
to allow for the connection at the switch and tying to the draw-wire. Then the
distance along the conduit path (D-E-A) from (D) to the DB (A) is measured
and a black cable is reeled off to the corresponding length with some slack.
A draw-wire is inserted into the conduit length from three way box (D) to the
draw-in box (E) on the wall if not done already. The ends of the five (4 red and
1 black) cables are then bared and tied to the draw-wire. Then the chosen
lengths of cables are drawn into the conduit. The excess lengths are drawn
out of the draw-in box (E) on the wall so that all the cables are drawn in up
to the measured length ending at the three way box (D). Another red cable
is required to connect the switch (C) to the DB. This length is measured and
a red cable is cut to the length plus the required slack for connecting and
tying.
The draw-wire connection to previous bundle is untied and red and
black cables are separated. Then the end of the red cable going to the DB
is bared and tied to the draw-wire together with the end of the black cable.
These two cables are then drawn into the conduit connecting to the DB.
Then the other end of the red cable is bared and together with the ends of the
other four red cables are tied to the draw-wire and pulled through the conduit
going to the switch. Care should be taken to avoid kinks and entanglements
forming inside the draw-in box in this operation.
90
Fig. 37 - Example wiring using looping in method

91
Once the cables are drawn in to the conduit it will be difficult to
identify the individual ends at a later stage. Therefore it is customary to make
some marks at the ends of the cables before they are drawn into the conduits.
This is normally done by cutting off a small portion of the sheath (usually in
the shape of a diamond) exposing the coloured insulation. Identification is
done by the number of such marks on each cable end.

There will be five red cables drawn into the switch position (1, 2). One
is coming from the DB and is already cut to the required length. Other four
should be terminated at switch (3), lights (1), light (2) and switch (4, 5). The
lengths are measured along the conduit paths and cut with the required slack.
The black cable also goes to the light (1) and can be cut to length. Otherwise
it may be extended up to lights (2) or (3) if desired allowing additional loop
lengths to make connections at the lights. The chosen cable lengths should
be cut and the cables to the next conduit run (between three-way boxes at
(D) and (F)) can be drawn in now. There are three cables to be drawn into this
conduit which are already cut to length. (If the black cable was terminated at
light (1) two new black cables have to be drawn to connect neutral of light (1)
to neutrals of light (3) and light (4). Once three cable ends up to (F) are drawn,
wiring up to switch (3) and light (2) are done in a similar manner introducing a
new red cable length from switch (3) to light (3) and a black cable length from
light (2) and light (3). Now the two cables (The red cable between switches (1,
2) and (4, 5) going in the circuit run between lights (D) and (I) can be drawn in.
This process should be repeated until the whole circuit is wired.

There are five red cables drawn into the two ganged switch at
(C). The cable coming from the DB and the one going to switch (3) shall be
connected to one side of the switch (1). (One side of switch (2) also should
be connected to the same side using a red jumper, if not already connected
by the manufacturers.) Then the other two cables going to the two lights (1)
and (2) shall be connected to the other side of the respective switches. At the
position of the light (1) there will be three black cables (or one end and a loop)
and a red cable. The black cables should be bared and connected to one of
the ends of the ceiling rose and the red cable should be connected to the
other which will form the lighting point. All other connections also need to be
done in a similar manner when the cables are drawn into each position.
Note:
The Regulations require a circuit protective (earth) conductor to
be drawn to connect all switch plates and lighting points up to the ceiling
roses. But this is generally not practised in domestic wiring in Sri Lanka and
therefore not shown in this illustration.

