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Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by Stewart Somerville, 27 May 2020.

  1. Stewart Somerville

    Stewart Somerville

    27 May 2020
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I rewired my 100 year old Edwardian house ( I am not qualified but I became a Electrician Assistant for a month to help with the costs). In that month I moaned and complained about pulling cables through floorboards and fitting very cramped dual sockets and having to follow exact regulations to get the sparks to "sign off" the job. NEVER AGAIN WILL I COMPLAIN. having moved to Portugal and started to refurb a 15yr old property! I have never ever seen such a crappy cheap and nasty and un-safe pile of cheap plastic crap. Wall boxes and sockets crumble in your hand, the wires come loose from their useless fixings, everything is on long spurs with not a thought to the load on that spur. They use the MCB as a default safety net "don't worry if you put to much load it will trip". I cannot understand the rules that the EU put in place when most of these Med based countries just ignore them. Well that's off my chest now. Thanks for reading.
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  3. I can't comment on wiring standards from a professional perspective, I also I have no doubt, indeed I know that the electrical forum professionals here often detail appalling bodges and / or shoddy, downright dangerous work in the UK.

    But I've certainly seen plenty of things that look pretty iffy on the continent.

    Malta has some interesting wiring, I'm not entirely convinced plastic bags over sockets really meet an IP rating. Then there's the local distro system, can't say whether it's safe or not, but it's a hell of a mess.

    Went somewhere, I forget where it was, but the exposed wires in the shower cubicle were a bit off putting.

    Then there was the cable being laid to a new Spanish villa, I don't know if depth of burying cables vary across the EU, but the approx 1 inch depth they were using seems a little optimistic to me. That said I don't know if the guy doing it would have described himself as an electrician.
  4. winston1


    11 Jan 2010
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    How did you manage to get UK sparks to lie? To "sign off" a job they sign to say they designed and installed it.
  5. EFLImpudence


    7 Jul 2010
    Thanks Received:
    Retired to:
    Mine haven't. All Schuko so Germany must be the same.
    I must admit I like the accessories here more.

    Not everything can be on a spur. Not sure what you mean about the load.

    The same as UK socket circuits.

    Are there EU-wide regulations? Presumably not or the UK would have been following them and not have their own.
    Portugal is not on the Med.

    I think perhaps a lack of understanding on your part could be clouding your judgement.
  6. ericmark


    27 Jan 2008
    Thanks Received:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
    United Kingdom
    It happens in every country, what the electrician can get away with is more the cass to what regulations require, but if you live in xxxx you know the electrical system is rubbish so you use a lot of care. We have knife switches, exposed live parts, but very few accidents as we knew they were dangerous. As we make things safer we get it must be safe or it would not be allowed altitude, we don't take reasonable care.

    If I climb a mountain I do not expect hand rails, but expect them at viewing point, why?
  7. FrodoOne


    20 Feb 2017
    Thanks Received:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Since you are in a "forum" entitled "Electrics Outside of the UK" and you mentioned Portugal, I presume that you are in that country.

    It is quite interesting that many countries may seem to have "crappy" installation procedures - as compared to countries with other installation procedures.

    Now, please let me tell you a tale.
    Once upon a time there was a little country which learned all of its engineering (including Electrical procedures) from its "motherland".
    It came about (in the 1930s) that certain persons in that country realised that electrical safety could be "improved" if all "metallic" electrical appliances had their "outsides" connected to a "protective earth" connection - which was "apart" from the conductors "feeding" electricity to the device concerned.
    These "pioneers" looked about the world for a design which would (cheaply) allow a "Three Pin" connection.
    They found it in an obsolete US (non-patented or patent expired) device.

    You may have the joy of looking this up in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AS/NZS_3112 and in http://members.iinet.net.au/~cool386/plug/plug.html, to see how this saga continued.
    That little country (Australia) introduced a "requirement" that Electrical Plug/Socket connections should be "Three Pin" of a certain design.
    (It may have been the first country to do so.)
    (Of course, other things were specified concerning Electrical Safety in that country, but that is another story.)

    That country has now to gone on to REQUIRE that all new or extended domestic circuits be "protected" via RCDs/RCBOs at the "Switch Board"/CU/Panel.

    It is rather interesting that the country concerned (Australia) has NEVER seen the need to specify that a "pattress" box be installed where it was not necessary, because of masonry construction.
    (We in Australia stand amazed that such are the "requirements" in both UK and North American wiring practices - to what end, we do not know.)

    While BS 1363 and the "Ring Circuit" may have been useful as a "post wartime measure", the "Ring Circuit" is really well past its "use by date".
    While "Ring" circuits are "allowed" in the UK, there are very few other countries where such configurations are "allowed". (In most countries they are prevented.)

    While all of those "Ring Circuits" may be "Grandfathered", future circuits in the UK should only be direct connections from the CU - and I will NOT call them "Spurs".
    One may but hope that the UK will yet "catch up" with the rest of the world!

    (Let the argument begin.)
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2020
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