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  1. #1
    toodkeng
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    Exclamation Thai Grounding Advice Needed

    i am currently in the process of decorating and 3 storey town house into something liveable .. with just very basic decorating .. nothing fancy .. which is why i'm doing it all myself mostly cos i dont trust any thai to do even a half decent job , and also cos its fun learning how to do things myself as im pretty DIY minded already ..when we (me and the gf) got the building we had no water running upstairs on the 1st floor where we wanted to live, the pressure was only enough for the ground floor, so i had to install a water tank and all the pipes etc which is almost finished , i can't do anymore until i get the pump installed and for that i need electric .. and that is where you guys come in .. hopefully

    i'm not an electrician .. far from it .. and to be honest it scares the hell out of me..lol .. but i want my home grounded for my own safety , my gf's , all my home
    appliances and also for the little nieces and nephews usually running around


    the existing system is 2 pin sockets etc and the big old circuit breakers?? and fuse




    this is a rough electrical plan of how things are currently , sorry if its not very clear it makes perfect sense to me ..



    basically the dark green line is the mains power coming in from outside
    into the purple boxes which are circuit breakers (as in top photo)
    the lighter green lines are thicker cables than the others and seem to just be taking the power from floor to floor
    the red lines are the same as yellow lines .. but red show the power supply throughout the radials and the yellow just go direct to the light bulbs
    the red squares represent the power sockets and yelllow are for the light switches
    the blue squares are for where im going to want new sockets etc which are grounded

    each point will only ever have certain things plugged into those areas ..so incase that makes a difference they will be as follows

    - point one: will be the lounge area so will be the TV, DVD player, maybe a home PC at some point, my laptop, and a fan etc
    - point two: will be the kitchen area , this will have a table top oven that is 2000W , toaster , hot pan , rice cooker, kettle, microwave, food mixer etc and also a washing machine and fridge
    - point three: is the toilet area which will have an electric hot water shower
    - point four: is the bedroom .. not much in here , maybe a tv , the home pc might go in here when i get it .. and the laptop will be used in here often too
    - point five: is under the stairs where the water pump is going
    - point six and seven: are not needed just yet and can be added at a later date but will be for any appliances needed in a food shop , so again for an oven , food mixer etc ( i only say this now because im not sure how that affects the RCCB/ELCB(if thats what i need)

    the existing circuits can stay as they are .. but i want the new grounded circuits added along side it all .. i dont care much for the cosmetic side of how this all looks as the building is only rented and everything is only temporary (long term enough to bother having this done for now) but i can easily rip out any work ive done to put the building back to normal and take anything with me to the new place etc and re-use it all where possible

    the gounding is pretty much the only thing im really unsure of .. i know how to put wires all over the building and connect them to the sockets etc , what i need to know is that im making the correct type of circuit for whats needed and with the right size fuses etc
    i know the grounding rod needs to be in a wet area of ground for better conductivity etc .. but thats the problem .. thailand is covered in concrete , front and back of the building is full of concrete , as you can see the back
    left corner:





    middle:





    Right corner:





    and the front left:





    and right:





    the water pipe is metal and already concreted into the ground , could this be used as the ground rod .. and how would i test it to see if its ok ?.. with an ohmeter or voltmeter ?

    so basically .. in a nut shell .. id like any advice on either a decent electrician (one who you know can ground properly) and a rough idea how much you think this would cost

    OR what i'd prefer is to know what materials i'd need .. starting at circuit breakers , do i replace those with an ELCB ? .. what type of cables should i use .. does a ground wire need to go from each plug socket direct to the ELCB or can the ground link from socket to socket the same as normal cables do
    should the oven be on its own radial etc .. any info you think i'd need to do this correctly .. ( apart from telling me an electricians course etc ...lol )

    some more pics i took just incase they help with anything:
    electrics outside:





    plug socket near point one showing the different thickness of cables (the difference between the light green lines and red/yellow lines on the plan)





    and the red line near point one with the two forked ends (like snake tongue) is this cable that seems to have been put in for something before we moved in:





    my pump:




    my oven:




    incase anyone has trouble viewing the photos here you can see the whole album here :
    Building Plans pictures by ToodKeng - Photobucket

    and if anyone is interested in adding to the original plan i have the original copy in photoshop psd with all layers seperate to make life easy for any changes

    at the very least .. id like to run the cables all over the building myself and get the grounding rod into the ground properly so i know it is down atleast a metre down and 10 cm above the ground not just 4 inches deep or the ground wire poked just below the surface out of sight .....and then only have the electrician come in to test everything is working fine

    so .. let the advice , or flaming begin .. lol

  2. #2
    Knows fok all
    daveboy's Avatar
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    You need a complete rewire if you want everything grounded.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    Your water pipe is a water pipe, it should not be used to earth electric unless you want to die a horrible painfull death.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    I'm going to be trying to achieve the same thing. Having consulted a couple of electricians, one of whom I trust, I've come to the conclusion that it's a complete strip out rewire job, if it's to be done properly.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    For what it's worth I'd rip it all out and start from scratch. Safety first.

