Chinese electricity and breakers

Old 12-30-02, 06:16 PM
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Chinese electricity and breakers

Hi, we live on the third floor of an old building in a remote part of China, nobody here really knows anything about not burning wires and of course everything is 220V current. I have the following problem, I'm rather confused. Thanks for helping.

Friday we lost power so I went down stairs to the first floor where our meter and breaker is and it had flipped and the wire entering the breaker was charred and the breaker hot and a little melted. It wasn’t melted so bad so I flipped it back on and it worked as long as we only used the small heaters on low. I figure it would probably have eventually caught on fire so I thought we should do something about it.

The meter says we have 40 amps and the old breaker said it was 63 amps with 4500 watts?. We live on the third floor and all the wires in our flat used to come down to one aluminum wire just outside our door running down to the breaker and meter.

Here’s what we tried to do today after talking with a million people and having an local electrician come who is great at doing wiring around the house but not so good at knowing how to get the most juice out of the meter and running the proper kinds of wires from our apartment down to the box. I went and got a copper wire which I was told has a 5000-7000 watt capacity and then after much discussion a breaker store decided I should get a 32 amp breaker at 6000 watts so the wire would never catch on fire. I did all that and had the electrician guy run the new wire and put in the new breaker thinking we were home free.

We’re trying to run 3 electric heaters at night, it’s getting down to about 40 or 50 inside if we don’t. Two of them are 1500 Watts each and the third is 2000 watts (this while they are all running on high). We’ve also got an oven, refrig., etc. which are all on the same circuit when in use and everything else like lights, computer, TV, etc. (don’t know how much all this pulls).

Now the breaker is flipping all the time. I can’t even run the two small heaters at 3000 watts and the small normal things without flipping the thing. I figured we would have no problems but now we’re back to freezing again.

So, my question for you is…HELP!

1) What do we do now?

2) What size breaker/breakers should we have and what suggestions would you have for wires going down to the meter?

3) What size wire should we have?

Thanks so much.
Old 12-31-02, 06:06 PM
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Is there any way you could have the meter upgrades to more than 40A?
It is difficult for me to give truly good answers to questions , given I am not familiar with Chinese electrical systems.
After doing some math on the breakers and wire, I think the amperage on the breaker is what it is rated to trip at. The wattage is the maximum load it is designed to handle on a continuous basis. I will figure that the kitchen appliaces, lamps, computer and other appliances use 3000 W minimum at any given time when all on.
Curious: What size wire did you get for the main? How is it rated for 5000-7000 watts. Wire is rated for a specific ampacity at a specific temperature.
insulation, temperature rating, ambiet temperature, load, distance, and number of conducters in the cable or conduit determine ampacity. I realize that In the US, wires are rated in amps, and voltages, because we have numerous different voltages. In China everything is 220 only?
Is the wire ~2.5mm?

Old 01-01-03, 10:10 AM
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The building your in may of been built and set up long ago thinking 40 amps was all that was neccessary for an apartment your size (seen in before in China and North America) Someone increased the breaker to handle the load your drawing but did not increase the wire. You obviously require the 63 Amps 4,500watts. What you now require is figuring out the size of wire that has to run to your apartment. I don't have my guide on the China wire sizes with me at home so what your going to have to do is talk to your electcian and see if you can increase it or even if it is possible to do. Some of the older units are a nightmare to run anything new in. If it can't be increased then you would have to limit what you have running at any one time he should be able to calcualte various things and let you know what has to be off when something else is on.

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