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FPE in Germany
by andey - 12/09/19 01:49 PM
Do you count seconds?
by gfretwell - 12/05/19 07:36 PM
"Esoteric" countries and their wiring practices?
by Texas_Ranger - 12/02/19 10:52 AM
Look at this mess...
by NORCAL - 11/15/19 10:21 PM
New in the Gallery:
FPE in Germany pt.2
FPE Breaker panel in germany
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Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217793 11/21/16 03:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,123
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Tex:
Looking at the second pic has my head spinning. Are those breakers listed/rated for two conductors terminated at the load side lug?

The conductor colors is mind blowing to me (a old US guy)

I have to look around for a US FPE panel, with some branch CBs to show you what I refer to as "half size". Basically, the buss accepts either one full size (1" approx.) OR two (2) 'half size" (1/2" approx.).

As soon as I come upon one, I'll take some pics and get them up here. No idea when, but as soon as I find one.

Thanks for all the info!! And, stay safe.


John
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Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217796 11/22/16 08:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,458
T
Texas_Ranger Offline OP
Member
Doubling lugs on breakers without even asking about ratings is a time-honoured tradition in Austria and Germany so I honestly don't know what FPE had to say about these. General consensus seems to be that two wires of the same size and type (solid or stranded) are reasonably safe but occasionally you see bodge jobs with up to five wires per terminal.

The colours are indeed mind-boggling to anyone, apparently most of the conductors are sleeved for some reason. The grey neutral and red earth conductors conform to the German standards of the era, as do the black, blue and black phases at the main switch. Green was an acceptable phase colour but not used in cable manufacturing, only for conduit singles.

For some strange reason there were two colour coding schemes used at the same time, one for general LV wiring and one for distribution (including low voltage up to the meter or panel). The former specified grey neutral or PEN, red earth (from 1958 onwards) and any colour for phases (although red and grey were only supposed to be used as phases where no earth or neutral was present in the same cable or conduit). The latter system specified yellow, green and purple phases and black PEN/neutral and later grey and even later blue neutrals were used, although with the introduction of blue neutrals and yellow/green earths yellow and green were no longer supposed to be used.

I think now I know what you mean by full and half-size breakers though. Is that what you've got in the bottom row to the right here?

http://inspectapedia.com/fpe/Hemm/FPEHemm09.jpg

Mind you, I've never seen one of these contraptions in real life (thankfully!), only on the internet!

Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217797 11/22/16 02:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,123
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Tex:

Yes sir, that is the FPE ones I refer to.

They rated panels as "12-24" which translated into 12 full or 24 half size (commonly called 'thins')

GE was another that used the same terminology with full & half size. Some other mfgs had really crazy 'combo' half size that had a double pole, and 2 single poles. If I remember correctly it was Murray or Bryant.



John
Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217805 11/23/16 05:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 55
A
andey Offline
Member
What an interesting thread!
Horrible work in the second panel picture!

Two wires in one lug, that give every american sparky sweaty Hands: only illegal for neutral and ground bars in panels here (Germany, neighbour of Austria).
As for the breakers: The manufacturers decide if you may put in two wires. Most of them allow it. No legal problem then. If the wires are inserted the correct way, not any technical risk either.


@Texas_Ranger: Good to see you are still here! Greetings to Austria!

Last edited by andey; 11/23/16 05:17 AM.
Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217807 11/23/16 10:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,458
T
Texas_Ranger Offline OP
Member
Actually I was under the impression that most manufacturers only allow two wires per terminal under very specific circumstances (one 10 and one 6 mm2 in terminals rated for 16 mm2 mainly) but that info isn't easy to get so I might be wrong.

The second picture definitiely has some oddities, such as the sleeving on almost all conductors (compare the thickness of the loose blue wire on the bottom-right to the other conductors (that wire shouldn't have been left hanging there anyway). You can spot the sleeving in other places too, e.g. the green on the third MCB from the bottom on the left that suddenly changes to black and the neutral on the far right that suddenly changes from green to grey or possibly blue.

The spliced neutral with that choc block isn't supposed to be like that either. Then there are those two green wires spliced to blue ones fed straight from the main switch, which is very likely illegal too (unless there is a 10 or 16 A fuse upstream, in that case the whole board would be useless). The coiled up neutrals and earths don't look too good but aren't technically violations.
All MCBs seem to be L 10 amp.

The whole thing just looks batshit crazy to me!

Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217809 11/23/16 02:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,123
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Tex:
This relates only to the neutral bars here in USA

"408.41 Grounded Conductor Terminations. Each grounded
conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual
terminal that is not also used for another conductor.
Exception: Grounded conductors of circuits with parallel
conductors shall be permitted to terminate in a single terminal
if the terminal is identified for connection of more
than one conductor."

There may/may not be a specific NEC Article concerning CBs, however, it's 1 conductor terminated per lug/screw. UNLESS the mfg instructions say otherwise. The only one that I a aware of for two (2) conductors terminating at one SP CB is Square D. (QO/QOB and others). The lugs are rated/listed for two (2) conductors.

BTW, in pic #2, the red conductor, lower left appears to being used to 'bond' the panel backbox, left lower stud??

Stay safe


John
Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #217813 11/24/16 04:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,458
T
Texas_Ranger Offline OP
Member
More or less the same wording applies to neutral and earth bus bars in Austria and Germany. Circuit breakers are entirely left to the manufacturers though.

And yes, the red (earth by pre-1965 German standards) obviously bonds the enclosure.

Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #218856 11/19/17 07:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,458
T
Texas_Ranger Offline OP
Member
Now it gets truly fascinating! Pictures of MCBs clearly marked "FPE StabLok" but mounted to a DIN rail and with line-side screw terminals and wire jumpers instead of bus bars!

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.ne...2d6c493f3471ff1654c680cf&oe=5A9AC118

Note the loose unused cable on the left. The three 40 A breakers (bottom-right) seem to serve as splice blocks, I don't see anything connected to the load side. Another truly crazy install!

Here's a closer view:
https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.ne...4788203eabd5a44fda06fb0d&oe=5AAA5879

Now we've got the most common trip curves of the day, H (for household circuits, e.g. lighting and sockets in high loop impedance TN supplies, very fast-acting magnetic trip), L (for general lighting circuits, short-circuit trip identical to modern B) and G (very sensitive thermal overload and generous short-circuit trip, designed for high inrush currents). 40 A wasn't a standard size at that time though, only 35 and 50. The plot thickens!

Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #219006 01/10/18 08:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 55
A
andey Offline
Member
Ah, there they are! I live in a house in Germany that had a 1963 labeled FPE meter / fuse panel. It hat DIN Rails and matching bakelite housings with 1980s BBC (now ABB) breakers installed, but I always thought it must have come with FPE din rail breakers. Now I know how they must have looked, thanks Texas_Ranger

Last edited by andey; 01/10/18 08:49 AM.
Re: FPE in Germany [Re: Texas_Ranger] #219081 01/17/18 05:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,458
T
Texas_Ranger Offline OP
Member
Cool! I wonder how many of these StabLoks were actually sold, the company doesn't seem to have been around for long!

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