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  • #728986
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    mandrake
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    Joined: 17 Jul 2003
    Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
    Total posts: 2393

    The key differences are that the householder is legally responsible for providing the earth. Wires need either to be totally exposed or else run in the same type of conduit for their entire length. Any modern installation should use bi pole differential circuit breakers although you can repair fuse board s/ mono pole systems. There are no ring mains. Most circuits can have a legal maximum of eight devices ( single or twin sockets ) although the advisory limit from Promotelec is five devices. Washing machines, cookers and other things which have high power consumption need a dedicated feed from the tableau d’electricity (fuse box). Earth is yellow/green, Neutral is Blue and power is any colour you want except those two. French double sockets reverse power and neutral.

    ‘Cable rigide’ is what we call cable. It’s round, the earth is the same size as power and neutral. ‘Cable flexible’ is what we call flex and must not be used for fixed wiring. French pattress boxes are circular and you cut the hole in plaster board with a cheap circular blade.

    Main fuse box and first cut-off switch must be at least, I believe, 1.5 metres off the ground as a protection against flooding. Two-way switches are same as UK. But more complex arrangements normally use teleinteruptors ( basically relays ) . UK two gang light switches fit French pattress boxes but three-way do not.

    In my view, provided you understand the principles, you should be able to understand a French Encyclopedia of Bricolage. Most of these have lots of diagrams with the exclusion zones for bathrooms, etc., clearly shown . Some DIY sheds also have free fact sheets with diagrams

    Three phase electricity supplies – recognised by larger sockets and plugs with either three pins (one for each phase and no earth) or Five pins (one for each phase, a large round earth pin and a smaller square earth) – are not uncommon in France. The potential between phases is far higher at over 400 volts and much more likely to be deadly than the UK 230 volts. Unless you are very confident of your abilities and sure you understand the system I would call in a professional or have EDF change the supply to single phase. The key advantages of three phase are lower transmission losses for the same amount of power allowing things like milking machines, kilns and large ovens to be supplied with power at a lower cost


    • This topic was modified 02 Sep 2014 15:21 by  Char.
    #777824
    tdyer
    tdyer
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    Joined: 01 Apr 2014
    Location: Bath
    Total posts: 242

    @mandrake wrote:

    There are no ring mains. Most circuits can have a legal maximum of eight devices ( single or twin sockets ) although the advisory limit from Promotelec is five devices.

    Are these sockets each wired back to the same circuit breaker or are they “daisy chained” one, one to next, etc. ?

    Also, would all e.g. max. 5/8 sockets be in the same room or would one spread each of the 5/8 around different rooms so each room had sockets from different circuit breakers (obviously subject to practicalities and rooms being close together) ?


    #777825
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    mandrake
    Member
    Joined: 17 Jul 2003
    Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
    Total posts: 2393

    The limit for new instalations is I believe no fixed at 5.

    The can/should be daisy chained back either joining at the socket or at a juntion box.

    Note if you have two or more cealing lights these must be fed by separte cable from a junction box or the switch. You should not daisy chain the lamp holders.

    I mixed so that the two bedside sockets were on different circuits BUT I do not know what the regulations are for this


    #777826
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    etvoila
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    Joined: 10 Apr 2003
    Location: Mayenne (Department 53)
    Total posts: 66

    Hi as a working electrician “au fait” with French regulations can I just correct a few points from an otherwise informative post? Otherwise some people may get the wrong impression.

    Wires need either to be totally exposed or else run in the same type of conduit for their entire length.

    This is not so, quite often in some installations part of the wiring may be concealed in flexible gaine in a wall, and then surface in either rigide tube IRL or in moulure (mini trunking). there are a whole range of adaptors available to proffessionals in France to do this. The main point is that single insulated wires or fils should be protected for their entire length, whereby “cables” which are double insulated, can be sometimes clipped direct, run in conduit (surface or flush) and so can have a combination of methods.

    French double sockets reverse power and neutral.

    Legrand Mosaic range do, but a properly wired twin socket in a double surface box should have polarity the same on both sockets.

    French pattress boxes are circular and you cut the hole in plaster board with a cheap circular blade.

    Patress is an English term which usually specifies a surface mounting box. French surface mounting boxes are rectangular, not round and are called “en saillie” . Flush mounting boxes ” a encastrer” are available circular or square, the latter being for plastering into a wall.

    Main fuse box and first cut-off switch must be at least, I believe, 1.5 metres off the ground as a protection against flooding. Two-way switches are same as UK. But more complex arrangements normally use teleinteruptors ( basically relays ) . UK two gang light switches fit French pattress boxes but three-way do not.

    On new installations The EDF disjoncteur and tableau electrique should be mounted in a space between 1m and 1.8metres from Finished floor level, so the above is about right.

    Three phase electricity supplies – recognised by larger sockets and plugs with either three pins (one for each phase and no earth) or Five pins (one for each phase, a large round earth pin and a smaller square earth) – are not uncommon in France. The potential between phases is far higher at over 400 volts and much more likely to be deadly than the UK 230 volts. Unless you are very confident of your abilities and sure you understand the system I would call in a professional or have EDF change the supply to single phase.

