MY Electrical Installation in Bulgaria

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theweeton
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Postby theweeton » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:17 am

My house was rewired by a "Local Bulgarian Master Builder" who excels in plastrering. As part of the Westernization of the property, the house was rewired using a combination of ring mains and separate circuits for things like water heater shower and oven. As part of the work the old fuse box was replaced by a modern box with trip switches and an isolation switch. Although I was present throughout all the work and we discussed everything before he started my only imput was location of switches and plugs as he already knew all about ring circuits and what various appliances drew.

This guy was a general builder not a qualified electrician and his work is excellent he even still reminds me when I see him in the bar to give the plugs a quick tweak before they fall off.

To my knowledge and I am no electrician although I am qualified to do PAT testing in the U.K. and yes I do not have C&G 3.2377 :D Ring circuits have have no more added safety than individual circuits and in fact they can be more more of a risk to those who do not know what outlet is on what ring.

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Postby Anni » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:19 am

I know nothing about electricity supplies and am findiing this thread rather fascinating.

I can't believe that in all the years I moved around different European countries my life was in constant danger due to their unsafe electricity wiring. There was me thinking my biggest worry was everyone driving on the wrong side of the road :lol:

I could never understand why all my UK appliances had a wire with three smaller bits of coloured wire in which I had to fix the plug on, but only two places to put them into in all the other countries plugs. Now I know that all these countries were playing russian roulette with my life, I need to go and take a tablet and lie down in a darkened room. I may well be there for a few days as one of the cities I lived in was Brussels packed full of Eurocrats writing diktats for the people!

How could I have been so foolish :lol: :lol:

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Postby Moscow_Wolf » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:48 pm

seathrift wrote:However, so far as I am aware all of Europe works on a 2 pin system. Not being an Electrician I do not know if this is good or bad, but it would seem from this the conclusion that the UK system is the only safe installation, might be overstating the case.
There is no doubt that a lot of BG wiring leaves much to be desired, but so far as I can see a properly wired 2 pin system is as safe as any other. I believe both systems have their drawbacks if misused or not properly wired. I should be interested to hear from anyone who knows different.
Further I should like to know what might be the view of an insurance company if a serious claim is made. To say the UK system exceeds the BG legal requirements might take some proving or even be inadmissable I think. Especially given the, reportedly, somewhat doubtful honesty of some involved in the law in BG.


I'm no expert either, but when you say 'Two Pin' as in plugs then from what I recall there are two types. The older and more acceptable earthed German/European two pin plug and those Bakelite type non earthed Eastern Bloc ones. We used to snip the sides out of them with pliers so we could connect them to earthed two pin extension sockets although, you could force the European ones into an Eastern Bloc extension lead if you could find one. Lets not forget that during the period of Communism there were no where near as many electrical apparatus at home as we are used to back home so, they didn't require as many sockets as we're used too nor, did they consume as much power as we do so the fuses were all set lower. The first test in any Moscow flat was to switch the iron or electric kettle on together with a fan heater and see if the fuses blew or tripped. They usually did. :roll:

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:55 pm

Without going in to too much detail,what happens in a 2 wire system when the live touches say the metal casing of an appliance.Surely with no earth it becomes live.What protection is given by the system?I am just about to rewire my house and am alarmed by some of the previous posts
With ring mains we use2.5 twin and earth why use radials which would require 4mm.
I would be interested in feedback and do the job in accordance to Bg regs rather than I.E.E

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Postby bigbulg » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:13 pm

Its ok using twin and earth if you have something to earth too. a metal spike in the ground isn't enough.

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Postby Moscow_Wolf » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 pm

bigbulg wrote:Its ok using twin and earth if you have something to earth too. a metal spike in the ground isn't enough.


But surely it is better than nothing? My spike was only placed to earth out the Dishwasher and it appears to be doing the trick as the Wife is not getting any more tingles from it, I have to provide them now! :lol:

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Thanks,
Still not answered my question.What protection do you have on a 2 wire system?

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:28 pm

Furtermore a conventional fuse would not blow,a voltage operated breaker would not trip,an Rcd would have to see 30ma out of balance to trip.
Is no earh provided by the electrical supplier?

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Postby BigDanny » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:59 pm

Hi VT,
The bulgarian electric supply system I have seen in villages and town houses is essentially earthed at the electric pole that supplies your house, normally where the meter is, if it has been replaced recently.
So for a single phase (domestic ) supply there will be two wires entering your house to your fuse box. Live and Neutral. So all your earthing goes down the same wire as the neutral.
I believe that because of the increased distance from your house to the electric pole that this can increase the time for your trip switches (ordinary 100 millisecond) to operate.
If you decide to upgrade your fuse box to having a 30 millisecond trip then you will need to use 2 wire and earth on your system AND to be safer to have an earth spike a small distance away from you house. I am not an electrician but this I think needs to be at least 3 or 5 metres away from the house. What I will be doing with my installation I am doing for my workshop is have 2 or 3 spikes tied together but about a meter apart and arrange them so any run off from a nearby gutter will soak away in that area. The deeper these spikes the better and also be carefull if your soil is very free draining ie sandy as this will dry out quicker.

If you only upgrade the trip switch to a 30 millisecond trip and keep the existing 2 wires then this will not work. The trip will go off every time you put something in the socket. You can temporarily tie the earth to the neutral that supplies your house but is temporary. Is best to have earth spike.

In the UK domestic supply is normally earthed at the transformer which supplies you street or neighbourhood and is made from very thick copper and about 15 to 30 metres deep.
Hope this helps
Danny

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:10 pm

The perfect answer!!!that is what is done with rural properties in the uk.
Regards,and many thanks,you need a feed to earth somehow


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