Author Topic: Wago wire connector nuts  (Read 4022 times)

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Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 600
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2020, 05:04 PM »
Quote
I almost exclusively use 2.5 mm2 and that's what I find most in installations.

Quote
Here (EU, not sure if its universal for the whole EU...) 1.5 mm2 for switches and 2.5 mm2 for sockets. But we run 230V

I'm not sure on the 1.5 for switches and 2.5mm for sockets?

Maybe I should have mentioned  that its for switches that are used for lights. Lights here (CZ) are on its own breaker. If you would be switching your sockets or other heavy stuff I wouldn't go with 1.5 for the switch.

BTW that info comes from my (certified) electrician, so I will assume he knows what he is talking about.

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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2020, 05:33 PM »

What does that mean?  [smile]

Large gauges of wire or only stranded, there is no solid 2/0 wire  (well, maybe someone makes it, but it would be rebar).

A standard service for a home in the US/Canada is 200Aamps.   "service" if that was a point of confusion is the term used for the connection from the utility to your house.  Older homes have 100 (or even less) services.  Cheap builders will often put 150A services in. Bigger homes will have 400A services, those are basically just 2, 200Amp panels (breaker panel) in parallel. 

For 200Amps  in copper you need 2/0, and if using aluminum 4/0.   You can see Bob D. post for a table with conversion if you need it.  Those size wires/cables are only stranded.

You can buy cables/wires in multiple forms here.  You can buy SER cables which are purpose made for this, they have the conductors and ground in a durable covering which can be left exposed. Other wise you have to run individual wires.  (2 hots, neutral, and ground (home side of meter socket).  These need to be color coded too (they allow colored tape). When you run individual wires, they must be in conduit. This can be Rigid (basically galvanized pipe), Metallic (thinner stuff), PVC conduit (grey PVC), ENT (flexy stuff).  I'm not sure if you were joking, or if you have a different term for conduit over there.  For some reason I was thinking a lot of the wiring there is run in conduit.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6868
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2020, 06:53 PM »
A standard service for a home in the US/Canada is 200Aamps.   "service" if that was a point of confusion is the term used for the connection from the utility to your house.  Older homes have 100 (or even less) services.  Cheap builders will often put 150A services in. Bigger homes will have 400A services, those are basically just 2, 200Amp panels (breaker panel) in parallel. 

For 200Amps  in copper you need 2/0, and if using aluminum 4/0.   You can see Bob D. post for a table with conversion if you need it.  Those size wires/cables are only stranded.

Wow. Is that really true, such thick wires and such high amps? I keep being amazed about how American electricity works.

Over here, the main breakers for a standard home are 25 amps max. They are supplied with electricity from outside through 4 mm thick wires. All single core, solid wires. And they will supply all the energy needed for a house, no need to use thicker wires.

Then everything inside the house is 2,5 mm2 thick wires, and only a wire that runs between a wall switch and a lamp may be 1,5 mm2.

Everything you mention above is considered "industrial" here.

So when I think of "Stranded" wires, I think of the fine stranded wires, we don't see any other here inside a house. I had no idea American lines need to carry such loads you need to get such thick wires.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1795
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2020, 10:21 AM »
Quote from: DeformedTree on Yesterday at 12:25 PM
what do you pull thru conduit?

What does that mean?


What type wire or cable do you use in a raceway or conduit?

Quote from: DeformedTree on Yesterday at 12:25 PM
What do you use for service into the house?

What does that mean?  [smile]


What type cable do you use for the service drop from the utility pole on the street to the meter and then the service entrance cable from the meter to the breaker panel?
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7883
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2020, 10:31 AM »
You are not supposed to use any of those connectors with stranded wires, only with solid wires.

Ya I know...I just sort of cheated on this one.  [big grin]

However it does work well, and you can't knock success. The first landscape lighting system I put together, I tinned the wire ends and then used twist-on wire nuts. Eventually though contact through the wire nuts wasn't continuous so sometimes the lights went on...sometimes they didn't...and sometimes they flickered. I've never encountered that when using the Wago 773 connectors. However the Wago 221 lever nut connectors are miles ahead.






Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 708
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2020, 11:23 AM »
Quote from: DeformedTree on Yesterday at 12:25 PM
what do you pull thru conduit?

What does that mean?


What type wire or cable do you use in a raceway or conduit?

Quote from: DeformedTree on Yesterday at 12:25 PM
What do you use for service into the house?

What does that mean?  [smile]


What type cable do you use for the service drop from the utility pole on the street to the meter and then the service entrance cable from the meter to the breaker panel?


In my part of the world (where Alex also resides) there are no overhead electricity lines, except high voltage. Everything is underground, even in rural areas. We have to use two parties to get electricity: one firm is responsible for bringing the lines to your home or business. There are a few of those, all active in certain areas (mostly a couple of provinces). They charge for delivery and rental of the meter.
Then there are the 'energy brokers' — there are quite a few of them. And they are available everywhere. Some market themselves on being green, others on being cheap. They are really competitive and good deals can be had when you switch between them. They charge by the kW/hr and also take in all applicable taxes (of which there are quite a few). Most also do natural gas, which is still the most used product for heating and hot water in Holland.

Everything inhouse is subject to code, as in most civilised countries. But in the Netherlands there is one code for all, depending on whether you are a home owner/renter or business. Everything is house has to be in conduits. PVC and ABS are omnipresent. In some cases other conduitmaterial may be used. We only use solid copper wiring.
I do not know if this is still current, but there used to be two ways to do wiring: Centralized (which is with boxes that fork aof to receptables etc., and looped — more or less you Americans do it. BUT: in Holland not every line has a breaker. We group rooms and machines, to use a common breaker. In my home I have two breakerhousings (had to do with division into home and business). Both have six or seven breakers. There is also a main cut off /breaker.


Edit: fixed a few typo’s.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 09:48 AM by Bert Vanderveen »
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2020, 01:56 PM »
A standard service for a home in the US/Canada is 200Aamps.   "service" if that was a point of confusion is the term used for the connection from the utility to your house.  Older homes have 100 (or even less) services.  Cheap builders will often put 150A services in. Bigger homes will have 400A services, those are basically just 2, 200Amp panels (breaker panel) in parallel. 

For 200Amps  in copper you need 2/0, and if using aluminum 4/0.   You can see Bob D. post for a table with conversion if you need it.  Those size wires/cables are only stranded.

Wow. Is that really true, such thick wires and such high amps? I keep being amazed about how American electricity works.

Over here, the main breakers for a standard home are 25 amps max. They are supplied with electricity from outside through 4 mm thick wires. All single core, solid wires. And they will supply all the energy needed for a house, no need to use thicker wires.


Not sure how you could run any home on 25amps.  I just check, while sitting here with just a couple things on, the house only pulls a couple amps, but when the AC runs, that's 16amps (@240V) by itself and that is a small AC.  Code is now 100Amp min and it would be rough to have a modern house on that.  Trailers/Mobile homes have 60A connections, but those assume a lot of the appliances will be Natural Gas/Propane.

I have to assume you run basically everything on gas.  Otherwise it's just not going to work.  A smaller AC unit takes 30-40amp circuit. A dryer ~50amp, cooktops, ~50amp, oven ~50amp,  if you have electric heat or electric back up to a furnace, you will probably have 40-80amp of electric heat.  These are all 240V.  The general assumption is not everything is running at once, or at full power. Water heating is another load.  Tanked water heaters don't draw much electricity, they just waste it.  As we move to tankless, now you have another item that needs massive amps.  The best such units come from Germany. This Company Makes a lot of stuff used here, you can buy them at home centers. That unit is 36kW (150amps). Made in Germany.  So folks must have power for such things.

That unit alone would require a house to have over a 200Amp service. If you were trying to support many showers in a home, you would need multiple units.

While in many areas, such as cities/suburbs,  you can get natural gas service, that is about it. It doesn't exist in rural areas and never will. The cost is over the top compared to running power lines. Now with the early stages of eliminating natural gas usage (some cities have now started banning new gas connections), everything will be electric, this will just make the bigger services (400A) more common/normal. In rural areas, electric heat (baseboards) has been the norm since the 60s unless you heat with wood, or you have to use Propane/Oil which is a hassle and subject to major price shifts, and fear of running out before the fuel truck comes.

If your electrical system is that minimal, then keep that in mind from the discussions we have had one 110V stuff in the US and the idea of getting rid of it.  The US/North America has a massive electrical grid, it's very extensive. Our homes are heavily electricity dependent and have very extensive/heavy duty electrical systems in them compared to other places in the world. Changes to them are hard. The 110V stuff is just lights and outlets, big stuff is all 240V.

Heating and cooling are also major loads that most of Europe doesn't have. Large chunks of the country need both massive heating and cooling systems based on the seasons. Few parts of the country is not having AC realistic. And only maybe Hawaii, Puerto Rico might get away without heat. Electric Air Source Heat Pumps are becoming much more common across the country for heating/cooling.

Also now we get into EV cars, there is another 50-60A 240V load.


Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2020, 02:19 PM »
What I think Alex is referring to, is pretty much a single circuit - long after what is actually supplied to the house (and probably split over 3 phases) by the utility.

At least, that is what is done in Germany. Do not generalize "Europe" when it comes to electricity/code.

Kind regards,
Oliver



Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2020, 02:34 PM »

In my part of the world (where Alex also resides) there are no overhead electricity lines, except high voltage. Everything is underground, even in rural areas. We have to use two parties to get electricity: one firm is responsible for bringing the lines to your home or business. There are a few of those, all active in certain areas (mostly a couple of provinces). They charge for delivery and rental of the meter.
Then there are the 'energy brokers' — there are quite a few of them. And they are available everywhere. Some market themselves on being green, others on being cheap. They are really competitive and good deals can be had when you switch between them. They charge by the kW/hr and also take in all applicable taxes (of which there are quite a few). Most also do natural gas, which is still the most used product for heating and hot water in Holland.


Everything inhouse is subject to code, as in most civilised countries. But in the Netherlands there is one code for all, depending on whether you are a home owner/renter or business. Everything is house has to be in conduits. PVC and ABS are omnipresent. In some cases other conduitmaterial may be used. We only use solid copper wiring.
I do not know if this is still current, but there used to be two ways to do wiring: Centralized (which is with boxes that fork aof to receptables etc., and looped — more ore less you Americans do it. BUT: in Holland not every line has a breaker. We group rooms and machines, to use a common breaker. In my home I have to breakerhousings (had to do with division into home and business). Both have six or seven breakers. There is also a main cut off /breaker.

New developments and such are underground, but older neighborhoods are above ground.  Rural areas are a mix, it is slowly moving underground as less issues of damage in a remote area when underground. Things vary by state, they each have a board which oversees the utility companies, and have different laws.  In general, your bill is 2 parts. Generation and Transmission. In some states you can pick your Generation company separate from transmission. You have no real option when it comes to who connects to your house, there are never 2 companies with wires to your home. Thus your only option if the service is bad, is to go off grid.  So in general, it sound more or less the same as what you describe.

