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Is it possible to install a dedicated mains spur myself?

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by HT-Naimee, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    I wondered. i have the fuse box in the front closet on my hallway (I live in a flat, not my own house).

    Could I simply turn of the electricity, install another mains fuse in the power block and attach a thick power cable and run it along the ceiling into my listening room and attach a socket or two on the end of it?

    Or is there something more to it?


  2. Mike Hanson

    Mike Hanson Lovely!

    Theoretically, it should/could work. Legally and safely, based upon the tenor of your description, probably not.

    -=> Mike Hanson <=-
  3. Thomas K

    Thomas K pfm Member

    AFAIK, it is not legal (in Germany) to have a mains cable run away from your fuse box outside of the wall. (Would be cool, though, to have a hydra go straight into the fuse box.)

    Ask an electrician!
  4. alexs2

    alexs2 pfm Member

    If you live in the UK,you will fall foul of the new Building Safety Regulations with respect to electrical safety,if you either do not employ a suitably qualified electrician,or failing that,have the installation checked by the local council following installation.

    Also,simply turning off the electricity and installing another mains fuse etc etc,if not done very carefully,will be very dangerous work.

    You would be far better to install,or have installed,a proper dedicated mains spur,with it's own consumer unit,as detailed by the likes of Ben Duncan et al,and get something that not only does it's job,but does it safely.
  5. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    HT - yes you can, BUT.

    1) NOT in rented accomodation without putting yourself in potentially nasty legal situation
    2) ONLY if you can satisfy the new Part P building reg. Which would be your landlord's problem (also return to 1 above).
  6. robs

    robs should know how this works by no

    If you have to ask the question....probably not...:D
  7. almichie

    almichie Jack the lad

    1, its illegal now, as alexs2 says, you cant just go installing new bits and peices now. And quite rightly so, seeing that one foul move and you can blow yourself to bits. As one apprentice did in my year at college.

    2. as said before if you have to ask, with mains voltage, you shouldn't do it. its not like blowing up a transitor or a 47uF cap. its blowing off your arm or worse killing yourself or others.

    3. you cnat just turn the electricity off to your board, it is permanently fed from an external fuse, and even though t you have turned the main breaker off there are still LIVE parts in the box, be warned
  8. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    Well, I'll try to take your answers apart now :)

    Well, there actually already is a mains cable running along the ceiling in the hall. I do not know whether it is actually a live cable, but I think it is.
    If I were to do it myself, I could of course ask an electrician what I would legally have to remember and maybe he could certify it for me afterwards.
    And yes, I can indeed shut down the entire electricity to my flat and the fuse box. On the ground floor are the voltage meters. So I could turn it of down there I guess.

    I would consider having someone come round and doing it for me, but well, it is kind of a very simple job, in theory, and I attached everything else myself, including the oven etc., so this shouldn't be any different.

    By the way, what exactly is a hydra? Is it just a power cord?

    And which power cord would I need to use to get ideal sound in the end?

    P.S.: I live in Germany, hence british government laws do not apply. Germans however do, and they are probably no smallar PIA.
  9. alexs2

    alexs2 pfm Member

    Since you live in Germany,then Thomas Kunzler's advice would also be relevant,in suggesting that what you plan to do is almost certainly illegal,as it would be here also.

    You can of course,do anything you wish,in terms of ignoring answers/advice,and take your own fuse box apart,and then run the obvious risks of doing so,if you are not fully qualified to do so.

    Personally,I'm very happy building valve amps,and rewiring various things around the house,but fiddling with a consumer unit and the incoming mains fuse is something I would leave to someone who knows exactly what he's doing.

    In the end it's your decision,and any risks(fire hazards/electrocution etc),must rest on that alone.
  10. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    Thanks Alex.
    I am awars of the risks but due to legal matters, as you all have said, I will rather not go through with it myself. I guess I'll just have to make sure my girlfriend doesn't use the hairdryer in the bedroom while I'm listening to my music ;)
  11. Roy.K.Riches

    Roy.K.Riches pfm Member

    Hello HT-Naimee
    You can easily accomplish your task, (German regulations permitting?) AND BE SAFE in the process!

    There is some misunderstanding here regarding the UK Part"P" Building Regulations. As I understand it, a UK competent, can repair damaged electrical circuits, replace ceiling roses and electrical power sockets and even add new circuits to an existing ring-main.
    You can even replace a fuse or MCBs in the Consumer Unit!

    Problems occur when a completely new installation is proposed, then notification to the proper authority is required. Even here in certain circumstances the new UK Part "P" Regulations require some additional clarification! Give it a couple of years and the initial "infancy" problems will hopefully have been sorted!

    Anyway please E-mail me for the FREE 3.5Mb of Dedicated Mains for Hi-Fi information. There are 20x MS Word documents and some of the ideas may be of benefit to you.

    e-mail -

    Best regards
  12. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    I think I might give the electrician, that usually does the jobs in this house and ask him about it. Maybe, if I get the cable and stuff, he could install it for a few Euros next time he's in-house.

    [eMailed you Roy :) ]
  13. Installing a new spur is a doddle, just remove the fuse for the board, install the spur, and ask the leccy board to replace the seal on the fuse once you've put it back in.

  14. alexs2

    alexs2 pfm Member

    Easy yes,but potentially lethal,and dangerous if not done properly.

    Removing the main incoming fuse,is potentially dangerous also,given that it's live at all times.
  15. penance

    penance pfm Member

    hmm, criminal damage to the suppliers equipment!
  16. You'll find they won't really care too much, I've done it myself, they tend to pay more attention to billing patterns than the equipment.
  17. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    Hi all, I need your advice again on what to do.

    Right now I am thinking about putting down a dedicated spur. I talked to my electrician, as he has work to do in our house (6 parties in this house inlcuding myself) and hence he will be around again. He said I could put everything down myself, install the cable, the socket and even the fuse if I wanted and he would then come and check it through and attest it being done correctly. At no cost.
    So I figured, what the hell, let's do it.
    Unfortunatly the main fuse for my apartement only allows 25Amps. So putting in the recommended 30-45Amp fuse on my fuse box would make no sense as it would simply blow the main fuse.

    So, now I am stuck AGAIN! a 6mm² cable doesn't make much sense when hooked up to a 16amp fuse, does it?
    A 2,5mm² would even be too big. A 1,5mm² would be sufficient. However, a 2,5mm² wouldn't be too costly, so what the hell. But would it really make a difference and would I use a 5x2,5mm² and hook it up to two fuses with a shared ground and hence have two sockets for my hifi ( for the front end and one for the two poweramps), or just one 3x2,5mm on one fuse.
    Or would it even be worthwhile and worth spending 50€ on the material....not much cash, but wasted it might be...

    Thing is, with a max of one or two 16Amp fuses (depending on which route to take), would it make a sonic difference to use thicker cable and if yes, would a 2,5mm² be adequate or would it have to be the 5 times as expensive and even more complicated to put down 5x6mm²?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    P.S.: It is not possible to replace the main fuse and upgrade it. I asked. 25amps is the max for the apartement. So either 1x16amps on a 3*x,x mm² or 2x16amps on a 5*x,x mm² or nothing at all as it would not benefit my system one way or another.

    P.P.S.: I could also install a 20Amp fuse instead of the 16Amps. The Naim poweramps shouldn't pull that much current. Plus should I use a Typ B or Typ C fuse (Typ C allows for a slightly higher current for approx. 5secs before blowing the fuse...kind of as a startup-current).

    Here's a picture of my fuse box....

    A, B, C are the phases. In Germany we have three spurs for the electrical cooker. Three 16Amp spurs instead of (like the french) one big, fat 30-45amp spur.
    Top fuses on phase A are (l.t.r.) "living room (hifi) + bedroom + hallway", then unknown, then "bathroom + toilet" then cooker.
    Bottom row are "office" then "kitchen" then "unknown" then cooker and then another single fuse at the end just for the third cooker-spur.
  18. I don't know how things work in Germany, but for the UK:

    For standard 13A wall sockets, you should use 30A cable.

    Do not change any fuses unless you know the capacity of the cable that it is protecting. A fuse protects not an appliance, but a cable. If the fuse is rated higher than the cable, and you draw too much current for too long a time, your home will burn down!

    If you need to work out the current draw of each piece of equipment, look on the back of each unit and there will be a label that gives the wattage at 240V. To determine the current, simply divide the power by the voltage. Thus, a 240W device uses 1amp.
  19. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

    If Alex's posts suddenly stop, we'll know he didn't take our advice.

    Even the electricians I know don't much like working on 3-phase. If you make a mistake, single phase MIGHT kill you; 3-phase WILL.
  20. HT-Naimee

    HT-Naimee pfm Member

    After 6 hours of work putting down the cable, hiding it neatly, emptying and refilling the living room, re-placing the hifi-rack and reconnecting the equipment, followed by lots of cleaning, I am now going to go through with this!

    Yep, everything in place. All that needs to be done now is hook up the fuse, which I might do myself, just as a skill-test :) I am regaining my confidence!

    But one of my Naim plugs came undone from the speaker cable. Argg. I guess my own soldering is crap! Anybody here ever noticed any difference between properly soldered cable and poorly soldered one? I'm too lazy to redo it now, but maybe I'll have it done properly one day. Need to check whether I got the phases right though. Forgot to properly mark the damn NACA.

    Anyhow, work is in progress and I'll let you know once I'm done :D

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