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Thread: Earthing of UK electrical equipment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Bentley, Hants UK

    Default Earthing of UK electrical equipment

    I should hahe asked this in my earlier "Boys Toys" posting, but is it OK to run a chain of UK gear off a power bar fed from a NZ power outlet with a UK / NZ adapter? Will there be earthing or other problems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Howick, Auckland


    The earthing is quite different here.

    The supply authority (Vector in Auckland) will supply you 230v P-N at the house boundary.

    You supply the earth by driving an electrode into the ground (earth) at your meter point, its known as a Multiple Earth System - as the path back to the transformer is through multiple pathways.

    As for this effecting your "boys toys" from a power bar (I think you mean multiple adapter) I have no idea.

    One thing to bear in mind that they do not have 32A ring main circuits here all the sockets are on a 20A radial :eek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by AliJax
    The earthing is quite different here.
    Err - it may or may not be.

    Mostly it seems to be the same as the UK, technically known as TN-C-S a/k/a PME. However, some areas appear to have TN-S, the giveaway being five wire overhead LV distribution (L1/L2/L3/N/E).

    In either case, from an appliances perspective, the NZ socket is the same as a UK socket.

    As to the original question: You can run a power bar full of stuff quite happily, as long as you honour the maximum load a socket is rated to deliver, ie 10A or 2400W.

    No single appliance available to be sold in NZ has a power rating of greater than 2400W, so you can always plug one thing into a wall socket in safety. NZ power bars have a 10A circuit breaker in them which limits the load when you have multiple things plugged in, to prevent the 10A limit being exceeded.

    If you just bung a 10A plug on a UK four-way, (or ten way, like I have on my workbench!) then you need to ensure that the maximum load is not exceeded, as the 13A fuse in the four way will not protect against overload.

    This isnt an acedemic exercise - it was standard practice in NZ to wire sockets using 1.5mm cable, in a daisy chain manner, and 1.5mm is not adequately sized cable to hold 20A, which is what you can draw from two different sockets on the same radial line. Thus using a UK four-way you could easily overload your internal house wiring.

    So, a whole buchh of tellys, video recorders etc, no problem. Several power tools, none of which exceed 2400W and only using one at a time - no problem. Several electric heaters - no.

    If this is for a workshop or some other physical place, if your house doesnt have an RCD in the distro board (ie wired more than a couple of years back) get an RCD plug (same as PowerBreaker plugs in the UK), $39 (or maybe less) from Mitre 10. May save your life!

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