What are the equipment types?

5.1 Equipment Types
5.2 British and European standards


To assist the reader the following definitions are provided:
BASIC INSULATION Insulation applied to live parts to provide basic protection against electric shock and which does not necessarily include insulation used exclusively for functional purposes.
CLASS I EQUIPMENT (see BS 2754). Equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but which includes means for the connection of exposed-conductive-parts to a protective conductor in the fixed wiring of the installation.
CLASS II EQUIPMENT (see BS 2754). Equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but in which additional safety precautions such as supplementary insulation are provided, there being no provision for the connection of exposed metalwork of the equipment to a protective conductor and no reliance upon precautions to be taken in the fixed wiring of the installation.
  1. Such an appliance may be one of the following types:
    1. an appliance having a durable and substantially continuous enclosure of insulating material which envelops all metal parts, with the exception of small parts, such as nameplates, screws and rivets, which are isolated from live parts by insulation at least equivalent to reinforced insulation; such an appliance is called an insulation-encased Class Ii appliance;
    2. an appliance having a substantially continuous metal enclosure, in which double insulation or reinforced insulation is used throughout; such an appliance is called a metal-encased Class II appliance;
    3. an appliance which is a combination of types a) and b).
  2. The enclosure of an insulation-encased Class II appliance may form part or the whole of the supplementary insulation or of the reinforced insulation.
  3. If an appliance with double insulation or reinforced insulation throughout has provision for earthing, it is considered to be a Class I or 01 appliance.
  4. Class II appliances may incorporate means for maintaining the continuity of protective circuits, provided that such means are within the appliance and are insulated from conductive accessible parts by supplementary insulation.
CLASS Ill EQUIPMENT (see BS 2754). Equipment in which protection against electric shock relies on the supply from a separated extra-low voltage source (SELV), such as an isolating transformer to BS EN 61558.
CORD SET An assembly consisting of a detachable flexible cable or cord fitted with a plug and a connector, intended for the connection of electrical equipment to the electrical supply.
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Electrical Equipment-Equipment types

5.1 Equipment types

The following types of electrical equipment are covered by this Code of Practice:
Portable appliance
An appliance of less than 18 kg in mass that is intended to be moved while in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.
Movable equipment (sometimes called transportable)
This is equipment which is either:
  • 18 kg or less in mass and not fixed, e.g. electric fire, or
  • equipment with wheels, castors or other means to facilitate movement by the operator as required to perform its intended use, e.g. air conditioning unit.
Hand-held appliances or equipment
This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, e.g. hair dryer, drill, soldering iron.
Stationary equipment or appliances
This equipment has a mass exceeding 18 kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator, washing machine.
Fixed equipment/appliances
This is equipment or an appliance which is fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specified location, e.g. bathroom heater, towel rail.
Appliances/equipment for building in
This equipment is intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a cupboard or similar. In general, equipment for building in does not have an enclosure on all sides because on one or more of the sides, additional protection against electric shock is provided by the surroundings e.g. a built-in electric cooker.
Information technology equipment (business equipment)
Information technology equipment includes electrical business equipment such as computers and mains powered telecommunications equipment, and other equipment for general business use, such as mail processing machines, electric plotters, trimmers, VDUs, data terminal equipment, typewriters, telephones, printers, photo-copiers, power packs.
Extension leads
The use of extension leads should be avoided where possible. If used, they should be tested as portable appliances. It is recommended that 3-core leads (including a protective earthing conductor) be used.
A standard 13 A 3-pin extension socket-outlet with a 2-core cable should never be used even if the appliance to be used is Class IT, as it would not provide protection against electric shock if used at any time with an item of Class I equipment.
The length of an extension lead for general use should not exceed the following:
Core area maximum length 1.25 mm2 12 metres 1.5 mm2 15 metres 2.5 mm2 25 metres*
* 2.5 mm2 cables are too large for standard 13 A plugs, but they may be used with BS EN 60309 industrial plugs.
These maximum lengths are not applicable to the flex of an appliance, for guidance refer to paragraph 15.13.
If extension lead lengths do exceed the above, they shall be protected by a 30 mA RCD manufactured to BS 7071.
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5.2 British and European standards

To encourage free trade within the European Union, existing national standards are being harmonized and converted to European standards. Compliance with these standards gives assurance to purchasers that appliances and equipment have been designed and constructed to a standard which will ensure that in normal use they function safely and without danger.
In order to check compliance, manufacturers have to perform a series of tests on the appliance and its components as required by the standard. The appliance must pass these tests if it is to be said that the appliance complies with the standard. A list of some of the safety standards for electrical equipment is given in Appendix I. The tests detailed in these standards are not suitable for in-service testing.
This Code recommends in-service inspections and tests which can be applied generally to equipment and appliances in normal use.
Routine manufacturers' tests are not required for general in-service testing, but may be applied to new appliances or after repair. Further information is provided in Appendix IV 5.3.
Equipment types
DANGER Risk of injury to persons (and livestock where expected to be present) from:
  1. fire, electric shock and burns arising from the use of electrical energy, and
  2. mechanical movement of electrically controlled equipment, in so far as such danger is intended to be prevented by electrical emergency switching or by electrical switching for mechanical maintenance of non-electrical parts of such equipment.
DOUBLE INSULATION Insulation comprising both basic insulation and supplementary insulation.
EARTHING Connection of the exposed-conductive-parts of electrical equipment to the main earthing terminal of an electrical installation.
ELECTRIC SHOCK A dangerous physiological effect resulting from the passing of an electric current through a human body or livestock.
EMERGENCY SWITCHING Rapid cutting off of electrical energy to remove any unexpected hazard to persons, livestock or property.
ENCLOSURE A part providing an appropriate degree of protection of equipment against certain external influences and a defined degree of protection against contact with live parts from any direction.
EXPOSED~CONDUCTIVE-PART A conductive part of equipment which can be touched and which is not a live part but which may become live under fault conditions.
FLEXIBLE CABLE Cable whose structure and materials make it suitable to be flexed while in service.
FLEXIBLE CORD A flexible cable in which the cross-sectional area of each conductor does not exceed 4 mm2.
INSULATION Suitable non-conductive material enclosing, surrounding or supporting a conductor.
LIVE PART A conductor or conductive part intended to be energised in normal use, including a neutral conductor
NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR A conductor connected to the neutral point of a system and contributing to the transmission of electrical energy.
PAT INSTRUMENT Portable appliance test instrument.
PHASE CONDUCTOR A conductor of an a.c. system for the transmission of electrical energy other than a neutral conductor or a protective conductor.
PROTECTIVE CONDUCTOR CURRENT Electric current which flows in a protective conductor under normal operating conditions.
PROTECTIVE EARTHING CONDUCTOR A conductor used for some measures of protection against electric shock and intended for connecting together the exposed-conductive-parts of electrical equipment to the main earth terminal of an electrical installation.
REINFORCED INSULATION Single insulation applied to live parts, which provides a degree of protection against electric shock equivalent to double insulation under the conditions specified in the relevant standard. The term 'single insulation' does not imply that the insulation must be one homogeneous piece. It may comprise several layers which cannot be tested singly as supplementary or basic insulation.
SUPPLEMENTARY INSULATION Independent insulation applied in addition to basic insulation in order to provide protection against electric shock in the event of a failure of basic insulation.
TOUCH CURRENT Electric current through a human body or through an animal's body when it touches one or more accessible parts of an installation or equipment.
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This information has been taken from the Code of Practice for In-Service
Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment as published by The IEE


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