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379 posts

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Topic # 204275 24-Sep-2016 18:01
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Hi all,

first of all, please know that a registered electrician will do the work, I am not trying to get into discussions about what the homeowner can do and what not... my query revolves around a certain detail of the wiring regulations which I would like to discuss with someone familiar with this document. I am NOT an electrician myself but I consider I have a degree of understanding of how things work.

I am looking at having a house extension done, a couple of new bedrooms, so all work will be new (starting with a new submain from the existing meter, a new switchboard, wiring, etc). So all will be "clean" and new.

[1] Have you noticed in lots of movies, when they enter the room and flick the lights on, it is not the lights in the ceiling coming on... but all sorts of lamps placed everywhere around the room. That tells me that the light switch controls the wall points where these lamps are plugged into. Question: would something like this be tolerated by the NZ wiring rules?

[2] Would this be a light circuit, or a power circuit? Does it matter? Worse case scenario is a power circuit. How many wall points can I have on such circuit?

[3] What if in the future you want to use the power point for actual power and not controlled by the light switch? I am looking at having "dual supply" to these wall points, one from the "light switch" and another one branched off before this switch. Each wall point will have a switch to connect that wall point to "lights" or to "power" circuit. This would provide the maximum of flexibility for future use of the wall points... but can such configuration be tolerated by the NZ rules?

[4] can this switching between "power" and "lights" function be done by the extra switch you can get onto most (single or double) power points? It would be great, as that is just a fairly standard fitting readily available. The only issue is to get that switch as "double throw" and not "single throw" - most of them appear to be double throw anyway?

[5] would the RCD trip when this switch does the switching between the two "live" feeds? Let's remember, they both come from the same live wire from switchboard, they branch off where the wall light switch is. Whatever comes through the live from the swicthboard will return there, regardless if it reaches the wall points through "red" or "blue" core of the cabling.

[6] I am planning to ask 4-core wire to be used - I guess it would be more elegant, but if it is more expensive than twice the standard 3-core TPS then let them run two cables...


I am looking at having at least a minimum of understanding of the implications before taking it to an electrician for pricing the whole extension work, I do not want to come up with stupid ideas when talking about this intention, so he can think I have no idea what I am doing and consequently quote me a ridiculous sum... just because "it is not standard"...


Many thanks for your time.


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  Reply # 1639949 24-Sep-2016 18:04
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When it was done at a friends place they were dedicated outlets with a round earth pin. Vacuum cleaners have a 2 pin plug so it didnt do anything to stop the cleaner from plugging the vacuum into it and blowing up the dimmers.

 

Edit: that was with cbus as well, so I dont think that the circuit was used for anything but the lighting.

 

Why not just put multiple outlets, some switched, some not switched instead of messing about with a second switch on the wallplate? Also you could just get some automation with some wireless LED lamps in the table lamps and a dummy switch at the door really just remote controlling them and then not end up with non standard wiring that would confuse everyone.





Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1639955 24-Sep-2016 18:22
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that is an excellent point. I was not even looking at having dimmers but now that you mentioned it... maybe I will.

 

Is it OK to have these wall points dedicated for lamps (but still using standard NZ type), and label them permanently "SWITCH TO POWER FOR ANYTHING OVER 100W"? (engrave the face plate?). Or is this too over the top? It is owner occupied house, we will know what to do and how to properly use them.

 

the way I see it, whatever type of wall point you have (round pin, etc), there will always be someone trying to use a travel adapter in there...

 

at this stage, my concern is if something like this will make the electricians say "no way!" or could they look at installing it?

 

hmmm... is there a device which cuts power if the absorbed current is over a limit but not permanently (like a fuse)? like the old shaving outlets in the bathrooms? Still mains voltage, but the absorbed power is limited. They use a transformer if I am not wrong? And they must be quite expensive too...


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  Reply # 1640019 24-Sep-2016 20:24
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Just install a few additional outlets that are switched by a light switch, and label. Leave your normal outlet sockets alone.

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  Reply # 1640035 24-Sep-2016 21:46
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If you want a remotely switched wall outlet, why not just do it how they do power points under a kitchen bench for things like insinkerator etc. They are just a standard GPO with no switches which are run via a standard switch mech. All 2.5mm wiring and appropriate breakers so you can plug whatever you want in to them and not worry.

