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  1. #1
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    Wiring a House in Thailand

    A friend of mine bought this house a while back, but now he is actually going to live in it himself he thought it best to make the wiring safe, so he ripped out all the original wiring and has started rewiring it all, all the new wire he has color coded with tape so he actually knows what cable is for what, yes you may have guessed by that last sentence he is not a Thai.

    There are generally 2 ways to do your cable runs, on top of the rendered finish which is the normal ugly way where you get to see the ugly cables for the rest of your life, or inside the wall, by rights the cables inside the walls should be run in yellow conduit, this sometimes allows you to pull through damaged cables to replace them, but a lot of the time they get jammed as the cable aint flexible enough, also if your drilling a hole and yellow plastic starts coming out you know you have hit a electric run, trouble is as most of the time percussion drills are used the odds are you gonna hit the cable as you see the yellow come out, percussion drills are a lot more powerful than your run of the mill hammer drills.

    Now as this house is already built it means cutting out channels in the render with an angle grinder and then chipping it out, if you actually live in the house at this time it is probably best if you go out for the day while they are doing this, it is noisey and will cover your house in cement dust, and no, they wont clean up the mess properly so you will be finding dust for weeks to come, and if you have a maid there is a good chance she will resign if this is gonna be a big job.

    Anyway with this first picture you can see the channeling is nearly complete, this is for the kitchen lighting, for lighting you just need to use 1.5mm electric cable, you can use 1mm cable theoretically but why bother.



    As conduit isn't being used you have to jam that cable in the channel, this can be done by cementing it in every meter or so just to initially hold it in before you render it off, or small masonry nails to hold it in place, or even old bits of concrete jammed in there, now this aint really the proper way to do it and it is much better to use conduit, but I am just showing you how Thais may do it in your house.

    This next picture is of a mains run for some plugs, as you can see there is an extra cable which is being used for the earth run, as it is mains this is 2.5mm electric cable, in theory you can use 2mm cable but I don't think Thai planners take into consideration how many electrical appliances the average farang has and uses.



    Once the cement is dry you will see that it stands out from the original render on the wall, ie sticks out a bit, has cracks in it because they let it dry off too quick, and also the texture will be different to the rest of the wall as the sand size and ratio on mixing will be different to the original rendering, the only thing that helps to any degree is to go over it with a very thin coat of plaster and then give it a quick sand down, this will look better but then it will be a lot smoother than the rest of your wall so still stands out if your looking for it.


  2. #2
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    he thought it best to make the wiring safe,
    Well then he should definitely not have placed cables in the cement walls
    without using conduit. It is a NO NO ! Yes, with capital letters.

  3. #3
    I am in Jail
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    Honestly, why would one want to hide the cables? It's bound to cause accidents when one puts pictures up or something, also, it would be a headache to alter or replace them.

    Get the glue-gun out and make some funky decorations incorporating free-flowing cables, it's not written in the bible that they need to be stuck to walls either, you know?

    Pity I didn't have a digital camera when I lived in BKK, or I'd post a few pics to inspire creativity.
    The landlord didn't like my installations, mind you, he ripped me off for most of my deposit money, but that isn't a problem when you own the place.

  4. #4
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    Hmmmm, yes well we shall just ignore stroller and pretend he aint here

    Anyway here is some traditional Thai wiring, the nail it to the wall way.



    It's stuff like this that makes you proud to be a home owner in Thailand.


  5. #5
    lom
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    The channeling that DD showed is done in the same way when using conduit.
    Make sure that you do the channel deep enough to have 15 mm space from conduit to outside of the wall. It is common to get cracks in the rendering
    if it is too thin.

    Conduit is available in 4 meter lengths, with dimensions 3/8" , 1/2", 3/4", and 1".
    3/8" is what I favour since you don't have to cut the channels so deep, or if you cut them deep you will have more room for rendering.
    1/2" and 3/4" is used when you have many cables, 1" is usually only used for covering incoming cables to the house.

