Legal question on wiring enclosures?

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by -Adam-, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    Not sure if anyone here can help at all, but I was wondering what is the legalities of making your own enclosures when it comes to wiring.

    I believe anything that's DC voltage (LED lights, etc) is fine.

    I'm not sure when it comes to buying a IR light fitting for the enclosure though. Seems you can buy the fittings very easy - but is it OK to install in an enclosure, provided it's not part of the house and that I don't have to do any actual wiring myself. (The unit already has a lead)?

    Same question if the wire has to be cut and passed through a hole? I know it's a straight out no-go if the unit is built into a house, but I can't seem to find any information about wiring for appliances such as this.

    Same question if there's a VIV that has a faulty wire - can I replace it myself, or must a qualified electrician do the work)?

    HAM radio operators seem to be able to build their own 240v gear without an electricians license, so my initial guess is that it's OK to wire appliances just not fixed fittings in houses, or wires through houses - but I can't find any firm information one way or the other. The only documented information all appears to be wiring for houses, and fixed appliances, and not for things like a VIV (or repairing a cord on a vacuum cleaner, etc).

    Talking around - it seems most people I've talked to believe it's OK to do - but no one has been able to point me to a qualified resource - it seems to be all assumption.
     
  2. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Hi Adam,
    Its illegal to do your own wiring unless you are qualified.
    Many off the shelf products are available where you just plug & play but unless using one of these you should have the work undertaken (or checked (tag & test)) by a qualified sparky.

    Risk is that if there is ever a problem your insurance wont cover if the worst were to ever happen.
     
  3. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    Hi Paul. Thanks for the response. Can you please confirm what you mean by 'wiring'.

    Do you mean actually working with and terminating cables but installing appliances such as this is OK because I'm not actually touching the wires, it's just unscrew, push through a hole and screw back in?

    https://reptileone.com.au/prod-info/46548_prodinfo.pdf

    Also - if I buy a 2nd hand viv - how do I know that the wiring was done by a qualified electrician? Does everyone here have a certificate with their Viv that says wiring was done by qualified electrician? (I've been loaned a Viv that I don't have a certificate with, but has a light socket). Does that mean i can't use it?

    Thanks
     
  4. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    i think he means like stripping wires and reconnecting them, i.e putting a new plug on to a cord, changing a wall plate etc

    i do all my stuff on my own when it comes to setups, nothing crazy.. but its simple enough im not paying someone 200$ to do it in 5minutes
     
  5. Ryan-James

    Ryan-James Active Member

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    Google it as a reference to your state laws, I think legally in Qld we are legally allowed to replace a lightbulb and not much else is permitted by the general public. Same with plumbing legally you can change a washer and a shower head and that's it.
    Ive been a rebel and wired up all my own enclosures for over 20 years without any issues
     
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  6. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    Apparently it is illegal to do any wiring at all. I bought some used enclosures years ago and the previous owner cut all the leads and said it was my responsibility to get a sparky to re-do it.
    Stuff that I have have been wiring lights and speaker boxes for 40 years and continue to wire my enclosures. I won't do household electrical but putting a light in a box is a piece of P...
     
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  7. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    I have been searching - I haven't been able to find anything that is clear. (Well, wiring houses, wall plates, and stuff yes) - but when it comes to adding a light to an enclosure that requires no cutting or connecting of wires, just drilling in a hole, unscrewing the mount, pushing the bulb through and screwing the mount the other side to fix it in place as per the link to the PDF file above - there's zero information that I've been able to find, only hearsay and it differs from comment to comment.

    Maybe it comes to the definition of "wiring".

    There's also seems to be zero information about buying Viv's and having any paperwork confirming installation done by an authorised technician, or CE approved/ticked registrations. My only thought is that maybe I can't find anything definitive because it's not illegal to "install" (as opposed to "wiring") 240v equipment in temporary enclosures?
     
  8. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    You have a point there, we buy enclosures that are pre-wired; Are the enclosure builders qualified sparkies? probably not, so there can't be any rule preventing us from doing our own.
    Just be aware that if there is an electrical fire you might not be covered by your insurance company if you can't prove the wiring was done by a licensed electrician, that in itself causes problems.
     
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  9. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Sorry mate, I dont get on here often these days.
    I mean ANYTHING that involves connecting a wire. This is why everything in Oz has moulded plugs fitted.
    You can do the work yourself but it should be tested/tagged by a sparky.

    Im not saying thats what everyone does, (thats a different discussion) and in other states it might be OK but in Victoria a definite NO.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 21, 2020, Original Post Date: Apr 21, 2020 ---
    There are better places to get information but I cant be bothered to go hunting them down at the moment.

    https://www.youi.com.au/youi-news/will-diy-electrical-work-affect-my-insurance
     
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  10. Ryan-James

    Ryan-James Active Member

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    I looked it up, and it's a resounding no by any Australian laws in any state, legally you can replace a lightbulb without an electrician and that's about it.
    It's irrelevant whether the bloke that built the enclosure had it tagged or not.
    If you built, then wired an enclosure and sold it to someone who got got electrocuted and subsequently died then that's manslaughter.
    Screenshot_20200421-223332.png Screenshot_20200421-223409.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  11. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    People commonly do it, but it's definitely illegal. The fact that other people do it doesn't make it legal. It's definitely very common and it's very rare for there to be any legal issues, but if you want to know if it's legal, the answer is a very clear no. If you want to ask the question of whether or not it's likely any problem will come your way if you do it, the answer is no, as long as your work is good. If your work ever does cause a problem, and it's proven to be because of your wiring, you may find yourself in a world of trouble. It's very unlikely, but in that unlikely scenario, it'll be very ugly. Countless people do take this risk, the vast majority will never have a problem. The choice is yours.
     
