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B2019

Help to pass BSS and electrical issues

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Just now, bizzard said:

House twin and earth ok for BSS if cleated off very regularly. something like every 6'' I think.

 

Where in the BSS does it say that? I've not read it that carefully though. 

 

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31 minutes ago, bizzard said:

House twin and earth ok for BSS if cleated off very regularly. something like every 6'' I think.

That ain’t in the regs sir. 

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Sounds like my BSS inspector was wrong as one of the first things he checked with me was whether I'd used domestic (flat twin and earth) cabling for the mains wiring. I hadn't as I'd been told this before by more than one individual. I thought the reason was that single core copper wires are prone to damage by boat vibration which is why they say never to solder wires either but crimp and tag or use screw fasteners

 

 

Edited by Stephen Jeavons

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3 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Sounds like my BSS inspector was wrong as one of the first things he checked with me was whether I'd used domestic (flat twin and earth) cabling for the mains wiring. I hadn't as I'd been told this before by more than one individual. I thought the reason was that single core copper wires are prone to damage by boat vibration which is why they say never to solder wires either but crimp and tag or use screw fasteners

 

 

BSS examiners are never 'wrong', some just put a different interpretation onto the actual rules, whilst others just add rules that they think should be included - the solid-conductor wiring being one such rule.

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4 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Sounds like my BSS inspector was wrong as one of the first things he checked with me was whether I'd used domestic (flat twin and earth) cabling for the mains wiring. I hadn't as I'd been told this before by more than one individual. I thought the reason was that single core copper wires are prone to damage by boat vibration which is why they say never to solder wires either but crimp and tag or use screw fasteners

 

 

 

As is commonplace, boaters confuse the requirements of the several standards applying to boats in different circumstances. Including those giving you the above advice., and it appears, your BSS inspector.

 

Had you said 'yes' to the solid wire question he may well have just explained what to be careful of and still passed your boat. It is not 'good practice', but it is not a fail either. Had he failed it, you could have appealed and won, I think.

 

 

 

 

 

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On the fuel line issue must admit I didn't look closely at the pictures but I see now the filler pipe entering the fuel tank at the bottom.  Pretty sure that is a fail point as the flexible pipe is always going to contain diesel (or whatever you decide to run that engine on).   I can't tell from the photos where the filler cap is in relation to the tank but I think you will have to modify this arrangement so there is a constant fall from the filler to the top of the tank, if it can be done.     

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9 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

On the fuel line issue must admit I didn't look closely at the pictures but I see now the filler pipe entering the fuel tank at the bottom.  Pretty sure that is a fail point as the flexible pipe is always going to contain diesel (or whatever you decide to run that engine on).   I can't tell from the photos where the filler cap is in relation to the tank but I think you will have to modify this arrangement so there is a constant fall from the filler to the top of the tank, if it can be done.     

 

Would be quite straightforward to convert that fuel line connection to a drain tap and drill a new fuel draw-off connection in the top of the tank (with dip tube) I'd have thought. Then it's done right with no compromises.  

 

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19 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

As is commonplace, boaters confuse the requirements of the several standards applying to boats in different circumstances. Including those giving you the above advice., and it appears, your BSS inspector.

 

Had you said 'yes' to the solid wire question he may well have just explained what to be careful of and still passed your boat. It is not 'good practice', but it is not a fail either. Had he failed it, you could have appealed and won, I think.

 

 

 

 

 

On the BSS website under the heading "The Boat's Wiring" it states this:

 

"New or replacement cables should be multi-stranded and of the correct size as determined by reference to Table A.1, ISO 13297 - check with your competent installer."

 

So from that I take it that OLD cables don't have to be stranded. All a bit vague isn't it cos you could install single core wiring everywhere and just say it is old wiring? They couldn't fail you.

Badly worded requirements are worse than useless.

  • Greenie 1

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the requirements for cable sizes, fixings, etc. all derive from the BS/EN/ISO standard that you would use for RCD compliance.   It is the right way to go, but as others have said, it ain't 'pulsory for BSS inspection.

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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

the requirements for cable sizes, fixings, etc. all derive from the BS/EN/ISO standard that you would use for RCD compliance.   It is the right way to go, but as others have said, it ain't 'pulsory for BSS inspection.

 

It should be though, rather than fussing about labels on stuff and straps to hold gas bottles and batteries in place when they are never gonna move anyway on a canal boat. 

 

 

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The first edition of iso13297 was in 1995. 

So a boat would possibly need to be built before then for the definition of old to be valid.

Perhaps the BSS guidance should be clear on this.

It is not usual to require old things to be updated to current standards. 

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2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

It should be though, rather than fussing about labels on stuff and straps to hold gas bottles and batteries in place when they are never gonna move anyway on a canal boat. 

 

 

Not in England maybe, but in Scotland the Falkirk Wheel turns your boat through 360 degrees......or so someone told me.....

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2 hours ago, MartynG said:

Perhaps the BSS guidance should be clear on this.

It is not usual to require old things to be updated to current standards. 

The problem with much of the BSS guidance is that the same ‘rules’ don't then appear in the actual test. Yes, that guidance about wiring is all very well and good and that’s exactly what any competent installer would do. However, the actual test requirements make no such mention of stranded cables or cable sizes (other than battery interconnects). 

 

https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/media/268789/ecp-private-boats-ed3_rev2_apr2015_public_final.pdf

2 hours ago, MartynG said:

The first edition of iso13297 was in 1995. 

So a boat would possibly need to be built before then for the definition of old to be valid.

