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concepts were introduced
and many existing practices
were expanded or enhanced -
one of those being
supplementary equipotential
bonding. To a great extent,
the 15th Edition was based
on CENELEC harmonised
documents (HDs) (more so
now with the introduction of
the 17th Edition).

HD 384.4.41 was the basis for
Chapter 41 of the 15th
Supplementary Edition - Protection against
electric shock, which had

equipotential bonding

Courtesy of Yorkshire Water
requirements for
supplementary equipotential
bonding in Regulation 413-7,
by Mark Coles reproduced here:

413-7 Within the zone formed
Questions relating to the *Earthing and bonding Main protective bonding by the main equipotential
requirements for are two separate concepts conductor Used to connect bonding, local
supplementary extraneous-conductive-parts, supplementary equipotential
equipotential bonding are Earthing such as a metallic water bonding connections shall be
frequently asked; a very Connection of the exposed- pipe, to the main earthing made to metal parts, to
common one is where conductive-parts of an terminal. maintain the equipotential
should it be installed. installation to the main zone, where those parts -
This article looks at the earthing terminal of that Supplementary (i) are extraneous conductive
requirements for installation. equipotential bonding parts, and
supplementary equipotential An example of earthing is conductors Used to (ii) are simultaneously
bonding in BS 7671:2008, where the metallic outer-case supplement to fault accessible with exposed
where supplementary of a class I appliance is protection by maintaining conductive parts or other
equipotential bonding connected by the circuit various exposed conductive- extraneous conductive parts,
should be installed and protective conductor to the parts and extraneous- and
offers help on the process of means of earthing conductive-parts at (iii) are not electrically
evaluation. providing a safe path substantially the same connected to the main
for fault or high potential, such as the equipotential bonding by
TERMINOLOGY leakage/high protective connection of all exposed- permanent and reliable
Firstly, it is important that conductor currents. conductive-parts and metal-to-metal joints of
the terminology is correct. extraneous-conductive-parts negligible impedance.
Earthing and bonding are Equipotential that can be touched by NOTE - Where local
two different concepts yet the bonding livestock in an agricultural equipotential bonding is
terms are often used together. Electrical connection installation. provided in accordance with
Once we have established maintaining various Regulation 413-7, metalwork
that "earth-bonding"* is exposed-conductive-parts HISTORY which may be required to be
a nonsensical expression and and extraneous-conductive- The change from the 14th to bonded includes baths and
should never be used, we parts at substantially the 15th Edition of the IEE exposed metal pipes, sinks,
can look at the requirements the same potential. Wiring Regulations in 1981 taps, tanks, and radiators
of supplementary There are two types of created a big upheaval in the and, where practicable,
equipotential bonding in equipotential bonding electrical installation accessible structural
BS 7671:2008. conductor: industry as many new metalwork

