Home automation legal requirements and insurance etc.

Discussion of the online video show SuperHouseTV, where Freetronics co-founder Jonathan Oxer hacks on his house using various Open Source hardware and software. [SuperHouseTV site]
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kiwi
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:08 am

Home automation legal requirements and insurance etc.

Post by kiwi » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:01 am

Home automation using 240vac has to involve a registered electrician for much of the installation for legal reasons, and also for insurance purposes incase something goes wrong, eg fire.

Here in New Zealand the electrician also has to provide a "Supplier's Document of Conformity"(SDoC) for many of the components installed, eg cable, light fittings, switches etc. The SDoC is usually completed by the manufacturer of the component and certifies that it is fit for purpose, electrically save, etc, etc.
Components manufactured by well known companies such as Omron, Schneider etc often have these SDoC's on their websites. In many cases it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to get a SDoC for components purchased online from overseas or even from local shops.
The electrician is not permitted to connect any component requiring a SDoC until he has sighted a current SDoC. If a SDoC is not required, he still has to determine that it is "electrically safe" before connecting it.

The homeowner has to be aware of this if they are purchasing components for the electrician to connect. An example would be those relay boards that have 5vdc Arduino relay control, but pass 240vac through the contacts. Do they require a SDoC? If not, are they "electrically safe"?

As far as I know, much of the above also applies even when using 12vdc instead of 240vac. This is referred to as an Extra Low Voltage system and there are rules for design, component selection, installation, and testing by authorised persons.

I would suggest that anyone planning a home automation system should consult a registered electrician early in the planning to find out what can or can't be done in their location.

angusgr
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Re: Home automation legal requirements and insurance etc.

Post by angusgr » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:30 am

Hi kiwi,

Absolutely agree about the need to be aware of local legal requirements where you are and consult appropriately.

Just as a minor thing to point out, our RELAY4 & RELAY8 boards are relay driver boards that are designed to be connected on the low voltage side of appropriate relay setups.

- Angus

kiwi
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:08 am

Re: Home automation legal requirements and insurance etc.

Post by kiwi » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks for the reply Angus,

These are the type of relay boards that I was referring to http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8-Channel-5V ... 1139136053
I have used a few of them for 12vdc projects, but haven't been game enough to try one on 240vac.
I have a 240vac project coming up and will look at one of your driver boards for Omron DIN relays.

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