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Old 04.02.2019, 22:21
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Electrical standards

Anyone out there an expert on Swiss electrical regs? I have a house from about 1970 with a few electrical issues. It has a 48kw 3ph supply, no fewer than 30 MCBs in the main panel, 15 more ground floor and 7 more upstairs. Iíve been replacing some with dual pole RCBOs and found a few issues. Some shared neutrals (probably from additions over time) and a couple of outside outlets with ground directly wired to neutral with a factory bridge. Pretty horrific. Is that still considered acceptable? Also nothing is labelled and there is no consistency to the colours.

All these seemed to pass inspection. What exactly are the rules on older installations and on who is permitted to make modifications/improvements to them?

Garage, greenhouse, grotto, outdoor circuits all seem pretty sub par.
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Old 04.02.2019, 22:48
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Re: Electrical standards

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Anyone out there an expert on Swiss electrical regs? I have a house from about 1970 with a few electrical issues. It has a 48kw 3ph supply, no fewer than 30 MCBs in the main panel, 15 more ground floor and 7 more upstairs. Iíve been replacing some with dual pole RCBOs and found a few issues. Some shared neutrals (probably from additions over time) and a couple of outside outlets with ground directly wired to neutral with a factory bridge. Pretty horrific. Is that still considered acceptable? Also nothing is labelled and there is no consistency to the colours.

All these seemed to pass inspection. What exactly are the rules on older installations and on who is permitted to make modifications/improvements to them?

Garage, greenhouse, grotto, outdoor circuits all seem pretty sub par.
- Colors non consistent could be due to diff generations of rulings in one installations.
- Only certified people are allowed to make changes to an installation (or people under the guidance of a certified person), even if law might be more flexible your insurance is not.
- Sharing neutral? incoming or outgoing side? And for 230V or 400V usage?
- Ground directed to neutral, I personally would not find that acceptable since a failure elsewhere might put full amps on a housing of a machine/lamp.

As usual it is very hard to guide somebody over the net without seeing the installation, given what you do and your questions get an electrician in, ask him/her what to do, do this yourself and have the electrician certify your installation afterwards. Your insurance will give you a problem if they know you have messed around yourself (which they only find out the moment you want their money.) And you asking these questions tells me you should not mess around in the cabinet yourself.
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Old 05.02.2019, 08:50
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Re: Electrical standards

We need an electrical inspection (NIV) to sell our ten year old house. Only certain registered electricians are able to give this inspection which is at a fixed price (Fr 270 or 320 depending on the number of rooms). The link gives the verordnung in German -I am sure it is available in english and italian. This inspection might have some use in your situation especially if there is a possibilty of a mix between the 210 and 380V connections.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...000/734.27.pdf
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:06
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Re: Electrical standards

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We need an electrical inspection (NIV) to sell our ten year old house. Only certain registered electricians are able to give this inspection which is at a fixed price (Fr 270 or 320 depending on the number of rooms). The link gives the verordnung in German -I am sure it is available in english and italian. This inspection might have some use in your situation especially if there is a possibilty of a mix between the 210 and 380V connections.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...000/734.27.pdf
We had to do this post-purchase, not pre-sale. I was under the impression it was the buyer's responsibility.

We sold the property more than 5 years later and it was up to the new owners to do this again.

https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...000/734.27.pdf
3 Impianti elettrici con un periodo di controllo di 10 o 20 anni
Gli impianti elettrici con un periodo di controllo di 10 o 20 anni devono
essere inoltre controllati ad ogni trasferimento di proprietŗ dopo cinque anni
dall’ultimo controllo.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:11
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Re: Electrical standards

Useful document - thanks. I had an inspection done when I bought the house a couple of years ago. There are various types of inspection and I had the full 20 year type done. It was fine. It is more or less ok for the period - I’m just surprised that what was consider ok in the 70s is still acceptable.

Shared or crossed neutrals is a relatively common problem from that period too. It just means that a neutral has been used (usually for a light) that has come from different circuit (MCB) as the live. It works but if you try to fit an RCD to the circuit there is a current imbalance between the live and neutral (because it’s returning via another neutral) and so the RCD immediately trips.

It’s mostly the circuits that run outside the house that have issues. And loads of extra equipment just left installed from previous archaic heating and pool control systems that are no longer in use. Not sure why they just left all that in place.

The other question I have was on these weird big sealed relay type devices that feed the washing machine, dishwasher and sauna. They are switched by a sort of extra sealed meter without any counters. I suppose they are something to do with controlling times when the devices can be on. But they are always on and the house is a long way from any neighbours. They make quite a hum and can’t be very efficient. Are they a legal requirement? And if so with what purpose since they are always on?

Last edited by DL21; 05.02.2019 at 09:24.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:51
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Re: Electrical standards

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The other question I have was on these weird big sealed relay type devices that feed the washing machine, dishwasher and sauna. They are switched by a sort of extra sealed meter without any counters. I suppose they are something to do with controlling times when the devices can be on. But they are always on and the house is a long way from any neighbours. They make quite a hum and canít be very efficient. Are they a legal requirement? And if so with what purpose since they are always on?
we had this kind of thing too, they would turn off the 3 phase during the day, of course no one told us until we got an electrician out because the washing machine and cooker wasn't working, apparently it was from years ago when heavy industry needed all the power during the day, a phone call was made and now its on all the time. (the heavy industry in out valley disappeared decades ago)
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:54
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Re: Electrical standards

Generally if the Instalation is left alone it passes inspection, If you start to do upgrades then it has to apply to todays standards.