IET Wiring Matters | Summer 08 |

Much of A note at the end of this the confusion can be Regulation acknowledges attributed to the note of that. This led supply. What is a protective green-and-yellow conductors measure? in every instance. potential to limit the risk of Initially. of materia six layers Ele io n co m prising of to 180ºC requirements for conductive-parts and nstruct from -80ºC a unique co peratures tapes have resist tem Brother TZ e labels can supplementary equipotential extraneous-conductive-parts ensely dura bl These imm bonding then at instances at substantially the same where it would be required. for SUPPLEMENTARY example. PT-1260 to the installation of supplementary DISCONNECTION TIMES equipotential bonding of Regulation in electrical Regulation 413-7 which installations.4 s. given in accessible metallic parts are Regulation 410. www. by BS (i) Automatic disconnection resistance between the two of supply (Section 411) parts is sufficiently low. s use g machine d us tr ial labellin try level by Regulation 410. PT-9600 general concept.. The toughest jobs need the Those far reaching changes. measure is automatic those within the designated disconnection of equipotential zone. are still being felt today (iii) Electrical separation for with designers and the supply to one item of specifiers still current-using equipment implementing the (Section 413) requirements for (iv) Extra-low voltage (SELV supplementary and PELV) (Section 414). M34 5JD. pipework at time.7 which this clears the confusion professio nal in th e en th er yo u choose A ll B ro so whe ther u ill be w requires that if the created by Regulation 413-7 TZ tapes. for measures generally permitted example. supplementary EQUIPOTENTIAL BONDING equipotential bonding is from £59.99 el prices l. insulation (Section 412) labels. states general metallic items such that where automatic as baths.. Thankfully. etc.3. two simultaneously www. To buy a Brother labelling installation of single-core printer visit your preferred electrical wholesaler. the most required the bonding of all commonly used protective metallic items. if disconnection will not occur THE REQUIREMENTS FOR in the required 0. WM0608. ctronic lab We'll look at the used to hold various exposed. Shepley Street. Do bear in mind that producing supplementary provisions supplementary equipotential shall be applied to achieve bonding need not be For full product information phone 0845 606 0626 the same degree of safety. essentially. In this instance. supplementary boilers. ceiling grids. physically carried out by the quoting ref. T-9600 yo our tough top o f th e range P th e extreme. achieved in the required PT-7600 radiators. P or the een tested to PT-1260V ha ve b labels that measure cannot be we equipotential bonding shall have moved on from this be provided. conditions of a protective of the 15th Edition.2. . (ii) Double or reinforced toughest issued on 31st March 1981. the scene is set a dangerous electric shock . equipotential bonding from the 15th Edition.3: in reliable contact and the Brother UK. hand disconnection cannot be rails. kitchen sinks. There may There are four protective be a situation where.

responsibility is more than 0. e. R ≤ 50 V current causing operation of permitted. IΔn. d. etc. not mean that a lower parts becoming live in the Note that in fig. First regarding the effectiveness we must establish the of supplementary current causing operation of equipotential bonding. the imminent publication. abrasion. etc. tension or Ultimately. a maximum installing supplementary WORKING STANDARDS equipotential bonding as a Example 1 ensure there is sufficient The installation of means of omitting Let's take the scenario that current to operate the supplementary mechanical protection will the protective device is an circuit breaker within five equipotential bonding does just result in more metallic RCD rated at 30 mA: seconds. a maximum the worst case characteristic omitted. EQUIPOTENTIAL BONDING constant in the formula to of supplementary by impact.2.. competent person. 1 the standard of work is event of damage to a cable. IS REQUIRED ensure sufficient current is equipotential bonding penetration. systems R ≤ 50 V circuit breaker is 160 A. the a short-circuit current of paramount and must form current causing not less than 200 mA. Simply resistance of 0.c. requires that the correct overleaf. and protection of that cable is  overcurrent devices. this aware of the installation the protective device is a conductors.31 Ω RCDs.31 Ω will automatic operation in 5 s Therefore. time/current between simultaneously characteristics graph in accessible exposed. use or installation.2. nor the Ia the device between 0.BONDING 8 Where doubt exists breaker. If many disconnect the supply for CONDUCTORS 0. we can condition: establish that the current causing operation of the In a. fig. equipment. who is a Example 2 verifying supplementary maintenance.c.2. this will not protection or the need to EQUIPOTENTIAL R ≤ 50 V be the case for fuses. 2. can be equipotential bonding resistance of 1666 Ω will Therefore. requirements for the sizing protected by different thermal stresses in of supplementary protective devices/types. 612.03 circuits are present in a other reasons. part of the design. conductors in Regulation should be used.4 of fulfils the following BS 7671:2008). conductive-parts and Therefore.. 4 V and 24 V. conductors should be no compression during with the designer of the installation. the risk of damage arising WHERE SUPPLEMENTARY value of 50 v is used as a advises that the resistance from mechanical stress. the circuit-breaker by Regulation 415. R.3. Regulation means that if there is a conditions and will use BS EN 60898 Type B circuit. looking at fig. When flowing to operate the RCD. with the wiring system is selected for the choice of conductor.2 requires referring to the correct that the resistance. Figure 1: Time/current characteristics of circuit-breakers to Ia BS EN 60898 Type B and BS EN 61009-1 R ≤ 50 V Where: Ia continuity test be made not forming part of the Ia is the operating current with a recommendation that electrical installation in amperes of either: R ≤ 50 V the test instrument has a becoming live due to  the protective device for 160 no-load voltage of between damage to a cable. will aid with current to operate the RCD.1 and requirements for fault SIZING OF SUPPLEMENTARY 5 s is the same.6. or a. such as BS 7671:2008 has R ≤ 1666 Ω particular area and are protection against . 1 extraneous-conductive-parts (extract from fig. then the R ≤ 0. Note that the touch voltage latest edition due for the application to minimize may rise above 50 v.c.g. Appendix 3 of BS 7671. Guidance Note 3. Regulation 522. the table shown ensure there is sufficient The IET publication.1 544. rated at 32 A.theiet. fully Let's take the scenario that equipotential bonding Fundamentally.1 requires that a danger of a metallic part their skill and engineering IET Wiring Matters | Summer 08 | www.05 Ω.

