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Analysis and evaluation of electrical wiring safety requirements in jordanian residential buildings

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Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of a field study of the status of electrical installation in residential homes and apartments in the north of Jordan. A questionnaire was designed to find out all possible shortcomings of electrical installation and safety measure in those residential units. A group of electrical engineer, electrical technicians, and few electrical engineering students distributed the questionnaire to provide necessary explanations when needed. The main outcome of this study indicates that most houses lack necessary safety measures due to poor implementation and unprofessional electrical wiring, and the absence of necessary monitoring. This is a direct consequence of weak legislations that do not force stakeholders to meet local and/or international electrical installation standards.
Analysis and Evaluation of Electrical Wiring Safety
Requirements in Jordanian Residential Buildings
Nabeel Tawalbeh
University of Jordan, Electrical Engineering Department
Amman Jordan
Senior Member, IEEE
ntawalbeh@ju.edu.jo
Reyad El-Khazali
Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research
Sharjah UAE
Member, IEEE
khazali@kustar.ac.ae
Abstract this paper provides an analysis of a field study of the
status of electrical installation in residential homes and apartments
in the north of Jordan. A questionnaire was designed to find out all
possible shortcomings of electrical installation and safety
measure in those residential units. A group of electrical engineer,
electrical technicians, and few electrical engineering students
distributed the questionnaire to provide necessary explanations when
needed. The main outcome of this study indicates that most houses
lack necessary safety measures due to poor implementation and
unprofessional electrical wiring, and the absence of necessary
monitoring. This is a direct consequence of weak legislations that do
not force stakeholders to meet local and/or international electrical
installation standards.
Keywordssafety requirement; grounding networks;
appliance; electric shock hazards, electrical wiring standards.
I. Introduction
The demand on electricity in Jordan is continuously rising
due to having affordable electrical appliances in heating, air-
conditioning, cooking, and many others. This is reflected in
the high rate of per capita consumption of electricity to 2227
kWh in 2012 [1]. The high electrical energy bill indicates that
Jordanians, like others, are always looking for a luxurious life.
Therefore, the safe use of electricity must follow either local
or international standards in house electrical wiring.
Poor electrical wiring is a continuous threat for people
safety, which causes many fatalities every year. Reference [2]
shows that around 21% of the total fire that occur in Jordan is
due to poor electrical installations such as short circuits, poor
quality and/or unsuitable circuit breakers, loose contacts,
unsuitable wires and cables, and more importantly due to
installing counterfeit electrical equipment. It should be the role
of the Jordanian Institution for Standards and Metrology
(JISM) to ensure that all tools, materials, and installation meet
local and/or international standards [3].
The aim of the study is to identify the role of each party
that are involved in electrical home wiring, which are the
utility companies, contractors, and individual technicians and
engineers.
A questionnaire is distributed in the city of Irbid and its
suburb to study the status of home electrical wiring. Electrical
engineers and technicians distributed copies of the questioner
to random house holders in order to clarify any possible
vagueness in the questionnaire.
The questionnaire includes 30 questions covering the
stages of design, implementation, and use and maintenance of
fixtures and house wiring. The questions focus on the type of
housing in terms of ownership, whether it’s an apartment or a
villa, in addition to the family income. It also highlights
whether the main aspects of grounding, earthing, circuit
breakers quality and performance is attained.
This study sheds the light on the status of electrical wiring
and safety measures that are implemented in Jordan. It also
emphasizes on the need to protect human lives and their
properties by ensuring safe electrical wiring. Next section
introduces the method of study and analysis of the results
followed by the main conclusions.
II. Methodology and Study Analysis
The initial approval of designing residential homes in
Jordan is approved by the Jordanian Engineering Association
(JEA), which regulates the engineering conducts to meet local
and international design standards. However, it does not
mandate engineers or building consultants to supervise civil
construction works including electrical installation. This
encouraged most civil contractors and construction companies
to evade installing necessary measures to minimize their cost.
These shortcomings became a social tradition not to follow
civil or electric safety standards, especially for small houses.
Since electrical industry in Jordan started in 1937 with few
hundred lamps to light up streets of the capital Amman,
electricity has spread to cover 99.9% of all cities and villages
of Jordan [1]. In spite of that, there are deficiencies in
implementing the bylaws that regulate such industry.
In order to meet the minimum safety requirements in
homes and buildings in Jordan, electric companies, or any
other authorized entities, must certify and monitor electric
wirings of those residential units from the design to the
implementation stages [4],[5],[6],[7]. This is not usually
practiced in many parts of Jordan since most homeowners
prefer to install low quality electric wiring, and in some cases
forfeited cables and circuit breakers, without the supervision
of qualified electrical engineers. Moreover, the current
legislations limit the jurisdiction of Jordanian electric
companies to only supply electric power up to the main
978-1-4799-2303-8/13/$31.00 ©2013 IEEE
2013 IEEE Jordan Conference on Applied Electrical Engineering and Computing Technologies (AEECT)
electric meters in order to avoid any legal or moral
responsibilities.
Our study, in the city of Irbid and its suburb, showed that
there are many pertinent problems associated with electric
wiring in most of the residential units considered. These units
lack proper grounding and do not have required circuit
breakers such as earth leakage circuit breakers (ELCB),
miniature circuit breakers (MCB), or utility circuit breakers
(UCB). Moreover, homeowners install low quality outlet
sockets.
This study investigates grounding, circuit breakers in a
sample of residential units in the north Jordanian, which
lessens the safety levels and causes shock sensation.
A. Grounding
Electrical grounding is to connect the exposed metal parts
of any electrical home appliances to ground in order not to
expose users to dangerous voltages [8], [9], [10]. It protects
users from any leakage due to insulation breakdown or its
aging. The Ignorance of the importance of grounding, its
additional cost, and the lack of monitoring encourage
homeowners to discard grounding in homes.
In order to investigate the effectiveness of grounding, the
study classified the sample of houses in term of residents’
income, their professional background, the type of ownership,
and type and age of the residential units.
A sample of 510 questionnaires was distributed and only 374
were filled out. Only 336 responded to the grounding
category. The results show that 118 houses were equipped
with grounding networks, which represents 35% of the total
number of houses in this category. This is a very low ratio and
must be increased.
Table 1 shows the results of the chi-squared test and the
odds ratio of the grounding category. As expected, it was
found that power electrical engineers (PEEs) are more aware
of the importance of house earthing networks than others.
However, only 52% of them have grounding networks, which
represents a conservative ratio. It is anticipated that all PEEs
(including others) should install all necessary safety measures
in their houses.
The chi-square of 7.62 indicates that more PEEs have
grounding installation than the rest. The one-sided
significance of 0.01 means that, with a confidence of 99%,
there exists a difference between the two groups [11], [12].
The likelihood that the PEEs have grounding networks is more
than twice than their counterparts as verified by its odds ratio
of 2.29.
The same sample of residents was classified based on
residents low, medium, and high incomes. Obviously, low-
income residents have the lowest odds ratio among all. Almost
75% of their houses do not have grounding network. Notice
that the chi-square value and the odds ratio of the low-income
families are tested against the rest of the group. The 3.42 chi-
test result and the 0.042 significant figure almost coincides
with a one-degree of freedom model. The reciprocal of the
odds ratio of 0.56 for the low-income families indicates that
the likelihood of the electrically grounded houses/flats of both
high and medium income residents is more than twice than its
low-income counterparts.
Similarly, the third category shows that the likelihood that
a house is electrically grounded is almost as twice as a flat
with a degree of confidence of more than 95% (i.e., the
significance level is less than 0.05). This finding is almost
identical to the type of home ownership; i.e.; more tenants are
living in an electrically ungrounded houses. This proves our
previous argument that Jordanian building industry is not
abided by rules and regulations that require strict
implementation of safety measures. The study also shows that
the age of houses/flats does not play a decisive role in having
grounding networks.
The previous results have a unique interpretation; whether
the houses are new or old, the electrical installation
requirements in Jordan have not been developed to meet
international safety standards. The government must take
charge in forcing necessary safety measure in all types of
residential units.
Table I. Grounding Analysis in Jordanian houses
Category
Unit
s
Size
Units
with
Groun
ding
Grou
nding
Ratio
Chi
Sq.
One-
sided
Signifi
cance
Profession
PEE
52
27
52%
7.62
0.01
2.29
Others
284
91
32%
Residents’
income
Low
63
16
25%
3.42
0.042
0.56
Medium
243
91
37%
1.59
0.128
1.40
High
27
11
41%
0.36
0.343
1.28
Home type
House
152
66
43%
7.73
0.004
1.93
Flat
183
52
28%
Ownership
Owner
218
88
40%
7.24
0.005
1.96
Tenant
117
30
26%
House Age
Old
134
41
31%
2.12
0.090
0.71
medium
127
46
36%
0.08
0.430
1.07
New
71
30
42%
1.95
0.105
1.46
B. Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers
An earth leakage circuit breaker (ELCB) is an electrical
switch designed to protect humans and electrical appliances
from voltages that appear on the metal chase of these devices.
This usually occurs due to insulation breakdown or aging. It
operates on the principle of differential protection, which
senses the difference between the input and output currents.
The sensitivity of the ELCB could go down to 10 mA. One
should realize that certain types of circuit breakers such as
MCB’s, molded case circuit breakers (MCCB), or fuses do not
2013 IEEE Jordan Conference on Applied Electrical Engineering and Computing Technologies (AEECT)
detect leakage currents. Therefore, ELCBs present a solution
to overcome such deficiency [10].
Table II lists the availability of ELCBs in Jordanian houses
in the same order of Table I. Only 26% of these houses
contain ELCBs, which is an alarming figure. The result of the
study shows that there is no significant difference in installing
ELCBs between PEEs with the rest of sample members.
However, there are clear differences in the other categories.
For example, the odds ratio of 3.99 implies that the probability
of a high-income resident having an ELCB is four times as
that of the low-income residents. Strangely, Observe that the
professional and age categories have similar odds ratio, while
there are significant differences among the other categories.
For example, there are no major differences between the types
of house ownership. However, the likelihood that the
individual houses/villas have ELCBs is more than twice
(1/0.44) that the flats, which is similar to the ownership
category.
Similar to the study of grounding, the odds ratio of the new
houses that have ELCBs is more than the rest. However, there
are only 25 new houses out of 88 units that have ELCBs (i.e;
28.4%), which is very low percentage.
In spite that the high-income group can afford installing
ELCBs more than low and medium-income groups, yet the
ratio remains less than what is expected for a country with a
wide spread electricity in its towns and villages. Even though
the cost of such devices is affordable for even low-income
individuals, the absence of applying the relevant safety
standards is the main reason behind such low ratio.
Table II. ELCB analysis in Jordanian houses
Category
Size
ELCB
Ratio
Chi
Sq.
Sig.
1sided
Odds
Ratio
Profession
PEE


