building in France ?

5 views
Skip to first unread message

SoWeezy

unread,
Sep 22, 2007, 5:43:50 AM9/22/07
to
does anyone know of website(s) that have info on wiring and plumbing in
France

specifically their regs and technical info

thanks


David in Normandy

unread,
Sep 22, 2007, 6:07:38 AM9/22/07
to
In article <46f4df51$0$11943$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk>,
de...@redx.co.uk says...
You could try asking on one of the expat French forums, e.g:
http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/
The wiring regs are very different to the UK. Here (in France) ring-
mains are illegal, everything has to be radial going back to the board.
The other big difference is with breakers and fuses. In the UK where
fuses and switches are only on the live side, in France breakers are on
both live and neutral. In practice this means there is often no
distinguishing between live and neutral in terms of wired sockets! So
the three pin plugs in France aren't even marked live, neutral and
earth. Only the earth is marked. There are also regs about putting
cabling in conduits to protect against vermin chewing. Lots of
differences. You also need to be a qualified electrician (French
qualifications) to do any work here. Even if it is your own home you
could well find that the house insurance becomes invalid in the event of
a fire or a subsequent purchaser of the house can also sue.
--
David in Normandy.
(The free MicroPlanet Gravity newsreader is great for eliminating the
cross-posted rubbish)

Doctor Drivel

unread,
Sep 22, 2007, 7:26:55 AM9/22/07
to

"David in Normandy" <Davidin...@no.spam> wrote in message
news:MPG.215f07d02...@news.wanadoo.fr...

> In article <46f4df51$0$11943$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk>,
> de...@redx.co.uk says...
>> does anyone know of website(s) that have info on wiring and plumbing in
>> France
>>
>> specifically their regs and technical info
>>
>> thanks
>>
>>
>>
> You could try asking on one of the expat French forums, e.g:
> http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/
> The wiring regs are very different to the UK. Here (in France) ring-
> mains are illegal,

They are not. We have a reciprocal agreement to fit each others systems.
If you buy all UK equipment and fit rings a with UK sockets & plugs
(essential in a ring) they will connect up for you. Rings can have any
number of sockets on them, as opposed to 8 on a French radial. Many on
Continent fit UK rings, with sockets to reduce installation cost on
commercial systems like those providing computers. An office needs many
sockets and just have 8 per radial would means a very large CU

> everything has to be radial going back to the board.
> The other big difference is with breakers and fuses. In the UK where
> fuses and switches are only on the live side, in France breakers are on
> both live and neutral. In practice this means there is often no
> distinguishing between live and neutral in terms of wired sockets! So
> the three pin plugs in France aren't even marked live, neutral and
> earth. Only the earth is marked. There are also regs about putting
> cabling in conduits to protect against vermin chewing. Lots of
> differences. You also need to be a qualified electrician (French
> qualifications) to do any work here. Even if it is your own home you
> could well find that the house insurance becomes invalid in the event of
> a fire or a subsequent purchaser of the house can also sue.

I don't think you need to be qualified as long as a qualified man checks it
out.

David in Normandy

unread,
Sep 22, 2007, 8:28:11 AM9/22/07
to
In article <46f4fd99$0$47124$892e...@authen.yellow.readfreenews.net>,
Min...@nospam.com says...
I stand corrected. This is where some official guidelines would be handy
in English. I think there are lots of us ex-pats out here who pick up
bits and pieces from various parties, some information more reliable
than others. The bit about ring-mains I got from a French electrical
inspector who surveyed the ancient wiring in our house. He also said
pull-cord switches in the bathroom were illegal. As I say a definitive
guide to the regs in English would be very handy!

Doctor Drivel

unread,
Sep 22, 2007, 8:52:13 AM9/22/07
to

"David in Normandy" <Davidin...@no.spam> wrote in message
news:MPG.215f28c3a...@news.wanadoo.fr...

Yep. Also, pull chord switches are NOT illegal in France. Rings and radial
are all legal in all EU countries. Nothing is stopping you putting a radial
system in, in the UK. The ring requires the fuse in the plug, only the
British plugs and sockets have them.

Where the French score is the live and neutral both on the MCB. New German
systems need a RCBO in the CU - an RCD and MCB for each circuit.

You can fit the French style L & N MCBs in the UK in rings (better idea).

I believe there is a reg that says which pin the L is supposed to be in
France. Being French they ignore it.

The best system is a mix of the two. RCBOs in the CU switching on L&N,
using sheathed wiring even for the earth which the French have (the UK earth
is bare). Rings where appropriate to say set of rooms, radials in kitchens,
each appliance with its own RCBO at the CU. Pull chords as in the UK, no
sockets in bathrooms as in the UK.

Using RCBOs on all circuits, as in Germany, precludes al this complex
equipotential bonding in the UK. UK gated sockets.

SoWeezy

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 6:10:04 AM9/23/07
to
>

thanks both


Andrew Gabriel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 7:56:08 AM9/23/07
to
In article <MPG.215f28c3a...@news.wanadoo.fr>,
David in Normandy <Davidin...@no.spam> writes:
> I stand corrected.