92
To SWITCH (3) at H

To SWITCH (4) at L
From MCB 1 of DB

To LIGHT (2) at G
To LIGHT (1) at D

Phase to Red cable from


LIGHT (1) SWITCH at C

Black cables
from
Terminal 1 of
Neutral bar
Neutral to
LIGHT (1) To LIGHT (3) at F

To LIGHT (4) at I

(a) Connections of SWITCH (1,2) (b) Connections at Ceiling Roses of LIGHT 1


Fig. 38 - Connections to Switches and Ceiling Roses

Although it is shown that three cables can be connected to one


terminal of a switch or a ceiling rose in this illustration in order to arrive at
the least cost installation, readers may find that in practice it is not very
convenient to insert three 1 mm2 cable ends to one terminal of the most of
the ceiling roses available in the market. Therefore it will be more prudent to
plan the installation to avoid such connections. In this example it could be
achieved by obtaining the connection to the switch (4, 5) at L from the switch
(3) at H instead of the switch (1, 2) at C and to the light (4) at I from the light
(2) at G instead of the light (1) at D. This will require to draw a red cable from
H to L instead of C to L and a black cable from G to I instead of D to I. It will
alter the number of cables in the conduit runs C-D-E (4), DF (5), FG (3) and FH
(3).
Some of the conduit connections to junction boxes in this illustration
are drawn at some odd angles. If manufactured accessories are to be used this
kind of connections may not be practicable. Therefore it may be necessary to
form off-sets in the conduits to make them enter the junction boxes at right
angles. However if the junction boxes are sufficiently far apart, connections
could be made utilizing the flexibility of conduit to form an arc rather than
making a permanent set in it.
All the conduiting and wiring to socket-outlets are not shown but the
procedure is similar. Cables to socket-outlets also can be drawn in the same
conduits. However if 13A socket-outlets are involved it will be convenient to
use separate conduits for them. Normally 2.5 mm2 twin flat cables together
with green or green-and-yellow earth cable is used for wiring 13A socket-
outlets in ring circuits.

93
In the case of 13A socket-outlets, most of them are installed at
skirting level while in kitchen and pantries they are installed at the table top
level. Therefore it will be more convenient to run the conduits along the walls
at the level of the socket-outlets. However they need to be taken up at the
door crossings. The conduiting can be as shown in Fig. 39.
It should be noted that all socket-outlets except those in the kitchen
are grouped into one circuit to reduce the cost. However, it would be more
convenient to the user if the upper floor socket-outlets are wired in a separate
circuit. Further it would be much better if the upper floor lighting and socket-
outlets are wired from a separate distribution board installed in the upper
floor itself on safety considerations. Increase in cost in this regard would be
only marginal.

Fig. 39 - Typical Layout for 13A Socket Outlets

94
Testing

On completion of wiring it is necessary to inspect and test the


installation thoroughly before it is permanently connected to the supply
in order to be sure that it will function correctly and safely. In many cases
compliance with the regulations can be determined only on results of tests.
The regulations require a detailed inspection carried out before testing
and must normally be done with the part of the installation under inspection
disconnected from the supply. The Regulations indicate nearly twenty items
to be inspected by the person (who could be a complete outsider) carrying
out the inspection and testing. Most of them would be already covered by the
person doing the installation work, and in case of domestic wiring inspection
of the following would be sufficient on completion of the work.
i connection of conductors
ii identification of conductors
iii connection of single pole devices for protection or switching
on phase conductors only
iv correct connection of socket-outlets and lamp holders
The purpose of the inspection is to see that the installation conforms
to the Regulations and is not visibly damaged or defective so as to impair
safety.
In some cases a test itself will raise the voltage of the earth conductor
to a high value during testing. If the protective system is defective and supply
is not disconnected, the test itself could cause danger. The test circuit of a
voltage operated circuit breaker, which disconnects the earthing conductor
from the earth electrode when the push button is pressed before applying the
test voltage is a good example.
It is important that the tests are carried out in the correct sequence.
For example the continuity of the earth conductor and its effectiveness
should be tested before carrying out the insulation resistance tests. An open
circuit on the earth conductor together with a very low insulation resistance
in a circuit could make the whole earth conductor system live at 500V (test
voltage) during the insulation test of the faulty circuit. Another example is
the testing of operation of residual current devices. This need to be carried
out after the supply is connected to the system. There is obvious danger in
providing a supply to an installation without checking the protective system,
insulation resistance and polarity. Therefore testing has to be carried out in
a certain order so that the items which need to be correctly functioning for
other tests to be safe and satisfactory are tested first.