designed to be protection by means of a Size of CPC Exposed-conductive.note installed in conduits made that other measures will be of insulating material.5 1.5 4. requirements for automatic metallic sheath.0 and not forming part of the Pools and Other Basins 4.0 1. required.0 16. an item of touched and which is not conditions of Regulation an electric heating unit equipment or a location. Extraneous-conductive.0 4.0 4.0 10. in Regulation earlier. Where supplementary become live when basic (i) All final circuits of the provided that it equipotential bonding is insulation fails.415.0 6.5 1. has an supplementary increased risk of electric equipotential bonding.0 1.5 4.0 a metallic water pipe which conductive-parts in zones 0.5 4.3. The following note at the end of this Sections of Part 7 directly Regulation states that cables reference supplementary should preferably be equipotential bonding . Exposed-conductive.5 4. equipotential bonding is Regulation 702.5 4. etc.theiet.0 4. 1 disconnection time can not and 2.0 2. a surface wiring Section 701 .0 introduce a potential.55. it should include An example of an exposed.0 4.522. i. but which can 701.0 10.0 2.0 .0 6.0 2.0 1. wiring system shall be those in Part 7 of connected to the BS 7671:2008. The shock. part to exposed. extraneous-conductive.0 10. is buried in the ground 1 and 2 to the protective Figure 2: Minimum cross-sectional area of supplementary equipotential bonding and subsequently enters conductors of exposed- a building conductive-parts of equipment situated in these To generalise. normally live.Locations system shall not employ judgement to design the equipment and all containing a Bath or metallic conduit or metallic installation accordingly.BONDING 10 Minimum cross-sectional area of supplementary bonding conductors appliance. connected to the means of 30 mA RCD part to extraneous. generally Earth potential.0 4.5 4.0 2.5 4.5 4.0 An example of an equipotential bonding will 10.Swimming 2.0 2. is covered all simultaneously conductive-part is the disconnection by an embedded earthed accessible exposed.3. Section 701 now has a metallic cable sheath or an Where supplementary relaxed requirement for exposed earthing or equipotential bonding is Exposed-conductive-part supplementary bonding conductor.e.0 2. This necessary to meet the is a relaxation from the requirements of 16th Edition as Regulation BS 7671:2008. embedded in the floor. a part of equipment which can be the following three permits the installation of the installation.5 4. Supplementary 6.411.0 16.0 4.0 10. 602-06-01 states that in zones Figure 3: Application of supplementary equipotential bonding A and B.0 2. metallic outer case of an (ii) All final circuits of the metallic grid and connected conductive-parts of fixed electrical class I location have additional to the supplementary IET Wiring Matters | Summer 08 | www. Section 702 .0 2. supplementary 702. as stated zones. it may involve the Conductive part of equipotential bonding when Regulation 702. Shower trunking or an exposed parts.2 are met. location comply with the incorporates an earthed installed. part to extraneous. any metallic sheath be met or where a Special or metallic covering of a Installation or Location.21 required where a requires that in zones 0.0 6.0 A conductive part liable to equipotential bonding 1.1 entire installation.0 electrical installation.0 4.5 4. earthing at all times of (iii) All extraneous- mm² conductive-part conductive-part (1) conductive-part operation conductive-parts of the mechanically mechanically mechanically mechanically mechanically mechanically location are effectively protected protected protected protected protected protected mm² mm² mm² mm² mm² mm² Extraneous-conductive-part connected to the protective 1.5 4.0 extraneous-conductive-part is connect all extraneous- 16.0 6.