In the US, the wiring practices in houses in probably the most unified part of building code.  While some states have their own code, most code in states in going to IBC (international building code), which covers all forms of buildings, they make a subset of it called IRC (international residential code), which just removes everything that doesn't apply to a home as things needed for a skyscrapper or manufacturing plant may not apply to a 2 story home. This code calls out other codes for some things, such as electrical. Electrical in all codes in the US goes to NEC (National Electrical Code). If covers everything that uses electricity. From a small home, the a massive industrial plant. It's all one mega code. The building codes of Canada are more or less identical to the US codes. Any construction in the US, done by professional, or done by homeowner is subject to this code (even if someone things it doesn't apply to them, it does).

Ring buses would be illegal in the US. Houses have a main breaker that will shut everything down, and then every circuit has a breaker. What is on that circuit could be any combination of things.  Ideally, every room/zone of a house would have 2 circuits, one for plugs, one for lights. But that rarely happens.  Things get lumped together, a room may get feed from a 15A circuit, near the door, it splits with a branch doing the plugs, and another branch going to the light switch and then to the light.  Some stuff is defined as being on it's own. Bathrooms need a dedicated 20A GFCI circuit for each bath.  Kitchens have many circuits.  Two 20a countertop plug circuits, 1 dishwasher circuit, 1 fridge circuit, lights are often on their own, then assuming electric cooking, you would have 2 more 240V ~50amp circuits for those items. So you could have 7 circuits just in a kitchen.  240V stuff is almost always single device stuff (furnace, heat, AC, washers, dryers, etc).

A standard full size main panel in a house is 200A, with 40 breaker spaces. Keep in mind anything 240V takes 2 breakers, so the kitchen above would use 9 spaces.  You can fill such a panel very fast.  If you run out, you put a 240V (double pole) breaker in it and install a sub panel, often 100A, 20-30 spaces.  Older homes with just 100A, 20breaker panels run into problems on upgrades as there is no place to add circuits, and they can't easily support 240V appliances because of space limits.

As was mentioned, we assume not everything is on at once, otherwise a panel with 40 breakers, all 15A, would need to be 600A.

One thing that jumps out watching film and tv filmed in Europe is how there are no outlets anyplace. In the US, you are never more than 6ft/2m/1(social distancing) from an outlet in basically any room/hallway/etc by code.  You known when you are watching stuff from Europe because you don't see outlets anyplace. Do folks run extension cords for everything? We have switches at almost every doorway, plugs all over the places, often because code dictates you have them pretty much everyplace.  I would guess on some levels this is a result of a large number of buildings being pre-electricity, so code has never pushed for rules that would make such extensive wiring required.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2020, 02:48 PM »
What I think Alex is referring to, is pretty much a single circuit - long after what is actually supplied to the house (and probably split over 3 phases) by the utility.

At least, that is what is done in Germany. Do not generalize "Europe" when it comes to electricity/code.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Agree on not generalizing "Europe", but it's a bit difficult especially from the outside. Just like I wouldn't expect someone from "Europe" to separate our different US states from the whole.  There isn't a great alt way to define things.  Alex being from the Netherlands probably wouldn't want to see a survey of Americans when asked to point to "the Netherlands" on a map *cringe*.

While your region of the world is famous for things like the multiple electrical plugs for each country, some of the basics of the electrical look to be fairly standardized with all the countries agreeing to unifying voltages, wiring color codes, etc.  Some of it is a mystery to me, like which countries send 3phase right to homes and which don't. It's rather hard to find details of wiring practices in Europe from N.America.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2020, 03:01 PM »
@DeformedTree

I'm going to search for a couple of pictures from my library, and take some I can easily re-take right now.

This will take a while. I'll be back.

Speaking of Germany, your first "problem" is, that you would need to buy the code/standard as document before you can read it as whole. What you will find online are excerpts, and without really knowing what you're looking for, you will have a very hard time finding it.

All standards have to be bought here: https://www.beuth.de/en


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6868
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2020, 04:00 PM »
A single 25 amps main fuse is the standard here for houses. It is deemed enough for most uses with normal appliances. The main fuse is sealed in a separate box, only the electricity company is allowed to touch it. From there on the wires run through the meter and to the main breaker board, which can have 4 - 8 breakers of 16 amps which distribute electricity through the rest of the house.

If your house is really power hungry you can have the main fuse upgraded to 35 amps. This does tend to happen more and more. In extreme cases you can get 50 or even 80 amps.

Since almost all houses here have natural gas as standard, heating is on gas, and so is most of the cooking. But electric cooking is winning more ground and it requires a 3 phase installation. When you upgrade your single phase to 3 phase you get 3 x 25 amps main fuses. 3 phase is also used for other power hungry applications like saunas and heated swimming pools.

An AC in a normal house is very rare here. 

As for outlets in European movies,  [huh] don't know what's up with that, but we have plenty of outlets in our houses. Even the smallest rooms in my house have at least 7.

It is no secret Americans use twice as much energy per capita as other western countries. Probably because it is so cheap? Here, half of our electricity bill is made up of taxes.

Online MikeGE

  • Posts: 183
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2020, 04:20 PM »
@DeformedTree

My U.S. point of reference includes three houses I owned in northern Virginia, with build years ranging from the late 50's to my last house built in 1975.  My Germany point of reference includes one house in Bavaria that I rented, originally built in 1933, one house in Hessen that I rented (unknown build year), and my current house in Hessen that I own, which was built in 2007. 

The electrical panel of the first Virginia house had a fuse block and screw-in fuses, with service from a pole-mounted transformer next to the house.  I few years after I bought it, I sold it to a property developer who wanted the land.  The second and third houses had 200A electrical panels, with service from buried aluminum cable.  In each case, the servicing transformer was on a pole about 100 yards away.  New houses built in the area of my last house have 400A panels.

I'll skip the first two houses in Germany, since the first no longer exists and the second had a major electrical and heating system renovation after I left.  My current house, like most contemporary German houses, has a 400/230V 3-phase feeder and a 40A main circuit breaker that also serves as the German equivalent of a GFCI for the entire electrical distribution.  I've seen some new houses with 63A main breakers, but these are likely set up to accommodate air conditioning systems at some time in the future.  Most houses here don't have central air conditioning because it's not needed.  The main service is from buried cable, but I have no idea where the transformer for my neighborhood is.  I've looked, and I can't find it, so it must be concealed nicely.

The only 3-phase equipment that is part of the house design is the main electric oven in the kitchen.  The second smaller oven is single phase, and the cook tops are gas.  The boiler for the domestic hot water and heating is gas.  Having 400/230 3-phase in my house made it easy for me to outfit my shop, since it was a simple task for me to add a second panel in the basement and run single and 3-phase branch circuits.

With the exception of the basement, all of the electrical distribution in the house is permanently sealed in the floors, walls, or ceilings.  We have plenty of pictures during the construction so we can pinpoint the cable and plumbing paths in each room if necessary.  Here is one picture showing the electrical and plumbing through the ground floor hallway.  When all of the infrastructure is in place, tested, and inspected, it is encased in a dense Styrofoam layer, then a self-leveling concrete is poured over it, and then the floor tiles are set.  Ceiling fixtures for lights are run along the floor above and then punch through the concrete floor.  Conduit, pull boxes, and junction boxes are positioned after the rebar is tied and become part of the wall after the concrete is placed.  My house is a bit unique to my neighborhood in that all walls and floors are cast in place concrete instead of the normal masonry.



The basement has surface mount cabling in plastic tubing, and my new shop has surface mount rectangular plastic raceway for the cable distribution.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2020, 05:38 PM »
Hi,

@DeformedTree

Just for you. ;)

This is the box placed by the utility service. As Alex pointed out, this is not to be touched/tampered with by the homeowner, it's sealed and only certified electricians that are registered with the utility/supplier are allowed to break the seal/ work on this - at least theoretically. I took these pictures when we got a new new meter put in by someone the utility sent, to do that they obviously had to terminate/shut down supply at the handover point which is this box.



The wires are protected against overload by fuses, since I obviously couldn't take them out - I can't tell you at how many A each one is rated for. This is the only picture I had from back then.



Next comes the meter, which is not of much interest I guess. Since it's a newer one, it's plastered with mac address and other id's, I don't feel like doing much editing today, so no picture of that.

After the meter, we have again 3 fuses to shut off supply completely. These come rated at 50A each. These are "ours", I can unscrew these at will, everything goes dark except for the meter.









From there it goes straight into the distribution/breaker panel.

Our large master bathroom flow heater runs on 3 phase and has 3 32A breakers. (Similar rated breakers are used for the oven/stove and other high load appliances)



So much for this part.

Now for the wiring.

Maybe most important is to consider cable length and corresponding line voltage drop. That's where the 1.5 mm2 vs. 2.5 mm2 come into play for the first time. The DIN VDE standard/code sets out maximum allowed line voltage drop from utility/ handover point and distribution terminal combined, all the way to the farthest point. If you get over 4% (I think that's what current maximum line voltage drop is.) you need to go one size up = 1.5 mm2 -> 2.5 mm2. But that's only part of the truth, there are other considerations to be made and rules to adhere to.

To give you an example: (And please, whomever else is reading this, this is not meant to be advice, I take absolutely zero responsibility for what you do with this information, this is for entertainment purposes only!)

Let's say you're using a type B, 16A breaker (which is most common for lighting as well as general purpose sockets/outlets) and use 1.5 mm2 wire, it results in a max. cable length of 18.XX meters.

Now if you use 2.5 mm2 wire, you get a max. cable length of 30.XX meters.

So you can easily see, using 2.5 mm2 wire can save you quite some headaches depending on what you do/where you are.

(Again, this is only a single consideration, from many more to make when choosing wire gauge/diameter)

Obviously, high load appliances need bigger diameter wires, too.

As far as I know, there is no minimum amount of sockets/outlets specified by the standard/code. Obviously, the older the house, the less sockets/outlets you are going to find. In newer houses you are going to find more, especially where people plan to install their tv, stereo, computer ...

Right now, if you "did it all"/ max out on adhering to the standard/code and what is considered good practice/state of the art. You'd have 2 breakers/room. One for lighting, one for the general purpose sockets. You'd also have corresponding GFCI's, you don't need one per room, but you'd group them logically - to get a nice & clean distribution panel, and of course have one for every bathroom/kitchen maybe even laundry room.

Always think safety first, which means you probably want to have some working lighting left when a breaker or GFCI trips. So using only one is rarely suitable. Also often doorbells/ door opener/ intercom systems run through your distribution panel, if it's shut down completely when a single GFCI is tripped, those won't work, either.

The standards/code in Germany are not laws or by any means chiseled in stone. They just save you the trouble of having to explain what you did in case of an accident. BUT: As a homeowner you sign a contract with your utility supplier, and that mostly has a part in it that says only certified and registered electricians are allowed to do any and all electrical work and that it has to be done in accordance with applicable standards/code. Also your home owners insurance can include such a part ...