    In a similar way as conduit for water (the blue one) there are connectors of different kinds available. Adapters for connecting 2 length together, T-connectors , 90 degree bends, and 45 degree bends.

    The bottom of the channels has a square hole for inserting a plastic box.
    Here is a photo of a dubbel height box, the most common type is the single
    height:


    Note the cutouts to open for connecting with the conduit, and the metal tabs on the side for fastening the plastic plate holdig switches/outlets.
    The plastic plate is covered by a clip-on front panel with 1, 2, or 3 holes
    for a single height box.

    A double height box filled outlets, in this case TV, Telephone, LAN
    and a double 3-pin (grounded) outlet:



    Switches and outlets are easily clipped into to the plastic plate to your desired combination.

    Ok, so now we have our outlet/switch boxes and a piece of conduit going up under our ceiling or up in the attic.
    On each upcoming conduit , we place a connection box.
    They are available as round or square :



    The square one can have 2 outlets in each diretion, while the round one only can have 1.

    To connect our conduit to the box, we need box adapters:


    From left to right 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4".

    These boxes are the place where we connect all our cables together by running conduit horisontally.

    Somchai is a big fan of insulating tape but we don't use that.
    Actually, most civilised electrians use very little insulating tape and mostly
    just for temporary connections.
    Here is what the use instead, the cable nut:


    or the wing cable nut:


    Remove insulation from the cables, twist them together, and twist the cable nut on top.
    The voices in my head are mostly kind, I also like the music.

  6. #6
    lom
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    Here is another example of work made by Somchai, the elctrician.
    It is up in my attic:


  7. #7
    Knows fok all
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    ^
    Thats a fire waiting to happen

  8. #8
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    ^
    Looks similar to what I found when I inspected the electric.
    The yellow conduit tubes are much more aesthetically pleasing, and there's no reason not to incorporate the odd bit of blue pipe for some diversity.
    I may repeat myself, but these functional designs are part and parcel of post-modern architecture, I am not proposing to copy Fosters or Stirling, but some functionality displayed in a constructive or playful fashion enhances any interior tremendously.

    A display of traditional Thai wire junctions is not to be dismissed off-hand, either.
    All subject to personal taste, of course, I realise not all farangs are appreciative of modern architecture nor the arts in general.

  9. #9
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    Thats a fire waiting to happen
    I am working on it .
    The photos in my post above is of material I'm using when rebuilding all the wiring upstairs.

  10. #10
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    ^^
    no no no no no

  11. #11
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    incorporate the odd bit of blue pipe for some diversity.
    TROLL !
    It is good to know if you have drilled into electrical or water conduit

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    Thats a fire waiting to happen
    I am working on it .
    The photos in my post above is of material I'm using when rebuilding all the wiring upstairs.
    Glad to hear it I could not sleep at night if I knew that was going on in the loft, Are you doing the wiring yourself now?

  13. #13
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    incorporate the odd bit of blue pipe for some diversity.
    TROLL !
    It is good to know if you have drilled into electrical or water conduit
    I am proposing to have the piping displayed, not buried in the wall, it makes easy access and provides an aesthetic, or decorative value of its own, if done with consideration.
    I am serious.

  14. #14
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    Stop it no it doesn't it looks foking awful.

  15. #15
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    Are you doing the wiring yourself now?
    Yes all of it.
    It's an ongoing job which started a year ago when I changed incoming power from 1-phase to 3-phase, and which then involved changing the
    main house switch and the central breaker box.
    (I got fed up with all the welding going on around in this area, which rebooted my computers and router, even though I have one of the best UPS´s).
    Having 3-phase also came in very handy when I later decided to make 2 smaller house for rent on my land.

    The electric work in my own house was postponed for half a year while I made those houses (in which I also did all the electric myself).
    But the job is on again now, but going slowly cause it's ferkin hot up the attic

  16. #16
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    Here is a novel way of using cable clips.


  17. #17
    lom
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    ^ Stroller will love it

  18. #18
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    Of course once your house is safely wired with that nice earthing wire installed your builders will appreciate it and make full use of it.



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