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#136388 - 03/29/03 02:20 PM Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Hi guys,
Just wondering, in your country, is there a required minimum number of socket outlets, to be installed in a house?
Just quoted for a job, way out in the Country, to rewire a house, that has 4 single s/outlets and two of them were on the sides of the range!.
You should have seen all the extension cords.
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#136389 - 03/30/03 04:02 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
David UK Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Inverness, Scotland
Hi Trumpy,
Here in Scotland, Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990, have statutory requirements for the minimum number of socket outlets to be provided in each dwelling.

Minimum requirements are:
Kitchen: 6 socket outlets (i.e. 3 twin skts.)
Each apartment *: 4 socket outlets.
Plus 4 additional socket outlets elsewhere.

* The term apartment here refers to an occupied room e.g. bedroom, lounge.

These are absolute minimum requirements, which are clearly inadequate for the average modern house, which will usually have more outlets.

In new housing, the Local Authority Building Control Dept. would insist on the minimum socket provision before issuing a Completion Certificate.
Where the Local Authority give Home Improvement Grants to home owners, in respect of sub standard electrical installations, these minimum requirements are also enforced.
When I carry out rewirng of older properties, I always insist at least minimum numbers are installed, regardless of whether a Grant is involved.

What, if any are the minimum requirements in NZ?

Are there any minimum requirements in European countries? I've noticed, when on holiday that there seem to be fewer sockets than in UK, & mostly singles.

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#136390 - 03/30/03 05:19 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Further south here in England, there are recommended minimums by various house-building associations, but there are no legally enforceable minimums. The IEE Wiring Regs. have always specified how wiring must be installed, but have never specified what outlets, lights etc. must be provided (and I'm sure everyone's gotten the message that the Regs. aren't legally enforceable in residential anyway ).

In view of my thread about the proposed new building regulations containing reference to electrical installations for the first time, it would be interesting to know if there are any plans in the pipeline to add minimum requirements. I couldn't see any in the govt. document, although I only had time to scan through it rather quickly.

Trumpy,
You may already be aware that the NEC in America does specify certain minimums. I'll see if I can post the relevant extracts for you.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 03-30-2003).]

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#136391 - 03/30/03 05:55 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
From the 2002 National Electrical Code:
 Quote:
210.50 General. Receptacle outlets shall be installed as specified in 210.52 through 210.63.

{.....}

(C) Appliance outlets. Appliance receptacle outlets installed in a dwelling unit for specific appliances, such as laundry equipment, shall be installed within 1.8m (6 ft) of the intended location of the appliance.

210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets. {.....} Receptacle outlets required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is part of a luminaire (lighting fixture) or appliance, located within cabinets or cupboards, or located more than 1.7m (5-1/2 ft) above the floor.

{.....}

(A) General Provisions. In every kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, bedroom, recreation room, or similar room or area of dwelling units, receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with the general provisions specified in 210.52(A)(1) through (A)(3).

(1) Spacing. Receptacles shall be installed so that no point measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space is more than 1.8m (6 ft) from a receptacle outlet.

(2) Wall Space. As used in this section, a wall space shall include the following:

(1) Any space 600mm (2 ft) or more in width (including space measured around corners) and unbroken along the floor line by doorways, fireplaces, and similar openings.

{.....}

(3) Floor Receptacles. Receptacle outlets in floors shall not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets unless located within 450mm (18 in.) of the wall.

{.....}

(C) Countertops. In kitchens and dining rooms of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for counter spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through (5).

(1) Wall Counter Spaces. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall counter space that is 300mm (12 in.) or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.

{.....}

(D) Bathrooms. In dwelling units, at least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms within 900mm (3 ft) of the outside edge of each basin. The rece[tacle outlet shall be located on a wall or partition that is adjacent to the basin or basin countertop.

(E) Outdoor Outlets. For a one-family dwelling and each unit of a two-family dwelling that is at grade level, at least one receptacle outlet accessible at grade level and not more than 2m (6-1/2 ft) above grade shall be installed at the front and back of the dwelling. {.....}

(F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed for the laundry. {.....}

(G) Basements and Garages, For a one-family dwelling, at least one receptacle outlet, in addition to any provided for laundry equipment, shall be installed in each basement and in each attached garage, and in each detached garage with electric power. {.....}

(H) Hallways. In dwelling units, hallways of 3.0m (10 ft) or more in length shall have at least one receptacle outlet. {.....}


That's a somewhat edited summary, but I think it gives a fair picture. I'm sure one of our American friends will add anything important that I've overlooked.

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#136392 - 03/30/03 06:51 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I can't find the the Swedish requirements. It's not in the Building Regs nor in the Wiring Regs. Must be hidden away somewhere.