    Personally I would say the same to anyone working on ANY electricity voltage and not just three phase as the above implies. I have seen a death and enough injuries in my time as a sparky, so please if in doubt leave well alone! In my exeperience, the EDF will only change you back to monophase if their network will allow it and you have 12KW or less.

    The max no of sockets on a 2.5 cable is still 8, not five. If the builder wants a “Promotelec label”, (usually new build pavillions) then it is 5. In practice one room in a house can easily have 5 sockets, and on a large installation, this would mean too many conduits arriving back at the tableau, so as long as heaters are wired seperately, 8 is a good number.

    Some other lesser known regulations for your info;

    There is a new circuit arrangement allowed for sockets in France. You can wire a radial circuit using 1.5mm cable with a maximum of 5 sockets (singles or doubles) PROVIDING the circuit is protected by a disjonctuer (circuit breaker) rated at no higher than 16 amp or a 10amp fusible.

    Sockets and switches that fix by those nasty “griffes” spikes, are no longer compliant with the French normes from this year. That is why Legrand are seeling them all of so cheap in the brico’s. I haven’t yet had a refusal on a consuel inspection but it will happen sooner or later.

    best regards,

    Paul

    #777827
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    mandrake
    Member
    Joined: 17 Jul 2003
    Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
    Total posts: 2393

    Thanks Paul very useful clarification / expansion.

    The issue for me on three phase is that most people simply do not understand balancing the phases. One posted proposal I read was to supply each of three three gites with a phase. Guaranteed to be unbalanced unless all three are occupied. I still recall with horror an EDF employee with several digits missing scratching the rubber off the old supply (as in last used in 1964) with his flick knife in order to power his drill the new hole for the cable for the new supply.

    All the double sockets which I have found which fit a single box reverse power and return. Glad to hear the griffes are going I hate them. Also relieved to hear cable rigid inside Gaine is OK.

    Many thanks


    #777828
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    anonymous
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    Joined: 23 Mar 2012
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 751

    I have recently re-wired and balanced 3 phases across two ajoined houses. As an Electrician, UK qualified, I thought I understood French products, but I have to admit I do not know what Gaine is or Spike sockets that are being sold off cheaply. Can anyone elaborate.??

    Does previous comments conclude that double insulated cable means that capping or conduit is not legally required the cable is surface mounted and/or buried under plaster.?


    #777829
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    mandrake
    Member
    Joined: 17 Jul 2003
    Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
    Total posts: 2393

    @ethix98 wrote:

    I have recently re-wired and balanced 3 phases across two ajoined houses. As an Electrician, UK qualified, I thought I understood French products, but I have to admit I do not know what Gaine is or Spike sockets that are being sold off cheaply. Can anyone elaborate.??

    Does previous comments conclude that double insulated cable means that capping or conduit is not legally required the cable is surface mounted and/or buried under plaster.?

    Gaine is the grey flexible plastic conduit which has circular rings round it like vacuum hose. Spike sockets are I presume the sockets which tighten into the things I call pantras boxes with claws. Surface mounting not a problem because you can replace without wrecking decoration but if it is buried you need to be able to replace it without damaging decoration


    #777830
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    anonymous
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    Joined: 23 Mar 2012
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 751

    Thanks for the response Mandrake.

    Have used Gaine just didn’t realise ahta it is called.

    Can I assume that it is is acceptable to run double insulated cable through a loft space without needing to pass through conduit or gaine ?

    Is damaging decoration the only concern ? :wink:

    What about someone banging a nail into plaster covered cable to hang up a painting or similar ??? I guess we both know that even metal or plastic capping used back in ole’ Angleterre doesn’t prevent nasties happening


    #777831
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    vida
    Participant
    Joined: 04 Jan 2005
    Location: Mouliets et Villemartin (dep) 33
    Total posts: 180

    Can anyone please help me!!! I need to connect a dimmer switch and find the one I bought had two connection points marked L, I do not quite know how to connect.


    v.s. egan

    #777832
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    gally
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    Joined: 24 Aug 2005
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 1

    I have a 200yr old house that has been renovated by teh previous French occupier, but I notice that there are multiple circuits, e.g. lights have been supplied from a single MCB wired to a junction box with terminal connectors for each light. Is this standard French practice? I would be unhappy using connector blocks in junction boxes but I cannot find any proprietry boxes as per our ceiling box for daisy chaining lights.

    I also note that there is no local isolation for a bathroom extraction fan that is wired direct from the fuse board.

    The socket in the hose seem to have a mix of phase conductor on the right and some on the left, is this correct I would assume a common standard of phase on the RHS as in the UK even allowing for the fact that a standrd UK adaptor will have phase and neutral reveresed in Legrand sockets.

    Is it permissible to wire a local light from a power socket, e.g. my separate circuit for a bolier has a light at the rear to see pipework/valves wired from the power socket. Can the number of circuiots percable be mixed, e.g. Lighs/Power e.g. for a garden patio or do we need two circuits one for each.

