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#138558 - 09/14/03 04:36 AM Irish Diazed panel
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Posted for DJK:

 Quote:
Took a picture of a fairly typical Irish Diazed consumer unit, made by Siemens (IRL)

Left to right:

Top row: Main switch - 63A main fuse - 32A cooker (MCB) - 3 X light radials (Diazed)

Bottom row: RCB (labeled ELCB & complete with testing & resetting instructions and diagram of circuit) + 3 X socket radials (16 amp diazed) (this house is pretty tiny 2 points (doubles) per room)

A single small unit below the main board has a much more modern RCB & a 32 amp Diazed supplying the electric shower.





[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 09-14-2003).]

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#138559 - 09/14/03 05:53 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Thanks paul!

This is pretty much the standard small installation for a small house circa 1985 ish. It replaced a 1930's installation. The 32A MCB went in when an electric cooker was installed a few years later.

The panel is mounted ontop of a frame to give more wiring space behind it, those cables coming out the bottom/top arn't punched through the plastic casing, they're coming out of specific gaps in the frame behind the panel

Originally there would have been a plastic cover strip at the top covering up those cables, however, a second-rate cooker installer has had a go at this panel and the consumer decided to give the cables a nice coat of pink paint! !

Thesedays all the cables coming out the top would need to go through conduit to meet codes. The thin cables coming out of the bottom actually go to a bell transformer & another big diazed fuse unit carrying a low rated fuse to protect it!

Not a particularly neat installation but pretty typical! It's covered by a louver door so it's not too ugly

The thicker pair of cables, which although fully double sheathed should if only for the sake of being neat and tidy be in conduit! are going to a feed for the shower sub-panel.

Way too much messing around by multitasking plumbers!! At least the shower's connected via a pre-assembled Fuse+RCB unit and with the correct size cables albeit without any thought for neatness.



[This message has been edited by djk (edited 09-14-2003).]

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#138560 - 09/14/03 11:40 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Interesting. Although you can get the type of panel with diazed fuses on DIN-rails here too, it's rare. The diazed panels are designed to hold fuse only. Any RCD has to go in a separate enclosure next to it. Swedish electricians are pretty conservative and MCB's and RCD's weren't used much until ten years ago.

In non-residental panels it's common to have a frame to keep the panel from the wall, just like you describe.

PS. Panel is a better word than consumer unit. I'll stick with that from now on.

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#138561 - 09/14/03 11:58 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
This really is a strange-looking beast, from a British perspective where Diazed fuses just aren't used in this application.

If this is a 1980s installation, I would assume that the fuse carriers are plastic, but from the photo it looks as though they could be a ceramic body of some kind.

I agree with C-H on the terminology. I've never thought that "consumer unit" was a particularly descriptive name.

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#138562 - 09/14/03 04:00 PM Re: Irish Diazed panel
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
No, they're not plastic they're ceramic which seems to be the norm right across the siemens and hager diazed and neozed fuse carriers.

Even the neater, more modern neozed main fuses are still in a small ceramic carrier.

Older panels tended to have been branded Heyer, Siemens and ASEA.

SquareD has appeared more recently as a brand name particularly in commercial gear but Hager and Siemens are still the tried and trusted favourites.

"Distribution Panel" / "Distribution Board" get used a lot here but Consumer Unit tends to be used by UK manufacturers a lot. I presume it's one of those horrible post-deregulation terms. Consumer Unit underlines the fact that the PoCo has nothing to do with this gear.

Most "consumers" tend to use the term "fusebox"

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 09-14-2003).]

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 09-14-2003).]

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#138563 - 09/15/03 02:22 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
Most "consumers" tend to use the term "fusebox"

The same goes for Britain. Many householders simply don't understand either distribution panel or consumer unit.

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#138564 - 09/15/03 08:08 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Upgraded old panels often have the frame arrangement because the diazed fuses were mounted on 2 sturdy metal brackets that were plastered right in the wall (typically using gypsum, the electrician's all-purpose remedy), giving about 2cm wiring space behind the panel. The panels usually have a more or less open back. All those surface-mount cables would have to be stapled to the wall in neat straight runs here, then it would be perfectly ok. Conduit install usually look pretty ugly because if NYM is pulled into conduit there are no bends needed, that means there are just stright pieces of conduit and whereever you have a bend there'S the cable in mid-air. Also modern conduit anchors set the conduit about 1/2cm away from the wall. The only occasion I've ever seen Diazed on DIN rails was in an old railway car. The huge main fuse inside the panel (DIII) looks real weird, because here it would always be ahead of the meter, the panel itself doesn't have a main fuse, usually the RCD does that. The RCD looks pretty familiar.

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#138565 - 09/15/03 08:42 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Texas_ranger: I think the staples were actually removed by the consumer!!! She painted/papered the wall around it and decided it would be safer not to paper over the cables so she unclipped them !!!

As for the frame behind it it's done here because the wall is not necessarily even/flat given the age of the house (1830s)

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#138566 - 09/16/03 02:17 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Ok, customers seem to be the same everywhere. Here they would usually just paper over the cables. I've seen flying twisted and taped splices that had been papered over, or junction boxes that had a new "cover" made of 4 (!) layers of wallpaper.
I know what you're talking about, in our 1913 house the top of the panel is about 5mm away from the wall, if I had gone a bit higher it would be several cm. They didn't care much about even or not when they plastered those walls 90 years ago.
I think originally the brackets were installed for safety reasons as well, so as to keep the wiring away from the wall. In damp/wet locations it'S still code that the cables must not touch the wall. I've seen the same brackets for mounting light fixtures, switches and receptacles in basements.

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#138567 - 09/16/03 03:12 AM Re: Irish Diazed panel
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
It's quite normal to find panels mounted on boards in older installations in Britain too.

The wooden boards were often fitted to the wall using porcelain spacers, leaving about an inch air space through which cables could be routed.

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