Tests to be carried out:


On Site Guide to the 16th Edition Wiring Regulations published
by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London indicates that the testing
should be carried out in the following sequence
95
Before the supply is connected:
i continuity of earth conductors
ii continuity of ring final circuits
iii polarity
iv insulation resistance
v earth electrode resistance
With the supply connected:
i re-check polarity before further testing
ii operation of residual current devices
The person carrying out the tests as well as the users must be quite
clear as to how the installation is arranged to carry out its functions. For this
purpose installation must be provided with:
i Labels to indicate the purpose of the switchgear and control
gear (This requirement can be met by durable paper labels)
ii Correct identification of conductors, cable cores, and earth
conductors
iii Warning notices to indicate the presence of 400V where n o t
expected (for example separately enclosed distribution boards
connected to different phases but which can be simultaneously
touched)
iv Labelling on distribution boards, arranged so that the circuits
protected may be quickly and easily identified.
v Diagrams, charts or tables to show the arrangement of
circuits, as well as the identification and location of fuses,
circuit breakers, isolators and so on. (Please see Fig. 34 in the
previous Chapter for the format of the diagram required.)

Test procedure
To test the continuity with supply disconnected a continuity tester or
a lamp and a battery set or a bell and a battery set could be used.

96
Continuity of earth conductors

Method 1.
1. Temporarily connect the phase bus-bar to the earthing terminal at the
Distribution Board
2. Check the continuity between phase and earth terminals at each outlet in
the circuit Continuity Tester

Temporary Connection

Fig. 40 - Continuity test for earth conductors: Method 1

Method 2.
1. connect two long leads to the continuity tester
2. connect one lead to the consumer’s main earthing terminal
3. check continuity of earth conductor at various points on the circuit such as
socket-outlets, switches, luminaries etc. with the other testing lead.

Continuity Tester

Consumer’s
Main
Earthing
Terminal
Fig. 41 - Continuity test for earth conductors: Method 2

97
Continuity of ring final circuits
This test is required to see that phase, neutral and earth conductors
of every ring final circuit are connected in complete rings. It should be noted
that even if the ring is open at one point, all the socket-outlets will have
supply, but trouble may develop later due to conductor overloading. For this
test a low reading ohmmeter is required and the socket-outlets connected to
the mid point of the circuit needs to be identified.

Method 1
1. Connect the meter leads to each end of the earth conductors of the ring
circuit to be tested at the distribution board and note down the reading
(Say A).
2. join the two ends of the earth conductor at the DB together and connect
to one lead of the meter.
3. connect the other lead to the mid point of the earth conductor of the ring
and note down the reading (Say B).
4. connect the testing leads together and note down the reading (Say C).
5. check whether A/4 ≈ B-C.
6. the continuity of the phase and neutral conductors shall be checked in a
similar manner.
Continuity
tester

Continuity
tester

(a) Measurement between ends of earth electrodes (b) Measurement between closed ends and mid-point

Continuity
tester

(C) Measurement between extended test leads

Fig. 42 - Continuity test for Ring Final Circuits Method 1

98
Method 2
1. Connect the meter leads to each end of the earth conductors of the ring
circuit to be tested at the distribution board and note down the reading
(Say A)
2. Connect the meter leads to each end of the phase conductors of the ring
circuit to be tested at the distribution board and note down the reading
(Say B)
3. Connect the meter leads to each end of the neutral conductors of the
ring circuit to be tested at the distribution board note down the reading
(Say C)
4. Temporarily connect phase and earth conductors together at the socket-
outlet at mid point
5. Connect one of the meter leads to paralleled end of the phase conductors
of the ring circuit at the distribution board.
6. Connect the other meter lead to paralleled end of the earth conductors
of the ring circuit at the distribution board and note down the reading
(Say D )
7. D ≈ A/4+B/4
8. Remove the connection between phase and earth conductors and
temporarily connect phase and neutral conductors together at the
socket-outlet at mid point
9. Connect one of the meter leads to paralleled end of the phase conductors
of the ring circuit at the distribution board.
10. Connect the other meter lead to paralleled end of the neutral conductors
of the ring circuit at the distribution board and note down the reading
(Say E )
11. E ≈ B/2 ≈ C/2

