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UK it's illegal to have mains sockets in the bathroom

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4pyros

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Yes, we "sorted it out" by not using that crap anymore! I'm not sure if it (aluminum wiring) is banned outright by the code, but it isn't used anymore, so far as I know. (However, one can still buy that anti-corrosion paste for use when connecting Cu to Al wires.)
You can still buy that for connecting the main lead in to the breaker box.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/cartridge-fuses/0412986/
I suppose it's a foible of mine to fit those to anything that takes a lot less than 1 A.
Definitely a personal foible of yours :D

Particularly as plug fuses are fast blow, and many items take high switch-on surges - which is why CRT TV's needed 13A plug fuses.

I've seen the damage done before larger fuses blow.
Such as what? - the fuse in the plug is there to 'protect' the mains lead - it would be exceedingly rare to have a lead rated at less than 5A.

Perhaps you should consult the H&S website, which probably has information on plug fuses?.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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You can still buy that for connecting the main lead in to the breaker box.
Why?, what are the incoming wires? (copper in the UK), and what are the terminals? (brass in the UK).

As far as I'm aware we never used aluminium wires here?, even the antique cotton insulated and lead covered wires were copper (and absolutely lethal as the cotton rots away :nailbiting:).
 

4pyros

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Why?, what are the incoming wires? (copper in the UK), and what are the terminals? (brass in the UK).

As far as I'm aware we never used aluminium wires here?, even the antique cotton insulated and lead covered wires were copper (and absolutely lethal as the cotton rots away :nailbiting:).
The big wire from the pole is normally aluminum here, the terminals are tinned copper or aluminum in the breaker box.
 

ClydeCrashKop

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The main breaker in a panel for a 3 bedroom house is typically 125 amps. All of our power hungry appliances like the water heater, range, dryer, pool pump and HVAC are all 230 volt. I guess we don’t think we need 230 volts to run light bulbs and TVs. Are your main circuit breakers and cables much smaller in the UK?
 

Nigel Goodwin

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The main breaker in a panel for a 3 bedroom house is typically 125 amps. All of our power hungry appliances like the water heater, range, dryer, pool pump and HVAC are all 230 volt. I guess we don’t think we need 230 volts to run light bulbs and TVs. Are your main circuit breakers and cables much smaller in the UK?
The incoming mains supply at my house is 6mm copper cable, which is rated at 47A - I believe more modern properties get 10mm cable?, rated at 65A.

Sockets are wired using 2.5mm cable (27A) in a ring, so each socket is fed from two pieces of 2.5mm cable, but this same ring usually includes all sockets on that floor. Each plug that connects to the sockets also includes it's own fuse.

Lights are fed using 1mm (14.5A) to 1.5mm (20A) cable, usually each floor will have it's own fuse in the fuse box, or perhaps more.

Cookers are hardwired using either 6mm cable, or 10mm cable - fed from it's own fuse in the fusebox, likewise for a shower.

Aircon is pretty rare here, but is normally hardwired to it's own fuse, with cabling based on it's requirements.

Each house is normally supplied one phase (out of three) and a common neutral - houses are connected alternately to different phases to spread the load. Commercial properties often have the full three phases supplied, so can run much higher powers.

We don't get the cascading failures over here, the infrastructure prevents that.
 

Diver300

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I've seen the damage done before larger fuses blow.
Such as what? - the fuse in the plug is there to 'protect' the mains lead - it would be exceedingly rare to have a lead rated at less than 5A.
http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/bang-but-then-it-works.105089/#post-858248 is one example.
I've also seen burned cables where two much bending has caused a conductors to break. The arcing then generates heat which melts though to the other conductor to break, and the cable shorts. That can generate a lot of heat.
The few times that I have has a short where a 1 A fuse was in the plug, the results were unimpressive, as I would want. Where a 13 A fuse was in the plug, there is a lot more damage from the arc, and often the 32 A breaker trips as well.
 

ClydeCrashKop

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You are right Nigel, we do use heavier wire. Really light circuits, we might use 16 gage wire which is 1.3 mm. That isn’t even on the chart for outlets. More like lamp cord or cheap extension cords.

