Equipotential bonding – do you know the rules?

Are you uncertain about your legislative requirements in relation to equipotential bonding in the ‘Wiring Rules’ in domestic and commercial construction applications?

Equipotential bonding is the act of bonding all the metal components in an area together to create substantially the same electrical potential, so that, under fault conditions, the difference in potential between simultaneously accessible exposed and extraneous conductive parts will not cause electric shock.

Australian Standard AS/NZS3000:2007 Section 5.6.2.5 & 5.6.2.6 outlines the requirements for equipotential bonding in a swimming pool/spa area as well as in domestic and commercial construction in a room containing a shower or bath.

If you are constructing a project in Australia or New Zealand and it requires equipotential bonding under the Wiring Rules, did you know that in a swimming pool / spa environment it is a requirement that all fixed conductive material within arm’s reach (1.25m) of the pool or spa’s edge must form an equipotential bond? This would include items like; the reinforcing steel shell of the pool or spa, the steel within the deck or under tiling, metal pool fencing or spigots, any metal lights, windows, downpipes, ladders etc.  Under the rules the connection point shall be located in an area that is testable and accessible and have space for further connections after the construction has been complete (Section 5.6.2.6.4)  In a domestic or commercial environment, this would include the re-enforcing steel in the concrete slab or wall.

Conductor Hub Pty Ltd have developed a world first electrical safety device for wet areas that will save lives and ensure compliance.  After being part of the building industry for over 20 years, Em Ritchie said that her husband Austen had identified a need for a product to comply with the Australian Standard (Wiring Rules) for equipotential bonding.  To date, there is no product on the market that complies with the whole of the standard and that can be checked to ensure the safety of the installation.

The Conductor Hub is installed between the reinforcing steel before the concrete is poured and fits inside standard mesh without requiring any steel cutting to ensure structural integrity is maintained.

It is an Australian Made product made up of a copper bar, stainless steel zip-ties and a buss bar housed in a lidded base made from ASA, which includes a unique collar that can be sized to suit any concrete thickness.  The Conductor Hub has the ability to include multiple connection points either during initial construction, or over time as additions are made to a pool environment. These connections are encapsulated for safety and protection inline with the wiring rules which require all grounding points to be protected against mechanical damage and corrosion.

It is important that all contractors know their liability when it comes to the legislation.  With the new Wiring Rules set to be released later this year and equipotential bonding requirements to be once again included, it is a good time to familiarise yourself with the current requirements to ensure you are working inline with your legal obligations.

Mrs Ritchie believes that installing a Conductor Hub unit will give the contractor and the homeowner added piece of mind that there is a “safety seal” that can be easily tested and inspected at any time.

The Conductor Hub takes away the confusion and hassle of supplying compliant equipotential bonding, ensuring contractors are meeting their responsibilities and ultimately keeping families safe. It is a reliable solution to a known problem.

Conductor Hub Pty Ltd are showcasing their safe and easy to use testing device at DesignBUILD 2018, 2-4 May at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Register in advance for free entry and stop by to see them on stand B36.

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