IIRC the requirement is three sockets per room or a maximum distance to socket of 4 meters. I.e a 4 meter cord should reach a socket. Sockets are usually doubles, except those over counters or those placed at the same height as the light switch. (Combined sockets and switches are becoming increasingly common, mostly in commercial, since it makes the sockets easy to find and reach) Dedicated sockets are usually singles too.

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#136393 - 03/30/03 10:32 PM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
David,
I must say, I don't know, we used to have a minimum number of 16 in a house under the 1976 Regs, but since then, this minimum has been brushed aside.
I'll have a look at copies of Regs over the years, it must be pretty well hidden, as I never had it catch my eye!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#136394 - 04/01/03 07:12 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Trumpy,
Did/do the NZ rules just specify a certain number of outlets for a room, or did they state in more detail exactly where those receptacles must be located? (Similar to the American NEC).

Placement of outlets seems to vary considerably. Kitchen counters excepted, outlets in the U.K. have tended to be mounted fairly low down and most people seem to like them that way (although there has been concern in more recent years that such placement makes it much more difficult for the elderly and disabled).

In many cases I've marked out for outlets to go about 18" above floor level and people have complained that they'll be too high and asked for them to be fitted lower.

In France, on the other hand, it seems to be quite accepted for receptacles to be located at about the same height as a light switch. (In some houses, a couple of receptacles adjacent to the light switches seems to be all that's provided.)

The worst cases of placement in England were the houses where surface-mount receptacles were simply screwed onto a fairly low baseboard. They would be easily hit by vacuum cleaners and such like, and I've seen some fitted so close to the floor that it was practically impossible to insert a plug with anything thicker than a lamp cord!


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 04-01-2003).]

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#136395 - 04/01/03 10:23 PM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
The '76 Regs only "advised", as to how many socket-outlets should be installed, it reads
something like this:
Kitchen 6
Living Area 2
Bedrooms 2(each)
Laundry 1
Clock 1
Please bear in mind, that when these Regs were written, people didn't own Consumer Electronics, like they do now, at least where I lived they didn't!.
But, even so, it's not many is it?.
Also Paul, over here, there are no real hard and fast rules for socket-outlet placement, excepting(obviously)Bathrooms and other Damp Areas, in general, we tend to mount the sockets at 300-400mm above floor level, the exceptions to this rule, would be a Laundry or Kitchen.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#136396 - 04/07/03 12:45 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
In Ireland the regulations don't specify anything specific but the guidelines, which are generally followed set out:

Kitchen: 10 sockets minimum (goes on to explain that modern kitchens are full of small appliences etc and how the use of double adaptors should be strongly discouraged in such an environment)

(UK style Cooker Control/Socket unit is outlawed under irish regs. There are plenty of them installed but they are not allowed in new installations and if they need replacement they have to be replaced by a normal dual pole switch without a socket.)

Living rooms etc: 4 socket minimum, it also goes on to state that sockets should be located to suit requirements for free standing lamps, television, audio equipment etc to prevent the excessive use of "multisocket adaptors" Basically use common sense and make sure that the normal requirements are met. E.g. some people might put 2 X double plates beside the antenna socket for the TV, it's up to the home owner though.

Hallways (rule of thumb): At least 1 X double, centrally located to allow for use of vacuum cleaners etc and to remove the requirment to use extension cords. If the hallway is very large outlets should be located to allow for vacuum cleaning at points along it. Free standing lighting should also be taken into consideration.

Bedrooms: at least 2 sockets although 2 X double is the recomended minimum, 2 of which should be near the bedside area.

Laundry rooms: 1 outlet dedicated to each large applience and 2 spare.

It's not entirely uncommon to find old houses here with 1 socket in each room!

However, it's worth noting that Ireland is the most litigeous country in the world after the USA. One public housing athority was sucessfully sued and had to pay out major amounts of money for not installing sufficient sockets!

A kid was scalded by a boiling kettle when she pulled the extension cord it was plug in to. This happened in public athority house dating from the late 1800s that only had one socket in the kitchen which was not located directly beside the counter top. The court ruled that the housing athority was at fault, as the family were forced to use long dangerous extension cords and adaptors and rewarded massive dammages. This ruling would potentially apply to anyone with a duty of care.. i.e. landlords, builders, architects and electricians.

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#136397 - 04/07/03 01:08 AM Re: Least No. of Socket-Outlets?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Outdoor sockets:

One question: Irish regulations prohibit the installation of outdoor sockets that accept BS1363 (or any "domestic type plug" for that matter) the only legally acceptable type is the Industrial version. I've even seen it used for outdoor xmas lights, at least where they're installed correctly.

I've also seen plenty of IP55 BS1363 sockets on sale in hardware stores though.

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