Electrical Contracting News (ECN) August 2016 - Page 22

CABLE MANAGEMENT RATINGS BATTLE Advances in the cable management market are offering a more practical and economical route to IP4X compliance. Achieving compliance for cable containment systems that exceed IP30 and ensuring installations stay within Wiring Regulations can often be a protracted process. Here, Jon Hillier at Metsec considers how IP4X rated electrical enclosures can help to maximise the safe performance of a cable containment solution – without compromising on project lead times. C omplying with Wiring Regulations is a key responsibility and sometimes there is more than one way to meet the criteria. This is the situation that electrical contractors routinely face when specifying metal cable trunking systems for their projects. Background Since 2012, when the first amendment to BS7671:2008 ‘Requirements for electrical installations’ came into force, it has been necessary for all single insulated, non-sheathed cables to be contained in an enclosure that meets either an IP4X or IPXXD rating. Both ratings, in accordance with BS EN60529:1992, are designed to provide a reliable standard for determining the level of protection offered by an enclosure against solid objects and water. In addition, the ratings serve to protect installers and service engineers from electrical accidents through unintended ingress of wire – a precautionary measure that IP30 does not include. It should be highlighted though, that the two ingress protection (IP) ratings IP4X and IPXXD, are not equally robust. This is due to the inherent alphanumerical IP code, which classifies dust resistance and waterproofing of cable management trunking and containment systems. The first and second numerals relate to the level of care needed against the ingress of solid objects and water, but interestingly, the use of ‘X’ in any protection rating indicates that for the range of products covered, protection is not required. 22 22-23 Cable Management – Metsec.indd 22 18/07/2016 10:33