Do check out a poster's posting history before believing anything they say.

--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]

Doctor Drivel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 1:03:45 PM9/23/07
to

"Andrew Gabriel" <and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:46f65458$0$767$5a6a...@news.aaisp.net.uk...

> In article <MPG.215f28c3a...@news.wanadoo.fr>,
> David in Normandy <Davidin...@no.spam> writes:
>> I stand corrected.
>
> Do check out a poster's posting history before believing anything they
> say.

A very good point.

Steve Walker

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 1:14:39 PM9/23/07
to
On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 13:52:13 +0100, Doctor Drivel wrote:


> I believe there is a reg that says which pin the L is supposed to be in
> France. Being French they ignore it.

There may well be such a reg., but even the manufacturers ignore it - some
types of two gang French sockets have the sockets turned at 180 degrees to
each other and connected by straight brass connections, effectively making
opposite polarity connections to each socket.

Steve W

David in Normandy

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 1:33:22 PM9/23/07
to
In article <nlz9f7zj3qn3.s...@40tude.net>,
st...@theend.demon.co.uk says...
There are also the two pin plugs here in France. They are designed to be
inserted into the sockets either way up. So it is pot luck with all
none-earthed appliances which way round live and neutral is.

It is legal (and normal) to have electrical sockets in bathrooms too,
there are regs about how far they should be away from sinks, baths etc.

It's quite handy though having sockets in the bathroom. It means I can
prop my radio on the edge of the bath and listen to it while I'm laying
relaxing in the water and blow drying my hair :-)


--
David in Normandy.
(The free MicroPlanet Gravity newsreader is great for eliminating

rubbish and cross-posts)

Andrew Gabriel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 2:16:10 PM9/23/07
to
In article <nlz9f7zj3qn3.s...@40tude.net>,

There isn't such a rule -- Drivel made it up.
Parts of France have no supply neutral, so they can't define one
of the pins as neutral. As you correctly point out, all double
sockets and 2-way adaptors have the sockets hard-wired around
the opposite way anyway.

Doctor Drivel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 2:56:50 PM9/23/07
to

"Andrew Gabriel" <and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:46f6ad6a$0$767$5a6a...@news.aaisp.net.uk...

> In article <nlz9f7zj3qn3.s...@40tude.net>,
> Steve Walker <st...@theend.demon.co.uk> writes:
>> On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 13:52:13 +0100, Doctor Drivel wrote:
>>
>>
>>> I believe there is a reg that says which pin the L is supposed to be in
>>> France. Being French they ignore it.
>>
>> There may well be such a reg., but even the manufacturers ignore it -
>> some
>> types of two gang French sockets have the sockets turned at 180 degrees
>> to
>> each other and connected by straight brass connections, effectively
>> making
>> opposite polarity connections to each socket.
>
> There isn't such a rule -- Drivel made it up.

What tripe! There is a designated pin for live, as in Holland, Germany,
etc.

Andrew Gabriel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 3:55:29 PM9/23/07
to
In article <46f6b803$1$47110$892e...@authen.yellow.readfreenews.net>,

Oh dear, still making things up...

The French don't use the same outlet as Holland, Germany.
The german connector isn't physically polarised at all -- you can
put the plug in either way around, so it can't have a designated
pin for live.

You cut the bit where I explained why the french can't define the
pins as live and neutral. Perhaps you didn't understand it?

Steve Firth

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 4:23:12 PM9/23/07
to
Andrew Gabriel <and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk> wrote:

The same goes for Italy, so Drivel's "etc" is more bullshit.

> You cut the bit where I explained why the french can't define the
> pins as live and neutral. Perhaps you didn't understand it?

Hell, most days he doesn't understand what day of the week it is. So how
can he be expected to understand something as complex as grounding
neutral at the substation?

Doctor Drivel

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 4:29:14 PM9/23/07
to

"Steve Firth" <%steve%@malloc.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1i4ww8u.9ubste10ddzjbN%%steve%@malloc.co.uk...

Please eff off?

Newshound

unread,
Sep 23, 2007, 7:05:45 PM9/23/07
to

> It's quite handy though having sockets in the bathroom. It means I can
> prop my radio on the edge of the bath and listen to it while I'm laying
> relaxing in the water and blow drying my hair :-)

LOL.....whereas over here I have to use my propane torch.....


Martin Bonner

unread,
Sep 24, 2007, 11:04:17 AM9/24/07
to
On Sep 23, 12:56 pm, and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel)
wrote:
> In article <MPG.215f28c3a57b1797989...@news.wanadoo.fr>,

> David in Normandy <DavidinNorma...@no.spam> writes:
>
> > I stand corrected.
>
> Do check out a poster's posting history before believing anything
> they say.

Seconded. But in this particular instance, I believe the poster's
comments were actually true.

If you wire everything according to UK regs, then the local authority
is required to accept it.
a) Whether they /do/ accept it or not is a different matter.
b) The UK regs specify UK sockets (which Drivel did mention, but
didn't stress). That means your French appliances won't fit.
c) If you ever intend selling the property, your purchasers might look
askance.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages