How much is too much?


Old 09-16-15, 03:57 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: China
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How much is too much?

I am not looking to do anything myself, electricity scares me, but I am living in China and there is a serious problem with the wiring in my rented house and I don't speak the language. So I am hoping that someone will either put my mind at ease or I should continue to stomp my feet and say I want a better solution than the one offered. Here's the problem. The fuse keeps blowing out on the kitchen power points (which includes the oven). The so-called electrician here says the internal wiring is bad. He is currently installing a line from a working power point on a differen fuse through to the kitchen (up some walls etc on the outside and using a conduit casing). Here's the thing, that one line will run the oven, dishwasher, fridge plus any other counter top kitchen gadgets like the kettle. The working line currently has the tv, phone, charging station etc on it's outlets. So all of that will be running through the same fuse (or whatever those flippy things are called now).My instincts tell me this is all a very terrible idea. Please forgive my lack of knowledge, I just need some advice.
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Old 09-16-15, 05:09 AM
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Welcome to the forums!Although this is primarily a North American forum, some information is universal. It is a rental. You should not do, nor contract any work to be done without explicit written permission from the landlord.

Yes, stomping your feet on the desk of the landlord is the best solution. Chinese law may be different regarding rentals, so our information may not work.
Old 09-16-15, 07:41 AM
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In the U.S. the "flippy things" are called circuit breakers.
Old 09-16-15, 07:50 AM
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By US, Canada and European standard, the oven would be on a separate circuit from the rest of the kitchen appliances. However, that assumes the "oven" is the same size and power as it would be in those places. It is possible if the oven is a smaller unit that you could combine it with other appliances. The fact that your installer is using conduit is a good sign I suppose.
Old 09-16-15, 07:51 AM
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That is too much on one circuit compared to US standards , codes and manufacturing instruction requirements.
Old 09-16-15, 05:32 PM
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Looks to me that there is nothing wrong with the wiring except that modern living has outgrown it.

Ideally a new line from before (upstream of) the existing fuses (or breakers) needs to be installed. But it is not all that simple. The main line in from the street and the panel with the existing breakers might not be able to carry the current which means you might not be permitted to install more breakers.

Each line or network of lines downstream of any one breaker and going directly to individual lights and receptacles is referred to as one branch circuit. So in other words you really need more branch circuits.

What your electrician is trying to do is install more sub-branches on the existing branch circuits so each room is served by more than one branch circuit and so you can better (manually) balance the electrical usage on the existing branch circuits.

It is not unusual for older homes in China nowadays to have just two branch circuits of 15 to 20 amps each (at about 240 volts). This is typical of homes in the U.S. 80 years ago where there were two to four 15 amp branch circuits (at about 120 volts). Some of these "30 ampere services" still exist in the U.S. If the circuits are still working properly, they are grandfathered and a tenant usually does not have the right to demand an upgrade.

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-16-15 at 06:02 PM.
Old 09-17-15, 03:08 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: China
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Wink Thank you everyone

Thank you everyone. Just to be clear I am not paying for the work, the landlord is, as he should be. The house is about 8-10 years old. Thank you for teaching me about circuit breakers, last night I just couldn't come up with the right word.
After putting in the new cable yesterday to some of the existing points (using the conduit) the one to the oven passed by about 2 inches from the gas cook top and through a hole in the bench (no conduit over the part that had to bend).
I took exception to this. This lead to a discussion about alternative routes to get the oven powered up (standard 60cm european oven).
It was decided that it would be good to run the cable into the service void behind, then outside, down to the basement where the main fuse box is. That would make it "upstream" of the problem as each floor of the house is serviced by a seperate fuse box that is all subsequently serviced by the main fuse box in the basement. I hope that is clear.
So I ensured that where the cable went outside and the back inside was suitably sealed with silicone so water wouldn't find it's way in. I was told that he would put it on a new breaker but alas he has managed to put it on the 2nd floor breaker, but he put in two lines or sub-branches I suppose. I am not sure how that will all work but it sounds like a better proposition than what was previously offered.
Anyway thanks for all your help everyone it helped me feel more confident to persist with the foot stomping. Thanks also for the education I love learning new stuff, you just never know when you might need it.
Old 09-17-15, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
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Here are a few more questions that would help you understand that house's electrical system.

Are you renting the entire house or just one or two floors?
How many breakers are in the second floor box? What are their ratings in amperes?
How many breakers are in the basement box? What are their ratings in amperes?
Exactly where did the electrician hook up the new cables/conduits to the existing system?

In addition you would need to open up the box when no one is looking and take a peek inside. Don't touch anything but feel free to photograph the innards.

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