Planning the electrical installation
During the planning phase of a new housing project or when undertaking renovation of existing dwellings the building owner or renovator must investigate thoroughly the technical infrastructure of the building. This is particularly important when considering the scope and complexity of the electrical systems to be installed. At this stage the future uses of the building should be carefully reviewed; this is an aspect that is often overlooked or given insufficient attention.
While planning it is also advisable to consider any future changes in the uses of the living space. The final design of the electrical systems can only take place when the type and number of appliances has been determined. In this way the correct quantity and configuration of:
- electrical circuits,
- lighting points,
- television and communication connections,
- and further comfort and safety functions
can be established.
We all know the situation – a kitchen appliance and the mircowave are used at the same time and within seconds both have stopped running. Why does this occur? Because both appliances are connected to the same electrical circuit and this becomes overloaded. To protect the electrics from overload the automatic cutout or miniature circuit breaker (MCB) isolates the circuit from the mains supply.
A further aspect to take into account when planning electrical installation is any changes in the function of the living space. Sometimes a room is used for a different purpose than was orginally planned. For example, a former playroom may later be converted into a study or home office.
Then the demands on the number and position of electrical sockets, communication connections, antenna outlets and lighting points may also change. Advanced provision and planning of electrical systems avoids subsequent costly and time-consuming alterations. The use of multi-socket connectors often leads to several appliances, regardless of their electrical demand, being connected unnoticed to one socket. This can result in an overload of the electrical circuit. Continual overloading of wiring causes insulation material to deteriorate rapidly and in an extreme case this can start a fire.
A further aspect to take into account when planning electrical installation:
Sometimes a room is used for a different purpose than was orginally planned. For example, a former playroom may later be converted into a study or home office. A modification of the electrical system is then usually simple to achieve when extra installation conduits and boxes have been fitted beforehand. This allows cables and outlets, such as switches and sockets, to be easily added or changed.