23%



Others


27%
Residents’
income
Low


18%



Medium


25%



High


56%



Home type
Flat


19%



House


35%
Ownership
Owned


18%



Tenant


31%
Age
Old


21%



medium


28%



New


35%



C. Circuit Breakers Response to Short Circuit and Overload
A portion of the study was designed to estimate the
performance of the MCBs to electrical short circuits and
overloads. Table III and IV summarize the findings of the
MCBs response to both types of faults. Observe that the high
percentage and the high odds ratios in both tables in the
profession category for PEEs are probably due to their
knowledge of this type of electrical faults. The high odds ratio
of 2.96, a high chi-square test of 7.79, and the high
significance reaffirm that MCBs responded well in residential
units occupied by PEEs. This could be related to the fact that
PEEs are aware of the type and nature of the electric faults.
The medium age houses/buildings responded much better than
their counterparts, which contradicts the expected norm of
installing efficient MCBs in new houses. One may speculate
that middle age houses used genuine parts before the spread of
cheap or forfeited electric circuit breakers.
Table III. MCBs response to short circuits
Category
Size
SC.
Resp.
Ratio
Chi
Sq.
Sig.
1sided
Odds
Ratio
profession
PEE


%


Others


%
Residents’
income
Low


%



Medium


%



High


%



home
type
House


%



Flat


%
ownership
rented


%



Owned


%
Age
Old


%



medium


%



New


%



Table IV summarizes the effectiveness of MCBs response
to overload electric faults. As reiterated in the short circuit
case, MCBs installed in PEEs residential units responded
much better that those installed elsewhere. It is either they
install better quality MCBs, or they are more aware of such
type of faults. In addition, the results show that, opposite to
low-income residents, there is no big difference between
middle and high-income residents; middle and high-income
groups have close percentage ratio, chi-square test result,
significance figure, and odd ratios, which imply that low-
income residents encountered slightly more overload than the
rest of group.
The chi-square test of 6.75 and the one-sided significance
of 0.02 (less than 0.05) for those owning a house/flat assure
that owners are more devoted to install MCBs than tenants.
It is worth mentioning that utility companies install very
sensitive UCBs to avoid any possibility of installing
unsuitable circuit breakers inside residential units. Therefore,
any short circuit fault or overload will result in isolating the
whole unit from the main power. This is of course
unacceptable practice. Further studies are needed to
investigate the effectiveness of those UCBs with that of the
MCBs installed inside the residential units.
The aforementioned analysis reassure that electrical safety
measures in the north of Jordan (which can be generalized to
2013 IEEE Jordan Conference on Applied Electrical Engineering and Computing Technologies (AEECT)
the entire country) lack of licensed electrical technicians that
should be authorized to achieve proper electrical installation.
Table IV. MCBs response to over load
Category
Size
OL
resp.
Ratio
Chi
Sq.
Sig.
1sided
Odds
Ratio
profession
PEE


