Australian power laws

Hello I am an electrician. I am licensed to work in Australia and I havemy rec. I am looking at installing an arduino for some home installation and am just curious about legalities of doing this.

if I install all the wiring and certify the wiring and the relays that are rated for the fault current and has the isolation required is there any legal requirement for any certification for the controller.

i know you have to label the switchboard that there is control gear that cpuld automatically switch so requires isolating but since it's 24v that is doing all the thinking does it need certification? are there any safety requirements that need to be followed.

the way I see it, if an electrician goes to the board he will isolate the arduino circuit and the circuit he's working on and everything is predictable and safe?

anyone have other thoughts?

What are you trying to do? Automate the fuse/breaker box?

Hello I am an electrician. I am licensed to work in Australia and I havemy rec. I am looking at installing an arduino for some home installation and am just curious about legalities of doing this.

Sounds to me like you didn't pay attention in class.

This is NOT the place to discuss laws of any country. You should be asking questions of a lawyer.

Let me start off by saying I am NOT a liscensed electrician and any comments I make are from common sense and not based on any laws.

Here in the States, the National Electric Code discusses low voltage and application and also higher voltage and it's application. Here in the States, we use 24VAC or less for most low voltage. this keeps us out of many of the issues you have.

it is ironic that we often tell people to have the work done on the high voltage by a licensed electrican.

As a starting point, the more 'approved' equipment that you use, the less problems you will encounter.

Tangles84: anyone have other thoughts?

Not a single thought or word that is included in a Reply here will have the slightest bearing on Australian law or on your liability if a house goes on fire or a person is injured or killed.

Imagine standing in the witness box when Counsel for the prosecution says in a disbelieving voice "You relied on advice from where ?"

I was involved in commissioning a Railway Safety study in Ireland and one of the consultants had a lovely phrase "who has the go-to-jail card".

This is not the place to ask the sort of question you are posing.

...R

I think that you should disregard advice from people outside your own country, unless you can see that they make sense.

Regulations vary from territory to territory, but this is a global site, People are likely to respond with their own interpretation/miss-interpretation of local laws,

JohnLincoln:
I think that you should disregard advice from people outside your own country…

Ha, that includes me then.
lol.

The only thing i can offer you here is, i believe Arduino itself does not promote their products to be used for critical/sensitive applications. Of course you can do it, but on your responsibility. In europe i believe most things that are intended for end customers have to be approved to a certain degree (CE ... and stuff). Which can be sometimes done by yourself.

I think you should first read australian law before doing anything...or get counseling of course.

I’d like to see what he wants before getting my boots on.

Working on any electrical installation needs to be done under a "contractors licence".

I have no idea what a "rec" is.

As someone has already noted, a bit more info about your intention would be helpful.

If you were a qualified contractor, then you would be aware that one simple phone call , either to the SAA or to your state contractor association would give you the answers you require and your legal requirement.

Be aware they will need a lot more detail on the proposed install as well.

bluejets: Working on any electrical installation needs to be done under a "contractors licence".

I have no idea what a "rec" is.

Nor have I, and I live in Australia. But I'm just an architect, and when an electrical problem arises, I would ask the licensed electrician, who would look no doubt where they all look - in the Australia Wiring Rules AS3000.

rec is the contractors license. I know I can make it safe and void of all chances of danger and fire and death. no problem.

I did may attention in class. there is regulations on extra low voltage wiring. I got the best results in my class. they never said anything on designing your own microcontroller as that is out of the scope of an electrician.

all I'm controlling is lights. it isn't cintrolling any necessary devices or utilities.

I tried calling electrical safety australia. they couldn't help me. and I am out of the country at the moment so cannot contract lawyer. I'm just curious if there are any australian electricians on here looking at the same thing as me?

it's not in as3000 it's in the low voltage regulations but it's in australia atm and I'm in Se asia.

I'm an Australian, and TBH if I was wondering whether to hook something up to the mains I would ask an electrician! Since you are one, I'm not sure where to go next, except to read whatever regulations you can get your hands on.

I know we have here (in my house) some relays which turn on things at a distance (like garden lights) and I assume that it would be safe enough / legal enough to fiddle with the low-voltage side (assuming it is 12 V or something like that), however that is pure guesswork on my part.

Since the Arduino can't directly switch or control 240 V, the issue for me would be: How legal/approved is the device you are planning to interpose between the Arduino and your mains supply?

I found this link, for example: http://acma.gov.au/Citizen/Consumer-info/My-connected-home/Fixed-line-phones/electrical-safety

If you are uncertain about operating a device in Australia, discuss your options with a suitably qualified electrician, licensed to operate in Australia.

Well, Tangles84, it looks like you will have to have a discussion with yourself. And if you don't know, you must know who you can ask, such as the place you got your training, or someone with a higher level license.

if I install all the wiring and certify the wiring and the relays that are rated for the fault current and has the isolation required is there any legal requirement for any certification for the controller.

My guess is that if you are using approved equipment, and that equipment is operated by a (say) 12 V signal, then they won't particularly care what provides that signal. However that is purely a guess. There might be issues if, say, the equipment controlled by the controller was turned on and off in a hazardous way (eg. very frequently) or in an unexpected way (eg. without warning).

You can plug what you want in the wall here, just don't mess inside the box unless you're a licensed electrician. I have cheap 10A relays to switch house power with 5V, I can use them how I want.

Yea that's my thinking too. I know there is regulations on the wiring. And I'm using relays that are rated and are used on plc systems that are legally used in industrial application. so fault current, over voltage or separation are not the issue. It's as safe as any installation. exactly what your saying, there is only a 12v signal that can do anything and under any circumstances. (with those signals doing anything in any combination ) there is no safety sitiation. so I cannot see why it cannot be controlled by anything.

I've got no problem installing g a board with the relays in it and having it pass all regulations and be safe. I've done this many times with 240v control

if it was turned off or on all outputs stayed on or off or hung or any thing it wouldn't cause any danger.

I can't see why this would be a problem except for regulations as Australia is really full on with their electrical regulations so maybe it needs to be certified.

I'm really frustrated as I called my power authority and they weren't any help. They told me to read x y z rule books. ffs those things are written for lawyers not electricians. so I'm stumped. hence why I'm here lol.

Do you have any commercial radio controlled light switches available? I use an off-the-shelf radio controlled light switch, and control the remote with an Arduino. This way there are no worries of code compliance or liability for the device connected to the house wiring.

Dave

That's what I'm doing with a doorbell. The main unit plugs in the mains, but the remote is what I've got at to have the Arduino "press" the button when required (via an opto-coupler). Since the remote is battery powered anyway, I don't see any safety issues there.

that's a really good idea. hmm.

although I should just buy a plc and use that. just bloody expensive for what they do. all I'm doing is turning lights on. no real trick.

I'm looking into getting my design checked and certified but I doubt it's worth the hassle.

it would actually be cheaper to just buy a bunch of relays and timers and just wire the thing up the old fashioned way. keep it all 240v. it's just so stupid to do it that way when a small $2 item can make the whole thing easier, cheaper, more user friendly, easier to fault find, more flexible, more versatile and just as safe. really annoying.

Hi,

If you make your project so it plugs into a GPO, I don't think you have any problems as long as the GPO is fused and RCD protected.

Its if you wire into a fusebox you have the regulations to play with.

It might be worth asking a hypothetical to Electrical Safety Victoria or which ever state you are in.

Tom..... :)