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#133923 - 10/06/02 02:26 PM Electric code (wiring regs)
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Hi!

I wonder what the wiring regs in different countries look like.

The old Swedish looked similar to the NEC, with rules for every detail. A couple of years ago they simply gave up and issued a new book which contains little but general guidelines. The new message is "use common sense".

The only really detailed part I've found is the chapter on bathrooms (it's a carbon copy of the one found in the British regs, with a few minor changes allowing sockets at mains voltage)

What does it look like in other countries?

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#133924 - 10/07/02 06:39 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I've only read summarized extracts, but our OENORM (forgot the 5-digit figure that follows) seems to be close to the NEC, but the wording isn't as strict. For example, receptacle and switch heights are only given as recommendations.
(30 cm above floor for a receptacle (1'), 105 cm for switch/ switch-receptacle combos (roughly 3ft). Seems to be pretty low, so even a small child can reach the switch. Most switches are installed way higher up to prevent exactly that.

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#133925 - 10/08/02 10:47 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I have no idea what the "code" is like in countries other than the U.K. and the U.S.

However, when the 15th IEE Regs. came out here in 1981, it was a totally different format to those which went before it, and I've always been led to believe that the new format was a move toward "harmonizing" the rules across Europe (still a long way to go, but supposedly a common structure was intended to make conversion between national standards that much easier).

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#133926 - 10/08/02 10:51 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I just discovered an unexpected harmonization: The Swedish regs have been endowed with a reference to the 277/480V system. I very much doubt any such system has ever been used here... Are there any references to the 230/400V system in the NEC?

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#133927 - 10/09/02 11:12 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The specifications for the IEC309/CEEform connectors are somewhat international in scope, and show pin arrangements for 50 & 60Hz systems, 120/208, 230/400 etc.

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#133928 - 10/09/02 11:32 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Ah, didn't think of the IEC309. You're right, they are available in a North American version. But are these in the NEC?

The code here doesn't bother with "trivial" things like the ampacity of wires or acceptable types of receptables. Nor is there any reference to where to place or not to place sockets and switches.

(The exception being bathrooms, where switches and sockets aren't allowed in certain zones.)

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#133929 - 10/10/02 09:57 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
The code here doesn't bother with "trivial" things like the ampacity of wires

Wow, that's quite a revelation! No prescribed limits on the current a given cable can carry? Here in England we always look upon Sweden as being a very safety-conscious country, so this is really surprising.

 Quote:
or acceptable types of receptables.

So I could wire a house in Sweden with British, French, or Swiss receptacles and it would be code compliant?

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#133930 - 10/10/02 11:12 AM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

Wow, that's quite a revelation! No prescribed limits on the current a given cable can carry? Here in England we always look upon Sweden as being a very safety-conscious country, so this is really surprising.


It doesn't even mention cable types. But you still have to meet the general requirement that cables should not be a fire hazard or risk injury to people or livestock.

There is in fact a Swedish standard for ampacity, which is recommended in the regs. (I don't recall the number, but it is of little interest here anyhow) I have been meaning to write and ask if one can use the IEE or DIN standard instead.

 Quote:

So I could wire a house in Sweden with British, French, or Swiss receptacles and it would be code compliant?


Presumably, yes. I have been thinking of using Swiss or French sockets, since they have a "cleaner" look than the Schuko sockets.

However, you cannot use the British ring main. Two conductors in parallell have to follow the same path. And you cannot use British T&E, since the earth must not be downsized.

The current plans seem to be to remove the present mandatory regs altogether and convert them into a standard, like the BS 7671 in England. Thereafter, I presume one will be allowed to wire to the regs of one's own choice, including the NEC and the IEE.

Yes, Sweden has a good record of safety. However, electricity has been and still is an exception. Ungrounded sockets were the norm in residential wiring up until 1994. In fact, it was illegal to sell grounded products for household use prior to the EU entry.

Still, there has been much resistance to grounding as it is seen as both unnecessary and a safety hazard. One lady even sued her landlord one or two years ago over the grounded sockets landlord had installed. The court ruled in the landlord's favour, though.

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#133931 - 10/11/02 12:12 PM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
It does sound very much as though your rules are based upon generalizations and the exact interpretation is then left open to individual interpretation. This is quite a contrast to the rules in other places (e.g. the American NEC) which explicitly say what can or cannot be done in much more precise terms.

The grounding issue really does contrast vividly with the British Regs., which for many years (decades, in fact) have stated that all receptacles shall provide an earth terminal. It takes quite a bit of lateral thinking to get away from the "earth everything" mentality and adjust to your concept of keeping deliberate grounds out of the picture.

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#133932 - 10/12/02 09:15 PM Re: Electric code (wiring regs)
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Our older Regs, were better,we had little notes as to how we could comply with them.
Now we are told what not to do,(slap over the hand stuff).
We have gone backwards really.
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