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Useful document - thanks. I had an inspection done when I bought the house a couple of years ago. There are various types of inspection and I had the full 20 year type done. It was fine. It is more or less ok for the period - Iím just surprised that what was consider ok in the 70s is still acceptable.

Shared or crossed neutrals is a relatively common problem from that period too. It just means that a neutral has been used (usually for a light) that has come from different circuit (MCB) as the live. It works but if you try to fit an RCD to the circuit there is a current imbalance between the live and neutral (because itís returning via another neutral) and so the RCD immediately trips.

Itís mostly the circuits that run outside the house that have issues. And loads of extra equipment just left installed from previous archaic heating and pool control systems that are no longer in use. Not sure why they just left all that in place.

The other question I have was on these weird big sealed relay type devices that feed the washing machine, dishwasher and sauna. They are switched by a sort of extra sealed meter without any counters. I suppose they are something to do with controlling times when the devices can be on. But they are always on and the house is a long way from any neighbours. They make quite a hum and canít be very efficient. Are they a legal requirement? And if so with what purpose since they are always on?
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Old 05.02.2019, 11:24
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Re: Electrical standards

I am just trying to work through the regulation again.
We have definitely just signed a sale agreement where it specifically states that it is our (the sellers) responsibility to get the inspection done -this would make sense to me -why would the buyer be responsible for the state of the electrics?

Anyway the cost is minimal with regard to the cost of the house -just after ten years I would not expect a Swiss installation to need further inspection -I guess they just want to check that no non-compliant alterations have been made
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Old 05.02.2019, 13:34
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Re: Electrical standards

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I am just trying to work through the regulation again.
We have definitely just signed a sale agreement where it specifically states that it is our (the sellers) responsibility to get the inspection done -this would make sense to me -why would the buyer be responsible for the state of the electrics?
Anyway the cost is minimal with regard to the cost of the house -just after ten years I would not expect a Swiss installation to need further inspection -I guess they just want to check that no non-compliant alterations have been made
Of course the cost is low compared to the house itself, but it is still something extra. I don't know if you are purchasing another property at the same time. If you are, check your contract there to see if you are also responsible for that one's inspection as well!

We have bought and sold two properties in CH and both times it was the buyer's responsibility. The other party did not have any issues with this, presumably as it's considered fairly standard procedure. This is the first time I have heard that the seller has to do it to be honest.

I would think that is logical that the buyer is responsible. It is the buyer who is going to live there or going to be renting it out to people, so long-term they have the responsibility of its current and ongoing state and safety. Whereas the seller merely sells the property (ordinarily) 'as is'.
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Old 05.02.2019, 13:36
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Re: Electrical standards

when we bought it was our responsibility too
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Old 05.02.2019, 13:58
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Re: Electrical standards

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Some shared neutrals (probably from additions over time) and a couple of outside outlets with ground directly wired to neutral with a factory bridge. Pretty horrific. Is that still considered acceptable?
Allowed for existing installation, when done in the period when it was allowed. Must be fixed with any major changes.

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I’ve been replacing some with dual pole RCBOs
That could count as "major change" so you would have to bring all wires and other installation up from there to current code.

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We have definitely just signed a sale agreement where it specifically states that it is our (the sellers) responsibility to get the inspection done -this would make sense to me -why would the buyer be responsible for the state of the electrics?
An inspection does not costs much more than CHF 400.
https://www.eag-siko.ch/upload/Preis...ollen_2019.pdf

But as a buyer I would not trust the installation. Even if it passes inspection it might have such haywire things as a TN-C-System which is regarded with good reason as unsafe according current practice and code, but still allowed in old installations due to grandfathering rules.

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we had this kind of thing too, they would turn off the 3 phase during the day, of course no one told us until we got an electrician out because the washing machine and cooker wasn't working
Cooker as well? Wow, one reason the power was cut to washing machine, sauna etc. was actually all the cooking at noon!
https://www.srf.ch/news/regional/som...-waschmaschine
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Old 05.02.2019, 14:07
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Re: Electrical standards

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reason the power was cut to washing machine, sauna etc. was actually all the cooking at noon!
https://www.srf.ch/news/regional/som...-waschmaschine
Are there still regions that have this 'block'?
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Old 05.02.2019, 16:55
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Re: Electrical standards

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Of course the cost is low compared to the house itself, but it is still something extra. I don't know if you are purchasing another property at the same time. If you are, check your contract there to see if you are also responsible for that one's inspection as well!

We have bought and sold two properties in CH and both times it was the buyer's responsibility. The other party did not have any issues with this, presumably as it's considered fairly standard procedure. This is the first time I have heard that the seller has to do it to be honest.

I would think that is logical that the buyer is responsible. It is the buyer who is going to live there or going to be renting it out to people, so long-term they have the responsibility of its current and ongoing state and safety. Whereas the seller merely sells the property (ordinarily) 'as is'.
I had just accepted this clause as I thought it was standard. But then again we relied on the Gemeinde for the legal side when buying (it was a new construction back then so this sort of certification came with the contract) and selling.
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Old 05.02.2019, 19:33
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Re: Electrical standards

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Are there still regions that have this 'block'?
VS do or did 10 years ago.
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