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Thread: Retrofitting Idratek in soon to be our house

  1. #21
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geps View Post
    I'm starting to reach the point of installing the sockets on my Idratek install and I'm sure there must be an easier way to install it. The of doubling up sockets with FCU and Idratek modules doesn't appeal. If I find a method to save on just one I'll be sure to report back.
    Another scheme that hasn't been mentioned but can be considered, especially in a total rewire scenario, is to provide controlled power outlets based on radials from a fusebox or intermediate distribution box. Each outlet can be individually switched at the distribution box by either the DIN mount 13A rated jobbies, or contactors controlled from Idratek relays (or perhaps DIOs if the contactors are lightweight). Circuit protection as appropriate.
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  2. #22
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Uh oh what have I started!
    So it looks like really my only options:

    To leave uncontrolled 'twin' sockets and run a spur with a single controlled socket which would have to be clearly marked so nobody plugged a heater/hoover into it or risk blowing the 10amp fuse!!

    OR

    Have another two boxes next to the twin sockets (which would become singles) - This means four boxes per two sockets.... I'm drawn to the option above really, but controlling all sockets would be ideal.... hmmm
    OR the radial scheme I have mentioned.
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  3. #23
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Uh oh what have I started!
    As for the lighting, that sounds great - Would I have to somehow turn one of the two way switches into one way then, and put a dimmer socket where the redundant one (dead) would be?
    I don't think so if I understand your setup.

    The switch plate at the top of the stairs (assumed to be single switch, single pattress) is replaced by an SLD dimmer module if you want to preserve the dimming function.

    The double switch (assumed to be single pattress) at the bottom is replaced by a DRB module.

    The specifics depend on where power and load for the top light appear. They might both actually appear in the downstairs socket, or both at the top, or power in one and load in the other.

    If the mains power feed to the upstairs light enters in the upstairs pattress and the load connection is also there then you can just disconnect and isolate the existing 3+E mains wiring between top and bottom. The mains goes into the dimmer module and out to the load.

    If the mains power arrives at the bottom and doesn't exist at the top pattress then you would use some of the conductors of the 3+E to carry it up to the top socket to feed the dimmer, assuming the load is there.

    If both are at the bottom then you could use some of the 3+E conductors to take the power up to the dimmer and then carry the dimmed load current back to the bottom to connect to the load.

    Your sparky should be able to trace it out.
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  4. #24
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Uh oh what have I started!
    Geps - I don't mean any offence and between us we have hopefully corrected or refined each others comments to be useful to the OP.

    I can't help thinking of the XCKD cartoon though:

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  5. #25
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    Geps - I don't mean any offence and between us we have hopefully corrected or refined each others comments to be useful to the OP.

    I can't help thinking of the XCKD cartoon though:

    Not at all....you can go on many electrical forums and find plenty of disagreements and that's between people who do this for a living.

  6. #26
    Automated Home Guru JonS's Avatar
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    I cannot comment on the safe zone circuit protection issues etc that Gumby and Geps have been debating, but getting back to how to control mains sockets, my views are as discussed the safety/regs requirements for FCUs etc make for excessive wall sockets. What I did was (with advice from clued up sparky) have a ring main and then a few QRH controlled spurs from a sub-Consumer unit.
    This is OK but as pointed out there are still a lot of spare sockets which only get used for Christmas lights!
    The ideal for retrofit would be RF controlled devices that integrate with Idratek and I am sure they must be on the drawing board so wait / use X10 / Homeeasy etc
    OR (and I've no idea if this is allowed in the regs)... use an outlet of the ample structured wiring you are probably installing and create a project-box with mains feed in from a socket on your ring main, Idranet in via your structured wiring and put the relays, fuses and outlets into a suitable enclosure. This won't be compact but in the long run will be better than the excess wall-sockets that have been discussed; you can move it about (structured wiring permitting) and when RF arrives you can remove it completely. Obviously in this case you would have to take care to label the cat5/6 sockets used for Idranet carefully else 12-15V might fry an ethernet device. You would feed Idranet into the structured wiring at the patch panel linking into a 6WA or similar module. I think this is also what SimBarr was suggesting.
    2p
    Last edited by JonS; 24th March 2011 at 06:46 PM.
    JonS

  7. #27
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    What erks me about all the regs is it doesn't stop the cowboys and like health and safety it becomes more draconian to ensure its existence. One of the worst houses for wiring I have ever seen was a council house that was recently re-wired. Many of the metal back boxes weren't earthed, pattresses were sitting proud of the wall and a lighting rose was being used as a junction box.

  8. #28
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonS View Post
    I cannot comment on the safe zone circuit protection issues etc that Gumby and Geps have been debating, but getting back to how to control mains sockets, my views are as discussed the safety/regs requirements for FCUs etc make for excessive wall sockets. What I did was (with advice from clued up sparky) have a ring main and then a few QRH controlled spurs from a sub-Consumer unit.
    This is OK but as pointed out there are still a lot of spare sockets which only get used for Christmas lights!
    The ideal for retrofit would be RF controlled devices that integrate with Idratek and I am sure they must be on the drawing board so wait / use X10 / Homeeasy etc
    OR (and I've no idea if this is allowed in the regs)... use an outlet of the ample structured wiring you are probably installing and create a project-box with mains feed in from a socket on your ring main, Idranet in via your structured wiring and put the relays, fuses and outlets into a suitable enclosure. This won't be compact but in the long run will be better than the excess wall-sockets that have been discussed; you can move it about (structured wiring permitting) and when RF arrives you can remove it completely. Obviously in this case you would have to take care to label the cat5/6 sockets used for Idranet carefully else 12-15V might fry an ethernet device. You would feed Idranet into the structured wiring at the patch panel linking into a 6WA or similar module. I think this is also what SimBarr was suggesting.
    2p
    First of all again, thank you everyone for your input... much appreciated!

    JonS, you've just put another idea into the mix with a sub consumer unit and QRH modules - Where did you end up putting it all (The QRH module and cabling to it)? If I were to do this, it'd end up in the attic I think! When you say you have spare sockets, you mean you've run a load of new ones but you don't actually use them?

  9. #29
    Automated Home Guru JonS's Avatar
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    I've got a node zero where most of the DIN modules sit, plus 3 other locations around the house (to keep cable runs shorter). Two of these in cupboards and the other tucked away in the hallway. From there 1 think about 6 single sockets are fed on spurs. plus all the lights for the extension. Each spur for light or power has an appropriately rated MCB whihc feeds into a QRH/I and then feeds the spur. With more spurs than relays I've moved the controlled circuit around without having to rewire except in the enclosure. The extra single sockets are permamently powered - so can be used for appliances, but whith a ring main as well I don't think they get used.
    HTH
    JonS

  10. #30
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    JonS, you've just put another idea into the mix with a sub consumer unit and QRH modules - Where did you end up putting it all (The QRH module and cabling to it)? If I were to do this, it'd end up in the attic I think!
    This is the radial scheme I mentioned.

    Depending on you house layout you might find somewhere convenient on each floor - perhaps understairs for ground floor, back of a cupboard on a first floor.

    I have distribution boxes for lighting, one under the stairs does ground floor, two in the attic do the upstairs. But for power sockets I have made do with SRHs and single outlets. The only place I regret not having more control is the kitchen, but that was wired before HA-madness took hold.
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