Understanding electrical non-compliance: Top 5 reasons and remedies

Ensuring that your electrical installation meets the required standards is not just about adhering to regulations; it’s about guaranteeing safety. In Belgium, the General Regulation on Electrical Installations (RGIE) sets the benchmark. Here are the primary reasons why your electrical setup might be deemed non-compliant.

electrical test

1. Missing single-line and position diagrams

The RGIE mandates that every electrical installation be accompanied by a single-line and a position diagram. These essential documents detail the makeup of various circuits, their interconnections, and the placement of electrical components. Failing to provide these diagrams can lead to a non-compliance declaration.

2. Absence of a residual-current device

A residual-current device (RCD) is a cornerstone of electrical safety. It identifies current leaks to the ground and interrupts the circuit to prevent electrocution. An RCD of 300 mA should be at the forefront of your setup, with an additional 30 mA RCD for circuits in water rooms and those with appliances like washing machines or dishwashers.

3. Elevated earth electrode dispersion resistance

The earth electrode channels any stray electrical current from an appliance into the ground, averting electrocution risks. If its dispersion resistance exceeds the set limits (above 30 Ohms or 100 Ohms with an additional RCD), your setup might be flagged as non-compliant.

4. Insulation shortcomings

Proper insulation is pivotal to prevent current "leaks" that could result in electrical shocks or fires. If the insulation isn’t up to par, you’re looking at potential non-compliance.

5. Non-standard electrical outlets

Electrical outlets must adhere to specific standards. They should have an earth connection, be positioned at a designated height from the floor, and there’s a limit to how many you can have per circuit. If your outlets are in a wooden wall, they must be recessed using a specially designed mechanism.

Addressing non-compliance: Next steps

If your installation is deemed non-compliant, you have a year to rectify the issues and undergo a re-inspection. For property sales, the new owner gets 18 months post the sale agreement signing to carry out compliance-related work.