%


Others


%
Income
Level
Low


%



Medium


%



High


%



Home
type
House


%



Flat


%
Ownership
rented


%



Owned


%
Age
Old


%



medium


%



New


%



D. Sense of Electric Shock
The flow of electric current in the human body causes an
electric shock and has multiple effects according to the
severity of the current flowing. Sensing an electric shock
ranges from a light numbness to sever shock. It could affect
the human body tissues, muscles, and nervous system, which
may lead to temporary paralyses, or even death [13].
The electric shock could range from mild, to strong or very
strong one, depending on the severity of the current and on the
body resistance. The resistance of the human body varies with
the changes of the electric voltage (known as shock voltage).
It was found that the body resistance of 95% of the people is
approximately equal to 6100 ohms when the AC shock voltage
is 25 V with 50 Hz. However, the body resistance could go
down to 1500 ohms when the shock voltage increases to
1000 V [13],[14],[15].
It is worth pointing out that 180 out of 372 individuals
were subjected to non-lethal electric shocks, which forms
48.4% of the whole residents. This alarming case must be
decreased to its minimum level. This high percentage can be
attributed to various factors due to ignoring proper protection
of appliances that are associated with water such as washing
machines, refrigerators, heaters, and devices of metal shields.
Observe also that there are not available statistical figures of
many lethal electric shocks that were very hard to account for.
The binary logistic regression is used to determine the
factors affecting the sense of electric shock. The sensation of
the electric shock is taken as the dependent variable. After
analyzing all independent variables, it was found that gender,
wet hands, ungrounded socket, socket in wet places, and
apartments are the ones that have significant impact on the
model. The previous independent variables such as profession,
income level, house type, ownership, and age have no effect
on the sense of electric shock and were not considered in
Table V except ownership for completeness.
Table V shows the results of the logistic regression test for
the independent variable that affect sensing an electric shock.
The parameters of the test are defined as follows [16]:
B: The coefficient for the constant in the null model
S.E. The standard error around the coefficient for the
constant
Wald and Sig: This is the Wald chi-square test that tests
the null hypothesis that the constant is equal to zero,
EXP(B): The exponentiation of the B coefficient is the
odds ratio.
All independent variables except the house/apartment
ownership have significance less than 0.05, which directly
affect the model. The wald chi-square test of normal sockets in
wet places with zero significance plays a detrimental impact
on sensing an electric shock. This is expected since most
people install normal sockets in wet spaces such bathrooms.
Notice that touching sockets and switches in wet places
has an odds ratio three times more than others with dry hands.
Usually, Muslims have to wash their hands, faces, and feet
prior to praying five times a day. Hence, they are more
exposed to electric shock than others.
It is observed that residents living in apartments had felt an
electric shock twice as much as those living in independent
houses. It turned out that residents that install ungrounded and
non-water proofed sockets are likely exposed to electric shock
twice more than others who have. Surprisingly, this coincides
with the findings that males felt electric shock sensation twice
more than females.
Table V. Analysis of Sensing Electrical Shocks
B
S.E.
Wald
Sig.
Exp(B)
Gender
0.699
0.308
5.154
0.023
2.012
Wet hands
0.617
0.247
6.240
0.012
1.853
Ungrounded socket
0.632
0.251
6.370
0.012
1.882
Socket in wet places
1.112
0.281
15.673
0.000
3.042
Ownership
0.37
0.327
1.274
0.259
1.447
Apartment
0.799
0.244
10.754
0.001
2.223
Constant
-1.779
0.347
26.236
0.000
0.169
III. CONCLUSIONS
A field study was carried out in the north of Jordan to find
out all possible shortcomings of electrical installation and
safety measure in Jordanian houses. The study differentiates
between residents in terms of profession, type of residence,
resident's income level, and age of residential units. The study
focuses on the effectiveness of electrical installations and the
needed safety measures to protect residents from possible
electric shocks. It did include grounding, earth leakage circuit
2013 IEEE Jordan Conference on Applied Electrical Engineering and Computing Technologies (AEECT)
breakers, short circuit and overload, and sensing electric
shock. It was found that Jordanian building industry is not abided by
rules and regulations that require strict implementation of safety
measures. The study also shows that the age of houses/flats does not
play a decisive role in having grounding networks. The electrical
installation requirements in Jordan have not been developed to meet
