Emergency Power Generation/Storage, EMP Protection, Heating/Cooling, Handy Tools and Tricks

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Due to increased gas prices and the looming gas shortage, my only other option was to buy electric heaters for my apartment.
Now, my landlord convinces me that there is a danger of burning as the electric network in the building is not made to sustain electric heaters.

I have an infrared plate that runs on 1kW, and an oil radiator that runs at 1/1,5/2,5 kW.

From other devices, I have in my apartment an electric oven, a fridge and a dishwasher - and that´s about it from high consuming el. devices (I don´t count toaster, laptops, router, etc.).
I searched online and i.e. a washing machine runs between 0,4 and 2kW depending on which degree you wash the clothes. The washing machines are in the basement, so mine is not in my apartment.

So if I put on my IR plate and my oil radiator on the medium level, that is 2,5kW of power added to my apartment´s el. network - could that overload my apartment network and cause the burning of the wires in the wall?

The building is maybe 20-30 years old, I would say....

I know it is a vague question, but what is your opinion, could there be some general issues with overloading and burning of the el. installation?

Thank you!!!!
 

Ellipse

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
So if I put on my IR plate and my oil radiator on the medium level, that is 2,5kW of power added to my apartment´s el. network - could that overload my apartment network and cause the burning of the wires in the wall?
It depend how long the devices are ON on a same run. When high intensity run through wires, wires heat and then can set fire to the surrounding. And old electrical wires are protected by a sheath of cloth...

So the to minimize the risk, the idea is to have short time of use and not all devices at the same time.

In principle the risk is not with the building network but with your flat network. Take and show us a photo of the electrical board of the flat or try to guess if the IR plate is on a separate line.
 
Last edited:

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It depend how long the devices are ON on a same run. When high intensity run through wires, wires heat and then can set fire to the surrounding. And old electrical wires are protected by a sheath of cloth...

So the to minimize the risk, the idea is to have short time of use and not all devices at the same time.
I have these 2 devices, each on its own thermostat that turns the device ON when the room temperature is below desired. When the temperature is 1 degree Celsius above the desired one, the thermostat turns OFF the device.

The oil radiator in my kid´s room runs maybe 20-30mins and then shuts down and the room temperature is stable for quite a long time (the room is around 12-15 square meters). So most of the time that heater is OFF.

So, that means that the infrared plate in the living room would be a problem - the room is much much bigger (around 24 square meters) and therefore gets colder much quicker. So the plate is running for about 1-2 hours but then it turns off, but also quickly then turns on as we live under the poorly isolated roof..... That heater works on 1000 W.

Both devices have overheating switch mechanisms built in.
 

happyliza

The Living Force
I decided to buy it and in the course of checking out, they make 2 good additional offers: 16 topical books including those on maintaining communication and one on building a generator/battery system for a fraction of the cost of ready-made units ($65); and 16 topical books from the "Ancient Ways" series, including those on medicinal plants, edible plants and maintaining high energy ($70)
Sadly he doesnt ship to the UK
 

Ellipse

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
So, that means that the infrared plate in the living room would be a problem
Really, it depend if it's connected to the same wires as others devices and of course if wires are thick enough to sustain 1-2 hours of 1kW. Assuming you have a 220V installation : 1000/220 = 4,5 Amperes. 1,5 mm² (the smallest ones wires) are able to sustain 10 Amperes so it should not be a problem if the plate is connected to a separated line.

Eventually ask your landlord if he have the electric plan of the flat.
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Assuming you have a 220V installation :
I´m in Germany so it should be 220V, no? 😅

Eventually ask your landlord if he have the electric plan of the flat.
I don´t think that he has, but I have electric fuses in the apartment.
There are 9 of them; 6 are ceramic and 3 are electric/automatic. (that is how my brother explained 😅)

And there is a list, of what these electric fuses are for:
1. electric fuse: unknown
2. ef: backup + socket for tv
3. ef: light in all rooms + socket for tv
4.-6. ef: oven
7. ef: dishwasher
8. ef: light and sockets
9. ef: reserve

So, that would mean that oven and dishwasher are each "on their own wire", right?

So, in theory, even if the oven and the dishwasher are running at the same time and then one heater comes ON, each of them would be on their own wire/channel?

