Talk:House Wiring for Beginners

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(BST)==RCD== We need to update the RCD stuff here in the light of the 17th Edition.

For now, I've put a small warning in the RCD section to wanr the unwary

-- User:TSoutherwood 20:21, 11 May 2009

Well, to be honest I dont agree. This isnt an article to discuss in depth stuff like regulations, rather its an overview that introduces the beginner to the various parts of the system and what they do. Putting a lot of RCD regulations in here would only confuse the picture. May I suggest putting it in the RCD article.

I also am not clear why it would warrant a big warning. NT 22:36, 11 May 2009 (BST)


Piccie in overview section shows a spur off a radial - you can only have spurs off ring circuits. ;-)

--John Rumm 04:52, 26 May 2007 (BST)

Do explain.... :) NT 08:25, 26 May 2007 (BST)

A branch from a radial is just that, a branch. Its not a spur since that term has a particular definition in BS7671, and spurs also have a set of limitations about how they can be used, that do not apply to radials. Radials do not have to be a linear chain of accessories, any topology is acceptable including multi branch and star.

--John Rumm 04:07, 27 May 2007 (BST)

Bathroom sockets

AIUI sockets are allowed in bathrooms if they are either

  • accessible with use of a tool
  • outside zone 3

Is this incorrect? NT 12:20, 30 May 2007 (BST)

Well, the end of [601-08-01] states:

"In zone 3:

 (i) socket-outlets shall not be installed except for:
      SELV socket-outlets complying with regulation 411-02
      Shaver supply units complying with BS EN 60742 Chapter 2, Section 1.
 (ii) there shall be no provision for connecting portable equipment except for (i) above

Except as permitted by regulation 601-08-02, outside zones 0, 1, 2, and 3 there shall be no socket-outlet other than SELV socket outlets or shaver supply units complying with BS EN 60742 Chapter 2, Section 1."

Section 601-08-02 talks about when showers are installed in bedrooms etc.

So outside of Zone 3 is verboten. Under the bath space, accessed via a screwed panel is outside the zones, but arguably still in the bathroom (although I guess there is some wiggle room here for spaces that are in the floor or ceiling voids). However you would probably want to use a FCU in preference to a socket to supply anything installed here anyway.

I don't know if the 17th edition will alter this stance...

--John Rumm 13:47, 30 May 2007 (BST)

So its ok to use a washing machine in the bathroom, but it has to be plugged in outside? NT 14:04, 30 May 2007 (BST)

If you have a big bathroom, then you can have a washing machine in Zone 3 or outside. It can be powered from a FCU in the bathroom if you want. I think all they are seeking to do is make it as hard as possible to plug in portable appliances in the bathroom. Obviously there is not much you can do about people using an extension lead to power the portable TV perched on the corner of the bath as they soak (or use curling tongs, hairdryer etc in the bath).

--John Rumm 16:33, 30 May 2007 (BST)

How about building a cabinet for the washing machine? I've lived in at least two flats in London with the boiler located in a cabinet right next to the sink (and not far from the shower). One had a "proper" door, and one didn't. Are cabinets located within bathrooms not considered within any zone? (I've since moved home and don't have this situation any longer, but I've always wondered about it.)

Also, is the UK the most restrictive jurisdiction, in terms of bathroom electrical, in the world? Other countries in Europe and elsewhere don't seem to prohibit electrical switches or sockets in the bathroom, so are their inhabitants getting electricuted at significantly higher rates than Brits? Try finding a single home in Germany or Italy that DOESN'T have the washer in the bathroom! One could argue that by prohibiting "safe" permanent installations, these types of regulations in the UK actually tend to force people to run temporary cabling (like my wife and her hair dryer...) and otherwise bodge the electrics--resulting in a much less safe environment overall.

--Curious George 15:48, 15 January 2010 (BST)

Clamp types


Interior pipe bonding is done with EC14 earth clamps to BS951.

