The Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 was made under section 37 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (now repealed after enactment of The Electricity Act, 2003, but these rules themselves has been allowed to be in force till rules under section 53 of new Act are made). These Rules mainly deal with:-
- Appointment of inspectors & their duties.
- Licensing provisions.
- General safety requirements.
- Conditions relating to supply and use of energy.
- Electric supply lines and systems for LV & MV.
- Electric supply lines and systems for HV & EHV.
- Overhead lines, underground cables and generating stations.
- Electric traction.
- Precautions in mines & oil fields.
A brief overview of IE rule provisions with special emphasis on safety precautions is as under:
Table of Contents
GENERAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:
All electric supply lines and apparatus shall be of sufficient rating and mechanical strength and shall be installed and maintained in such a manner to ensure safety.
The relevant code of practice of IS i/c National Electrical Code, if any, may be followed, in so far as there is no inconsistency with these rules.
The material and apparatus used shall confirm to relevant IS specification, where such specifications have already been laid down.
The supplier shall ensure that all electric supply lines, wires, fittings and apparatus belonging to him or under his control, which are in consumer premises, are in a safe condition and are fit in all respects.
Service lines provided by the supplier on the consumer premises, which are underground or accessible shall be suitably insulated.
- The supplier shall provide a suitable cutout in each conductor of every service line other than an earthed or earthed neutral conductor, within consumer’s premises in an accessible position. Such a cutout shall be provided inside a fireproof enclosure.
- Suitable identification of earthed or earthed neutral conductor shall be made so as to distinguish it from live conductor.
The supplier shall provide and maintain on consumer's premises, for the consumer's use a suitable earthed terminal in an accessible position at the point of commencement of supply.
However, in case of MV, HV & EHV supply, consumer shall provide, in addition to above his own earthing system with an independent electrode.
- The owner of every MV, HV & EHV installation shall affix permanently in a conspicuous position a danger notice in Hindi or English and local Language of the district with a sign of skull & bones.
Before any conductor or apparatus is handled, adequate precautions shall be taken, by earthing or other suitable means, to discharge electrically such conductor or apparatus.
No person shall work on live electric supply line or apparatus, unless authorized in that behalf.
Every telecommunication line on supports carrying HV / EHV lines shall for the purpose of working there-on be deemed to be a high voltage line.
Fire buckets filled with clean dry sand, in addition to fire extinguishers, shall be conspicuously marked and kept in all generating stations and enclosed sub-stations in convenient locations. Fire extinguishers shall be tested for satisfactory operation at least once a year and record of such test shall be maintained.
First aid boxes shall be provided and maintained in every generating station and enclosed sub-station so as to be readily accessible during all working hours. All first aid boxes shall kept in charge of a person who is trained in first aid treatment.
- Instructions in English or Hindi and in local Language of the district, for restoration of a person suffering from electric shock, shall be affixed by the owner at conspicuous place.
- Intimation of any fatal accident due to electric shock, shall be given to the electrical inspector within 24 hours.
- No Electrical installation work at consumer's premises except replacement of lamps, fans, fuses, or low voltage domestic appliances, shall be carried for by a person except by a electrical contractor licensed in this behalf by the State Government.
- Every installation shall be periodically Inspected and tested at interval not exceeding five year's, either by Inspector or by supplier.
CONDITIONS RELATING TO SUPPLY & USE OF ENERGY:
Testing of consumer’s installation: Upon receipt of an application for a new or additional supply of energy and before connecting the supply or reconnecting the same after a period of six months, the supplier shall inspect and test the applicant's installation.
If as a result of such inspection and test, the supplier is satisfied that the installation is likely to constitute danger, he shall serve notice in writing to the consumer for carrying out such modification which are necessary to render installation safe. The supplier may refuse to connect the supply until required modifications have been made.
Leakage on consumer's premises: If the Inspector or any person authorized by him has reason to believe that there is in the system of a consumer, leakage, which is likely to cause danger, he may give consumer a reasonable notice in writing that he desires to inspect and test consumer's installation.
If on such notice being given, the consumer does not give all facilities for inspection and testing or when an insulation resistance at the consumer's installation is so low as to prevent safe use of energy, the supplier may, and if directed to do so by the Inspector, shall, discontinue the supply to the consumer but only after giving 48 hours notice to the consumer in writing of disconnection of supply and shall not recommence the supply until he or the Inspector is satisfied that the cause of leakage has been removed.
Supply and use of Energy: Supply shall not be made unless a suitable linked switch or a circuit breaker of required capacity to carry and break the current is placed near the point of commencement of supply.
Provisions for MV, HV & EHV installations: In case of MV, HV, or EHV. installation every switchboard shall comply with following provisions:
- A clear space of not less than 1 meter in width shall be provided in front of the switchboard.
- If there are any attachments or bare connections at the back of switchboard, the space (if any) behind the switch board shall be either less than 200mm or more than 750 mm in width, measured from the farthest outstanding part of any attachment or conductor.
- If space behind the switchboard exceeds 750 mm, there shall be a passage-way from either end of switch board clear to a height of 1.8 m.
Declared voltage of supply to consumer: Except with the written consent of consumer or with prior sanction of State Government, a supplier shall not permit the voltage at the point of commencement of supply, to vary from the declared voltage-
- In case of low and medium voltage, by more than 6 %, or;
- In case of high voltage, by more than 6 % on higher side or by more than 9 % on lower side, or;
- In case of EHV, by more than 10 % on higher side or by more than 12.5 % on lower side.
