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White Paper Published on New Standards

To help electrical contractors meet British Standard 8488-1, Schneider Electric has published a white paper outlining the effects of the new standard on prefabricated wiring systems and how to overcome them.

The speed and ease of installation of prefabricated wiring systems has meant they are fast becoming a preferred method. To reflect this, a new standard, BS8488-1, was published that addressed the need for a regulation of the complete wiring system rather than simply the individual components.

This standard has had implications for the way prefabricated wiring systems should be constructed, so Schneider Electric has issued a white paper examining what these are and how to address them. For example, clause 3.4 states that "an installation female connector is the supply side portion of an installation coupler, which contains the receptacle contacts designed to accommodate the male connector"; basically meaning that ring circuit solutions offered by some manufacturers, which have both male and female connectors on the supply side, are now illegal.

Lee Jones, marketing engineer from Schneider Electric explains: "The white paper doesn’t just highlight the issues with the standard and how they affect prefabricated wiring; we’ve also included advice on how to ensure the correct prefabricated products are installed to meet BS8488-1 and details of our range of fully compliant products."

As well as looking at the impact of the standard, the paper outlines the company’s ASTA-accredited laboratory research into issues such as radial circuits compared with ring mains and over heating effects on 2.5mm PVC-insulated cable. From this, Schneider Electric has formed an argument for the use of radial circuits and encourages specifiers and engineers to look at the system’s technological and economical benefits of switching from the more traditional ring main configuration.

Lee continues: "For more than 50 years, the UK has been one of the few countries to adopt the ring main as standard, rather than the radial topology favoured by the rest of the world. Many specifiers and installers have their wiring methods entrenched and few consider the benefits and drawbacks of each set up. At Schneider Electric we are keen to highlight that opting for a radial set up can offer time and money saving benefits and a produce a superior result."

As a consequence of this research and to meet with the new standard, Schneider Electric has developed its own prefabricated wiring system.  For information about this range of products, or to download a copy of the white paper: The effects of standards on prefabricated wiring systems, visit or call 0870 608 8 608.

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