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  Reply # 1640037 24-Sep-2016 21:49
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We had this done at our place for the lamps beside the bed in the master bedroom. The only way that the electrition would do it for us was hard wiring the lamps into the wall.

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  Reply # 1640445 26-Sep-2016 04:03
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RickW: We had this done at our place for the lamps beside the bed in the master bedroom. The only way that the electrition would do it for us was hard wiring the lamps into the wall.

 

Yea this may be the best solution unless you look at wireless bulbs etc.






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  Reply # 1640494 26-Sep-2016 09:36
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Another way around would be z-wave relays in the power points you want to control and a z-wave light switch (All these can be retrofitted later into existing standard wiring). Then you are not locked into any particular scenario either, you can reprogram at any time what that light switch actually controls.  With most controllers you could even get a bit smarter and do things like the switch only certain lamps on during the day and all on at night time etc.


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  Reply # 1642907 29-Sep-2016 19:49
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It would be interesting to get an opinion from one of the professional electricians on this forum.

[1] Have you noticed in lots of movies, when they enter the room and flick the lights on, it is not the lights in the ceiling coming on... but all sorts of lamps placed everywhere around the room. That tells me that the light switch controls the wall points where these lamps are plugged into. Question: would something like this be tolerated by the NZ wiring rules?


You see it in lots of movies because it's a common feature in living (lounge) rooms in North American homes.

I hope it's tolerated under the NZ electrical code because we've got that scheme in our house (installed that way by a careful sparkie).

[2] Would this be a light circuit, or a power circuit? Does it matter? Worse case scenario is a power circuit. How many wall points can I have on such circuit?


Power circuit. No harm in running lighting off 2.5 mm cable. Not a good idea if someone were to inadvertently or carelessly try to run a power-guzzling appliance off 1.0 mm.

In North America power and lighting circuits are not distinct - in fact when I was in British Columbia, Canada, you were encouraged to mix power points and light fittings on each circuit.

Anyway, keep it simple! If you think you're going to want to change the use of the powerpoint in future, maybe have the switch controlling it installed in a separate bank from the other light switches.

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  Reply # 1642910 29-Sep-2016 20:01
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As far as I'm aware, there's nothing preventing this. The tricky part is the control gear and what it's rated for. You cant just have a regular light switch switching a bunch of sockets.

The simplest solution is probably having the light switch control a suitably rated relay, which switches the sockets. You could then control that same relay with something else too.

If I was doing it, I'd put all the control at the switchboard and have said sockets on a separate circuit. Its more wiring, but for this sort of thing you want options in the future.

[registered electrician]




Location: Dunedin

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  Reply # 1643158 30-Sep-2016 10:13
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Adamww: Another way around would be z-wave relays in the power points you want to control and a z-wave light switch (All these can be retrofitted later into existing standard wiring). Then you are not locked into any particular scenario either, you can reprogram at any time what that light switch actually controls.  With most controllers you could even get a bit smarter and do things like the switch only certain lamps on during the day and all on at night time etc.

 

Yep, these new ones are nice for controlling table lamp groups from a standard outlet. Very flexible.

 

http://www.smartliving.com.au/aeon-labs-z-wave-plug-in-smart-switch-6-appliance-module-gen5.html





McLean

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  Reply # 1643176 30-Sep-2016 10:36
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andrewNZ: As far as I'm aware, there's nothing preventing this. The tricky part is the control gear and what it's rated for. You cant just have a regular light switch switching a bunch of sockets.

The simplest solution is probably having the light switch control a suitably rated relay, which switches the sockets. You could then control that same relay with something else too.

If I was doing it, I'd put all the control at the switchboard and have said sockets on a separate circuit. Its more wiring, but for this sort of thing you want options in the future.

[registered electrician]

 

 

 

Take a look at a typical light switch, a PDL681, single light switch, the switch mech is rated at 20 amps, more than enough to switch a power point, no need to have additional relays etc.

 

 

 

As long as the wiring is correctly rated for the socket then there should not be a problem using a standard light switch

 

 

 

The standard excel HPM XL770/1 is rated at 10 amps, again sufficient for a standard power point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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