ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Potseal 11
Recent Posts
1913 American Electrician's Handbook
by annemarie1. 07/27/17 03:10 PM
600 KW 120/208 3 Phase Y protection
by Yooperup. 07/24/17 12:20 PM
Green House wiring
by ghost307. 07/20/17 09:10 AM
Permit Snafus...AHJs and Contractors Jump in
by HotLine1. 07/18/17 08:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
Housebilding DIY wiring
Popular Topics(Views)
239,374 Are you busy
174,828 Re: Forum
167,220 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 59 guests, and 4 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#133419 - 07/31/02 06:03 PM French domestic installation  
robb  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2
I own a house in France with an old 3 phase installation, which has a variety of different switches, fuses and power outlets.

I would like to rewire the house to current (french) standards, but I have not been able to find any information either in French or English. Is anybody able to point me in the right direction?

Test Equipment:
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement

#133420 - 08/01/02 07:40 AM Re: French domestic installation  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Hello Rob,

I tried to track down similar information a couple of years ago, and also found it quite difficult.

I believe our own IEE used to carry an English version of the French wiring rules handbook. I can't track it down on their website, but it might be worth asking if it's still available. The e-mail address is, or telephone (020) 7240-1871. (Be warned, their publications are not cheap!)

Another place you might try is Legrand Electric in Dunstable. I recall seeing their catalog of foreign fittings and it included a few pages in the front with some general wiring information on France and Germany. (I'm afraid I no longer have a copy; this was 2 or 3 years ago.) I can't find a contact e-mail address on their website, but it might be worth giving them a call -- (01582) 676767.

I can't quote all the detailed information on current French standards, but I can give you a few general pointers that I've gleaned from various sources and discussions while over there.

As in the U.K. and unlike most of Europe, they run separate circuits for lighting and sockets. Lighting circuits are generally fed from a 10A C/B and run with 1.5 sq. mm cable. Branch circuits for sockets are the radial type (no British rings!) and fed from a 16 or 20A breaker and run in 2.5 sq. mm cable. Outlets are limited to 8 per circuit (a duplex counts as one).

Dedicated circuits are run for large appliances, such as washing machine, fixed wall heaters, etc. An electric range/cooker will most likely be 3-phase.

As TT earthing (i.e. earthed only to a local rod) is employed, the installation has to be protected by a main RCD. Don't quote this as definite, but I believe the current rules (at least those of EDF) require it to be 500mA trip or less. I believe also that all outlets in a bathroom, including lights and fixed appliances, have to be fed via a 30mA RCD.

One British engineer who was working in Paris reported that they are now installing double-pole breakers which open the neutral as well, although I'm not sure if that is an actual requirement now.

By the way, in which part of France is your house? I've been thinking about finding a place in the Charente/Dordogne region.

#133421 - 08/01/02 04:43 PM Re: French domestic installation  
robb  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2
[Linked Image] Thanks very much for your information. I will follow up your suggestions. I feel that the current installation, although it looks sound, leaves much to be desired on the safety front. e.g. a mixture of 2 pin and 3 pin outlets.

My house is in the Gironde (Monsegur), near the border with Lot et Garonne and Dordogne. In the Bordeaux and Entre Deux Mers wine appellations.

#133422 - 08/02/02 06:47 AM Re: French domestic installation  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Yes, there's a lot that I like about France, but their wiring often leaves something to be desired! The cavalier attitude some of them have to home wiring is quite amazing, especially considering that there's 380 volts floating around! [Linked Image]

I'd be interested to know if you have any joy with the IEE or Legrand, if you have the time to come back and post a message.

By the way, if you are changing your usage of power (e.g. installing or removing electric heating or something similar) it would probably be a good idea to review your tariff with EDF (I'm assuming you are with EDF and not one of the small independents).

As you're probably aware, EDF has a bewildering range of different tariff structures with a standing charge that varies with the max. power rating of your service, along with complex variable rates such as "Option Tempo."

If you haven't seen it already, the Electricite de France website is at:

Bon chance!

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-02-2002).]

Member Spotlight
Posts: 421
Joined: September 2005
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.017s Queries: 14 (0.005s) Memory: 0.7619 MB (Peak: 0.8960 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-28 17:00:34 UTC