Temporary Connection

Continuity
tester

Fig. 43 - Continuity Test for Ring Circuits - Method 2 (Steps 8-10)

99
Insulation resistance

To comply with the Regulations the insulation resistance between


the live conductors and also between the live conductors and earth shall
be measured with an instrument giving a d.c. test voltage of 500 V. The
insulation resistance shall be measured on each distribution board with all its
final circuits connected but with current using equipment disconnected. The
insulation resistance shall not be less than 0.5 megohms.
Tests should be carried out using an Insulation Resistance Tester
(Megger). Before testing it should be checked to see if any pilot or indicator
lamps and capacitors are connected in the section to be tested. If any,
they should be disconnected to avoid inaccurate results. It should also be
checked to see if any voltage sensitive electronic devices such as residual
current devices with electronic amplifiers, dimmer switches, touch switches,
timers, power controllers, electronic starters for fluorescent lamps etc. are
connected. If present they also are necessary to be disconnected so that
they are not subjected to the test voltage.

Test procedure
1. make sure ends of meter tails are separated and not touching
anything
2. disconnect all pilot and indicating lamps
3. disconnect devices with electronic circuits
4. check whether all fuses are in place
5. close all MCBs and switches
6. remove all lamps and other current using equipment.
(If it is not practicable to remove any lamp or disconnect any
current-using equipment, the local switch controlling such lamp
or equipment should be open.)
7. measure the resistances between phase, neutral and earth
conductors at the distribution board. It could be carried out by
measuring the insulation resistance of the following:
Single Phase
1 between phase and neutral conductors
2 between phase and earth conductors
3 between neutral and earth conductors

Three Phase
1 between phase 1 and phase 2 conductors
2 between phase 2 and phase 3 conductors
3 between phase 3 and phase 1 conductors
4 between phase 1 and neutral conductors
5 between phase 2 and neutral conductors
6 between phase 3 and neutral conductors
7 between phase 1 and earth conductors
8 between phase 2 and earth conductors
9 between phase 3 and earth conductors
10 between neutral and earth conductors
Where it is more convenient, conductors may be joined together for this
test.
100
Switches Lamps
Closed Removed

All fuses
or mcb
closed

Insulation Plugs
Resistance Removed
Tester Closed or By-
RCCB passed and
disconnected

Main Switch
Closed

Fig. 44 - Insulation Resistance test between phase and neutral conductors

101
Earth electrode resistance

The measurement is to be made using an Earth Electrode Resistance


Tester. It should be noted that instructions on the use of these instruments
vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and also on the model. The procedure
described below is applicable to a popular instrument with three outgoing
leads marked E (common), C (current) and P (voltage) terminals to connect
the outgoing leads.

Test Procedure
1. disconnect earthing conductor from the earth electrode
2. connect common lead of the test instrument to the earth electrode
3. plant one test probe about 30 metres away from the earth electrode
4. connect current lead of the test instrument to the test probe
5. plant the other test probe about 10 metres away from the earth electrode in
line with the current probe and earth electrode as shown below.
6. connect voltage lead of the test instrument to this test probe
7. read the earth resistance value from the meter.

Earth
Resistance
Tester

Common Current
Voltage

Voltage Current
Probe Ground Probe

Earth
Electrode

About 10m

About 30m
Fig. 45 - Measurement of Earth Electrode Resistance

102
Operation of residual current devices

Operation of residual current devices can be checked with the supply


connected by pressing the test button provided on the device. However this
does not check the continuity of the earth conductor or the effectiveness of
the earth electrode which are required for the device to provide the intended
protection.
The operation can be easily checked at socket-outlets by inserting
a plug with a lamp connected between its phase and earth pins. If the
sensitivity of the RCD is 30mA, the lamp used should be around 6.9 watts to
get accurate results.