  • Outdoor pipe bonding is done with EC15 earth clamps.
  •  ? earthing is done with EC16 earth clamps.

There are different clamp types, and as a practical article I think somehow/somewhere which ones to use should be mentioned. NT 17:21, 19 October 2010 (BST)

Adam moved the detail to the Earthing and Bonding article - seems like a better place for it than a beginners one... --John Rumm 17:40, 19 October 2010 (BST)

And I even managed to put a link to the more detailed earth clamp section (with a little help from John) I was not sure about the E1X and E1X/2 bit though. Do you think it is clear enough? --ARWadsworth 20:10, 19 October 2010 (BST)

Yes, completely - but I left a comment on that article's talk page on another point NT 23:34, 19 October 2010 (BST)

Main piccy

Nice job :)

There is one detail that appears to be missing on the piccy, all the lights are shown with the power cable going to the light fitting, originally it showed both ways to do it, ie pwoer to light fitting and power to switch. NT 22:20, 29 March 2011 (BST)

It seemed like it could do with a bit of sprucing up! ;-) Re: the lighting circuit options, yup I realise it does not have some of the variations of the original, however it looked a bit confusing when I tried that on the main piccie. Hence I have modified the text to only refer to the main picture on the loop in section. I will do some extra diagrams for the other options to include at the relevant place. --John Rumm 02:51, 30 March 2011 (BST)

Mandated CFLs

Why remove the paragraph on mandated CFLs? Anyone planning wiring needs to know this. NT 17:23, 2 April 2011 (BST)

It is no longer required (Part L 2010) to provide fittings that can only use CFLs on rewires and it was never accepted that the old regs did require low energy fittings to be installed for a rewire (that only applied to newbuilds)--ARWadsworth 18:47, 2 April 2011 (BST)

If they're required for new builds, and I believe they are, then imho it belongs here. This is the sort of article that someone deciding on a wiring system for the first time is likely to read, this then rewiring tips. NT 20:40, 2 April 2011 (BST)

No longer needed for new builds (you can now just use BC and ES CFLs). However a section mentioning the building regs for new builds would be worth adding. There old rules for exterior lights still exists.--ARWadsworth 21:43, 2 April 2011 (BST)

That's good news, when did that happen? NT 01:00, 3 April 2011 (BST)

October 2010. However there is one small catch! The installer must now supply the CFLs and not leave an empty pendant. With the old set up it was normal to leave an empty low energy pendant and the new house owners scratching their heads at what lamp to buy with the result that they just swappped the fitting. I suspect that the vast quantities of normal cheap CFLs that are now in general use is outweighing the nanny rule about expensive low energy fittings. It seems that price has dictated CFL use (both of purchace and running costs) over incandescents for most people and expensive 4 pin CFLs are not popular. We could have a small clarification of this and mention the part M rules in a small section under building regs if you think it would be useful. It is so not much of a wirng tip but lightbulb tip.--ARWadsworth 11:23, 3 April 2011 (BST)

It does sound like it belongs elsewhere now. Cheers. NT 11:40, 3 April 2011 (BST)

On the lighting section

What "restrictions" does "lighting uses 1mm² or 1.5mm² cable. 1.5mm² removes the restrictions that apply with 1mm², and the cost difference is trivial" actually refer to? Seems rather pointless including comments of that type without further explanation... (and I can't actually think of any restrictions that would not also apply to 1.5mm^2) --John Rumm 03:31, 28 March 2012 (BST)

  • 10A circuits if it ends up in insulation
  • higher Vdrop

NT 11:36, 28 March 2012 (BST)

That would not really count as "removing" a restriction though since both still apply. Derating is the less significant, and possibly over complicated here. Voltage drop is more significant now on the 17th edition limit of 3% since it drops the cable length down by over 10m from previously. Have a look at the change I am about to make and see if that reads better... --John Rumm 12:14, 29 March 2012 (BST)