Frequency of supply to consumer: Except with the written consent of consumer or previous sanction of the State Government, the supplier shall not permit to vary the frequency of AC by not more than 3% from declared frequency.
Sealing of meters and cut-outs: The supplier may affix seal on any cut-out or any meter at consumer’s premises and no person other than supplier shall break the seal. Consumer shall use all reasonable means to ensure that no such seal is broken other than by the supplier.
Precaution against failure of supply:
- The layout of electric supply lines of the supplier shall be sectioned in such a way so as to restrict the extent of the operation of system affected by any failure of supply.
- Notice of failure of supply shall be given to the Inspector by supplier from time to time.
LINES, SYSTEM & APPARATUS FOR LOW AND MEDIUM VOLTAGE:
Connection with earth: For low voltages (where voltage normally exceeds 125 V) and medium Voltage-
- Neutral conductor of a 3 phase, 4-wire system and the middle conductor of a 2 phase, 3-wire system shall be earthed by not less than two separate and distinct connections with a minimum of two different earth electrodes both at the generating station and the sub-station.
- No person shall make connection with earth by aid of, nor shall he keep it in contract with, any water main not belonging to him except with the consent of owner thereof and of the Inspector.
LINES, SYSTEM & APPARATUS FOR HIGH AND EXTRA HIGH VOLTAGE:
Approval by Inspector:
Before making an application to the inspector for permission to commence supply, the supplier shall ensure that supply lines, apparatus etc. are placed in position, properly joined are duly completed and examined. Supply shall not be commenced unless written approval of Inspector has been obtained.
The owner of every H.V. or E.H.V. installation, before making application to the Inspector for his approval, test every HV and EHV circuit, other than overhead line, and satisfy himself that they withstand the application of testing voltages and forward the test results to the Inspector.
Use of energy at H.V. & E.H.V.:
The Inspector shall not authorize the supplier to commence supply to any consumer unless:
- All conductors and apparatus situated at consumer’s premises are inaccessible except to an authorized person.
The consumer has provided a separate building or locked weather-proof and fire-proof enclosure of agreed design and location, to which supplier al all times have access for the purpose of housing his apparatus and metering equipment.
In case of outdoor installation the consumer shall suitably segregate the aforesaid apparatus belonging to the supplier from his own to the satisfaction of the Inspector.
The following provisions shall be observed where energy at HV or EHV is supplied, converted, transformed or used:
- Clearances as per IS shall be provided for electrical apparatus.
- A Sub-Station with apparatus having more than 2000 litres of oil shall not be located in a basement where proper oil draining arrangement cannot be provided.
Where a sub-station with apparatus having more than 2000 litres of oil is installed, whether indoor or out-door, the following measures shall be taken:
- Baffle walls of 4 hours fire rating shall be provided between the apparatus in the following cases; (a) single phase banks in the switch-yards of generating stations and sub-stations; (b) on the consumer premises; (c) where adequate clearance between the units is not available.
- Provisions shall be made for suitable oil soak pit and where use of more than 9000 litres of oil in any one oil tank, receptacle or chamber is involved, provision shall be made for the draining away or removal of any oil which may leak or escape from the tank receptacle or chambers containing the same, special precaution shall be taken to prevent the spread of any fire.
Only dry type transformers shall be used inside residential/commercial buildings. (AMENDMENT TO IE RULES, AMENDMENT – II, 2000)
Adequate fire protection arrangement shall be provided for quenching the fire in the apparatus.
Where it is necessary to locate the sub-station in the basement, the room shall necessarily be in the first basement at the periphery, direct access to transformer shall be provided from outside and transformer shall be protected by an automatic high velocity water spray system or by carbon dioxide or BCF (Bromochlorodifluromethane) or BTM (Bromotrifluromethane) fixed installation system or Nitrogen injection and drain method.
Oil filled transformers installed indoors shall not be on any floor above the ground or below the first basement.
- The cable trenches inside the sub-station containing cables shall be filled with sand, pebbles or similiar non-inflammable materials or completely covered with non-inflammable slabs.
- Unless the conditions are such that all the conductors and apparatus may be made dead at the same time for the purpose of cleaning or other work, the said conductor or apparatus shall be so arranged so that these may be made dead in sections, and that work on any such section may be carried on without danger.
General conditions as to transformation and control of energy: Where energy at HV or EHV is transformed, converted, regulated or otherwise controlled in sub-stations or in street boxes constructed underground, the following provisions shall have effect:
Sub-station shall be preferably erected above ground, but where necessarily constructed underground, due provision for ventilation and drainage shall be made.
Outdoor sub-station except pole type sub-stations shall(unless the apparatus is completely enclosed in metal covering connected with earth, the said apparatus also being connected with the system by armoured cables) be efficiently protected by fencing not less than 1.8 meter in height or other means so as to prevent access to electric supply lines and apparatus by an unauthorized person.
Pole type sub-stations:
Where platform type construction is used for a pole type sub-station and sufficient space for a person to stand on the platform is provided, a substantial hand rail shall be built around the said platform and if the hand rail is of metal, it shall be connected with earth.