  6. #6
    toodkeng
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Your water pipe is a water pipe, it should not be used to earth electric unless you want to die a horrible painfull death.
    lol..

    i was under the impression that because the metal pipe is in the ground that could act as the ground rod.. especially as the rest of the pipe going throught the building is pvc ...and ive heard that people who live on say the 5th floor of an apartment block would usually connect to a water pipe as theres no other way to ground something

    also just to note ..the mains water runs straight to an 800 litre water tank which would seperate any electrical contact with the rest of the house wouldnt it ?

    im not looking to strip out any existing cables .. as i said the building is rented and anything i add new may need to be removed when i leave ,.. so think of this as a new one from scratch to begin with

  7. #7
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    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Water is a good conductor of electric, it will help you on your quest of murder and/or suicide.

  8. #8
    toodkeng
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Water is a good conductor of electric, it will help you on your quest of murder and/or suicide.
    ok point taken .. myth squashed ... no connecting it to the metal water pipe unless i want to get rid of any family members while they take a shower..lol

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    the building is rented
    Why on earth would you bother ?

    I hope it's a really long term lease.

    I also hope that the landlord/lady doesn't wait 'till you've spent a bucket of money renovating and then kicks you out to re-lease at a much higher rate. Or, alternatively up your rent 'till you have to go.

    Sorry mate but to me it's giving away money.

  10. #10
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    the water pipe is metal and already concreted into the ground , could this be used as the ground rod .. and how would i test it to see if its ok ?.. with an ohmeter or voltmeter ?
    Use a copper ground spike. Available all over Thailand. They are about 3 meters long and driven into the ground. As DD points out, use the water pipie and if a short to ground happens you will have a shocking shower experience.

    To measure resistance to ground, use a multimeter. Should be 25 ohms or less.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  11. #11
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    Grounding rods are around 200baht so thats the least of your worries.

  12. #12
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Replace the ancient main/switch box with a modern circuit breaker box. Typical would have 10 circuit breakers. Available all over Thailand. Bring in main and ground to the box. Rip out all the wiring in the house and replace. Run new wiring from circuit breakers to plugs and light switches. No need for ground on lights but all plugs must have.

    Not an easy job. Good luck but I wouldn't recommend a DIY if you have no electrical experience.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    thats the least of your worries.
    Amen.

  14. #14
    toodkeng
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    i doubt the landlady will up the price or kick us out .. the building was empty for about 2-3 years as she couldnt be bothered or just didnt want to do anything with it , the previous tenants who rented caused her problems which is also another reason she didnt bother .. but as my gf's aunty owns the two buildings next door and has a fully established mechanics business running she knows the landlady and persuaded her to let us rent it for cheap as some money is obviously better than nothing , her only condition was that we leave it the way we found it .. if not better ..

    so .. you say its mpney down the drain .. but what cost do you put on a life ?
    and besides .. i can't own land here anyway ..lol..nor can i afford to buy a house yet either so thats why i said i'll add a new grounded system alongside the old one and when i leave i can rip it all out and take the cable with me , leaving the original in place untouched,, just put the old circuit breakers back in Unless i just put the new one next to them , and maybe just leave the 200baht copper rod


    how much does a multimeter cost ??

  15. #15
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    can't do anymore until i get the pump installed and for that i need electric .. and that is where you guys come in .. hopefully
    If all you need is to have electric to water pump, leave everything else the same and simply add wiring through a single circuit breaker to a plug for the water pump. Buy the ground stake and drive it in the ground near the water pump then run a ground wire to the pump.

    Multimeter can be bought for under 1,000 baht.