And if both electric heaters go on (they are both probably on channel 8) - that may cause overheating as one heater is on 1000W and the second one on max is 2500W - so together 3500W. Or?

I´m using these heaters for around a month now and had no clue about it may overload the entire apartment with these 2 heaters, as they didn´t seem to me that they are that consuming for el. heaters... :scared:

Thank you for your help and efforts! :flowers:
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Take and show us a photo of the electrical board of the flat or try to guess if the IR plate is on a separate line.
Just saw this, I apologize.

Here are the pictures:
1. electric fuse: unknown
2. ef: backup + socket for tv
3. ef: light in all rooms + socket for tv
4.-6. ef: oven
7. ef: dishwasher
8. ef: light and sockets
9. ef: reserve

FCD0301D-E881-49E3-A9FB-8A524E628FED.jpeg
7E2E8402-DED9-4D8F-96AC-EF3BDAF5F546.jpeg
AEA8F7AC-B9EA-41F1-AA2B-314DFF5AB180.jpeg
Hope it helps...
 

Ellipse

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I´m in Germany so it should be 220V, no? 😅
Yeah but you know, Japan is 100V, USA 110V and I was nor aware of you location.

So, that would mean that oven and dishwasher are each "on their own wire", right?
Yes!

So, in theory, even if the oven and the dishwasher are running at the same time and then one heater comes ON, each of them would be on their own wire/channel?
Yes. To be sure you can unscrew a fuse (when devices are off to prevent electrical arc at the fuse contact, and eventually with a glove for extra precaution) and see what stop working. The drawback is, if you have a clock on the oven, you will lost the setting.

Look like your installation was review by an electrician who added lines 7, 8, 9 to the existing ones to respect recent standards. So it mean your landlord took care a minimum. I think he is worried because he did not changed all the fuses with modern ones as the standard would require when the new ones were added (I guess it's the same law in Germany an France). So if there's a problem it's for him. And perhaps the wires are old too and should had been changed.

Law for France:
Safety: the most important criterion when renting

The single most important criterion for the electrical installation when renting a property is safety. This is why it is now compulsory to provide the new tenant with a statement of the electrical installation, if it is more than 15 years old and if the lease was signed after 1 January 2018. This information takes the form of a diagnosis which describes in detail the state of use of the system and any anomalies noted in terms of electricity. If these points do not affect the safety of the occupants, the owner is not obliged to carry out repairs.

The landlord simply undertakes to provide the tenant(s) with decent accommodation that does not present a risk to the health and safety of the occupants. If the defects found are not dangerous, there is no obligation to repair them. If they are, he must bring the defective elements up to standard. If he fails to do so, he is liable and may be prosecuted for providing his tenants with accommodation deemed to be indecent.
 

Scottie

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
If both heaters are on #8, that would be 220V x 16A = 3520W max. You're 2 heaters are 3500W, so that's too close to the limit.

You could figure this out by turning on both heaters, then turning breaker #8 off. If both heaters turn off, TA-DA! You better move one heater to another circuit.

If that wiring is 20-30 years old, I'll eat my shoes. Fuses haven't been standard for wiring in a LONG time. We still have some here, but they date back to the 70's (maybe early 80's). Also, the fact that Fuse 1 is "unknown" doesn't inspire confidence... There also is not a safety breaker (a GFCI / RCD), which is required nowadays. In other words, the electrician is fired - and so is the landlord for hiring him. :lol:

For all circuits, the real problem is the thickness of the wires. In France anyway, the standard (in terms of cross-sectional area of COPPER wires) is:

1.5 mm2 = 16A max (3520 W)
2.5 mm2 = 20A max (4400 W)

These standards vary by country, although usually in most EU countries, modern 1.5 mm2 copper wiring is used with a 16A circuit breaker.

If the wiring is aluminum, the wires themselves must be thicker. Also, the age of the wires matters... Modern wire insulation standards means that newer wires have better insulation and are therefore safer. In other words, you can overheat the crap out of modern wiring, and nothing will melt or start a fire because everything is overdesigned. But before you get there, the circuit breaker will trip!

Just keep in mind that fuses blow very slowly as compared to the circuit breakers.

