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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 19
Arend Offline OP

I'm Arend from the Netherlands, i'm new to I like the site and the forums very much, especially the photo forums.

I decided to let you people show how a dutch metering close / breaker box setup looks like. I already saw some other countries setup.

Because the pictures are big i decided to put them on a separate webpage. You can visit them at:

I'm willing to take questions and answer them.

have fun watching.


The Netherlands

bzzzzt ;-)
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Gidday there, Arend!. [Linked Image]
Welcome to ECN. [Linked Image]
Wow, our first Electrician from the Netherlands.
What part of the country do you come from?
Those are really good pictures, you posted above.
Mike (Trumpy [Linked Image])

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 05-12-2004).]

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 39
Hi there Arend and welcome to ECN

Thanks for taking the time to show us the pics of your meter cupboard, I spent a lot of time in the Netherlands in 99,2000 and like the country a lot, my oldest son has the Euro 2000 football shirt and was the envy of his friends when he got it [Linked Image]

I would like to revisit the Netherlands on my next European excursion.

Hope you enjoy your stay at ECN and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
Hi and welcome to ECN!
Most of the pictures look really familiar, except for the sealed fuse box below the meter.
I see you use double-pole breakers too, the Germans only use single-pole breakers and take all neutrals to a neutral bar (btw, ground and earth is the same, what you mean by ground is the neutral wire).
The wire links at the bottom feeding the breakers look pretty familiar too. Not too easy to bend them nice and even...
The breakers were obviously made before introduction of the A/B/C/... rating system, they're L characteristics.

Maybe we could dig out our favorite topic of old international color codes again.
As you might know prior to harmonization about every country used its own wire colors. German.influenced countries used black grey and red (hot, neutral, ground), UK influenced is/was red, black and green,...
Back then we had a real weird and inconsistent text about the old dutch color coding. Can you give us any information on that topic?

Off to personal topics, I've never been to the Netherlands so far, but I've spent many summers with vistors from there, and I really like them. You're funky people! And once I really got to visit Amsterdam and it's tramway museum.

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 19
Arend Offline OP
Thanks for your positive replies!

Yes indeed, i confused the ground and neutral wire. Sorry.

Now we have the A (fast trip), B (normal trip), C (delayed trip), D (slow trip) breakers.

Most older breakerboxes use diazed II fuses.

Heavy industrial supply's still use a lot of diazed II or diazed III fuses.

A new mainbreaker is the D40 (sometimes C40) type or 3 times D25.

The breakers in our metering closet are older. As you can see they are labeled 220V, we already have 230V over here (i measure about 226V). an "old" L-breaker acts the same as a B-breaker now does.

As far as i know, we now have

hot = brown
neutral = blue
earth = yellow/green
switchwire = black

and in 3 phase systems: (as of 1 january 2006 !!!)

phase 1 = brown
phase 2 = black
phase 3 = grey

before that time:

phase 1 = brown
phase 2 = black
phase 3 = black with white line

and really old (pre 1970's).

hot = green
neutral = red
earth = grey
switchwire = black

as you can see this is really dangerous, make the hot wire red seems much more safer to me, don't know why they did it this way back then.

in 3 phase systems they used red, yellow, blue (don't know in which order).



bzzzzt ;-)
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 156

Is your neutral bonded to the earth ground at the panel? I have a previous post on Russian wiring with this same question and I wondered how your system is set up.



Joined: May 2004
Posts: 19
Arend Offline OP
The PoCo cable that enters into the PoCo fuse box has a metallic shield, 4 power-wires and 2 control wires.

The metal shield is earth, the 4 wires are: 3 phases and a neutral.

In our home we have our own groun rod. The incoming Neutral and Earth (shield) are connected to eachother and this is our neutral.

So we get Neutral + Phase from the PoCo and the earth from our own ground rod.

Hope this explains it,


bzzzzt ;-)
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Hi Arend,

Welcome to ECN, and many thanks for the photos.

A few things jump out as seeming quite unusual, as seen from a British perspective.

First, the ground rod actually being driven from inside the house looks very strange. We would normally locate the rod (if used) immediately outside a convenient wall. How long are your ground rods, by the way? It looks as though a fair length of it is not actually in the ground.

Your method of connecting the ground rod to the bar in the distribution panel also looks very odd, as does the section of conductor which zig-zags across the board between two sections of conduit.

There no reason why double-pole breakers (opening neutral as well) cannot be used here, but to do so would be very unusual.

A single-phase 25A service in a modern home is unheard of here. There are a few old 40A services still in use, and I even came across an old 30A service a couple of years ago, but 60 to 100A is the norm for domestic services, with main cables of at least 16 sq. mm. The use of 3-phase with such small service conductors as 4 or 6 sq. mm seems very odd, although similar to many other European countries.

I can see that you have a dedicated branch circuit for a washing machine. I'm guessing that "vaatwassar" is a water heater, but what else is that on circuit #4? Is #5 a dedicated outlet for a microwave oven?

On the color-code issue, here's a link to the long discussion we had about this some time ago:

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 05-13-2004).]

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 50
I am glad my Guys didn't do your cupboard Arend..I would be very pissed at the way the conduits have been installed..uneven bend radii, none symetric saddles, copper showing at the terminals is the worst sin I can see there.

I could carry on, but then standards of work are often a personal thing, and I demand a lot of my Guys due to our clients.

I'll shut up now [Linked Image]

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 112
Yep have to agree with FWL ,, not the neatest fuse board i have seen,, [Linked Image]anyway whats the truncheon in the corner for??

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