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December 2019

Merry Christmas Everybody...

It's been a year full of variety and challenges fo us. From Solar PV systems to Spray Painting Booths to Dust and Gas Hazardous Areas to petrol stations, a Gin Distillery and a Flour Storage facility. The highlight would be our appointment as Electrical Safety & Compliance Advisor to a nation-wide early learning institution with over 500 properties throught NZ - it's been a heck of a year with the New Year looking equally as busy. Thank you for your trust and support. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

New Zealand Electrical Inspectors Association
Taranaki held its first Ward meeting on the 12th of November in Stratford. The meeting was attended by 23 local inspectors. President Richard Gibbens gave the opening address followed by a presentation from Athol Gibson covering the TT versus MEN power supply arrangements. Vice-President Peter MacMillan was in attendance too and described how he was co-ordinating similar meetings for inspectors in the Waikato. He supported Richard's presentation encouraging attendees to become members of NZEIA. More meetings are planned for the Taranaki Ward starting with one on the 11th of Feb 2020 to be held in Stratford again. Anyone wishing to know more should contact Sam Ponga on 0274 456-459.

The final Executive Ward meeting for the year was held on Nov 20th in Palmerston North. The lead presentation by Ian Turner from Hamilton covered the inspection of Caravans, motorhomes and other types of relocatable electrical installations. He cited many examples of 'wrong' and 'often-overlooked' items. He also presented a sample of a checksheet he'd developed. This has become much sought after.
The meeting also heard that the Sponsorship program is temporarily suspended with 29 candidates currently studying towards becoming inspectors. It is hoped that the program will be reopened sometime during the Q1 period of 2020. Anyone interested in the program should contact Athol Gibson via the NZEIA website: 
The Northern Region Ward held its final meeting for the year on Tuesday the 17th in Matamata. The lead presentation was on PSCC and the selection of Main switches. No feedback yet but hey it was run by Peter so you know it was informative, lively and well-presented. Just saying. Were you there? Why not?

Standards NZ
Latest news coming from Standards NZ should come as no surprise. They've released a heck of a lot of Standards under the guise of being "currently-under-review". It's a common ploy (plot?) for them to publish so many, some quite controversial, during the holiday period. It's refreshing for this cynic to note the closing date for this round of submissions is the first week of February.

And for those of us who issue warrants for caravans and motorhomes there will be interest in the caravan gas installation standard AS/NZS 5601.2. currently under review. It's primarily a GAS standard however it contains electrical topics we need to be aware of. It covers such matters as the use and requirements around encapsulated electrical devices (min IP55), general electrical compliance requirements, safe discharge of static electricity, electrical safety bonding, requirements for electrical isolation in line with AS/NZS3000. It also describes that piping can't be used as an earth for any electrical system, cylinder lockers must not contain electrical equipment other than a gas safety shut off valve that is encapsulated, safety shutoff valve wiring must be double-insulated, and the biggie... electrical equipment, batteries or ignition sources must NOT be installed in the cylinder (and/or storage) compartment. Did you know that (gas) piping must be separated from any electrical service by at least 25mm irrespective of voltage? And that rigid piping must be at least 100mm from exposed live parts of electrical fittings.
Energy Safety have provided a link in their latest online safety mailout so you can sownload a copy of the proposed draft.

WorkSafe NZ & Energy Safety
In their latest mailout they reintroduce Claude their safety spokesperson; oh alright it's a blimen cat and not a very good looking one at that! He's running a competition with a couple of bbq's as prizes for people who correctly identify dodgy gas and electricity use. 
They also make available a draft copy of AS/NZS 5601.2 which contains subtle yet very important information which, in my view, will be very important to the electrical inspection sector.
There's also an update on AS/NZS 5139 and although currently not cited in the Regs, we are reminded that such work will become high-risk PEW. This standard is about the Safety of battery systems for use with power conversion equipment.

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