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Dutch Electrical Systems #133543 08/17/02 10:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,383
Trumpy Online Happy OP
Could anybody tell me what system of
supply is used in Holland?
I have a friend over there who has a
problem with the switch-board in his
house(it has now been fixed),but I am
just curious.
Can anyone help me?.

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Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133544 08/18/02 06:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
So far as I'm aware they use the standard European 3-ph 4-w wye at 220/380 or 230/400V. Unlike the UK where residential service is usually a 1-ph tap, most of the Continent runs 3-ph to homes, although I don't have anything to confirm that this is the case in the Netherlands.

I know they use the standard "Schuko" plugs and outlets (same as Germany, Austria, Sweden, etc.).

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133545 08/19/02 08:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
There was some site showing residential wiring in Holland. I can try to find it. However I didn't trust the site. Some info seemed very strange. For example it read that they use some very strange color coding. If I get this right the wires were grey, red and green. However, it is long ago that I read this.

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133546 08/19/02 03:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
I tried a search on Google and came up with this link, but it doesn't appear to be working at the moment:

However, the page is cached by Google, so here's the appropriate section:

WIRING IN HOLLAND (PA) {from Mike Perry, PA3ASC}
Mike says :- "I do not have professional experience of electrical installations in buildings. My background is computers and satellite on-board radar and here are some general remarks based on my own observations over the past 28 years residence in Holland"

The Netherlands standard for low voltage installations is "NEN-1010 Veiligheidsvoorschriften voor laagspanningsinstallaties" available from:

Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut, Postbus 5059, 2600GB Delft.

The price of the document makes it unattractive for the casual reader.I understand English translations are available, but don't quote me.I also understand that some local authorities may have their own supplementary regulations, but that point needs checking.

The electric supply here is 230 V single phase (400 V three phase) 50 Hz a.c. Distribution in urban areas is underground using a four-wire system, i.e. three phases and neutral brought from the star point at the substation. What follows is confined to the installation in a private house and thus excludes other buildings.

Distribution within the house radiates out from a central point where the supply enters the building and the meters, isolators and fuses are located. The safety earth is also located here. PVC insulated wiring is drawn through plastic conduits, which are sunk into the walls and ceilings of the building. Underground cabling, to a shed for example, has a tough plastic outer sheath and an earthed protective copper braid and must be sunk at least 50 cm in the ground.

Wall sockets and lighting points, in a given room, are often all connected to the same circuit, which is protected at the distribution board by a cartridge fuse (often 16 A per circuit). The maximum number of switches and outlets (light or power) which may be connected to a single circuit is defined by regulations. Ring mains are not used.

Colour codes used for wiring in old buildings were green, red and grey for live, neutral and earth respectively. A black wire is used to connect the isolated terminal of a light switch to the live contact of the light fitting. In modern buildings the IEC standard colour codes are now used, i.e. brown, light blue and green/yellow.

Fused plugs or fused sockets are not found. Wall sockets in 'damp spaces' (such as kitchens or garages) are of the 16 ampere, two-pin 'Schuckert' type which use side contacts for earth. These sockets are unpolarised and accept two round pins 5 mm in diameter spaced about 19 mm apart.Otherwise, in most other rooms of the dwelling (living room, bedrooms) the unpolarised two-pin power sockets (two pins 4 mm diameter, 19 mm spacing) have no earth connection, and are rated at 10 A. Double-insulated appliances are popular here so the the lack of an earth is not really (regarded as)of a safety hazard. Light sockets are the edison screw-cap variety, which are polarised. The neutral wire should be connected to the outer contact ring and the black (switched) wire to the centre contact.

Shaver points in bathrooms are protected by transformers and switches (for lights and other appliances) are operated by pulling an insulated cord. It is not uncommon for a washing machine to be installed in the bathroom; these are installed as fixed equipment which is permanently wired to ground and also to the supply, via an isolator. Approved water-tight fittings have to be used for this type of installation.

Central heating pipes, water pipes and metal kitchen sinks are grounded. (Some water undertakings use main supply pipes of plastic so a water pipe is not a reliable ground.) Three phase supplies are quite common in dwellings where permanently connected heavy loads (such as water boilers) have to be supplied.

One last point, not strictly technical. The custom and practice here is to take all electrical light fittings with you when you move house. The new owner (or tenant) will be welcomed by bare wires, hanging out of the ceiling roses. Lights are mechanically supported by a small hook mounted in the ceiling and the electrical connections are made using 'Belling-Lee' type (chocolate-block) screw terminals, obtainable from most hardware stores.

I don't know if this might be the article you saw, but it does say green, red, gray for hot, neutral, ground respectively. That's one very weird color code!

The page contains general notes for wiring in different countries, followed by items supplied by individual contributors.

Whoever wrote the general introductory notes for the page seems to have let a few careless mistakes slip in, but the items from other contributors seem to be much better.

Try this link for the full cached page.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-19-2002).]

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133547 08/19/02 05:40 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 381
Hutch Offline
Mention is made in the article about polarised Edison screw light fittings but how, I wonder, do they polarise table/bedside lamps using unpolarised sockets? I would think it safer to use a bayonet style of bulb in this case rather than risk the 50:50 chance of having the whole Edison screw live. Europe in general doesn't seem to care too much about swapping live and neutral.

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133548 08/20/02 04:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
This was the site I was looking for.
I wonder about the color code and the comment about the cartridge fuses. I would assume that also in Holland circuit breakers have come into use now. Also the plug is definitely called "Schuko" and not "Schuckert", short for "Schutzkontaktstecker" which means that it is a plug with a protective (ground) connector.
Also I can't believe that today Schuko outlets are only used in damp environments. The information seems to be pretty old. In Austria this was code in the 50ies and 60ies. In the 70ies they already started to mount Schuko receptacles everywhere.
The light sockets aren't polarized at all, but hard wired lights have to be. Our edison base sockets have a plastic ring covering the entire screwshell as long as a bulb is screwed in.

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133549 08/20/02 07:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
The fact that the Schuko plug is unpolarized is one of the reasons that the IEE committees here reject its adoption in the the U.K. (the other being that they're still firmly attached to the ring circuit with fused plugs). I've seen some references that indicate it has been introduced into Ireland now though.

The Italian plugs are a different style, but they're reversible too, and even though the plugs used in France are polarized, nobody seems too bothered about which way they wire the receptacles. Two-pin non-grounding plugs are reversible throughout Western Europe.

A lot of the Edison-based lampholders I've come across from Europe are designed something like this:
[Linked Image from]
[Linked Image from]

Notice that the outer electrical contact is separate from the shell, so the screw shell isn't actually connected until the lamp is screwed in. Is that typical of Austrian lampholders?

By the way, what is the literal translation of the German "Schuko" term? I've seen it translated as "Safety," but I have no idea if that's accurate.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-20-2002).]

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133550 08/20/02 10:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
The lampholder is exactly what we use in Austria. Those rated for more than 60w bulbs are made of metal and porcelaine, but look mostly the same.
As I mentioned, Schuko stands for Schutzkontakt, word by word translated this says "Schuko plug = protection connector plug" The "protection connector" (Schutzkontakt) is simply the ground connector.
( not to be mixed up with Schoko, which is short for chocolate)

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133551 08/20/02 04:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
A chocolate plug! Could be interesting! [Linked Image]

So I guess if we take the translation a little more loosely, it would be the equivalent of the American term "grounding plug," yes?

Re: Dutch Electrical Systems #133552 08/22/02 05:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
Yes, you're right.
The term "Schuckert" mentioned in the text may come from the company name "Siemens-Schuckert". I guess someone mixed up stuff here.


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