MY Electrical Installation in Bulgaria

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:33 pm

Sorry to be a pain but the incoming cables to my house look small.Bearing this in mind can they be upgraded as they seem to only have the capacity of about 3 Kw.
Many thanks to all on this thread!!!

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Postby BigDanny » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:18 pm

Normally the Fuse on the Electric Meter will be 63 Amps, This will normally ,, or should normally use 2x 6mm cable. If it is a small cable than this then you may have probs when you start to switch on multiple appliances. If the distance is greater than 25 metres from meter to your fuse box then you may want to install larger cable to compensate for the voltage drop.
It depends on your village but most villages will have 5 or 6 Kw, but depending on location may be more or less. YOur Electric company will know this.
If you want this cable replacing with a larger one then the charge with CEZ is around 23 levs plus you need to supply cable and wire and ties for it to be tied up with.
Hope this helps

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Postby vt » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:52 pm


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Postby xt600 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:40 pm

Seedy wrote:
xt600 wrote:Your analogy is rather silly too, if I may say so. Anyone working in the Uk would obviously be expected to work to the required standard in the UK. However, they would not be lambasted for exceeding those standards!


And BTW, I've also fitted my woodburner according to the strict building regulations now present in the UK, I suppose this is folly to is it??.


What a load of tosh! The question of "exceeding UK standards" is both subjective and irrelevant. In case you haven't noticed (the language and alphabet MIGHT be a clue), Bulgaria isn't the UK; adhering to, or "exceeding", UK practice doesn't make an electrical installation in another country acceptable, let alone better. Following/exceeding the UK Building Regs in Bulgaria is all well and good insofar as they meet the required local standards but to ignore any local law because one decides that the locals are ignorant and undeveloped is unacceptably arrogant. Moreover, not to declare to your insurance company that your handiwork deliberately ignores local regulations is a breach of the terms of your policy and arguably fraud; it certainly constitutes good grounds for refusing any claims. I can't imagine why anyone would be so foolish as to behave in this way - if you want to show how clever you are, what's wrong with meeting and exceeding local good practice, for goodness' sake?


Seedy, just because someone decides to spend time in Bulgaria, doesn't mean they have to adopt all the things that are wrong or sub-standard in the country, when given a choice.
I don't go to Bg to drive dangerously around blind corners on the wrong side of the road, with my kids rolling about inside the car...or to be horribly cruel to animals, or any other practice that is clearly wrong in the eyes of any sane human being! Similarly, I make no apology for wiring my house in a way which I know is the safest, and if happened to have insurance for my house, I'm pretty sure that any potential claim which arose would not be as the result of dodgy wiring!
You clearly don't have enough electrical knowledge to understand my argument so for that reason there's obviously no point having this conversation with you any longer :)

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Postby xt600 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:04 pm

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


VT, you have no protection with a 2 wire system. If something becomes live due to a fault within an appliance, and you touch that appliance, then you will get a shock. The severity of that shock will depend on how well you are physically 'connected' to earth, (having rubber wellies on for example will insulate you from earth to some extent, as will standing on a wooden floor)

If you happen to be touching a metal pipe for instance then you will be more severely fried. The only thing protecting you will be the fuse which is protecting that particular circuit. That fuse could well be 20amps or more, and considering a current in excess of 50milliamps can be fatal then your chances of survival become quite low.
During the war, the Germans did some extensive testing to determine how much current they can pass through an unfortunate prisoner before it became fatal. They concluded that 50 milliamps was the magic figure. And that is why the generally accepted 'tripping current' of an RCD in a domestic supply is 30 milliamp.
Therefore, if you have a two wire system and want to feel safe, you really ought to have a 30ma trip RCD installed.
30ma will still give you a real belt, believe me, but may save your life. The only thing the RCD won't protect you against is if you happen to touch both live AND neutral simaltaneously... but the chances of this are probably quite slim... Good luck 8O

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Postby gimlet » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:31 am

I think this is a good thread. For some reason electricians can get very angry on forums but this hasn't happened so far. :D

A few further points that may provoke discussions and hopefully not too much dissension.

Earth wires, aka protective conductors, are designed to protect wiring not people though they may incidentally protect people. RCDs protect people even if the shock comes from a twin flex cord, ie no earth.

British ring mains are safer than Continetal radials in some ways. You need two breaks in the earth wire before it becomes ineffective. The good old 13 amp plug has a fuse, which should be the lowest practical of 13, 5 or 3 amps, so you are unlikely to end up holding an appliance that is on fire. And the polarity is always right because even on unearthed appliances the dummy plastic earth plug won't let you put it in upside down.