415. . Electrical installations in Regulation 706. BONDING 11 equipotential bonding of conductive-parts of fixed the location (other equipment and the requirements are also conductive parts of the necessary). the metal grid laid parts inside the conducting in the floor. the apparatus for explosive may be used. of hazardous locations. and Horticultural Premises Part e) of this Regulation Supplementary requires that where the equipotential bonding is protective measure is PELV. has been Electrical Installations.Agricultural is the protective measure.Conducting shock. Confusion created by requirements or  BS EN 60079−14:2003 Locations with Restricted Regulation 413-7 of the 15th recommendations of other Electrical apparatus for Movement Edition of the IEE Wiring British Standards or by the explosive gas In a conducting location Regulations. image used.Temporary 705.2.6 and 415.415. (i) Hot-dip galvanized steel 411. be met or where a Special due to the build up of static electricity sectional area of 4 mm2. which requirements of the person atmospheres . concrete location with restricted reinforcement in general or movement.1. Amusement requires that Devices and Booths at supplementary Fairgrounds. exposed-conductive-parts. for example. Electrical Installations for Regulation 705.2. and the reinforcement of cellars for connection of the PELV liquid manure (other system to Earth.1 against mechanical damage reiterates the requirements and corrosion and chosen to of 705. In  BS EN 60079 Electrical Other suitable materials those in Part 7 of such installations. location where automatic disconnection of the supply Section 705 .3.2 Structures. has an requirements of BS 7671 gas atmospheres (suite of increased risk of electric will be supplemented by the standards) Section 706 .e. effectively required ordering the work.2.Part 14: with restricted movement. Other Seventeenth Edition strip with dimensions of at CONCLUSION installations. parts that can be touched by all extraneous-conductive- livestock.2. IET Wiring Matters | Summer 08 | www. Amusement equipotential bonding Parks and Circuses conductors are protected Regulation 740. shown above Figure 4: Application of supplementary equipotential bonding in avoid electrolytic effects. required to connect all equipotential bonding is exposed-conductive-parts provided between all and extraneous-conductive. in Regulation Section 740 .1. will Inspection and Testing (ii) Hot-dip galvanized supplementary have further requirements  PD CLC/TR 50404:2003 round steel of at least 8 mm equipotential bonding is for supplementary Electrostatics — Code of diameter required where a equipotential bonding to practice for the avoidance (iii) Copper conductor disconnection time can not reduce the risks of sparking of hazards due to static having a minimum cross. electricity. requirements are also necessary).10 supplementary hazardous areas (other requires that a supply to equipotential bonding to FURTHER INFORMATION than mines)  fixed equipment shall connect all accessible  BS 7671:2008 incorporate supplementary metallic parts within the Requirements for Thanks to Richard Rennie equipotential bonding is equipotential zone. under Agricultural and a Special Location with examples given as: Horticultural Premises. Installation or Location.3.theiet.544. clarified by Regulations IEE Wiring Regulations.410.415. such as those Guidance Note 3 - least 30 mm × 3 mm To summarise. of Yorkshire Water for the used to connect exposed. BS 7671:2008.