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Can someone explain the German 5 wire 230V system please?

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by Geedon, 1 Oct 2007.

  1. Geedon

    Geedon

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    Hello all and a bit new to this - but - we have a house in Germany and the wiring there seems complex with 440 230 etc.

    Most grateful for either direct explaination or hyperlink to an explaination of how the 5 wire 230v system works please?

    Many thanks ....
     
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  3. plugwash

    plugwash

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    I would guess you mean a 230/400 three phase system.

    carefully meausre the voltages with a multimeter, if you get about 400 between any two live wires and about 230 between any live wire and neutral you have a 230/400 three phase system.

    be very carefull, 400V is far nastier than 230V
     
  4. Geedon

    Geedon

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    :idea: Many thanks - yhink I'll get a local sparky to the job!!
     
  5. briwire

    briwire

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    Is it a big house. Usually 3 phase supplies are limited to larger installations or those with many motors.
     
  6. plugwash

    plugwash

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    While that is the case in the UK it is not the same everywhere. Small three phase installations seem quite common in parts of continental europe especially on older installations.
     
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  8. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    In 1972 electric showers in Germany were more often than not 3 phase as were ovens cookers and similar. I even came across 3 phase night storage heaters.

    The 3 phase shower in my friend's small Dusseldorf flat was 18 Kw until it developed a fault and for a few minutes dribbled a shower of molten plastic.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve

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    What about in 1973? :LOL:
     
  10. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The new one in my friends flat was 3 phase in 1973 :evil:

    And there is probably even more 3 phase domestic installed now in this year of 20xx
     
  11. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    And from what I understand reading the IEE forum is that prospective fault currents are lower on the continent... well if you've only got a max of 30A/40A fuses even for the service fuses, then it doesn't matter if your PFC is not a handful of KAs! Apparently equipment thats pretty reactive that works fine over in germany may suffer from its power switch burning out over here due to higher inrush! (which was the subject of the thread)

    Oh in ref to the OP, and its 4-wire, not 5... we only generally only count the live ones (which includes neutral) ;) The good news of course, is to get a 400v shock you have to be quite careless and touch two things that you shouldn't as opposed to just one for 230v :)
     
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