I plan to relocate my meter and stumbled over some requirements I thought I'd share with you. Basic task is easy enough. Relocate meter from inside the apartment into the stairway and install panel inside the apartment next to the new meter location (hallway). An electrician would probably charge helluva sum for chanelling, wiring and plastering so we decided on tackling the job ourselves. The electrician told us just to go on and wire everything, he'd inspect it and give in the completion note for resealing of the meter. We got the following requirements. 1) Meter feeders have to be 6mm2 min, regardless of the pre-meter fuses (that are only 20A in this case). 3ph has to be 10mm2 min. 2) Meter feeders have to be black, blue and yellow/green, tails from meter to panel have to be brown instead of black. 3) ANY circuit has to be protected with a 30mA RCD. 4) There must not be ANY ungrounded receptacles connected to the service, the wiring has to be up to code. That means I have to fit a new RCD into the old panel. However, old MCBs were bigger than modern ones, the result is 2 gaping holes in the panel cover. The electrician told me: Well, they have touchproof terminals, just leave the hole open. Or glue something in front of it if you don't like the look. Still figuring out how to ground the receptacle that feeds the living room TV (wired with Romex buried in plaster). Guess I'd be better of disconnecting it and resorting to a nearby Schuko receptacle or hoping he doesn't look behind the turkish wall covering that covers said receptacle. I _love_ codes! At least I can add 2 circuits reusing the old Diazed panel and don't have to buy a new, bigger MCB panel.
The colors are intended to make the load and line side wires easier to distinguish. Black stands for normal phase, brown usually means a switched phase. Covers don't help much in this case. The new RCD is exactly the same width but leaves a big gap at the top and bottom. Looks like cardboard and scotch tape, maybe some kind of sheet plastic instead of the cardboard. The house was built in 1913 and parts of the original wires are still in use. In our case there are 2 ungrounded receptacles that were rewired in the 60ies or 70ies, meaning the wiring is still perfectly safe, only without a ground. In one case the conduit has 2 90 degree bends so I can't get a ground through, the other one is wired with 2w Romex buried in plaster. I don't really care for rewiring them since they only serve stuff like table lamps, TV, VCR,... and there are plenty of Schuko receptacles around if I need to plug in something grounded. The pro version would be to run a 4mm2 ground wire along the baseboards and up to the receptacles, but I neither like working with 4 mm2 solid nor having yellow/green wires running up my walls. Besides I'm a bit nostalgic. What gets me a bit about the RCD requirement is that I have to dump the old 100mA RCD that perfectly fits the panel. And it still works perfectly, even though it's 25 years old. We test it frequently, and it always tripped on occasional ground faults when plugging in faulty equipment. In Germany only bathroom receptacles have to be RCD-protected. The last electrician we had just hooked up the meter, even though the wiring was horrible, and there were 2 Schuko receptacles in the entire appartment. Anyway, that guy retired since, so we can't call him any more.
Re: Meter relocation requirements in Austria#136373 04/13/0310:12 PM04/13/0310:12 PM
It's a 100m2 apartment, not a house. Heating and hot water is natural gas. Anything else would require a much bigger feed. For example, an electric heating system for an apartment of this size, installed in the 1950ies or 60ies already had 35A 3ph, dedicated service just for the heating. The 6mm2 single phase are just for lights and general purpose Schuko receptacles, plus washing machine and dishwasher (draw less than 3500W each and are wired on dedicated 16A circuits).
Today the electrician came by to inspect our work, he just took a short look and went away to send in the completion note. Saved us nearly 2000 Euro doing the work ourselves. However, I hope I'll never have to work with 6mm2 solid again. That stuff is a bit too solid for me. Bending it around the terminal screws was a pain.
Re: Meter relocation requirements in Austria#136375 04/14/0305:22 PM04/14/0305:22 PM
Ranger, Thanks for the reply on that one! . I understand fully now. I can see what you mean about the 6mm, I would have thought that 6mm would have stranded conductors, it must be REALLY hard to bend!, and getting it around a terminal screw would be a real nightmare, would make you wish that your board had tunnel terminals. Even so, Ranger, you must be pretty impressed with the savings, $2000 is a lot of money in anybody's currency!.
Re: Meter relocation requirements in Austria#136376 04/14/0305:38 PM04/14/0305:38 PM
Paul, Everything from 1.5mm is stranded over here, have worked on 1.5 and 2.5mm Solid in older installations, its a nuisance to twist both stranded and solid together, especially if you've got 2 solids and one stranded!
Re: Meter relocation requirements in Austria#136378 04/15/0304:48 AM04/15/0304:48 AM
10mm2 and up stranded here. I had to bend the wires around the terminals of the old Diazed pre-meter fuses. If I had used stranded I'd have had to use crimp-on connectors as you can't just wrap a stranded conductor of that size around a screw. I don't have the crimping tools, so I was glad I just had tot ake out my nose pliers. I have absolutely no problem working with 1.5 and 2.5 mm2 solid, even 4mm2 works ok, but 6mm2 is a bit hefty. At least I didn't get shocked on 230V like the stupid sparky who hooked up our last meter feeder. First thing we nearly didn't get the old feeders out of the meter, one of the screw heads had gone down the drain, but with a bit of hammering against the screwdriver we got it turning again.
OT for those who know or use the European cable designations: Do you use NYIF? In Austria it was used a lot before round NYM came up and the Germans still use it. However, it has become helluva expensive.