diy electrics: looking for internet ressources

All your electrical questions regarding electrics from within the United Kingdom

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wil75
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diy electrics: looking for internet ressources

Post by wil75 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:52 am

Hello all,

Newbie on this forum. I'm renovationg my house in Cyprus. Coming from an "outside commonwealth" country, I've discovered in Cyprus the way electrics are done in the UK. I've got some knowledge about electrical work as I've already done all my home electrics in continental europe, but concerning UK electrics, I'm a bit lost and in search of internet ressources.

Can someone, please, orient me toward serious websites/blogs which could help me learn about UK home electrics, as I don't want to harass this forum with silly newbie questions.

Many thanks in advance.
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Post by ericmark » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:13 am

:welcomeuhm: The main thing about UK system is we have fuses in the plug, this has some advantages, but also some disadvantages, so we can use lighter cable on our portable appliances, and in theory a fault blows fuse in plug so does not affect other items plugged in, although today does not work out that way in practice as trips work faster than fuses.

The system was developed during the second world war so after the war new houses would need less wire, so less copper used, so the ring final was invented, this does have some issues, the main one is the plug fuse is only fitted in the line supply, so with the British system getting line and neutral the right way around is very important, we can't use non polarised plugs and sockets.

The other is the lighting, we traditionally use ceiling roses, the supply is linked ceiling rose to ceiling rose, with a drop to switch which has no neutral, this means both switched line and permanent line at ceiling rose, so easy to wire ceiling fans and emergency lights, but European dimmer switches tend to need a neutral so will not work with British wiring.

A guy called John Ward has made a load of Utube videos this one covers central heating valves but there are many more, also known as flameport.
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Post by wil75 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:05 am

thanks for your answer. Concerning the dimmers, if european dimmers don't work, which dimmers are used in UK if there is no neutral on the switch?
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Post by ericmark » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:33 am

I am out of touch with modern dimming switches, with the advent of quartz lamps and compact fluorescent lamps both which should not be dimmed, although often quartz are dimmed but it reduced bulb life, I removed all dimming switches, in Turkey they tend to use 1/3 and 2/3 split on lighting so three levels of lighting, but this needs wiring that way with twin switches in each room.

LED lighting has brought back the idea of dimming, however there are a few problems, main one is the colour does not change as dimmed, so no ambiance, but also the bulb needs to be designed to dim, this means some leak resistor or similar or the lights will not switch off, often needs 4 uf load capacitors across the bulb connector to stop the light flashing when switched off, also often one can see pulsing when dimmed. Same problem using wifi electronic switches.

On has to read the specifications, I have just looked at a Varilight switch clearly says not compatible with LED. this one British General states min LED load 5W so should work. Even in UK finding a good LED dimmer is a problem.
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