Wire sizes bath outlet.jpg
 
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Scotophor

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American bathrooms often look like this!

View attachment 90104

On the other hand, it keeps the mess contained.
My girlfriend says she needs a bank of outlets and much more counter space.
The TV is new this Christmas.

View attachment 90105
Both of these bathrooms are in violation of current code, though they may have been compliant when built depending upon just when that was. I don't know exactly when GFCI protected receptacles (same as what you Brits call RCD) were first required in bathrooms but I do know that the requirement was tightened not too long ago. When GFCI protection was first required, any receptacle within 5 feet of the edge of a sink or bathtub had to be GFCI, but now it's any receptacle in a bathroom, regardless of how large the bathroom and how far from the water the receptacle is. One of my late uncles had his master suite remodeled so there was no clear distinction between bedroom and bathroom areas, so to be in compliance probably all of the bedroom receptacles would have to have been GFCI protected as well, though I don't remember if they actually were.

BTW, a receptacle does not need to be a GFCI in order to be GFCI protected. It is generally permitted here to wire one or more standard receptacles "downstream" from a GFCI receptacle (by properly using terminals provided and so labeled on the device), or to use a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel to feed the entire circuit. Code requires that any such remotely-protected receptacles be durably labeled as "GFCI protected". We don't use the "ring circuit" mains system that came into use in the postwar UK to save on copper usage, so adding a GFCI protected spur to an existing system, or converting an existing spur to GFCI, using a single GFCI device to protect one or more other receptacles is trivial.
 

mab2

Member
The incoming mains supply at my house is 6mm copper cable, which is rated at 47A - I believe more modern properties get 10mm cable?, rated at 65A.

Sockets are wired using 2.5mm cable (27A) in a ring, so each socket is fed from two pieces of 2.5mm cable, but this same ring usually includes all sockets on that floor. Each plug that connects to the sockets also includes it's own fuse.

Lights are fed using 1mm (14.5A) to 1.5mm (20A) cable, usually each floor will have it's own fuse in the fuse box, or perhaps more.

Cookers are hardwired using either 6mm cable, or 10mm cable - fed from it's own fuse in the fusebox, likewise for a shower.

Aircon is pretty rare here, but is normally hardwired to it's own fuse, with cabling based on it's requirements.

Each house is normally supplied one phase (out of three) and a common neutral - houses are connected alternately to different phases to spread the load. Commercial properties often have the full three phases supplied, so can run much higher powers.

We don't get the cascading failures over here, the infrastructure prevents that.
Most modern domestic supplies in UK are 25mm2 fused at 100A (BS1361 type 2 fuse will pass 100A continuously, 200A for ~10mins IIRC).
most older domestic supplies are 16mm2 with a 60A fuse.
some small very old propertied are still on 40A supplied but are still connected with at least 10mm2 and usually 16 (in my experience).

I've never seen a house with a main feed in 6mm2 - or were you referring to the cable diameter?

incidentally where house incomers are concentric cables the inner core is usually aluminium and the outer copper, although that's the network operators purview and not something I usually have to deal with.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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Perhaps I meant 16mm :D

What was the maximum size cable that an old Wylex fusebox would accept?, do you know?.
I installed some storage heaters, so had to fit an extra fusebox, and fitted meter tails that my electrician friend supplied me - the tails were exactly the same size as the incoming supply. The engineer from the electricity company who came to connect it failed the install as the tails were too thin, and insisted I fitted larger ones.

I did so, but had to cut half the cores off the cables to make them fit - he said that was perfectly normal.
 

mab2

Member
Perhaps I meant 16mm :D

What was the maximum size cable that an old Wylex fusebox would accept?, do you know?.
umm, well, it depends how many ways, and as I'm usually replacing them I tend not to worry about it, but IIRC a 6way would be 60A/16mm2 (just - if the conductors are not bent). On odd occasions when I'm not replacing them and have had to put cable into them I've noticed that the receptacles are not very big.
 

atferrari

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