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Refurbishing electrics - tips and tricks

In order to maintain the value of a property, it is necessary to carry out various repair and renovation work at regular intervals. The electrical installations play a special role.

For one thing, lines and switches are subject to a common one wear. On the other hand, modern devices and other electrical consumption points now place different requirements on the installations than in the past.

In addition to replacing power guzzlers, it can often also be done by replacing Energy saved become. Mostly invisible, the power supply for the household is hidden. This makes a renovation all the more time-consuming. In addition, the technology is becoming more and more complex. If you lend a hand, you have to pay attention to many different points.

Refurbish electrics: Baswith proper planning

If the electrical installations are to be fundamentally renewed, solid planning is essential. Because renewal involves so much effort, old cables or sockets are not replaced as often as would be necessary.

In many older houses, the installations have not been changed since they were installed. Often times they are unaware that this is one great security risk represents. Brittle lines or overloading can lead to short circuits and cable fires.

In addition, various new regulations have been issued today to increase security. In order to ensure adequate protection against overvoltage and to equip the complex system of cables and connections appropriately for today, certain basics should be observed.

Refurbish electrics: determine the needteln

The number of electrical devices that we use on a daily basis has increased significantly in recent years. Private households now consume around ten times more electricity than 50 years ago. In this point in particular, the age-old existing pipeline system usually shows major deficits. It is simply not designed for the many consumption points.

The lack of necessary sockets is then often compensated for with multiple socket strips. But even these can quickly become overloaded and thus become a danger. If the maximum possible power is exceeded, a fire can also occur.

In a first step, therefore, the necessary Needs analyzed become. This is primarily based on individual usage habits and the existing or planned electronic devices. The following consumption points should be included in the planning:

  • Permanently installed as well as connected via sockets lighting
  • Connection options for fixed devices such as a refrigerator, extractor hood or washing machine
  • Sufficiently dimensioned connections for stove, hob, gas boiler, hot water storage tank or other heating devices (if necessaryHeavy current)
  • Connection options for devices for communication or the Consumer electronics (additional communication connections may be necessary for reception)
  • Sufficient power outlets for mobile devices such as kettles, toasters, chargers or vacuum cleaners
  • Connection options inOutdoor area

Refurbish electrics: Gruse cracks

To visualize the planning, a schematic representation proven, in which the individual installations are entered room by room. The exact positions for the lines and connections are recorded on the basis of the floor plan. So the Conception clear and no important positions are forgotten.

Symbols are used for the various electrical components. This means that the plan remains manageable, even if several installation elements are close together. The characters may look a bit cryptic at first glance, but mostly only the most common ones are needed.

If you deal with it a little, you will soon have the most important abbreviations in your head and can easily read or add to the plans.

In addition to the floor plans, it is for the exact position determination makes sense to also create wall views. This makes it possible to determine and record the exact route of cables or the height of sockets and connections. In contrast to the past, various rules ensure that the cables are no longer pulled back and forth across the walls. This also makes it easier to avoid the electrical lines later when drilling.

The details are in the DIN 18015-3 set. Above all, it makes sense to keep to the fact that the lines are always drawn at right angles and that the specified and proven distances to other installations are taken into account.

Refurbish electrics: plan power distribution

It is an advantage if the Placement of various furniture is certain. However, a possible change in use should also be taken into account. Sufficient power sockets or an additional TV connection at another location ensure a certain degree of flexibility.

When it is clear which individual fixtures are to be placed in the various rooms, the basic power distribution can be planned. The central power box is usually located near the house connection. The electricity meter is also located there.

By the way: For households that exceed a certain annual electricity consumption, digital electricity meters will be mandatory in the future. If the electrical installations are being renovated anyway, this is the right time to check the installation of such a meter. With the new devices, critics complain that personal data on electricity consumption and usage behavior is collected and passed on.

The main connection usually comes in Sub-distribution box in addition, which is usually on the ground floor in a house and on the respective floors in apartments. The dimensioning is based on the size of the apartment and the scope of the individual consumption points.

From here the different lines and circuits in all rooms placed. In addition, timers or controllers for controlling the automatic stairwell lighting can also be accommodated there. The following processes must be observed:

  • Relocation (renewal) of the risers is best in the corridors
  • Sufficient fire protection for the new risers
  • Positioning of the junction box for sub-distribution at a central point, spur lines to the individual rooms through the walls
  • Laying the lines in the rooms under plaster, in drywall, in a baseboard channel or in a suspended ceiling

Refurbish electrics: use supply shafts and conduits for cables

In order to keep the interventions in the load-bearing structure of the walls and ceilings as small as possible, longer distances are bridged Empty pipes or cable ducts used for the lines. There are various options for restructuring the installations or using old fixtures in a meaningful way:

  • Use the central cable supply shaft: In order to be able to lay further cables later with less effort, it makes sense to provide a larger cable duct at a central point, for example in the hallway. From there, short sections can usually be routed through a hole in the wall to the individual rooms without any problems.
  • Use unused chimneys: In older buildings there are often several chimney shafts. Due to the modern central heating system, not all of them are usually used. They are usually large enough to hold a few cables and are also often in a convenient location. In addition, they are already adequately equipped with regard to fire protection. If in doubt, the chimney sweep can be asked for advice on which shaft could be used.
  • Plan additional conduits: So that changes or changes to the use of the rooms can be carried out more easily, it makes sense to provide empty conduits in the walls at other suitable locations. Then the plaster does not have to be pried open again when laying a new line.

Refurbish electrics: plan several circuits

Shorter lines and circuits are safer than continuous cables from the basement to the point where the source of consumption is located. So it makes sense to have one Electrical box in the apartment to install. There the individual circuits are protected separately from each other. Here, too, there are various points to consider:

  • Plan for separate circuits: It makes sense to provide separate circuits for the individual consumption points. For example, lighting, sockets or communication lines should each be laid separately. If several devices are operated at the same time, the power load is better distributed.
  • Adapt the number of circuits to requirements: Depending on the size of the apartment and the number of necessary consumption points, a minimum number of separate electrical circuits has now been established. The recommendations are based on the usual basic equipment. Additional installations such as solar systems or safety and comfort technology (smart home) require additional separately secured cable routes.

Refurbish electrics: use correct protection

Depending on the type of circuit, the appropriate Fuse be built in. Devices with high consumption, such as electric stoves, require greater protection than electrical circuits for energy-saving LED lighting. A distinction is made between several different safety switches:

  • Main fuse (SLS switch): Instead of the fuses that were common in the past, modern selective circuit breakers are used today. They are still in front of the electricity meter and ensure that the line network is switched off if the other fuses do not work.
  • FI switch (residual current circuit breaker): This switch detects fault currents, such as those that arise in the event of a short circuit or when people come into contact with a live cable. The connection is then interrupted within a few milliseconds. The switch can be switched on again after eliminating the source of the error. Usually several circuits are additionally protected by the FI switch.
  • Circuit breaker: This protects the electrical lines of the individual circuits. It is also used to shutdown in the event of fault currents and can be reused.
  • Fire protection switch: This checks the line system for fluctuations in the voltage curve and protects against arcing faults. They are used in low-voltage installations and are mandatory in certain areas that are particularly at risk of fire in new buildings.
  • Fuses (NH fuses): These should be replaced in the course of the renovation work. Today they are only installed for permanently installed devices such as instantaneous water heaters. Once triggered, the screwed-in fuse must be replaced with a new one. Various approaches have proven themselves. With the angle grinder or a special wall chaser, the necessary width is already determined and the masonry does not break out any further during the final chiselling.

Refurbishing electrics: structural measures

If the planning has been carried out properly and in accordance with today's standards, the work can be carried out on this basis. If complex work such as chiseling slots or pulling cables is done yourself, this can relieve the household budget considerably.

Refurbish electrics: relocate lines

In the places where there are no conduits or cable ducts, the lines are usually laid invisibly under plaster. Sufficiently large slots are chiseled into the masonry or the respective wall and ceiling material.

Various approaches have proven their worth. With the angle grinder or a special wall chaser, the necessary width is already determined and the masonry does not break out further during the final chisel out.

Before starting work, it is important to ensure that no other installations damaged or cut can be and the right one Milling depth is taken into account. The cables themselves should be available at the beginning and end in sufficient length for the respective connection. They are fastened in the wall groove with special nails or clamps and then filled with plaster.

