Irelands New Wiring Rules

07 December 2020
Irelands New Wiring Rules

What is I.S. 10101:2020?

From the 1st of April 2020, new electrical installations may be designed and certified to the new standard I.S. 10101:2020, and from February 1st 2021, all installations must be installed to this standard. This may leave you wondering, what is the difference between ET 101:2008 and I.S. 10101:2020? With the help of our friends over at SafeElectric, we've gone through I.S. 10101:2020 and identified some of the most important changes that you should be aware of.   


Before getting into the actual changes, let’s first look at the important dates surrounding these new standards.

1st of April 2020: From the 1st of April onwards, you are permitted to use the new I.S. 10101:2020 Standards in your Electrical Installations, However, it is not necessary, only an option.

31st January 2021: The 31st of January 2021 is the last day where you may design your electrical installations to ET 101:2008. Any electrical installation designed to the old standard before this date must be certified to at least a pre-connection stage by 31st July 2021. After this date, all electrical installations must be made to I.S. 10101:2020 Standards.

1st February 2021: From this day forward, all Electrical Installations must be designed and certified to the I.S. 10101:2020 standard

So What Changes?

One of the biggest changes between the two standards that you will notice is that in I.S. 10101:2020, the structure of the document has changed. In ET 101:2008, the different sections of the standard were split into parts (e.g. Part 1, Part 2, etc.). However, in I.S. 10101:2020, the sections have been renamed to chapters. This change makes it easier to navigate the document, as well as serving to make it easier to read.

Rule 527: Selection and Erection of wiring systems to minimize the spread of fire

This rule requires all cables to have a minimum rating of class DCA, S2, D2, A2. In this case, D is the grading of the cable's resistance to fire. This rating goes from A-F, A being the most resistant, and F being the least. CA in this case stands for Cable. S in this case identifies Smoke, D identifies Droplets, and A is for Acid. For a better understanding, imagine DCA S2, D2, A2 as (DCable- Smoke 2, Droplets 2, Acid 2). When purchasing your cable at your local cable supplier, it is important to make sure that this certification is stamped on the drum or reel of cable, as the specification itself isn’t going to be anywhere on the wire.

Rule 411.3.4: Mandatory Introduction of RCD Protection on Lighting Circuits in Domestic Premises

RCD Protection, while before was only used in bathrooms and rooms that contain baths and showers, now must be used on all lighting circuits within a domestic installation. Along with this, bathrooms will no longer need to have dedicated RCD protection, meaning that an ensuite could be wired in with the bathroom. However, it is important to make sure that when installing the RCD's, not to do so in a way where a single fault may cause a hazardous situation.

Rule 530.6.2.4: Location and Height of Distribution Boards

First off, let’s talk about location. In the previous standard, you were not allowed to have your distribution boards located under timber stairs, in a washroom, or a storage cupboard. While the other locations are still forbidden, you are now allowed to have your distribution board in a cupboard, as long as it is readily available. Furthermore, in the previous standard, the distribution board had to be exactly 2.25 meters measured from the floor to the top surface of the board. This has been changed in I.S. 10101:2020, and it now only has to be 2.15 meters from the floor, but can be measured to the top row of MCB’s, instead of the top of the board. Furthermore, if your distribution board is less than 1.4 meters long, it must be accessible to authorized personnel.

Rule 443.4 and 443.5: Surge Protection

In I.S. 10101, if you are not introducing surge protection, you now have to do a risk assessment. This risk assessment is a simple equation, which involves getting a measurement from your meter location, back to the transformer, and you input the information into the equation. The result of this equation will tell you if surge protection is necessary or not. 

Want to know more?

While we have listed above a few of the important changes with the new standards, it would be impossible for us to list them all. If you are interested in learning more about I.S. 10101, you can purchase "Practical Guide To The National Rules For Electrical Installations" by John Clare either in stores or here on our website. 
This guide breaks down I.S. 10101 fully, giving a comprehensive guide on all the changes, as well as step by step testing guides.