Electrics

The stuff related to the electrics will be in here. Most of it won't be very exciting, but it's good to get it all documented.

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Having met with my electrician and agreed a plan for the wiring I got to work running in some of the cables.

This isn't very exciting but here's a picture of some cables.

The cables are fixed to the top of the ceiling joists as they will then be above the level of the insulation.

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The switch and socket locations are marked on the wall here and the cables looped through for later connection.

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The other side of this wall looks a little different and it is clear how much cable is in there.

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One of the reasons for having so much cable in that wall is the decision to run all of the circuits for the appliances back to a single location where they will be switched through a single 'grid plate' containing 12 switches.

This picture shows all those cables arriving at the top of the wall above the grid plate location. They are currently held at the bottom by a temporary clip made from a couple of bits of scrap wood.

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All the rest of the cable has also been placed.

Seen here are cables for washing machine and tumble dryer, utility room sockets, and in the centre the feed for one of the outside lights and to the right the switch for it.

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Holes were drilled through the walls at each end for the external lights and the cables fed through.

For the rear wall the holes were made in the soffit boards, going through the timber support strips to give a fixing for the lights there, and again the cables fed through.

External use junctions boxes will be added to make the connections and from there a single cable to the actual light fitting.

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Here's the roof above that area shown earlier demonstrating how the cables are pinned to the joists and looped over to drop down flush with the wall.

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Cable routing has required a bit of thought in places as I wanted to keep them all above the insulation wherever possible and yet not bunch too many of them together.

This was a bit of an awkward corner.

Two runs of coax cable have been placed to provide two TV points in the kitchen area (but I've not got photos of that, and I've covered it up now). This was run seperately from the power cables to minimise interference.

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Cable work has been completed in the garage area also. All of this has been run down the wall in conduit and into surface mounted back boxes as this area will not be plaster boarded.

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The garage has also received some lighting fixtures.

There are two 5' twin fitments, each with two 58W High Frequency daylight tubes.

I had to guess how many I would need and was worried I would get it wrong. This seems about right and once the walls are painted and the ceiling plaster boarded will certainly be plenty bright enough.

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This is the other one.

These have not been connected into the main wiring yet, but the lead you can see hanging down has a plug on the end of it (with a 5 amp fuse, of course) so I can have some light in the garage before everything else is completed.

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That's about it for the first fix work, except that all those cables need power from somewhere.

This is where the Consumer Unit will be located and the ends of all the circuits have been run back to this location awaiting the fitment of the CU and connections being made.

I definitely under estimated how much cable I would need, thinking that 100m of 1.5 and 2.5 would be more than enough and I'd have some left over for later. I've put in almost 400m of cable so far!

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With the construction of the half height wall in the kitchen area it was necessary to run the cables in for the sockets and the fridge and freezer points.

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Before boarding the wall a channel was cut into the blockwork to take the cable for the grid plate.

The cables have also been sorted into bundles, one for each column of the switches.

You'll also notice some metal straps added to restrain the cables, these have been fitted so there are no sharp edges against the cables.

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This picture shows the outside light in the dog run area.

The junction box (external type and sealed) was necessary as there are three cables here and no possibility of making the relevant joins and connections within the light itself.

To the right of the light is the vent for the utility room extract fan.

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Once the rooms were plastered I moved onto second fix electrics. This isn't very exciting so I'll just detail things where I had to overcome problems and finished results.

This picture shows the cables which needed to be connected to one of the over worktop lights in the kitchen.

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The problem here being that they all had to be connected to this light fitting.

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Luckily one of the back plates from the pendants I had bought fitted within the bracket and having made some slots to allow room for the screws to be tightened at the sides I was able to use that to make the cable connections.

It was a pretty tight squeeze to get all those cables into that little light base though.

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The next problem to overcome was the fitting of the centre light in the kitchen.

These are the cables for that.

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The problem with this light is that they all had to be connected to this light fitting.

As you can see this is a flat plate with only a small hole for the cables.

I couldn't make the connections within the light fitting, and there was nothing behind to do it in as it fits flush to the ceiling.

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My solution for this one was to again use one of the back plates from the pendants, but this time I have used a hole cutter to recess it into the ceiling.

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It was still a tight squeeze to get all those cables into that space though.

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Here's the kitchen/diner now all the lights, switches, and sockets have been fitted.

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And the view looking back the other way .

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Here's the utility room with the electrics completed.

The extract fan can be seen at the top, the vent at the bottom is for the tumble dryer and the cover will obviously be placed on the wall outside eventually.

There are sockets on the other wall in a similar arrangement.

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The external lights along the back wall had a similar problem with four cables needing to be attached to a single fitting.

For this I installed a junction box and ran a single cable from that out to the light itself.

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Here's a picture of all four of the lights.

As they are all 'daisy chained' from the first there were only two cables and it was OK making the connections within the light fittings.

My initial thought was to get fittings with two lamps in each, but due to costs and the fear of overdoing the brightness (it is a garden after all and not a prison camp) I went for the single ones. Now they are in I think I should have gone for the doubles to have had a more even spread of light.

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After being a little disappointed with the external lights I found some LED bulbs with a very wide 110 degree output. Putting these in has spread the light better and it has gone from being four distinct pools of light to a more even effect.

I also installed the grid plate which acts as the isolation for all the kitchen and utility room appliances.

The walls have a few marks as a result of the struggle to get everything in there, some touching up of the paint may be required later.

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This is what it looks like on the back.

With the output cables and the incoming feeds there's a total of 15 twin and earth cables. So that's 45 individual cores to be found a home (not counting the loops).

It proved impossible to get all the required earth cables into the little connectors for them on the back plate so I put the earths from the feeds and output cables into connector blocks and them linked those together and into the back plates.

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This picture shows how the inputs for the switches are looped from one to the next and between the rows so that all the appliances are on a ring circuit.

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Out in the garage the control for the driveway lights was put in place.

The conduit going through the wall is to the front of the garage where there is a dusk sensor fitted.

It is setup to activate at 15:00, when it will wait for the dusk sensor to say it is dark enough. At which point the lights will come on. Once the time clock gets to 23:55 it shuts the lights off.

The single switch on the left is for the internal lights.

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The is a diagram of how I wired the lighting control parts.

The right hand switch of the double can be used to disconnect the timer and sensor system from the lights and isolate them so that they will not come on.

The left hand switch overrides the timer and sensor and switches the lights on regardless.

Whichever method is used to switch the lights on they are always controlled by the dimmer to set their illumination level.

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With all the sockets, switches, and light fittings installed I wired up the consumer unit.

The un-used breakers are for when the existing house is re-wired and the new circuits will be connected. The circuits have been designd and the correct number of the relevant rated breakers are in place.

The circuits are split across the breakers to distribute the load evenly and to seperate the lights and sockets in a room onto different RCDs. That way the sockets and lights will (hopefully) not both trip out in a particular location.