Badger ÉlectricitéElectrician in Saint-Germain-de-Tallevende-la-Lande-Vaumont
It's well worth following the Fully Charged Show. This video is great. https://youtu.be/9k7k3Mzknm
A recent conversation on another FB page prompts me to publish the following information about how to get power on at a renovation in France:
1. The property has had an electricity supply in the past, & there is a meter present - you open a new permanent supply contract with an energy provider e.g. EDF, Engie, etc. You need to know the PDL (Point de Livraison) number, which should be traceable via the previous owner’s bills. In this instance the state of the old installation ...
Although about the USA this change would benefit grids everywhere.
Many people ask me "why is there so little power available in my French house". Read on to find out why that might be.....
Unlike domestic supplies in the UK those in France are restricted in overall power according to what you need/want. This is what the "disjoncteur d'abonne" or "disjoncteur de branchement" does. This is a large switch/trip probably located close to your meter & somewhere it will have a window with the amperage setting showing. This can mean different thing...s depending on whether you have a single-phase (monophasé) or three-phase (triphasé) supply. However, this is due to change as the roll-out of the new Linky smart meters means that all main trips will be set to maximum with the subscribed power now being controlled by the meter. Theoretically all 35 million domestic meters in France will be changed by the end of 2021.
Energy suppliers in France (EDF, Engie etc.) charge a different standing charge ("abonnement") depending on what amount of power you require. If you don't have a large enough supply, or have too much, you can ask to have it changed, but there is a minimum time allowed before you can change it again, especially downwards (to stop people juggling summer winter needs).
In some locations it might not be possible to have a bigger supply without expensive works to the local distribution network. The maximum power available under "tarif bleu" (the standard domestic/small user tariff) is 12kVA (1 x 60A) for single phase or 36kVA (3 x 60A) for three-phase. Generally the basic unit charge (kWh - kilowatt hour) for electricity is the same for all sizes of supply, single or three phase - it's just the standing charge that increases.
You can also have a cheaper off-peak rate for 8 hours overnight; this is known as "heures creuse" (literally, empty hours) & is similar to the Economy 7 system in the UK. The penalty for having this is that daytime units are more expensive than standard, & there is a higher standing charge i.e. you need to play the system properly.
Many people use the cheap overnight rate to run their dish washer & washing machine (models sold in France mostly have a start time delay feature to make this possible). Also French electric water heaters are sized according to being able to just heat up in the 8 hours overnight & should be set up to only switch on during the cheap times, usually acheived with a special contactor that responds to control signals from the meter, although you can overide this during the full rate ("heures pleines") period if you have started to run out of hot water. The actual operating times vary from area to area, but they are largely 22.00 - 06.00, or up to 2 hours later. Some places have a split, with there being 2 hours cheap over lunchtime.
There is another system of domestic metering in France, known as Tempo, but this is historic & not generally available for new supplies.
Attention! Upcoming changes to TNT frequencies.
Two areas have changed already (as at 09/10/2017) & there is a rolling programme of changes to the broadcast frequencies of French terrestrial TV (TNT). It's worth noting in your diaries so you know to retune/rescan your TVs on the relevant day.
If you ever need to check out a tradesperson's registration then use this site, shown here confirming mine.
Junction boxes - another useful French wiring snippet.
One of the most sensible bits of NF C15-100 (the French domestic wiring regulations) is the requirement that all wiring junctions/joints remain accessible throughout the life of an installation. Put another way, a junction box ("boîte de dérivation") cannot be hidden away in any space where it cannot be accessed. Reasons for this are fairly obvious; firstly it avoids any confusion as to how any particular circuit is wired... as you can trace any joint or splitting of a circuit. Secondly, it allows one to find a wiring colour change (naughty, but it happens) which then explains why you don't have certain colours where you expected to find them. Thirdly, it allows access to pull out & replace (or add) wiring to existing conduits ("gaines") should the need arise, as long as the capacity of the gaine allows.
It's not hard to find places for junctions to go, especially as special boxes are available in various sizes to sink into placo or masonry which are only visible as a plain face plate which can be painted to match your decor. I often negoiate to hide such items behind movable furniture. In kitchens a good place is behind appliances, which are obviously able to be moved.
The most common site for junctions is in lofts & other accessible voids. It is quite normal to have very large junction boxes (a "boîte de combles") that are supplied by multiple circuits fed from the main distribution board via large conduits which then split out to the various needs beyond. Individual lighting positions & switches can also meet up at such a location, which can save a lot of hassle looping through switches &/or ceiling positions.
TV/'phone/internet outlets - an update
There is often confusion &/or denial about the requirements for TV & telephone (PTT) outlets here in France. Hopefully what follows will clarify things.
French domestic wiring regulations (NF C 15-100) specify certain minimum amounts of power sockets, lights, communications outlets (TV & phone points) etc. These minimums apply to new builds & total rewires of existing property if they are to comply with regulations in force at the time o...
In line with French legislation (as this now counts as my professional website) I am obliged to publish my rates for non-quoted work, such as call outs. So, here goes:
En suite du legislation récent je suis obligé de publier mes frais de main-d'oeuvre et déplacement pour les travaux de dépannage etc.
Déplacement aller/retour de domicile, per km arrondi= 1€...
Round trip travel from home, per rounded km = 1€
Main-d’oeuvre minimum = 40€ (une heure sur chantier)
Minimum labour charge = 40€ (one hour on site)
Main-d’oeuvre ajouté = 20€ par demi-heure
Additional labour charge = 20€ per half hour
Donc, par exemple, un appel de dépannage à Saint Laurent de Cuves….
So, as an example, a call out to Saint Laurent de Cuves….
Distance = 22,1km x 2 = 44,2km, arondi/rounded to 44km = 44€
Temps sur chantier/time on site = 1,5 heures/hours = 40€ + 20€ = 60€
Prix totale/total price = 104€ sans matériaux / without materials.
Distances calculé avec / distances calculated with Google Maps.
Do you have a rental property in France?
If so, & your electrical installation is over 15 years old, you are now (since 01/07/2017) required to have it inspected for electrical safety. This applies initially to “immeubles collectif” (i.e. blocks of flats or houses divided up for multiple tenants) but from 01/01/2018 it applies to all rental properties.
An inspection is valid for 6 years & must be carried out by an approved professional....
Amendment 5 to the French domestic wiring regulations made major changes/simplications to the zoning of bathrooms/salles d'eau. The changes came into effect for all works subject to a Permis de Constuire or Delcaration Préalable deposited on or after 27/11/2015 & any works that are accepted (via a signed devis/quote) on or after that date.
The following minimum specifications apply to light fittings in bath or shower rooms (N.B. X can be any figure):
Zone 0 (actually in the b...ath or shower tray) = 12V only, IPX7.
Zone 1 (directly above the bath or shower tray up to 2,25m above the level where you stand in either, or 1,2m radius from a fixed shower head or mounting bar if there is no shower screen present i.e. a wet room) = 12V only, IPX4 (IPX5 if you have a shower with horizontal jets).
Zone 2 (a horizontal 600m margin outside of the area of Zone 1) = mains Class 2 (double insulated), IPX4.
.... & that's it. The old Zone 3 is now considered to be "hors volume" & treated the same as anywhere else.
There is no requirement for down lights in these situations to be fire rated, but I would advise using such where you have accommodation above (which is a UK regulation I believe).
Any transformers for low voltage lighting must be placed outside of Zones 1 & 2.
All circuits serving a “salle d’eau” must be protected by a 30mA “dispositif différentiel”.
An image about the various zones can be seen here http://elec3city.fr/images/articles/volume-salle-de-bain.JPG.