New Major Changes to Australian Wiring Rules: 2018


Gary Busbridge, Standardisation Manager at Clipsal and Chair of the Australian and New Zealand committee responsible for the revision of the new Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000), provides an overview of the major changes in the new edition released June 26th, 2018.


Water heaters

Mounting of isolating switches adjacent to split-system air-conditioners has been part of the standard for quite a while and now we are including water heaters, and heat pumps in that. Remember that the isolating switch should be mounted adjacent to and not on the unit to be isolated.




There is one issue regarding outbuildings that has been confounding the committee and ultimately the contractor for too many years. To understand and clarify it has been necessary to provide detail as to Individual and Combined outbuildings.

If I can use these definitions to explain:

  • Individual outbuilding
    A single structure containing a switchboard that is separated by an area of land from the structure containing the switchboard that supplies it (was what we all knew as an Outbuilding).
  • Combined outbuilding
    Two or more structures, sharing conductive reinforced foundations, conductive building frames or conductive roofing etc. and each containing a switchboard that is separated by an area of land from the structure containing the switchboard that supplies them.


There will be new figures added to provide detailed information on earthing and MEN requirements that should help even more.


Recessed lighting

Changes to recessed luminaires or downlights have occurred over the last year or so. These details from the recessed luminaire standard have been added into the Wiring Rules so that all facets of the industry have the same detail.

Now all downlights have a classification which can be easily understood by the wholesaler, the contractor, the specifier and the end-user and is marked on the product and on the packaging. The classifications range from the lowest rating of “Do not Cover” (no insulation around or above, not suitable for residential installation) to the highest rating of “IC-4” (insulation and combustible materials can abut and cover and does not allow air transfer from room to ceiling space or vice-versa).






Get yourself a copy of AS/NZS 3000:2018 now and find out exactly what has changed.

Buy now

For more information visit



* Gary Michael Busbridge has been with Clipsal for over 40 years, after graduating from the University of South Australia in 1973. Predominantly, his responsibility was Design Manager for all Australian Electrical Accessories, including aspects of Data and C-Bus, Export and Industrial design, development, product maintenance and prototyping. Inevitably, this led to involvement with the Standards Association of Australia and membership of committees and working groups from 1998.

His new role of Standardisation Manager is to ensure Global and Regional Standards are aligned to the electrical contracting business and electrical accessories manufacture. This also includes relevant IEC standards and applications. In November 2011 he was made Chairman of the EL001 Wiring Rules standards committee.





Keep Reading