/Lounge Blogs/Current Flow/Q3. What can be used for the identification of bare conductors?
27, Mar, 2020

Q3. What can be used for the identification of bare conductors? Dave Austin and Gary Gundry look at a simple question with an answer that for some may seem a little strange.

When it comes to deciding what can and can't be used to identify bare conductors in an installation there is a least one answer that might catch some out in the exam.

Video transcript:


In this one, we're looking at questions where a word might be key and also how to find a piece of information that may not be immediately apparent.  So, the question is 'Which one of the following is not an acceptable method of identifying a bare conductor'?  So, we're looking for something about bare conductors but that not word is really, really important.  


Yeah, that can trick some people up.  On the homework sessions that we give out, a few will generally pick up on the wrong answer as it looks so obviously wrong.  Sometimes you see the right thing you think will definitely want, but it's not.  So, where would we start with this? We’re looking for something about conductors, bare conductors, but it's not really obvious where we'd look in the regs.


OK, I'm homing in immediately to these two words here on identification of these things.  Now, if you’re a designer or installer you would need to select a cable conductor for conduits, SWA or something like that.  So, if I'm going to select it and erect as in ‘put it in’ -  ‘put it on a wall’, I'm thinking Part 5, definitely.  So, that gives us a place to start with if we completely without a thought and we turn to Part 5, looking at page 124, we can see the contents page there and very quickly as you scan down it you can see an identification in 514, identification and notices, so that's got to be warm, isn't it?


Oh, definitely, that covers all of the things about colours.  So, if I turn the 514, which is just a few turns of the page, we find on page 129, identification and notices, and there's quite a few headings there.  You might look at identification of conductors; it doesn't say anything about bare conductors in that; keep going down and when you turn the page to 130 we've got right at the top ‘bare conductors’.  So, what does it say:  a bare conductor should be identified where necessary by the application of tape, sleeve, or disc of the appropriate colour prescribed in Table 51 – you might at this point dive off there excitedly but if you keep reading a few more words – or by painting with such a colour.  So, that is permitted!


So, now we go back to the question.  We can pretty much sort it out.  We know tapes okay. We know sleeving’s okay. And we know, painting’s okay.  Therefore, application of a warning notice is not.


So, I know there will be some people thinking of when would you use paint.  It’s great for busbar chambers. This is one example of how it's been done but you can use little discs and colours or sleeving, as appropriate.


In fact, I had this question in my 18th edition exam.  So, I used a totally different approach.  I went to the index.  That’s a good start.  That’s always an option because it is very comprehensive.  So, do make use of that if there's awkward word or phrase.  If you just can't think where to go, do have a look at the index. Have a peruse and there it is ‘bare conductors’.  And, as you go down, you can see there are two regs that cover it and one of them is 514.4.6, the one we just looked at, which is bare conductors and ‘painting with such a colour’.  So, two choices, two routes, I got that one right. Well done, Dave!


We hope you found that useful, and I should stress that the questions we’re addressing in this series aren't official exam questions taken from any paper - but they’re very typical of the sort of thing that you will find on questions from any of the examining bodies for the 18th edition.  If there's a question or a subject that you'd like us to address in these sessions then please do drop me a line at Dave.Austin@learninglounge.com.


For more questions, visit our website www.learninglounge.com/18  – and there’s even more questions when you subscribe to one of our courses!


Other exam questions are available in this series and they’re free to view at www.learninglounge.com/social/blog

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