Sunday, October 11, 2015
Lights in bath & shower rooms ("salles d'eau")
Amendment 5 to the French domestic wiring regulations makes major changes/simplications to the zoning of bathrooms/salles d'eau. The changes come 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. What follows is an updated version of my previously published information on this subject.
A recent forum discussion made me write the following, so I thought it worth updating the blog for a change.......
The following minimum specifications apply to light fittings in bath or shower rooms:
X can be any figure.
Zone 0 (actually in the bath 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 the 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”.
Sockets & their wiring - Part 2 UPDATE
Amendment 5 to the French domestic wiring regulations makes major changes/simplications to the way the number of sockets per circuit is calculated. This change comes into effect for all works subject to a Permis de Constuire deposited on or after 27/11/2015 & any works that are accepted (via a signed devis/quote) on or after that date. What follows is an updated version of my previously published information on this subject.
As French socket circuits don't use the UK ring main principle (which allows the quite large rating of 32 amps) the number of outlets allowed on any one circuit is limited. There are two sizes of wiring allowed for use with sockets, which creates another level of restriction. Under NF C 15-100 A5 (effective from 27/11/2015) all physical socket outlets are counted when applying the numbers set out below. There is no longer the allowance to count true double outlets as single sockets, as was the case before.
Circuit wired in 1.5mm² conductors:
maximum number of sockets = 8.
Protection must be via a maximum 16 amp rated MCB (disjoncteur divisionnaire) only - no fuses are allowed.
Circuit wired in 2.5mm² conductors:
maximum number of sockets = 12.
Protection can be via a maximum 20 amp rated MCB (disjoncteur) or fuse of 16 amps. My personal advice is that one should only use a 16A MCB/disjoncteur.
With the advent of A5 it is now very simple to calculate the maximum number of outlets allowed. For example if you have a 2.5mm² circuit with 6 double sockets on it you can't add any more as 6 x 2 = 12. To further clarify, a 1.5mm² circuit that has 2 doubles & 3 singles on it could only have 1 extra single added to it (2 x 2) +( 3 x 1) = 7.
As no ring is involved when wiring a French socket circuit there is no need to string one socket after another in a "daisy chain" fashion. In other words, if it was physically convenient you could take the circuit from your consumer unit, daisy chain through two sockets, then into a junction box where another 3 outlets are wired out as individual runs in a star, or radial format. Just observe the rules about junction boxes, but that's a subject for another rambling.....
Monday, December 09, 2013
TVA for renovation work up to 10% from 2014 - UPDATE
The finer details of the TVA increase to 10% for qualifying renovation works have recently been confirmed. The obvious rule that applies is that any works quoted from 01/01/2014 will be subject to the new 10% TVA rate. Less obvious are the conditions applicable to works already quoted &/or started at the old 7% rate. So, to clarify:
Any qualifying works quoted prior to the end of 2013 & where a minimum of 30% of the quoted price has been paid by 31/12/2012 can continue at the lower rate until 01/03/2014. However, by that date they must be finished & fully invoiced. A recent amendment states that those invoices must also be completely settled by 15/03/2014.
If the works are not completely finished by 01/03/2014 (or not fully paid for by 15/03/2014) then only the original deposit (invoiced & paid in 2013) will stay at 7% - the remainder of the works will attract TVA at the new 10% rate.
The official line can be found here on the service-public.fr website.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Good news about PV panels
Fans of photovoltaic (PV) panels will be pleased to read this article publshed on 13/06/2012.
In a nutshell it says that recent tests carried out on the first PV panels to be grid connected in France back in 1992 have shown a degradation in output of only 8,3% over that 20 year period. The main manufacturers still use reductions of around 20% over 20 or 25 years to calculate lifetime output &, ultimately, the overall payback.
The upshot of this is that a PV installation can actually perform better than the original sales pitch.
I like a bit of good news.