Test procedure:
1. Obtain a lamp holder, a plug top matching to the socket-outlet to
be tested, a low wattage lamp and two pieces of flexible cables
2. Connect two ends of the cables to the lamp holder
3. Connect one of the remaining ends to the earth pin of the plug
top
4. Connect the other end to the live pin of the plug top
5. Insert the lamp in the holder
6. Insert the plug top into the socket-outlet to be tested
7. The RCCB would trip if the conductor connected to the earth pin
is properly earthed and RCCB is in working order.
Note:
1. In new installations electricity supply necessary to do this kind of
testing may not be available.
2. In a complete test on a RCD it is required to ascertain the tripping
time. There is an instrument called a RCD tester which could be
used to do a complete test, but it is not described in here because
it is unlikely that average reader would come across such a tester
in normal practice.

103
Short flexible
cable leads Lamp

Socket outlet Plug top with


to be tested cover removed

Fig. 46 - Testing RCCB with a lamp

104
New Colour Code for Cable Cores

In the past the cable core colour codes used in the United Kingdom
and other European countries were different. The United Kingdom changed
its colour code for flexible cables as far back as 1969 to remove trade
barriers in Europe for its domestic and similar equipment. The countries in the
European Union decided to have one colour code throughout Europe. When
the United Kingdom joined EU it had to follow suit. By 1996 all countries in
Europe except the United Kingdom had the core colours of brown or black
for phase conductors, blue for neutral conductor and green-and-yellow for
earth conductor. Thus the United Kingdom had two conflicting situations with
regard to cable core colours, one between its own rigid and flexible cables
and the other between rigid cables of the United Kingdom and of the other
European countries. The colour codes were as follows:

BS Colour code for cores of flexible cables:


Phase Brown
Neutral Blue
Earth Green-and-Yellow
BS Colour code for cores rigid cables:
Phase Red, Yellow or Blue
(or 3 Reds)
Neutral Black
Earth Green-and-Yellow
Colour code for cores of all cables in other European countries:
Phase Brown or Black
Neutral Blue
Earth Green-and-Yellow

In 1999 CENELEC accepted a formal international standard on


conductor identification by colour. At this point the United Kingdom had
to agree to amend IEE Regulations (BS 7671:1992) or withdraw it as it is
a requirement to withdraw any conflicting standards in CENELEC member
countries. The United Kingdom did not like to change to a system with only
two colours for phase conductor and to resolve this, European countries
agreed to introduce a third colour (grey) for their phase conductors. In order
to facilitate exhausting cables manufactured up to then, it was agreed to
allow use of old cables up to 31st March 2006. Accordingly at sites where
wiring work starts after 1st April 2006 it is required to follow the new colour
code. Where the wiring work was started after 1st April 2004, it is allowed to
use cables with core colours of either old or new codes, but not both.
IEE / BSI issued an amendment to BS 7671 incorporating necessary
changes in 2004 and a complete book (with brown cover) incorporating all
the amendments up to 2004 has been issued as BS 7671: 2001 (2004).

105
In existing installations there is no intention of changing the core
colours to those with new colour code. In an extension to existing installation,
cables with old core colours may be used up to 31st March 2006. Alternatively
cables with new core colours could be used with markings at the changing
point. Thus in domestic installations the change would not cause much
of a problem as all new cables (rigid and flexible) will have the same core
colours. But as long as the old cables are available in the market there is a
possibility of confusion of core colours of blue and black with the old and new
colour codes. (The Regulations allow the use of yellow and blue single core
cables for the phase conductor for single phase work in place of red colour
in large installations in the old code. Similarly black or grey colour could
be used in place of brown as phase conductor in the new code. Therefore
there is a possibility, of black colour single core cables remaining in future
also, continuing the confusion). Where multi (four or more) core cables are
used, cores with blue and black colours will be available on both sides of the
installation at the changing point (referred to as interface), where an extension
is added to an existing installation, with new core colours. It is important to
mark the connection with the correct core colours at this interface. To deal
with this BS 7671: 2001 (2004) contains a new regulation requiring to provide
a warning notice and also contains an appendix called “Harmonized cable
core colours” to provide guidance on marking at the interface between old
and harmonized (new) colours, and general guidance on the colours to be
used for conductors. The following are some extracts:

Regulation on “Warning Notice – non standard colours”


If wiring alterations or additions are made to an installation such that
some of the wiring to previous version of these Regulations, a warning notice
shall be affixed at or near the appropriate distribution board with the following
warning:

This installation has wiring


colours to two versions of BS 7671.
Great care should be taken before
undertaking extension, alteration
or repair that all conductors are
correctly identified.