Refurbish electrics: insert sockets and switches

Holes are prepared for sockets or switches with a suitable drill and the appropriate drill heads. If there are several cans next to or one below the other, it is advisable to use a template so that the holes are straight in a row.

The hollow boxes for switches and sockets are also fixed with a small blob of plaster. It is important to pull the connection cable through to the front beforehand. The retaining claws of some inserts often do not hold well in the cavity wall boxes. It is better to use screws on the side to fix it. In doing so, no current-carrying lines may be damaged.

After the cables have been connected correctly, a small screw in the middle is usually provided to secure the socket inserts. Switches, on the other hand, only have plastic nipples that snap into the counterpart on the wall - that's it. After connection, a phase tester can be used to test whether the cables are live at the point of use.

Refurbish electrics: lay communication lines

Connections for telephone, internet or television reception are often re-installed outside of renovation work. Depending on which provider is used, new lines must then be installed. The main connection also requires a certain amount of space, which must be kept free in the basement near the other facilities.

For additional cables still turn out unoccupied conduits being very helpful. The thicker lines are more rigid and cannot be pushed through the narrow openings as easily. If a data distributor is provided centrally in the house or apartment, the individual connections can be made from there.

In the case of new buildings, it is now even common to have separate control cabinets for a comprehensive network in the house. Similar to the power supply, the lines can be distributed to the individual rooms.

The actual connection often has to be carried out by the respective communications company. A technician usually comes by at the latest at the time of activation to check the cables and ensure that they are in perfect working order.

Refurbish electrics: observe standard clearances and right angles

The laying rules should also be observed for cables that are laid in the cavity of walls, ceilings or in the floor. Always pulling the cables at a right angle and taking into account the recommended minimum distances to other installations also applies here. Anyone who later has to drill into the wall to attach a dowel has reliable clues as to which areas are taboo.

It is also advisable to use empty conduits for ceilings and drywall, because the places are usually difficult to access or are additionally filled with insulation material.

Refurbish electrics: Take special features of damp rooms and high current into account

To protect the electrical connections from moisture, special installation items are available for the bathroom or kitchen. In damp-proof sockets, for example, the opening is also closed by a hinged cover.

When it comes to lighting, you should also ensure that it is moisture-resistant. Otherwise cables or lamps are quickly threatened by oxidation and have to be constantly replaced.

Even if many cooktops or ovens no longer require a high-voltage connection these days, it makes sense to still provide such a connection in the line system. The connections for these consumption points have a higher level of protection than the other circuits, as they are exposed to greater loads.

For other devices that have a high power requirement, such as various water heaters or storage tanks, a special permit from the local electricity supplier may be required. The entire system is checked for its performance in order to rule out an overload of the system.

Reliable line measuring devices ensure safety. You can find great offers here:

Electrics sakidneys: more tips

First things first: When working on cables and electrical systems, the power should be turned off. This means that there is no risk of electric shock even if cables or connections are accidentally touched. The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes:

  • Note cable cross-sections: Cables of different thicknesses are required for different consumers: 1.5 mm² for switches, sockets and lights and 2.5 mm² for cooktops, ovens and other devices with high power consumption. A FI socket ensures more safety in the bathroom, for example, due to the higher moisture load.
  • A FI socket ensures more safety in the bathroom, for example, due to the higher moisture load.
  • in the Outdoor area special cables with special insulation must be used. These Underground cables can then be laid directly in the floor without an empty pipe. Sockets and switches must also be equipped accordingly against moisture and weather influences.
  • Multiple sockets are also built in with appropriate Overload protection available. If, despite good planning, there are not enough connections, the investment in security is worthwhile.
  • Documenting installations photographically: In addition to the electrical planning, it makes sense to photograph the walls with the newly drawn cables and connections. Ideally with a tape measure or yardstick shown in the picture. Then you can later see exactly where the installations are.
  • Seek help from professionals: If you are unsure about the installation of electrical installations, you should definitely seek professional support. In addition, acceptance of the finished system by a certified master electrician also offers a guarantee. In the event of damage, the corresponding document can save a lot of trouble for the insurance company.

For further reading:Intelligent sockets - they can do it all!