  16. #16
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Your water pipe is a water pipe, it should not be used to earth electric unless you want to die a horrible painfull death.
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Water is a good conductor of electric, it will help you on your quest of murder and/or suicide.
    and maybe you should steer clear of any threads about electrickery and just stick to the ones involving bricks.

    connect any ground pins on sockets back to the electrical circuit box and tie them all together with an earth bar - connect the earthbar to a stake that is driven deeply into some dirt/earth.

    then install a ELCB - earth leakage circuit breaker - in your switch box.

    the ELCB is ther to protect the humanoids and the normal circuit breakers are there to protect the equipment

    any electrical device that has any metal exposed should be earthed

  17. #17
    toodkeng
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    and maybe you should steer clear of any threads about electrickery and just stick to the ones involving bricks.

    connect any ground pins on sockets back to the electrical circuit box and tie them all together with an earth bar - connect the earthbar to a stake that is driven deeply into some dirt/earth.

    then install a ELCB - earth leakage circuit breaker - in your switch box.

    the ELCB is ther to protect the humanoids and the normal circuit breakers are there to protect the equipment

    any electrical device that has any metal exposed should be earthed
    ok when you say connect the ground pins to the earth bar .. i know that much .. but does each and every socket need its very own length of cable direct to the earth bar ... or can the earth cable connect from one socket pin to the next until it reaches back to the earth bar .. the same way you would do when putting mutiple sockets along a radial .. ie.....live and neutral (Circuit Breaker)====(socket)=====(socket)====(Socket)

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    the same way you would do when putting mutiple sockets along a radial
    Same way.

  19. #19
    toodkeng
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    ok so if thats the case ..

    then i can't really see any reason why i can't just buy a roll of earth wire and replace all the existing wall sockets with new 3 pin plates , attach them all with the ground wire ( and exisiting live/neutral cables) straight to the earth bar in a new circuit box which then connects to the old circuit breakers that are already there and run the ground wire from the earth bar to a new rod in the ground

    or am i missing something ... why do so many recommend ripping all the old wires out ?

  20. #20
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    why do so many recommend ripping all the old wires out ?
    Probably because they (and myself included) thought you were looking to redo the electircs in the house.

    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    then i can't really see any reason why i can't just buy a roll of earth wire and replace all the existing wall sockets with new 3 pin plates
    No reason at all. Do keep in mind though, if the appliances you have do not have 3 pin jacks, grounding the plugs will do no good. So if you want for example your oven to have a ground, you will need to replace the existing 2 pin jack to a 3 pin with the ground wire screwed somewhere on a metal surface on the oven.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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  22. #22
    toodkeng
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    excellent .. now i feel like i'm getting somewhere ..

    most of my appliances all have that schuko plug with the little hole for where the ground pin should be .. so i just stick the wire in that hole.... im just kidding ..lol. i plan to get the adapters to convert them into 3 pin plugs properly as i dont fancy the wall sockets that fit the whole plug in and touch the little metal strips on the side

    as for the circuit box and elcb .. how many Ma should each one be ?.. less than 30Ma?

    so the only confusing part for me now is really the circuit box .. inside which you have the individual circuit breakers for each radial, they all connect to the earth bar and the earth bar connects to the earth rod .. where does the elcb fit into that equation .. and how many Ma should each individual circuit breaker be .. is it less than 30 Ma ??

  23. #23
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    dotcom's Avatar
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    See below a picture of a basic "enclosure"

    It has cutouts for 1. Main Circuit breaker (60 or 100 AMP) upper left. 2. Safe-T-Cut - probably for you 60 AMP. 3. Breaker Box Modular so you can match amp rating to what the circuit is designed to carry.

    For Sockets minimum 2.5 mm2 solid core wire. Lights 1.5mm2

    I might design a run to the kitchen of 4mm2 for the toaster oven etc.
    Plan ahead for water heaters & air cons.

    You can buy the enclosures at an electrical supply store.



    Barack Hussein Obama lying polecat. Libs Only Comply With Laws They Agree With.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodkeng
    or am i missing something ... why do so many recommend ripping all the old wires out ?
    I suppose that, looking at your pics of the current equipment, they would be very old and possibly dangerous?

    if you are happy at the state of the cables, then just running the addtional earth wire would be OK, and then replacing the fuses with a modern version, plus a ELCB

    the landlord should pay for the latter stuff as it would be difficult to remove and replace the old fuses later
    I have reported your post

  25. #25
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dotcom
    I might design a run to the kitchen of 4mm2 for the toaster oven etc.
    if there is a plan to turn the ground floor into an eatery with kitchen - you might want to run new wiring and make sure it is of the correct Cross Sectional Area for the higher powered items that are in thee kitchen

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