international safety standards. The government must take charge in
forcing necessary safety measure in all types of residential units.
In spite that the high-income group can afford installing ELCBs
more than low and medium-income groups, yet the ratio remains less
than what is expected for a country with a wide spread electricity in
its towns and villages. Even though the cost of such devices is
affordable for even low-income individuals, the absence of applying
the relevant safety standards is the main reason for such a
shortcoming.
It is observed that residents living in apartments had felt an
electric shock twice as much as those living in independent houses.
Those residents that install ungrounded and non-water proofed
sockets are likely exposed to electric shock twice more than others
who have. Surprisingly, this coincides with the findings that males
felt electric shock sensation twice more than females.
The main outcome of this study indicates that most houses lack
necessary safety measures due to poor electrical installations, absence
of necessary monitoring, and weak legislations that do not force
stakeholders to meet local and/or international standards.
IV. REFERENCES
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Power Company NEPCO, Amman, 2011.
[2] Annual Statistical Report incidents. Operations Management Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan, the Directorate General of Civil Defence., Amman,
2009.
[3] "Jordan Standards and Metrology Organizationl," 2 August 2013.
[Online]. Available: http://www.jsmo.gov.jo/index.html. [Accessed 2
August 2013].
[4] D. J. Marne, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), New York ::
McGraw-Hill, 2012
[5] ANSI C2-1997, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)..
[6] ANSI/IEEE Std 81, IEEE Guide for Measuring Earth.
[7] Jordan Electricity Authority, Standard and Research Administrator,
General Regulations for Electrical installations., Amman, Jordan, 1981
second Edition.
[8] ANSI/UL 467 Standard for Grounding and Bonding.
[9] Ground (electricity)," 2 August 2013. [Online]. Available:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_(electricity). [Accessed 2 August
2013].
[10] H. Taylor, "The use of protective multiple earthing and earth-leakage
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2013 IEEE Jordan Conference on Applied Electrical Engineering and Computing Technologies (AEECT)
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To assess whether the way in which the results of a randomised controlled trial and a systematic review are presented influences health policy decisions. A postal questionnaire to all members of a health authority within one regional health authority. Anglia and Oxford regional health authorities. 182 executive and non-executive members of 13 health authorities, family health services authorities, or health commissions. The average score from all health authority members in terms of their willingness to fund a mammography programme or cardiac rehabilitation programme according to four different ways of presenting the same results of research evidence--namely, as a relative risk reduction, absolute risk reduction, proportion of event free patients, or as the number of patients needed to be treated to prevent an adverse event. The willingness to fund either programme was significantly influenced by the way in which data were presented. Results of both programmes when expressed as relative risk reductions produced significantly higher scores when compared with other methods (P < 0.05). The difference was more extreme for mammography, for which the outcome condition is rarer. The method of reporting trial results has a considerable influence on the health policy decisions made by health authority members.
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An attempt is made in this paper to collect, in one source, a brief review of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) history, the consensus standards methods used in its adoption, a review of the many significant change highlights in the latest edition and a consideration of future aspects in the development of the NESC. Some examples of changes in the 1977 edition are illustrated. However, time and space do not permit a detailed section-by-section, rule-by-rule review.
The use of protective multiple earthing and earth-leakage circuit-breakers in rural areas
  • H Taylor
H. Taylor, "The use of protective multiple earthing and earth-leakage circuit-breakers in rural areas," Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, vol. 88, no. 5, pp. 415-422, Oct,1941.
Impedancja ciala czlowieka w warunkach
  • G Stefan
G. Stefan., "Impedancja ciala czlowieka w warunkach," ENERGETYKA, vol. 7, pp. 437-441, 1996.
Regression Models for Binary Dependent Variables Using
  • Park Hun Myoung
Hun Myoung Park, "Regression Models for Binary Dependent Variables Using," Center for Statistical and Mathematical Computing, 2 August 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.indiana.edu/~statmath/stat/all/cdvm/cdvm.pdf. [Accessed August 2013].