It doesn’t need to be classified as old or new as it isn’t covered by the examination. It’s entirely irrelevant as far as the BSS is concerned. 

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Can't help thinking that some of these posts are rather missing the point. 

 

One may be able to use solid core cabling or hard copper gas pipes because the BSS doesn't specifically prohibit them, but surely the point is why would you want to if you know that the recommended alternatives are safer? 

 

Finding legal loopholes might be ok when talking about things like taxation for example, but surely not when it comes to the safety of one's family and friends? 

 

Some contributors on here seem to prefer to discuss the cheapest or bodgiest way to do things while just staying on the right side of the BSS, rather than the right way to do things properly and safely.

  • Greenie 3

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18 minutes ago, blackrose said:

One may be able to use solid core cabling or hard copper gas pipes because the BSS doesn't specifically prohibit them, but surely the point is why would you want to if you know that the recommended alternatives are safer? 

 

It's not that people want to use the wrong stuff, more that when you happen to have bought a boat with solid core wiring and rigid copper gas piping, a lot of owners have neither the money nor the skills (or the inclination) to change these when they work fine and pass a BSS.

 

18 minutes ago, blackrose said:

Some contributors on here seem to prefer to discuss the cheapest or bodgiest way to do things while just staying on the right side of the BSS, rather than the right way to do things properly and safely.

 

I understand why you say this, but when I hightlight the slacknesses and glaring shortcomings in the BSS I am doing it as a criticism of the BSS, not to help people do things less well. 

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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3 hours ago, blackrose said:

One may be able to use solid core cabling or hard copper gas pipes because the BSS doesn't specifically prohibit them, but surely the point is why would you want to if you know that the recommended alternatives are safer? 

You wouldn’t if (and it’s a big ‘if’) you are aware that it’s wrong. Best practise in a house is to use solid T&E so you might well assume that’s the way to do it on a boat too. Likewise gas; a copper pipe is a copper pipe, isn’t it? 

 

So what we attempt to do here is to correct any misunderstandings and lament that the BSS exam is far less rigorous than the BSS guidance. 

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31 minutes ago, WotEver said:

 

 

So what we attempt to do here is to correct any misunderstandings and lament that the BSS exam is far less rigorous than the BSS guidance. 

Or, what we attempt to do here is to correct any misunderstandings and lament that the BSS examiner can be far more rigorous than the BSS rules, even inventing non-existent requirements. 

 

It pays to read the rules and understand what is required not what you are informed is required.

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42 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It pays to read the rules and understand what is required not what you are informed is required.

 

This exacltly, and the OP is a good example, having been incorrectly informed by 'boaters' that multi-strand cabling is mandatory.

 

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5 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Or, what we attempt to do here is to correct any misunderstandings and lament that the BSS examiner can be far more rigorous than the BSS rules, even inventing non-existent requirements. 

 

It pays to read the rules and understand what is required not what you are informed is required.

Indeed. We have examination rules that are less vigorous than the advice. We have examiners who are more vigorous than the rules. It’s hardly surprising that some boaters get confused as to what actually is and is not required.

 

There’s really no excuse for the confusion though, all you have to do is to read the Guide. 

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4 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

This exacltly, and the OP is a good example, having been incorrectly informed by 'boaters' that multi-strand cabling is mandatory.

I’ve just trawled through this thread again and can’t see any post that says that. One post said that it ‘should’ be replaced and one post queried whether or not the BSS mandated multi-strand. No poster stated that it was mandatory as far as I can see. 

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1 minute ago, WotEver said:

I’ve just trawled through this thread again and can’t see any post that says that. One post said that it ‘should’ be replaced and one post queried whether or not the BSS mandated multi-strand. No poster stated that it was mandatory as far as I can see. 

 

That isn't what I said.

 

IIRC the OP stated he had been so advised by 'other boaters' (whom he presumably encountered out and about on the cut) prior to starting this thread. 

 

Or maybe my memory is tricking me and he said nothing of the sort. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

IIRC the OP stated he had been so advised by 'other boaters' (whom he presumably encountered out and about on the cut) prior to starting this thread. 

You’ve been having those dreams again Mike, haven’t you?  No, OP never said that. 

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I would hate love to see some of the so-called BSS examiners working as a third party inspector in the construction industry.

 

they wouldn't be invited to return to site on the second day, that's for sure.

 

let's get this straight - there is no ambiguity in the BSS Guide AFAIK. ...... in fact it is very well written and there is really no excuse for anyone to mis-interpret it.    

 

 

 

......................   I am not knocking all those examiners.   My local one based in Newport (a 'marine surveyor') was always fair, concise, accurate and a gentleman.  A broad-based inspector/surveyor/examiner will be asked to do his work based on one of several sets of standards and guidelines, and he will always make sure he is familiar with the precise requirements (in this case the BSS Guide for private vessels).  Mine would systematically go through each item in the guide checklist, ticking each as compliant, non-compliant or not relevant.  At the end he would issue a pass certificate, noting any advisory recommendations separately.   No different to an MOT inspector really. 

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2 hours ago, Murflynn said:

I would hate love to see some of the so-called BSS examiners working as a third party inspector in the construction industry...

I think it was Alan who had to fit a new Consumer Unit before his examiner would issue a certificate. No amount of waving the BSS guide at the examiner had any effect. “Do you want the certificate? Then fit this or I shan’t give you one!”

 

Sure you can argue, appeal to Head Office, book a different examiner etc but this all takes time (and money in the case of another examiner) so in most cases the poor old boater just shrugs and complies. 

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