Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services

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Blog for June

Well ok folks, here we are and June has run it’s course. I came back from holiday at the end of May and hit the ground running. We had a personal loss in the family to come back to that cut us to the core but we had to keep going as best we can.

For some reason or other I have been completely banged out with work for all of June and most of July.

If you’ve been following my posts you will have seen that I’ve been preparing for the 18th Edition coming in next year. One of the first things that caught my eye was the introduction of AFDDs – Arc Fault Detection Device. Ha Ha – just when you thought you had RCDs cracked! But once again, and as with RCDs, they have had them in the states for quite some time. RCDs have been available stateside since the nineteen-fifties (when we were using volt-operated ELCBs). The problem with RCDs and MCBs is that neither will detect a sizzling in-line fault as resistance is high through an arc so current is too low to trip a circuit-breaker and current is the same in both poles so an RCD won’t trip. I have found that AFDDs are available off the shelf in the states. The proposed 18th Edition seems to suggest that AFDDs may only need to be fitted to socket outlet circuits, but what I can’t get my head around at the moment is how will this work in practice? Will we now have to choose between RCD and AFDD protection or will we have “split-boards” with a couple of AFDDs feeding a few rows of RCBOs?

Out of interest, I have discovered that AFDDs have been fitted to aircraft for a long time. I guess an arcing in-line fault in an aircraft is something that needs to be dealt with very quickly.

The one thing I would say with any certainty is don’t buy any new test instruments until we know much more about the requirements of the 18th Edition!

And if you are really interested, it looks like the cover will be blue. I have now received my pre-release draft copy of the 18th and am beginning to have a poke about inside. I have always been a bit of a slow-coach so this is going to take some time for me to study, consider and comment, so standby for more feedback from me on this in the next couple of months.

In my role of Quality Assurer for one of the training organisations I work for I recently spent the day in the company of the Awarding Body’s External Verifier and a lady that was conducting an assessment of his performance. I think I set the day off to a great standard when I walked into the room with my flies undone. Good old Ted – you couldn’t write it.

This month has been very busy for me, in one week alone I was training in Horley, Dagenham and Dover. But when you’re doing something you enjoy and it pays the rent, then its all part of the fun.

Make the most of each day folks, we only pass this way once. God bless you all and treat others as they would treat you.

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