There is a really, really large grey area because if you were to adhere to the (ever changing) standards/code in every aspect, you'd be employing your personal electrician, full time. (Slightly exaggerating.) And as always, the standards/code can be interpreted in different ways.

Want an example?

Let's say you add an outlet to an existing circuit. No big deal, right?

Well, electrician #1 will tell you no problem. Does it, and when installed takes the required measurements and documents them. All said and done. Everyones happy.

Electrician #2 on the other hand, just had a refresher course in regards to standards/code and is very eager to adhere to all the rules set out by those standards/code. You ask him about adding the outlet and he says, well the standard/code says that if you change the overall function/use of the circuit, which adding another outlet does, you have to bring your whole electrical installation up to date/ current standards/code.

Now realistically, especially with older houses and their electrical installations - this would mean tearing it all up. Since many people do remodel step by step, this would also mean going into rooms/parts of the house that might have been remodeled/renovated already. No one wants or does that. So that's where you start getting these what I call "mixed bags" of electrical installations. Sometimes with larger remodels/renovations, new wires are pulled for certain rooms, but others just stay as they are.

What I can say from experience is, that we use less energy and have a lot less high load appliances than generations before us. Which takes load off the grid and of course the distribution panel. We have oil heating, we will never have a chance of charging an electrical car, as we simply can't reach our entry by car. The only chance would be the dreaded underground parking garage, where we own a parking spot. ...

This is of course only a very small glimpse, some of my information might be outdated/ not correct, and again, this varies trough all countries.

The next big thing, in Germany, is going to be power grids using algorithms/ artificial intelligence and smart meters communicating with each other, especially those inside homes and commercial buildings that create their own energy and feed some of it back into the grid. It's supposed to work per street/ area and distribute energy more wisely, and most important of all: preventing peak loads before they happen.

They are fantasizing about this for every home. ...

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2020, 12:00 AM »
Thanks for that Oliver.  Part of trying to find the information is that tools like google are designed to give you results it thinks you want, so getting info on a subject outside the US, verses the same subject in the US is a problem. Also not knowing all the terms/brands use over there.

A great deal of how things work there is the same here.  You have to buy the code books, but thru various legal actions over time, they are somewhat published online. Far as who can work on stuff, in general most states allow a home owner to work on their home. It's hard for a state to not allow this as it gets into fundamental issues of government. You still have to get permits, and when you do, you sign an affidavit that it is your house, and only you are doing the work. You can't legally work on a friends house, or do commercial work.  Far as the utility, this is very similar too, basically remove the fuses that you have along the way.  A line comes off the transformer to the house, this goes to the meterbase. While if you are building the house, you will install the base and get it inspected, but once the utility comes, accepts it, and installs the meter, it gets a tag that can't be removed, the homeowner and electricians cannot touch this.  The other side of the meter power goes to the main panel, this has the breaker that shuts everything off. So you can flip that to kill power, but if you wanted to replace your panel, you will have to call the utility and they will pull the meter out of the base.  Sometimes there are disconnect switches between the meter and panel, this is owned by the homeowner.

I wish we had 3phase service to homes. That looks to be some of the differences here.  We are just single phase. Some properties like apartments might get 3phase, they will still have 110V stuff, but the 240 stuff is now 208.

From your post, most the practices and such you mention are the same, there is what would be nice, and then there is what gets made. Rules on upgrades, similar.  Stuff is grandfathered, but if you do too much, you have to re-do it all.  As mentioned in a different post on a ceiling fan, folks still have Knob and Tube, and it is legal to maintain it, you just can't add.

We don't have much all concrete construction, but it is becoming more common.  The photo of the routing is similar to what you would see in a commercial application here and a slab on grade house.  The wiring though I don't think would be allowed here.  I don't think those are Tee splices, but just a wire run out to something and then back, any kind of splice/tee would be a major violation. Also pretty sure any wiring in concrete must be in conduit, must ever access points every 4 90 degree turns.

I would expect a big change coming for you guys because as you state, things are not set up for being electric. Climate Change is going to drive that change very fast. Also not wanting to have oil/gas issues with Russia is going to drive rapid electrification. Germany is the leader in renewables on the electric grid, I would expect major pushes to make houses all electric over there.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2020, 12:33 AM »

It is no secret Americans use twice as much energy per capita as other western countries. Probably because it is so cheap? Here, half of our electricity bill is made up of taxes.

I don't know about that stat, If true I would assume it's "all energy", so transportation, gas usage, etc, everything. Being we have large houses, and are very spaced out, that would be expected.

Far as just electricity usage, we are 11th in the world per Wiki Sort it to the kWh per capita.  As you would expect, it's Scandinavian countries lead, and middle east countries, canada.  So places with high cooling and high heating loads. The US would naturally fit in there. No idea what is happening in Liechtenstein.

In general, I don't see how people here would be much different energy usage far as their homes. We don't really live differently. Bigger houses would be a change, but that's mainly newer construction, homes just a few decades old are far smaller.  As the chart on Wikipedia shows, it's really all a function of climate. It's a pretty small area of the country that doesn't get extremely cold, or extremely hot. Invention of Air Conditioning is credited as the biggest thing causing a shift in where the population of the country lives.

Don't know about electricity prices, like everything, everyone thinks they pay a lot.  13 cents a kWh is probably a good national average. If folks have gas service, they use that as it's cheaper than electricity. But again, the realities of climate change and pollution are changing that. Even if your electricity comes from a fossil fuel powered plant, it's vastly cleaner/more efficient than burning gas in different appliances in a home. The electrical grid gets cleaner every day. Coal is dying fast, replaced by natural gas (bad, but better than coal), solar and wind, and even a few new nuclear plants have come online in the last few years.