106
From the Appendix: Harmonized cable core colours

1. Introduction

BS 7671 has been harmonized with the technical intent of CENELEC Standard
“Identification of cores in cables and flexible cores”.

BS 7671 has been modified to align with these cable core colours, but also
allows other suitable methods of marking connections by colours (tapes,
sleeves or discs), or by alphanumerics (letters and/or numbers). Methods
may be mixed within an installation.

2. Alteration or addition to an existing installation

2.1 Single-phase

An alteration or addition made to a single-phase installation need not be


marked at the interface provided that:
i. the old cables are correctly identified by the colour red for phase
and black for neutral, and
ii. the new cables are correctly identified by the colour brown for
phase and blue for neutral.

2.2 Two- or three-phase installation

Where an alteration or an addition made to a two- or three-phase installation


wired in the old core colours with cable to the new core colours, unambiguous
identification is required at the interface. Cores shall be marked as follows:
Neutral conductors
Old and new conductors: N

Phase conductors
Old and new conductors: L1, L2, L3.

TABLE 14
Example of conductor marking at the interface for additions and
alterations to an a. c. installation identified with the old cable colours
Function Old conductor New conductor
Colour Marking Marking Colour
Phase 1 of a. c. Red L1 L1 Brown (1)
Phase 2 of a. c. Yellow L2 L2 Black (1)
Phase 3 of a. c. Blue L3 L3 Grey (1)
Neutral of a. c. Black N N Blue
Protective conductor (earth) Green-and-Yellow Green-and-Yellow
(1) Three single-core cables with insulation of the same colour may be used
if identified at the terminations.
(Source: Table 7A, Appendix 7, BS 7671:2001(2004))

107
3. Switch wires in a new installation or an alteration or addition to
an existing installation
Where a two-core cable with cores coloured brown and blue is used as a
switch wire, both conductors being phase conductors, the blue shall be
marked brown or L at its terminations.

4. Intermediate and two-way wires in a new installation or an


alteration or addition to an existing installation

Where a three-core cable with cores coloured brown, black and grey is used
as a switch wire, all three conductors being phase conductors, the black and
grey conductors shall be marked brown or L at their terminations.

5. Phase conductors in a new installation or an alteration or


addition to an existing installation

In a two- or three-phase power circuit the phase conductors may all be one
of the permitted colours either identified L1, L2, L3 or marked brown, black,
grey at their terminations to show the phase.

6. Changes to cable core colour identification

TABLE 15. Rigid cables

Cable type Old core colours New core colours


Single-core Red Brown
Single-core Black Blue
Two-core Red, Black Brown, Blue
Three-core Red, Yellow, Blue Brown, Black, Grey
Four-core Red, Yellow, Blue, Black Brown, Black, Grey, Blue
Five-core Red, Yellow, Blue, Black, Brown, Black, Grey, Blue,
Green-and-Yellow Green-and-Yellow
(Source: Table 7C BS 7671:2001(2004))
TABLE 16. Flexible cables

Cable type Old core colours New core colours


Two-core Brown, Blue No change
Three-core Brown, Blue, Green-and No change
-Yellow
Four-core Black, Blue, Brown, Brown, Black, Grey,
Green-and-Yellow Green-and-Yellow
Five-core Black, Blue, Brown, Brown, Black, Grey, Blue,
Black, Green-and-Yellow Green-and-Yellow
(Source: Table 7D BS 7671:2001(2004))