What I mean is that if you overload a fuse with too many gizmos, the fuse will allow more overheating of the wires, whereas a circuit breaker will trip almost instantly. So, you should be more careful if running an electric heater on a circuit protected only by a fuse.

So, that would mean that oven and dishwasher are each "on their own wire", right?

In theory, yes. In reality, it might be pretty bad wiring, so you never know.

So, in theory, even if the oven and the dishwasher are running at the same time and then one heater comes ON, each of them would be on their own wire/channel?

That's the idea. If you can test to see if both heaters are on #8, and then maybe move one of them to a "TV socket" circuit, that should be safer.

So, the landlord is probably warning you because he knows the wiring and electrical panels are not exactly up-to-date - AND he's worried that if everybody there starts using electric heaters, he might be in big trouble.

Bottom line: Unless the wiring in your place is REALLY BAD, you should be okay as long as both heaters are not running on the same circuit.
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
@Ellipse and @Scottie I appreciate your help very much and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! :flowers:

I´ve read the responses twice and I believe I understand the issue. 😅

The heaters are OFF and I´ll test these circuits tomorrow when I´m home alone so I don´t get electrocuted in front of my kids... 😅

I´ll call my brother, he also suggested testing it similar to what you described but he is no electrician so I asked for a second opinion.

Bless you!
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
@Ellipse and @Scottie

I did the test; first here is a list and the picture of fuses again:
1668413542305.png
1. electric fuse: unknown
2. ef: backup + socket for tv
3. ef: light in all rooms + socket for tv
4.-6. ef: oven
7. ef: dishwasher
8. ef: light and sockets
9. ef: reserve

As this first 6 are old I didn´t dare to screw them off 😅 so I switched off the switches in the following order:

7 ef: dishwasher - indeed, it is a dishwasher and another socket above the dishwasher, that´s it
8 ef: it turns out that fuse no.8 is for only one socket in the apartment - only one socket went dead and that is in the living room, where my infrared plate is currently connected.

now, when I turned off the switch/fuze 9 - the whole apartment went into darkness :scared: except for:
- oven (ef 4,5,6)
- dishwasher and the corresponding socket (ef 7)
- that one socket in the living room on ef 8

That means that the whole rest of the apartment is on one freaking socket: the fridge, all the lights, all the rest of the sockets (except for socket 8) where I have my router, computers, Nintendo, bathroom....

That would mean that the heater in my kid's room shouldn´t be turned ON at all! Or at least not on more than 1500W (the heater is in 3 degrees: 1300/1500/2500)...
The good side of that heater is that it warms up the kid´s room very quickly (in 20mins, max half an hour) and then the thermostat turns it off and it holds the warmth for a long time as it is a small room....

My friend who is an engineer said that I should check the cable of the heater and if it is warm or hot it means it is overloading.... I didn´t notice that the cable was warm if that´s any indication....

Crazy.... :nuts:
 

Scottie

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
@Ellipse and @Scottie

That means that the whole rest of the apartment is on one freaking socket: the fridge, all the lights, all the rest of the sockets (except for socket 8) where I have my router, computers, Nintendo, bathroom....

That would mean that the heater in my kid's room shouldn´t be turned ON at all! Or at least not on more than 1500W (the heater is in 3 degrees: 1300/1500/2500)...

Wow, that's super-gypsy wiring!!! :shock:

Usually with fuses, there is a common neutral wire for all circuits. Circuit breakers each have their own live + neutral, so no sharing. Without going into too many details, the theory is that this common neutral could overheat first and foremost. In practice, that rarely happens. We have the same setup in our kitchen here because we still haven't renovated it and all the wiring is embedded in the walls. We run tons of stuff in the kitchen all the time, and no problems.

So, your plan sounds good to me: If you keep the kids' heater at 1500 or less, you still have 2000W left on #9, which is a lot... As long as you don't also run a hair dryer + old vacuum cleaner at the same time. But in that case, breaker #9 should trip and you won't have any wire overheating problems - just the annoyance of the tripped breaker.
👍
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
As long as you don't also run a hair dryer + old vacuum cleaner at the same time.
I was shocked now to see that the hair dryer can be 1500-2000W!!!! :scared:
Unbelievable...

In any case, thank you very much! :flowers:
 
Top Bottom