This page has a lot of good numbers.

What is amazing is that the US is now almost 10% wind and solar. Coal is now down to 23%, it was over 50% just 20 years ago.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2020, 02:35 AM »
Speaking of that black box/ wiring/ electrical installation, I would have to look up what current standard/code says about it. That's from somewhere in between 1965 and 1967. And we have that "funny" rule, that everything that was OK once according to standard/code, is OK if kept and left more or less untouched.

However, since I'm going to remodel that built in cabinet where all of that stuff is inside, I might have an electrician put in a newer one.

The biggest problem with all that "change" is that I think they greatly underestimate how many people are in the same boat like us. We are already heavily invested in this home, we've done a lot of things that we want to keep - so there is no way we're going to tear open walls, floors i.e. - as we did that already. So everything is going to stay. And if they want to force change upon us, they should be prepared for a long legal battle, we got money, we got time - and we're not going to give in easily. First round will be those smarter than our current smart meter meters. We're going to fight it. No way we let them put in a meter that can be locked remotely, needs "software updates" and is prone to hacking/hostile takeover. This is trouble waiting to happen, and we have absolutely no trust, not the slightest bit.

Same goes for the heating. We will switch from oil to gas because everything is ready for it and the existing infrastructure can be used, there is no way we will use electricity to heat the house.

Given that our house has no driveway we won't be having a car charger. Only way for that to happen would be inside the underground parking garage where we own a parking space. (As do almost 50 other people.) And since most of them are highly frugal there won't be any upgrade to the garage's electricity - so no high capacity chagers, and in fact, no chargers at all - because that would - from a legal standpoint valid today - need a majority vote that simply isn't there. One of the owners wanted to make that overhaul, because it makes sense from todays viewpoint. (Only solution for many, many people to ever being able to charge a car over-night on their personal/owned parking space.) I told him I'd support it. Turns out, the majority does not want it, end of story. So unless someone delivers a car that is charged quickly and efficiently - or they switch to hydrogen, no "alternative" car for us. Or the government makes good on a promise from years ago: the right to have a car charger as long as you foot the bill, no matter what other owners or respectively for renters, the landlord says. They had plenty of time to do/ deliver it, they didn't.

I'm sure the future will hold a lot of surprises for us in regards to all of this. We will stay inside our personal comfort zone for as long as somehow and feasible possible. ;)

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2020, 02:38 AM »
Does anyone know why Wago doesn’t make a 4-port lever nut?  I just tried one of the 4-port Chinese knock-offs on Amazon and they’re junk.

I got a reply from Wago on this question a few minutes ago.

I quote: "Product management decided it's 2, 3 & 5."


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6868
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2020, 04:33 AM »

I quote: "Product management decided it's 2, 3 & 5."


Well, that clears things up.  [big grin]

Typical corporate answer.

Online MikeGE

  • Posts: 183
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2020, 05:22 AM »

I got a reply from Wago on this question a few minutes ago.

I quote: "Product management decided it's 2, 3 & 5."


Kind regards,
Oliver
Apparently Wago likes only prime numbers.   [big grin]

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1795
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2020, 06:43 AM »
"even a few new nuclear plants have come online in the last few years."

Let me start by saying the following is my opinion and I in no way represent or speak for the Nuclear Industry.

I spent most of my working career working at four nuclear power plants. I started my apprenticeship working at one in 1977, and up until earlier this year I was still working in the industry on major projects planning upgrades to systems in the plants. Having worked in this industry for over 40 years I know of very few NPPs (Nuclear Power Plants) that came online in the recent past. Those that did would have been offset by those units that were retired early for political reasons or at the end of their useful life span. Watts Bar Unit 2 was the last I believe and that was a few years ago. Before that the last unit to come online was Watts Bar Unit 1 and that was way back in the late 90s. Vogtle Units 3 & 4 which are under construction and nearing completion. In that same time 9 units have been permanently taken offline.

More reading if you're interested here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_States#Nuclear_power_plants

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38792

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/nuclear/us-nuclear-industry.php

-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7883
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2020, 08:52 AM »

Let's say you add an outlet to an existing circuit. No big deal, right?

Well, electrician #1 will tell you no problem. Does it, and when installed takes the required measurements and documents them. All said and done. Everyones happy.


That's interesting Oliver...what measurements is he taking and where is he documenting them?

Is there a central file folder on every house?

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2020, 10:34 AM »
"even a few new nuclear plants have come online in the last few years."

Let me start by saying the following is my opinion and I in no way represent or speak for the Nuclear Industry.

I spent most of my working career working at four nuclear power plants. I started my apprenticeship working at one in 1977, and up until earlier this year I was still working in the industry on major projects planning upgrades to systems in the plants. Having worked in this industry for over 40 years I know of very few NPPs (Nuclear Power Plants) that came online in the recent past. Those that did would have been offset by those units that were retired early for political reasons or at the end of their useful life span. Watts Bar Unit 2 was the last I believe and that was a few years ago. Before that the last unit to come online was Watts Bar Unit 1 and that was way back in the late 90s. Vogtle Units 3 & 4 which are under construction and nearing completion. In that same time 9 units have been permanently taken offline.



