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Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment scope of work for restricted electrical work licence holders

A restricted electrical work licence (REWL) authorises the licence holder to perform electrical work stated on the licence only (as per section 39 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013). A REWL may restrict the work performed.

Refrigeration mechanics working on refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), for service and maintenance, may be eligible for a REWL (limited to refrigeration and air conditioning equipment).

What the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment REWL authorises

Once a refrigeration and air conditioning REWL holder has adequate supervision, training and competency verified, they can disconnect and re-connect equipment at equipment terminals, fault-find, repair and replace like for like items of electrical equipment associated with HVAC equipment.

Examples of equipment include:

  • Motors (e.g. compressors, vent fans and exhaust fans).
  • Control devices (e.g. thermostats, pressure sensors and overloads).
  • Contactors and/or proprietary starters (Star-Delta starters and VF drives) contained within the equipment.

The REWL authorises work to replace parts like for like, if in a dedicated mechanical services board, in the relevant refrigeration or air conditioning equipment, installed separately to the equipment or mechanical services board. The REWL does NOT authorise any work on these parts if they are installed in a general switchboard or distribution board.

Like for like means the components are exchanged without an alteration to the electrical design, installation wiring, or change resulting in the electrical rating of the wiring or circuit protection being exceeded.

A dedicated mechanical services switchboard/board means a switchboard where power is supplied from another switchboard or distribution board. It only has components related to the HVAC equipment and does not have general installation circuits or other circuits for equipment not related to the HVAC equipment.

What the refrigeration and air conditioning equipment REWL does NOT authorise

The repair and maintenance of electrical equipment not associated with HVAC equipment is outside the scope of the REWL and not authorised. For example, repair and/or replacement of cold room lighting, light switches or socket outlets in mechanical services switchboards or on circuits supplied from a mechanical services board is not permitted (this includes replacing/repairing a socket outlet supplying plug in HVAC equipment).

The REWL holder cannot perform electrical installation work or replace installation wiring related to electrical installation or equipment that is not associated with the HVAC equipment. The licence holder cannot work on switchboards or equipment located in general switchboards or distribution boards (the REWL only permits replacing equipment in a dedicated mechanic services switchboard).

Installation wiring includes, but is not limited to:

  • low voltage wiring supplying main switchboards, distribution switchboards and mechanical service boards
  • wiring supplying HVAC equipment (wiring from a switchboard, including a dedicated mechanical services board and interconnect wiring supplying external LV equipment parts). This includes but is not limited to:
    • exhaust fans and vent fans
    • damper motor wiring
    • chiller units
    • control devices such as thermostats, pressure switches and interlocks.
  • internal wiring within a switchboard, distribution board or a dedicated mechanical services board
  • isolation devices, main switches, circuit breakers and safety switches (installed in a general switchboard or distribution board, or an enclosure separate to the HVAC equipment)

The REWL holder cannot work on switchboards or equipment located within the general switchboard or distribution boards. This includes but is not limited to:

  • main (general) switchboards
  • distribution switchboards
  • equipment contained within switchboards including:
    • circuit protective devices and isolation devices (circuit breakers, safety switches and main switches)
    • wiring in main switchboards and distribution switchboards
    • equipment isolators (external to the equipment)
    • control devices such as thermostats, pressure switches, overloads, interlocks, contactors and/or proprietary starters.

Further information