    I have noticed the use of plastic conduit with cable for outdoor installations when we would normally use SWA, MICC or protected cable. Is this form of installation acceptable in France.

    As the property has been completely dry lined it is impossible to see the instal;lation methods but I suspect that cables are in plastic conduit clipped direct to the underlying wall.

    Given the above examples are there any guidelines on installation methods that would be acceptable in France but not necessarily so in the UK.


    #777833
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    r2eg
    Member
    Joined: 08 Sep 2006
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 2

    Well hello Gally (to be read with the tune of Hello Dolly ;-)

    Did you every find the replies to your questions?

    Regards,

    R2EG

    @gally wrote:

    I have a 200yr old house that has been renovated by teh previous French occupier, but I notice that there are multiple circuits, e.g. lights have been supplied from a single MCB wired to a junction box with terminal connectors for each light. Is this standard French practice? I would be unhappy using connector blocks in junction boxes but I cannot find any proprietry boxes as per our ceiling box for daisy chaining lights.

    I also note that there is no local isolation for a bathroom extraction fan that is wired direct from the fuse board.

    The socket in the hose seem to have a mix of phase conductor on the right and some on the left, is this correct I would assume a common standard of phase on the RHS as in the UK even allowing for the fact that a standrd UK adaptor will have phase and neutral reveresed in Legrand sockets.

    Is it permissible to wire a local light from a power socket, e.g. my separate circuit for a bolier has a light at the rear to see pipework/valves wired from the power socket. Can the number of circuiots percable be mixed, e.g. Lighs/Power e.g. for a garden patio or do we need two circuits one for each.

    I have noticed the use of plastic conduit with cable for outdoor installations when we would normally use SWA, MICC or protected cable. Is this form of installation acceptable in France.

    As the property has been completely dry lined it is impossible to see the instal;lation methods but I suspect that cables are in plastic conduit clipped direct to the underlying wall.

    Given the above examples are there any guidelines on installation methods that would be acceptable in France but not necessarily so in the UK.


    #777834
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    roofman
    Member
    Joined: 02 Apr 2007
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 1

    I have just bought a barn near Limoges. Is an English Electrician qualified to sign off the wiring of a property renovation or does it have to a French electrician.
    Any other tips would also be most welcome.


    #777835
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    etvoila
    Participant
    Joined: 10 Apr 2003
    Location: Mayenne (Department 53)
    Total posts: 66

    @roofman wrote:

    I have just bought a barn near Limoges. Is an English Electrician qualified to sign off the wiring of a property renovation or does it have to a French electrician.
    Any other tips would also be most welcome.

    The installation only has to be signed off if a Consuel certificate has been asked for by the EDF. There is obviously nothing to stop you getting a voluntary inspection done if you are worried. Nationality (French or English)plays no part whatsoever in who can and can’t verify an installation, the main factor being that the electrician you use should be registered and insured to work in France.

    #777836
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    clifford
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    Joined: 12 Jan 2007
    Location: Feix, 24320
    Total posts: 1

    Paul (Etvoila),

    I have a question for you referring to an earlier response that you made back in 2003 on this same topic re: cable runs.

    Is it accpetable to run cable (double insulated) across a loft space by simply clipping and then running the same cable in gaine from the point it enters the cavity wall to the floor and power points below. My fuse board is in the loft. If so i assume also that there is no need for a gland at the point where the gaine begins.

    I cannot imagine trying to pull rigid cable through gaine all the way or is there a trick that i am missing?

    thanks,

    Paul (Clifford)


    #777837
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    etvoila
    Participant
    Joined: 10 Apr 2003
    Location: Mayenne (Department 53)
    Total posts: 66

    My answers in blue

    @clifford wrote:

    Paul (Etvoila),

    I have a question for you referring to an earlier response that you made back in 2003 on this same topic re: cable runs.

    Is it accpetable to run cable (double insulated) across a loft space by simply clipping and then running the same cable in gaine from the point it enters the cavity wall to the floor and power points below.

    Yes, I know of no Regulation that prevents this. In this instance the gaine is used for mechanical and external influences protection and ideally should not have sharp bends so that it could be rewired. This is not always practical when installing cables in gaine – as opposed to single wires)

    My fuse board is in the loft. If so i assume also that there is no need for a gland at the point where the gaine begins.

    No but it is good practice for the gaine to enter the enclosure it serves

    I cannot imagine trying to pull rigid cable through gaine all the way or is there a trick that i am missing?

    My father in law used to say you haven’t got the knack as I have ( think about it!). Seriously there is a knack in pulling wires through and there are lots of tips and tricks that can be used. Briefly there are lubricants; you obviously could use a larger gaine; Fix the gaine in place and that’s stops it crinkling up whan you pull through; Pull through outside in the garden and then install the whole lot together; There’s just a few…..thanks,

    Paul (Clifford)

    Hope this helps a bit,

    Paul

French Electrical & Other Building Issues
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