Correct, the ones you mention are what I was talking about.  Where I was going was that we basically stopped building nuclear plants by the end of the 80s, walked away from some in progress, finished some that were underwork.  We really didn't bring any online in a very long time, and most folks would think we haven't done any nuclear in decades. If you mention the Watts Bar reactors folks often don't believe it in my experience. Watts Bar 2 was 2016, Watts Bar 1 1996 (20 years).  46 plants went operational in the 80s, 5 operational in the 90s (3 of which were early 1990). As you say, it doesn't really offset those that get shut down.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #53 on: July 27, 2020, 07:05 PM »

Let's say you add an outlet to an existing circuit. No big deal, right?

Well, electrician #1 will tell you no problem. Does it, and when installed takes the required measurements and documents them. All said and done. Everyones happy.


That's interesting Oliver...what measurements is he taking and where is he documenting them?

Is there a central file folder on every house?

Hey @Cheese

That is regulated by standard/code, in this case: DIN VDE 0100-600

It's applicable for newly erected, extended and modified electrical installations. It's the first thing to be done after work is completed. You basically prove that your calculations/assumptions were correct. Extensions and modifications have to be examined and it is to ensure that they are in accordance with the standards/code applicable and do not interfere with the original installation.

This is in no way complete, it should be seen as a small excerpt:

1. Inspection (To some extent this is already done while the electrical installation is erected, extended or modified. Not everything is applicable for every installation.)

- Protection against electrical shock. (Are all covers installed, no exposed wires, (...)
- Protection against thermal impacts.
- Protection against fire and spreading of fire. (Fire proof doors, fire proof maintenance/inspection flaps, (...))
- Were the correct cables, wires, bus bars, (...) used in accordance with expected loads and line voltage drop.
- Were the correct safety devices chosen and installed, were they adjusted/configured correctly.
- Were the correct appliances chosen and installed. (Think IP ratings.)
- Is the electrical installation labeled properly and entirely (wires, breakers, (...).
- Is the technical documentation of components and wiring diagram present and correct/complete.
- Are all connections properly made.

2. Test and measure. (Again, not everything is applicable for every electrical installation.)

- Continuity of ground wire, protective-equipotential bonding. If applicable secondary protective-equipotential bonding.
- Insulation resistance/ leakage resistance.
- Separation of circuits. (SELV safety extra-low voltage; PELV protective extra-low-voltage; protective separation.)
- Resistance of insulated flooring and walls.
- Protection through automated shut off. (Think fuses, breakers, GFCI, (...)) Depending on which system/ on what devices are used, there are different measurements to be taken, like loop impedance for example. If GFCI/RCD are used, those have to be tested, and loop impedance may be proven by calculation.
- Effectivity of additional safety measures/devices.
- Grounding resistance.
- Polarity.
- Correct rotating/rotary field direction.
- Check that everything works as intended
- Check/measure max. allowed line voltage drop

3. Document it.

You can buy pre-made forms to document this, or you can make your own - which might help if you have different type customers with different electrical installations. As not everything is always applicable.

The electrician will keep one set of documents for himself (think liability) and one is handed over to the owner of the electrical installation or whomever keeps these for a (building) project.

Thats the best case scenario obviously. If you ask 10 people if they can provide this documentation, 0.25 will be able to hand you something.

As you probably know: Fluke, GMW, CA ... They all make testers for this to streamline the process. Then there is a similar procedure for testing and ensuring safe use of commercially used machinery, appliances, tools, (think electrical equipment). If you work commercially in Germany you are required to have your electrical equipment/electrically operated machines (tools!) tested and documented.

If you set up metal scaffolding commercially, it has to be tested for electrical safety as well. (Think grounding)

The depth of documentation and use of testers will vary.

--

The most pleasant surprise I had in this regard, was the tech guy that put a new water distribution panel inside the soap compartment of our washing machine, that was under warranty - so no DIY. ;) Even though he barely unscrewed the top of the washing machine, after he was finished, he pulled out an electrical appliances tester, tested and documented it.

You remember that "cycled to death" actuator? This is what happens because many, many, many electricians do not test & measure their work. I never got any documentation/ prove of tests for that master bathroom electrical work. Neither when they moved the terminal from ground level to basement. (But back then, I didn't even know it was good practice/ according to standard/code to do this.)

And that's the next problem. Who knows this? Most employees in larger companies will know that when they bring their personal coffee maker, charging device or whatever, they should send a notice to maintenance and they will test it, and put a little sticker on it that says tested and when the next test should be performed. As they are reminded to do it by e-mail or during "work safety/accident prevention class" hold by the appointed occupational health and safety "officer"/appointee once a year.

But they have no idea that after a remodel, electrical work in their home, there should be tests being done as well.

I can't speak of the landlord perspective. I do think that landlords are required to keep this kind of documentation and have the tests done after one renter moves out and another in.

But as a home owner. I don't think there are any requirements. At least I haven't heard of it. And as a frugal home owner, who is going to ask for this extensive and pricy testing. Many electricians will go with their gut feeling and tell you: "I put in a new outlet, with new wire, why should the ground wire be broken/ where is the need to test it - if "it works" and has worked."

A different story is the underground garage complex, as it has an appointed administrator - and they, for liability reasons, keep documentation.

But obviously, these tests don't lie. And what has been tested, can't be untested. (That's majority's thinking!) So with so many electrical installations being 30, 40, 50 years old and protected if they were up to standard/code once and are not altered/extended/modified or if there is a major change in/of use. Frugal people "in the know" don't touch this subject for a reason.

And it's starting much earlier, how many people really test their GFCI/RCD - at least by pushing that little test button?

In the end, there are not many accidents/death involving electricity so I guess with common sense and the way it currently goes in the real world - "it's ok".

Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 10:57 PM by six-point socket II »
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline mwolczko

  • Posts: 60
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #54 on: July 27, 2020, 07:22 PM »
I got a reply from Wago on this question a few minutes ago.

