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#207663 - 11/17/12 09:07 AM Photos from Germany...
andey Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 30
Loc: germany
Dear Folks,

I have been a member for several years and read the forums regularly. I always like to see how electric stuff and work looks around the world. My old photos got lost in the photo gallery crash so I'm uploading new ones here from time to time that show typical or special local stuff.

http://www.electrical-photos.com/member.php?uid=217&protype=1

I'd be glad to receive your comments or answer specific questions.

Regards,
Andy

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#207665 - 11/17/12 03:59 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: andey]
winston_1 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 23
Loc: London, UK
The one labelled "no idea" is a key operated switch. The key goes in the slot and moves up or down. Very common in the UK where they don't want non authorised persons turning off/on lights.

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#207668 - 11/18/12 12:38 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: andey]
andey Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 30
Loc: germany
Hello Winston, maybe you followed a link out of my gallery. I don't have an image labelled "no idea".

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#207671 - 11/18/12 07:20 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: andey]
Frank DeWitt Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Bloomfield NY
Thanks for posting. A couple of questions if I may. In the US we are accustomed to seeing a box set into the wall, Then the switches and outlets mounted in that box, then a cover plate. Is there a box in the pix shown or are they mounted to the wall?

Also, the switch and outlet are what we call back stab. (no screws to wrap the wires around.) is that how all outlets and switches are done in Germany?

In another pix showing a wet location junction box it looks like wires are joined by pushing them into some sort of product that takes the place of our "Wire Nut" What is that called?

Thanks.
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#207672 - 11/19/12 02:25 AM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: Frank DeWitt]
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
Originally Posted By: Frank DeWitt
Thanks for posting. A couple of questions if I may. In the US we are accustomed to seeing a box set into the wall, Then the switches and outlets mounted in that box, then a cover plate. Is there a box in the pix shown or are they mounted to the wall?

The European verison is done differnt and due the person whom they post the photo is German verison and it is not a huge differnce between my (French ) verison to their verison.

The box as you describing there is two verison of box that we can use for surface or flush mount depending on the set up of that location. Some case both is being used.


Also, the switch and outlet are what we call back stab. (no screws to wrap the wires around.) is that how all outlets and switches are done in Germany?

Normally they are backwired so it means that we use the pressure plate to tighten down the conductor it the same methold you have back over Stateside. Just screw it down and ya are done. oh by the way the common methold to run the conductors is bring it back behind the devices which it is normal for us to do that I am sure the same way as you Stateside guys are.


In another pix showing a wet location junction box it looks like wires are joined by pushing them into some sort of product that takes the place of our "Wire Nut" What is that called?



That what we called them Wago connector they are easy and fast to hook up the conductors. there is couple wet located rated wagos but I don't used them often unless it a direct burial twin et earth ( UF cable )

Thanks.


My reply in bleu and the German regulations is little differnt than France but basically the conductor colour is simauir so let me fill you in real quick.,

Brown - phase conductor
Bleu - Netural
Green/Yellow stripe - earth or ground.

That above is used for monophase useage but triphase colour I am pretty sure it either all brown or black on German side but they can use the IEC colour code as well so I will posted as well

Brown -Phase A
Black - Phase B
Grey - Phase C
Bleu - Neutral

This above is one of few common legit colour so let me post the other one.,

Black - Phase A
Red - Phase B
Brown - Phase C
Netural - Bleu

so that one of the two colours I used the most over here but most are useaing the first one as I posted that is more standarized colour.

I will let other person fill in the correct German colour to make sure they are on right page.

Merci,
Marc


Edited by frenchelectrican (11/19/12 02:28 AM)
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#207676 - 11/19/12 10:00 AM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: andey]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Yes, of course there are boxes. Standard German boxes are round, 60mm diametre and 40mm deep and can be snapped together when it is desired to combine switches or sockets like in the picture. As you can see, each switch or socket is individual and there is only a common cover (a frame with inserts for each device). Other European countries use somewhat compatible boxes that look slightly different - some are square rather than round, others are slightly larger (65 or 70 mm diametre). Devices can either be fastened using metal claws that spread against the wall of the box (which is only legal if the box is encased in masonry or concrete) or using two 3mm sheet metal screws 60 mm OC. British boxes have the same mounting dimensions but use 3.5 mm machine screws.

These days, most devices (with the exception of very intricate ones, such as double 3-way switches designed to fit a single box) are "backstabbed" and have been for almost 20 years, switches for more than 30. They rarely cause problems, except when improperly used (e.g. morons insert two wires instead of one). These devices are reasonably fast to work with, and - like Wago connectors - even have a reputation of being more reliable than traditional screw terminals because the springs inside compensate for any movement of the copper wire. Copper (and aluminium even more so) is known to "flow" under mechanical pressure and eventually cause screw terminals to loosen and overheat. Wago connectors are also rated for Cu-Al splices when filled with a suitable antioxidant (vaseline is usually considered good enough, its only purpose being to keep moisture away).

Wire nuts were never really popular in Germany but enjoyed a brief period of popularity in Austria in the 1960s. All wire nuts I've seen were obviously produced for the US market, as they only have a UL listing and all markings indicate AWG rather than mm2. I also have some vintage boxes which are labeled in English only. Today you can buy wire nuts for the German market (with VDE listing) but it seems they are hardly used. Other countries such as Italy and the Netherlands seem to be considerably more fond of wire nuts.

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#207678 - 11/19/12 02:09 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: Texas_Ranger]
andey Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 30
Loc: germany
Thanks Ragnar for responding. I second what you wrote.
Just some addition:

Standard flush mount boxes fit 55mm holes and there are different types for drywalls (with hooks) and to be plastered in and different depths for more connectors in the back.
They're also used as junction-box-only with a plastic cover if you have lots of wires. Bigger flush square junction boxes are around too.

Yes we mainly use backstabbing (spring loaded push-in terminals) for junction boxes and outlets/switches.
I know they have mixed reputation in the US, but they're really reliable here and never loosen unlike screws do.
http://www.wago.com/cms/images/Federklemmtechniken_main3.jpg
left: regular for solid wires - right: special type for stranded wires. the orange lever unloads the spring to insert or release the wire.
You can remove a wire from the left one too by twisting it 45 degrees left and right and pulling the wire. after some cycles it will release the wire with a zigzag groove in the copper. If you wanna do it right you have to cut that last 3-5mm off before you wago-connect it again.


The color code is
L1 brown
L2 black
L3 gray
N blue
PE (ground) green-yellow




Edited by andey (11/19/12 02:17 PM)

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#207719 - 11/21/12 05:02 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: andey]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Originally Posted By: andey
Standard flush mount boxes fit 55mm holes and there are different types for drywalls (with hooks) and to be plastered in and different depths for more connectors in the back.

55 mm would be a bit small... the boxes themselves are 60 mm, drywall boxes are even larger at 65 mm (have a look at the Kaiser catalogue!). An 68 mm holesaw is perfect for drywall boxes, for masonry boxes you'd typically use an 83 mm diamond hole saw and plaster.

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#208281 - 01/07/13 11:46 PM Re: Photos from Germany... [Re: Texas_Ranger]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8530
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Texas_Ranger

55 mm would be a bit small... the boxes themselves are 60 mm, drywall boxes are even larger at 65 mm (have a look at the Kaiser catalogue!). An 68 mm holesaw is perfect for drywall boxes, for masonry boxes you'd typically use an 83 mm diamond hole saw and plaster.

Great advice, Ragnar! smile
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