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  12. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    So the problem with that is - if I purchase a Viv and it creates a fire - same problem? I'd say that the majority of Viv's out there would void house insurances if they were the cause of fire (if they have fittings that needed to be wired). There's a can of worms right there!
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 23, 2020, Original Post Date: Apr 23, 2020 ---
    Hi Paul - thanks for confirming. So connecting a wire no go - but installing an appliance that doesn't require a wire to be connected (such as https://reptileone.com.au/prod-info/46548_prodinfo.pdf) is fine - there's nothing written that prohibits it - provided that there's no need to pull apart the wiring to install it. It seems that the term 'wiring' is key - and as per @dragonlover1 reply - is why so many electrical appliances in Aus have molded fittings.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 23, 2020 ---
    @Ryan-James - Thanks for that reference. All those examples seem to confirm the conclusions the others state - as they only list appliances or installations that require 'wiring' (I think the correct term is 'termination' - so a disconnected wire to be connected / terminated).
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 23, 2020 ---
    Thanks Sdaji - I think I've got an understanding now. Buy something that's premolded and doesn't require me to terminate cables - OK. Buy something that requires me to terminate cables - illegal but many people do it. That's all the information i need.

    However the curious side of me does wonder - I suspect there are a lot of enclosures (and not isolated to Viv's) - that are built and wired without an electrician. I don't recall seeing any CE approved tick on Viv's at a number of petstores I've visited - and I've never heard of someone getting a certificate of wiring note with Viv's that they've purchased - which has me thinking that this is a rule that even many manufacturers overlook. (As mentioned - this is beyond the scope of my initial question as the Viv I've purchased has no pre-installed wiring, but raises some very interesting thoughts).
     
  13. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    I can ask some friends how they get past it, being a business , they *shouldnt* be legal
     
  14. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    I would be interested to know if you do. Thanks!
     
  15. meako

    meako Not so new Member

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    Check your lease if you have one with regard to changing lightbulbs in rental properties...Electrician will most likely be needed for that.
    Also no enclosure inc new ones should be sold without test tag???...
     
  16. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    A test tag doesn't prove that the wiring was done by a qualified electrician, just that the cable was tested - the tester doesn't know who built the wiring, etc.

    Interesting re the rental properties - I wasn't aware of that. If that is truly the case, no wonder there's so many people who start to decide "which laws are applicable to them".
     
  17. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Suspended Banned

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    Better safe than sorry , hire a sparky for an hour or two .

    The job will be done safely and right first time .

    If your wiring fails and results in a house fire, your home insurance will decline the claim for the repair/rebuild.
    If someone is electrocuted due to dodgey wiring , you are going to be in seriously expensive legal crap when they or their family sue you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
  18. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @Adam. The following websites contain the information you are seeking: https://www.eess.gov.au/, https://esv.vic.gov.au/ and https://www.saaapprovals.com.au/resources/frequently-asked-questions/. Pinching bits and pieces from the above, the following info supports what you have been told by @PaulsPythons and others, and provide more explicit details…

    The Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) is a government framework that regulates the supply chain of in-scope electrical equipment (low voltage equipment for household, personal or similar use). The term “in-scope” is defined in law and means electrical equipment that is:
    • ated at a voltage greater than 50 V AC RMS or 120V ripple-free DC; and
    • rated at a voltage less than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC; and
    • is designed or marketed as suitable for household, personal or similar use.
    Voltages below those stated are what you can legally do your own work on.

    All electrical products in Australia, regardless of use, must comply with AS/NZS 3820 - the general electrical safety standard covering Australia and New Zealand. Sellers with an ABN are required to ensure that anything they sell meets Australian Standards. There have been some major fines for those that have not done so and sold faulty electrical devices.

    Electrical items without any electrical certification (such as those that may be bought from someone without an ABN) cannot be used legally. As has been stated by several others, such items will void insurance cover for any damage caused by their use.

    Electrical work is not confined to wiring alone. It also includes attaching electrical fittings, such as attaching a light socket. Light sockets must match the wattage and heat output of the globe to be used. My electrician brother-in-law explained to me that when you got to a 100W incandescent globe (if memory serves me correctly) plastic sockets were no longer allowable and one had to use a ceramic socket. This explains why replacing a globe in a rental property may not be permitted by the lessee. The brother-in-law also explained that there had to a certain amount of space around the 100W or stronger globes to allow sufficient air movement for the heat to dissipate. This issue is even more critical with recessed lights, the safe installation of which requires someone competent.

    Hope the extra detail helps. Sorry its a bit late but the last time I was on here they working on the system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  19. -Adam-

    -Adam- Active Member

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    Hi @Bluetongue1

    Thanks very much for your detailed reply - and links to official resources!

    When looking at Viv's I see options between either a plain enclosure, or enclosures with lighting sockets pre-installed.

    It would appear as though the latter are illegal - yet sold at so many shops (as I didn't see any approval stamps on the Viv's and no one has mentioned anything to me about certification or documentation).

    The risk as I see it isn't with wiring my own viv - it's with buying an enclosure as i would assume the same insurance and liability laws apply then as well (whether new or second hand).

    So - deducing from this - it seems that the only legal options available that remain is to buy a Viv without any lighting sockets. From there I can either set it up with non-AC equipment (low voltage lighting, heat mats, etc), or if I must have a socket installed - have an electrician install any 240V appliance.

    As for buying pre-setup ones off the shelf at a store with sockets - it seems all things point to them being illegal, even though many shops are selling them. I have no idea how they or their manufacturers get away with it, but at least I know now to stay clear of them and not consider them.

    Thanks for coming back and responding - it's never too late. :)
     

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