Preferably only use a double insulated appliance in a two pin socket. The symbol is one square inside another. Watch out for lights, particularly the E27 screw bulb variety. If you plug those in the wrong way round the screw part of the socket, which you are likely to touch, will be live rather than the recessed contact the solder blob on the bulb sits on. That risk is just part of the racy Continental life style. For some reason the bad guy in those old French films noirs never gets electrocuted when he plunges the stairwell into darkness by grasping the bulbholder and unscrewing the bulb slightly! I guess he hasn't encountered a broken ceramic shield yet.

Touching live and neutral simultaneously will probably not kill you because the electricity will just pass through the digit in question. I've done it several times, but it's better avoided.

Damaged electric cords are a common hazard. Using a hand electric appliance in bare feet in the bathroom or the garden is inviting trouble. The resistance you offer is 2,000 times less than if you were wearing rubber soled shoes. Likewise erecting a ladder that touches a live conductor. The electricity will pass through your whole body.

That's where the RCD saves lifes (though not with the ladder unfortunately). But it's better not to rely on them 100% because research shows they only work, at best, 93 to 97% of the time. You can increase that percentage.by tripping them regularly.

I don't know about MW's ground spike. I hammered one into the ground under my hall when the lead water pipe was replaced by blue plastic and I figured the wire with "earth connection, do not remove" looked a bit stupid floating around in mid air. But I doubt if it would have worked. consistently or at all. I've sold that house so no need to offer suggestions! Somebody more knowledgable than I has already commented on the difficulty of getting them to work and several spikes are probably desirable. MW may have cured his tingle but maybe he is swelling the coffers of EON by running a continuous small current to earth? My wife told me that she kept getting a tingle off our dishwasher. I didn't and so poo-pooed her complaints for a year or two until I took the socket off and found my British ring main was broken in the socket. Virtually none of the conductor was protruding from the red insulation of the broken wire but it was making intermittent contact with the earth terminal screw. It never tripped the RCD so either it was a very poor connection or I've got one of the 7% that don't work. The earth showed up as "no fault" on a Martindale tester but that probably doesn't mean very much.

So-called TT systems rely entirely on a spike earth. But if you have an earth provided by your electricity supplier it might not be a good idea to provide your own spike as well because their electric potential may be different which as I understand it is a Bad Thing.

In one of the first Bond films Bond despatched some villain by throwing him into a bath rapidly followed by a radiant electric fire with gratifying results. I remember discussion raging in a Physics class at school about whether it would have had any ill effect on the occupant of the bath. I suspect it wouldn't unless it did not have an earth wire and the water supply pipes were metal back to ground but in any re-enactment I would prefer to play the part of Bond :lol:

Equipotential bonding or protective multiple earthing of large masses of metal is something that can make electricians really angry. I wonder if that is known in Bulgaria? PME, I mean, I know Bulgarian electrotechnics get angry as well!

In new installations in Bulgaria RCD consumer units are compulsory but there are probably plenty of those round screw in ceramic fuses about. Can you put new fuse wire in them or are they a throwaway job like a cartridge fuse?

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Postby seathrift » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:39 am

Very clearly and usefully stated Gimlet and I shall remember to test my RCD at least once a month without fail now. If the RCD does trip when you press the test button does that mean the RCD is working, at least most of the time?

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Postby BigDanny » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:25 am

hi Gimlet,
Didn't know about the regular testing of the 30Ma trips, thanks for that.
The ceramic fuses the wire is replaceable with new wire, or metal washers or 5 stotinki pieces. Yes I have come across both these being used and regular 2.5 mm copper cable. :D :lol:

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Postby vt » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:38 am

Those ceramic cartrdge fuses are replaceable.The test on the rcd should trip the circuit you will have to mannually reset.Lets keep this thread going.
I am now getting to understand the electricity system as there are many,eg TT TNC TNC-S this is not exauhtive.

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Postby theweeton » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:10 am

I have no problem with people who want to rewire their house to UK standards doing it. What I do have a problem with is people wo diss Bulgarian Electricians after seeing the work of a few village maestros. I also do not think it is fair to say safety standards of a properly wired job to Bulgarian standards is not as safe as in the U.K when you do not even know what the Bulgarian current standard is.

The problem is that many people have either paid peanuts or got builders from hell to do their electrical work.

When getting electrical or any other work done in Bulgaria many people do not put the same checks and balances in place as they would in the U.K.

How many use a notary and an official court translator for contracts between you and your electrician :?:
How many get a Faktura when the work is done :?:
How many remain on site while the work is being done :?:
These are just a few of the many things, in my opinion, you have to do to get a proper job done.


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