Following is a section of useful information about electrical installations, useful for any household. You probably realize that we will start with some precautionary words: mains electricity can kill, so you have to be very careful when plugging in. Moreover, always look for the services of an electrician, in case you want repairs or modifications to the electrical network. That being said, let’s see some general information about this essential aspect of any home:
In the section below, we explain how the socket and lighting circuits in the house are installed and designed, what is their limit and how the repairs and modifications made to the electrical system should be approached. This section is, of course, for informational purposes – we do not encourage you to walk into outlets or switches without being a professional electrician. You will do any such action at your own risk!
Lighting circuits and socket circuits
In any house, there are two different circuits: one of them is responsible for sockets, and it has a larger capacity, and the second is for lighting, ie for ceiling chandeliers. The total number of sockets supported by a normal home network is about 15, and the total number of lighting fixtures will not exceed 30.
If an incident occurs in one of the circuits (for example, a short circuit), then the fuse responsible for the respective chamber will burn out at the circuit where the incident occurred. In other words, the fuse in the bedroom sockets can burn, but the ceiling chandeliers in the same room will still work.
What do fuses do?
The fuses protect the network by interrupting the circuit when the electric current will exceed a certain value, for a certain period of time. There are two types of fuses: fuses (which are based on melting elements, which will interrupt the circuit) and automatic (which can be reset at the touch of a button).
The latter are more advantageous, because, when activated, they will not require the replacement of the lit (the element that burns, as in the fusible ones). Nowadays, most panels include automatic fuses, but older installations use only fusible ones.
How to install sockets and switches?
Let’s say you arrange a house, or you build one. You may want a certain location of sockets and switches, depending on how you intend to arrange the interior of the rooms of the home, and your wishes will be sent to the craftsmen responsible for installing the electrical network and all control and connection elements. However, there are certain rules and regulations that you must take into account, therefore not all positions are allowed.
Thus, we tell you that the mounting height for switches must be at least 150 centimeters from the floor (top layer of parquet, tiles, and so on). For outlets, in the case of bathrooms, a height of at least 120 centimeters from the floor will be ensured, because there is a risk of flooding, and the water must not make contact with the electrical network.
In the case of all other rooms, a height of at least 20 centimeters for sockets is specified, compared to the floor.
How much power can a home network support?
This is a very good question, but with varying answers. Theoretically, you should not overload the network with too many consumers, otherwise the fuses will burn out. For a 4-room house, the maximum load for lighting systems must not exceed 3 Kilowatts, and for sockets, 8 KiloWatts.
Theoretically, these numbers are designed so that you do not have to worry about the network overloading. To have consumers that total 8 Kilowatts, for example, think of eight electric radiators of 1000 Watts each, all of which work to the maximum. Either on 80 TVs, or on 6 desktop computers, running at full capacity.
Fortunately, most electronics and appliances are low-power, and today’s energy-saving light bulbs are also modest consumers of electricity. Therefore, you will hardly be able to reach the network overload threshold. Only if you have large or high-consumption equipment (such as professional welding inverters), you risk suffering a safety burn.
Is it worth trying to repair an electrical network if you are not a professional?
If we are to answer this question, we can say that it depends on what needs to be repaired. A safety change, or reactivation of the automatic fuses, can be done quite easily – although, in the case of fuses, you will need to replace the burnt binder with one of the same thickness and material.
Otherwise, if something more serious breaks down, for example, a socket does not work or a switch has burned out, you will have to use the services of a professional electrician. Especially when something related to the network does not work and you have no idea what the problem would be. If you need to be absent, as long as there is a network problem, we advise you to interrupt the circuit by means of fuses.
How do we protect our electricity grid?
As general tips for the protection of the electrical network, we can offer you some indications: when you go on vacation, turn off the water and you can also turn off the electrical panel, if you have automatic fuses.
Be careful when using good angle grinders or other cutting tools, near the power cords, so as not to cut them. If you have children, install sockets with protection, so that the little ones do not put their fingers or other objects (such as forks) in the holes where the plug comes.
If you use many extension cords, invest in models with their own fuses, in other words, do not skimp on such connection accessories, as they can considerably increase safety. In addition, if you have dogs that gnaw on cables, teach them this habit, or hide the cables by slats and furniture.