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Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

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Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby chataigner » 26 Aug 2015, 20:35

Ever since our arrival in 2013, I've been making do with the existing 2.5mm2 cable to the workshop. I've wired 2 separate circuits in 2.5mm2 serving left and right sides of the workshop, but to get things going quickly, both were fed from the same existing 2.5mm2 circuit from the house - I know, not good practice, but it was only temporary. Plagued by overload trips, I upped the breaker to 20A from the existing 16A, but I knew it was a bit wobbly. :oops: :oops:

Today I installed a new 35A circuit. Why didnt I do it before ? The big problem was how to get the cable from the distribution board in the front hall to the barn which adjoins the house, without going though the dining room or the bedroom above and destroying the decorations. Problem amplified by the fact that both rooms are wallpapered and the previous owners did not leave us any spare paper. In effect, any damage to decorations meant re-doing an entire room.

In the event the solution appeared when we replanned our dressing room. This is partly above the hallway and so the cables could pass up through the dressing room to the roof space and then to the barn. WIP on the dressing room to follow...

So today I pulled 30m of 6mm2 cable up through the dressing room (hidden by the built-in wardrobes) and then though the loft space to the barn, fitted a shiny new 35A breaker in the distribution board and a new sub panel in the barn. The two circuits in 2.5mm2 in the workshop are now properly independant each with its own 20A breaker and there is a separate 10A breaker for the lights. Not before time !!!
Cheers !
Chataigner in Périgord-Limousin National park
http://www.rue-darnet.fr
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Re: Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby chataigner » 27 Aug 2015, 11:34

...and here is the little sub panel in place, plus a pic of me on a ladder (I hate ladders) running the cable out under the eaves and back in again to avoid having to drill through over 600mm of stone wall between the house and the barn !

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Cheers !
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http://www.rue-darnet.fr
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Re: Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby RogerS » 27 Aug 2015, 11:36

Presumably you don't suffer the curse of the Part P over there?
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Re: Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby 9fingers » 27 Aug 2015, 11:56

RogerS wrote:Presumably you don't suffer the curse of the Part P over there?



I don't know what the formal regulations are in France these days but as a nation they really don't like to be regulated in any way and the authorities turn blind eyes to all sorts of things. Just look at the way the police handle the revolting farmers and up to a point, the fun and games in the last few weeks at their end of the chunnel. I have a Belgian friend in France who owns a small parcel of land, has built a stone house on it with no permissions and pays no local taxes. He lives and works on the black. He has several 2CVs all with the same Belgian number plate and one MOT (Controle Technique), not sure what he does about insurance as you have to display a valid sticker in the windsceen. All the locals know his situation and give him work and yet no one seems to care.

Having done a bit of DIY in France over the years, I seen some awful looking messes in house wiring aggravated by radial circuits and single core wiring having huge amounts of spaghetti in the consumer units.
Very difficult to trace faults.
As you can see in David's photo, MCBs (disjoncteur?) are double pole and so more wires needed in the core of the CU compared to our neutral busbar scheme. It is not unusual to see a CU with three rows of 6 - 10 breakers.

Bob
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Re: Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby chataigner » 27 Aug 2015, 13:17

RogerS wrote:Presumably you don't suffer the curse of the Part P over there?


In fact we do have something similar, but there is no real enforcement. As for me doing the work, I have an electrical engineering degree, 30yrs ago I was an engineer, a specialist in industrial automation and, although I'm not an officially qualified electrician, I can read the regs and can be confident that my work complies with the spirit if not the letter.

I would summarise the differences in regulation between the UK and France as follows :

In the UK there is much less regulation (really) but it is pretty strictly enforced.
In France, everything is regulated - so much so that no-one has the time or energy to follow up on the million details and so nothing much is enforced.

PS - re-reading Part P I can find no obligation to use a qualified electrician, the obligation is to conform to the current safety standards etc.

Picking up on Bob's point about over complicated CU's, here is ours, for a fairly typical 4 bed house :

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http://www.rue-darnet.fr
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Re: Proper power - new circuits for the workshop

Postby Andyp » 27 Aug 2015, 16:57

yeah but how many of these do you have

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