I quote: "Product management decided it's 2, 3 & 5."


Priceless.  Thanks for trying!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 07:27 PM by mwolczko »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 971
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #55 on: July 27, 2020, 11:36 PM »
Oliver,   for the most part that is what is covered by our permits and building inspector.  They check it matches up with what was suppose to be done, check it if it meets code, was done correctly, etc.  They might shove check tool in a plug, make sure it's wired right, test the GFCI were applicable.

All the resistivity testing and so forth, never seen that.  Don't really see where there would be a reason for that. If the person used the correct gage wire, and correct wiring practices connecting it, there shouldn't be an issue.   If a house suffers from bad voltage drop, the utility might come out with a load bank and do some checks to see if it is the house or the utilities issue.

Some inspectors might do a test on the grounding rod system, but that would be if they have reason to question it.

The signed off paperwork is kept with the town/city/county for records. Once the inspector inspects and signs off on the work, the liability is on the town/city/county,  not the person/company that installed it.

So they test polarity, and you guys don't have polarized plugs?  [huh]

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7883
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2020, 12:08 AM »

Thats the best case scenario obviously. If you ask 10 people if they can provide this documentation, 0.25 will be able to hand you something.

Will most employees in larger companies know that when they bring their personal coffee maker, charging device or whatever, they should send a notice to maintenance and they will test it, and put a little sticker on it that says tested and when the next test should be performed. As they are reminded to do it by e-mail or during "work safety/accident prevention class" hold by the appointed occupational health and safety "officer"/appointee once a year.


Oliver, I think you should just ditch the idle chatter on Festoolownersgroup and engage in a 1000 page tome on the ins & outs of home inspections in Germany. If you focused on presenting that to the proper clientele you could make a million.  [big grin] [big grin]

I also love the 10 people statement...

I totally understand the frustration with the personal device thing, I believe it started when ISO was first established.

From an engineering perspective I understand the issue. You don't want engineers approving discrepant product based on non-certified measuring instruments. That's the reason personal measuring instruments must be verified every year and have a certified tag attached.

But coffee makers...really?

Offline mwolczko

  • Posts: 60
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2020, 01:26 AM »
But coffee makers...really?
I’ve worked in big Silicon Valley corporations for >25years. All have had rules prohibiting personal devices like coffee makers...and some actually have had enforcement (eg confiscating a tea kettle).

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 755
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2020, 02:36 AM »
Slow down guys, I’m way back on page one and finding out that Chicago has a building code. I thought they only had bribes.  🤪

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1492
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Wago wire connector nuts
« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2020, 04:50 AM »
Oliver,   for the most part that is what is covered by our permits and building inspector.  They check it matches up with what was suppose to be done, check it if it meets code, was done correctly, etc.  They might shove check tool in a plug, make sure it's wired right, test the GFCI were applicable.

All the resistivity testing and so forth, never seen that.  Don't really see where there would be a reason for that. If the person used the correct gage wire, and correct wiring practices connecting it, there shouldn't be an issue.   If a house suffers from bad voltage drop, the utility might come out with a load bank and do some checks to see if it is the house or the utilities issue.

Some inspectors might do a test on the grounding rod system, but that would be if they have reason to question it.

The signed off paperwork is kept with the town/city/county for records. Once the inspector inspects and signs off on the work, the liability is on the town/city/county,  not the person/company that installed it.

So they test polarity, and you guys don't have polarized plugs?  [huh]

I apologize for not being more specific.

What I wrote above is applicable for what we call "low voltage" both AC and DC. (That's why I said not every test is applicable all the time, it depends what electrical installation is present.)

"Low voltage", in German: "Niederspannung" -> 50 - 1000V AC, 120 - 1500V DC

The standard/code gives clear numbers up to which test results the installation passes.

To give you an example, a grounding rod has to be, depending on the type of soil/ground, inserted to a specific length to make sure it will pass the test and work appropriately.

The line voltage drop (and I hope that is the correct english term for it) has nothing to do with the supplier/utility, at least in first instance. It happens when cables/wires are too long compared to their diameter, as the resistance rises. Voltage drops, more current is pulled. This can be a serious safety issue (heat, rendering safety devices useless).

I say can, because all of that is - at least to some extent - a purely/merely theoretical issue from a residential/home owner perspective.

Of course we do have inspectors from state/municipal construction supervision agencies, but they do not collect "random" paperwork of projects/matters they are not actively involved in, nor do they inspect every construction site/ every step along when a building is being build.

Don't get me wrong here either, I'm really not an advocate for all that standard/code stuff. But I had to dive in a little deeper and Cheese asked about it. To make that very clear, I'm absolutely against creating unnecessary, time consuming, work and paper trails.

And the fact that these non-laws but often treated as such, standards/codes are not readily available but instead have to be bought for ridiculous amounts of money from a more or less de-facto monopolist who publishes them.

This is an animal that continuously feeds itself and is getting bigger each day.

And if you have read enough of them, you'll likely find out that some of them contradict others ...

I got an e-mail a few hours ago with current offers on newly published books on applicable standards/code related to electrical vehicles, charging systems ... This is the other side that makes money out of this. First you need the standards/code, and all the ones that are being quoted/linked, and then you need a book by "specialists" and highly regarded individuals, that haven't touched a tester or screwdriver in years (to stay with the electrical stuff), who will explain to "us" merely mortals what the standard/code actually really means.

Standardization itself is a great thing, but what is being made out of it ...

Just to explain myself a little more accurately. :)

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International