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Adding UK sockets on a spur in France

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by prhambly, 2 Jul 2015.

  1. prhambly

    prhambly

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    Hi all,

    I have a workshop in a house in France. It has been sorted out electrically by a very reliable local sparky, and is all safe and up-to-date. What I want, though, is some UK sockets, because 99% of my tools have UK sockets and it's a pain having to use adaptors all the time. Ideally, I'd like 3 double 13A sockets. Obviously my French sparky won't install UK equipment. (C'est plus que le valeur de mon emploi….)

    The options are either run spurs off the existing french sockets, (which are themselves on a couple of spurs - the French don't go in for ring mains) OR create a new spur from the consumer unit, by bunging in a new MCB. For logistic reasons, I am attracted to the second option.

    There is physical space in the CU for a new RCB. Otherwise the existing spur has 2 double french sockets in series. I'm not there at present so can't check the amps rating on the existing MCB to the sockets.

    So the question is:

    a) spur off existing sockets
    b) new circuit from CU
    c) stop whining and carry on with adaptors

    Thanks in anticipation...
     
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  3. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    UK and French standards are Euro Norm harmonised, so you can install to either standard and be compliant. I don't know whether you can mix standards on the same installation (or circuit). I know the French are fussy about having continuously-sheathed earth and I think they also dislike reduced cpc conductor size.

    Mais technically, il n'y a pas de problem en connecting les sockets britannique a un circuit radial de 16 ou 20 amperes. Make sure they have les switches double pole parce que les francais sont ne too fussy pas about le polarite de supply.
     
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  4. plugwash

    plugwash

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    What I would try and do is make sure all the wiring meets french standards and the only "UK" thing about it is the sockets on the end. That way if you ever come to sell the place you can easilly swap the sockets for french ones.

    I can't see anything wrong with either adding more sockets to the existing circuits or adding a new one.
     
  5. winston1

    winston1

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    I very much doubt that. If that is the case you would have to have something plugged into both and they would share the 220 v between them.

    I also doubt that 99% of your tools have UK sockets on them, more likely UK plugs.

    Putting UK sockets on a French system would be frowned upon. Why not use a couple of UK 4 way blocks with a French plug on the end.

    Better still fit French plugs to the 99% of your tools, after all you are living in France.
     
  6. winston1

    winston1

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    There are rules such as the max number of sockets on a line, either 5 or 8 depending on MCB and cable size.
     
  7. prhambly

    prhambly

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    Merci monsieur. Yes, I've always been amazed at that polarity thing. It's a bit like not being too bothered which side of the road to drive on. Just to confirm - you'd recommend a double pole switch just for the new circuit? There is a double pole switch in the main CU already. Will that not suffice?
     
  8. winston1

    winston1

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    If you really must fit UK sockets in spite of all the advice given, they don't need double pole switches or even be switched types at all. What is really important is that you connect the right terminal to the live side of the supply so that the plug fuse is in the live side.
    In France live is (usually) red, neutral is blue, and earth is green/yellow.
     
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  10. Astra99

    Astra99

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    Winston1 wrote:
    In France live is (usually) red, neutral is blue, and earth is green/yellow.

    Eh?? What about harmonisation of colours. Surely France must comply as well? Ou, peut-être, non, ce n'est pas la peine.

    My response would be as stated earlier by Winston1. Put a "froggy" plug on a 4 or 6 way trailer (or several) and use that to plug in your tools. (Just check that the froggy socket IS correctly wired with a socket testing plug (cheap from a=many suppliers including CPC)
    And Owain, tu parles franglas très bien. :lol
     
  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Unless, of course, it is an AC circuit and the polarity changes 100 times a second, and you use two-pin plugs, in which case polarity is not what you mean.
     
  12. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    A pole is one side or node in a circuit. Poles can be AC ( Phase and Anti phase ) ( Phase and Neutral) or DC ( Positive and Ov ) ( Negative and Ov,) ( Positive and Negative )

    The names / description used for the poles depend on how the voltage is measured and whether any part of the circuit is connected to anything else such as ground.

    Does a 9 volt battery have a plus 9 volt terminal and a minus 9 volt terminal. ? The difference between plus 9 and minus 9 is 18 so it would be an 18 volt battery ( with a centre tap to provide the reference for measuring the ends at plus and minus 9 volts ).

    In truth a 9 volt battery has either a plus 9v terminal and a 0v terminal or a minus 9v terminal and a 0v terminal.
     
  13. rdougan

    rdougan

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    Just spur off the existing plugs. No big deal. I done the same in my workshop here in The Netherlands. I was also sick of using adaptors. If I ever move or sell the house, I'll just replace them with regular EU sockets.
     
  14. winston1

    winston1

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    I assume you mean spur off existing sockets not plugs.
    However it IS a big deal if what you are suggesting does not conform to the regs. For a start your insurance could become invalid.
     
  15. plugwash

    plugwash

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    That is rather an exaggeration.

    Ultimately designing appliances so they are safe regardless of which (if any) of their supply conductors are tied to earth is less onerous than trying to get rid of all unpolarised sockets, get rid of all supplies where neither current carrying conductor is a neutral and rewire all polarised sockets to have the same polarity.
     
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