Last edited 11 Jan 2021

Main author

ECA Institute / association Website

Electrical equipment

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BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations) defines ‘electrical equipment’ as:

Any item for such purposes as generation, conversion, transmission, distribution or utilisation of electrical energy, such as machines, transformers, apparatus, measuring instruments, protective devices, wiring systems, accessories, appliances and luminaires.

Electrical equipment within a building would therefore cover all of the items above – whether they are installed and ‘fixed’ as part of a fixed installation (and hence covered under BS 7671) or provided ‘loose’ by a building user and simply plugged in - typically referred to as a freestanding appliance.

One often misunderstood point is that wiring systems, such as cabling systems, busbar trunking and the like, are classified as ‘equipment’ under BS 7671. This is because, unarguably, they serve the purpose of transmission and distribution of electrical energy.

It is also essential that in the classification of equipment, whether or not it forms part of the fixed installation, is also made clear. This will vary from one building to another. This detail is essential when considering work such as ongoing maintenance or periodic testing and inspection.


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