108
The Sri Lanka Standards Institution has amended the relevant
standards on cables to suit these changes and the manufacturers have made
necessary changes to produce cables abiding by these standards. Therefore
cables with new core colours are available now and there could be both sets
of colours available in the market for some time. Therefore it is essential to
take necessary care in following the correct colour code to avoid confusion.
From the IEE publication referred to above it shall be noted that:
ii. There is no need to change the colour code of the existing
installation
iii. Where both types of cables are used a warning notice shall be
provided at the distribution board
a. In single phase installations there is no need to mark at the
interface, if the colour code has been correctly followed in
both existing and new installations
b. In two- or three-phase installations cores shall be marked
with alphaneumeric characters (L1, L2, L3 and N)
(Two diagrams provided by IEE to illustrate these are shown in Fig. 47 and
Fig. 48.)

Addition

New Circuit

Fig. 47: Addition and alterations using cables with new core colours to an
existing installation
109
Addition

Fig. 48: Addition of a socket-outlet to an existing installation using new cables.



It should be further noted that the Regulations permit use of differently
coloured cable cores by marking connections with correct colour tapes,
sleeves or discs etc. Therefore cables with old core colours (red, yellow, blue,
black) could be used an installation starting work on-site after 1st April 2006
with correctly coloured sleeves (tapes or discs etc.) of brown, black, grey
and blue at their terminations. The only prohibition is the use of any different
colour marking on green-and-yellow coloured cable. (i.e. Earth cable shall not
be used as a phase or neutral conductor)
The Regulations also permit the use of two- or three- cables with
different core colours to be used at switching points where only one phase
is used. This is applicable when the wiring is done in multi-core cables with
intermediate junction boxes. In such a situation a two-core, a three-core,
or a four-core cable could be drawn, to a switch, a two-way switch or an
intermediate switch respectively, from the nearest junction box. Only one
phase will be connected to each of these switches and therefore each core
shall be marked “brown” colour.
On the other hand when wiring three-phase installation with single
core cables, normally only one colour (old code – red; new code – brown) will
be used. It is necessary to correctly identify the different phases throughout
the installation. Therefore coloured sleeves or similar means shall be
provided to identify the brown cables used as L2 (black) and L3 (grey) phase
conductors.
110
With this change the traditional R, Y, B notation used to mark phases
will loose its significance. The symbols L1, L2 and L3 will be used instead.
(Use of first letter of the chosen core colours may lead to confusion). An
interesting situation will arise with regard to the use of red, yellow and blue
colours for phase indicator lamps. These colours will have no significance
with the new core colours, but it is very unlikely they could be replaced with
brown, black and grey lamps. There is no Regulation to govern the colours
of indicator lamps and most probably use of the colours red, yellow and blue
would be continued.

111
References:

1. “Regulations for the Electrical Equipment of Buildings”, 14th


Edition, Reprinted in Metric Units Incorporating Amendments,
The Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1970
2. “Regulations for Electrical Installations”, 15th Edition, The
Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1981
3. BS 7671:1992 “Requirements for Electrical Installations, IEE
Wiring Regulations”, 16th Edition, BSI and The Institution of
Electrical Engineers, 1992
4. BS 7671:2001(2004) “Requirements for Electrical Installations,
IEE Wiring Regulations”, 16th Edition, Reprinted incorporated
amendments up to 2004 BSI and The Institution of Electrical
Engineers, 2004
5. K. A. Miller, “Guide to the IEE Wiring Regulations”, Second
Edition, Peter Peregrinus Ltd., 1970
6. J.F. Whitfield, “A Guide to the 15th Edition of the IEE Wiring
Regulations”, 3rd impression with minor corrections, Peter
Peregrinus Ltd.(on the behalf of IEE), 1982
7. “On-Site Guide to the 16th Edition Wiring Regulations”, The
Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1992
8. “The Crabtree Electrical Handbook”, 4th Edition, J. A. Crabtree
& Co. Ltd., 1968
9. J. O. Paddock and R. A. W. Galvin, “Electrical Installation,
Technology and Practice”, ELBS Edition, English Universities
Press, 1970
10. W.E.Steward, “Modern Wiring practice”, 7th (Metric) Edition,
Newnes-Butterworths, 1971

112
113