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Construction in Thailand Is building in Thailand as bad as it seems? Can properties really be built and fitted out to European standards? Would you like to Build your own house in Phuket, or a swimming pool in Bangkok? Solar water heating in Pattaya? Or maybe you want to build a resort or guesthouse on Koh Samui? If you want to build a luxury house in Thailand then this is the forum for you.


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Old 13-12-2011, 08:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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multi point water heater safety

Im looking at getting electric multipoint water heaters for each bathroom. I had originally intended sloar but this maybe for another day. The main thing for me is safety and there are a couple of things i would like some clarity on.
I was thinking of buying a fagor(Siemens) multipoint, the main reason being it has NO elcb, instead an rcbo will be used which is i believe rcd protection. The main reason for this is that elcb is not as effective and relies on a fuse, but it less likely to pick up more nuissense trips. Id rather be nuissenced than dead, and then fix the problem, but can anyone point out anf faults with my understanding?
secondly i have copper pipes for hot water this is only served from the water heater as the incoming is blue plastic, do i have to earth bond this pipe it is exposed to taps as they also have copper tails?

i have read various papers saying that it is both good and bad to earth back to consumer unit my thinking is its not a good idea as this negates the point of local earthing for protection of shocks.
The metal that will be in the bathroom will be an exposed chrome shower which is connected to copper pipes, chrome taps all of which are copper but plastic coming into heater and lights. there will be no sockets or switches inside.

Thanks for your help and guidance.
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Old 13-12-2011, 08:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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get a solar heater
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Old 13-12-2011, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If i get a solar heater without tank does it heat on demand? I wanted to get a closed system with separate tank and solar heater but including labour its about 75,000. This came with 200 litre tank pump electric heater but the budget wont stretch at the moment.
I suppose i could just get solar HEATER for 10,000 badt and then upgrade.

Youve not made this easier Dr.A!
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Old 13-12-2011, 09:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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they need the tank to store the water and heat it up, all by convection

the heater itself does not contain much water

yes, they are expensive, especially the closed system type, although I think you could get one for about B55K

the trouble with the multipoints is that they can hardly cope with heating the water for a shower, unless you turn the tap right down

they just about take off the edge of cold water so you don't scream
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Old 13-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Solar is the best,I have had a SolorHeart system here for about
20 years,water gets boiling hot,only a couple of times a year do
I have to turn on the electrical element, its definitely paid for its
self, when I think of how many electrical shower units I have had
to replace in our rental units ,over the years.

regards Worgeordie
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Old 13-12-2011, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In the US, of course we use copper. In my house here, I have PVC. Can I use a water heater? I have seperate hot and cold water lines going to my shower.
Advice and comments welcome
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Old 13-12-2011, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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copper is being replaced by plastic, but not the blue stuff
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Old 14-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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there was a thread a couple of years back about building your own solar heater
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Old 14-12-2011, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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if you can source the bits, that is a cheap option

google it, lots of possible designs
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Once you've installed your heater and pipework do a continuity test between the pipework, taps etc to the shower ground connection. Less than a few Ohms and your bonding is good to go without additional wiring. If you do find significant resistance then bond the pipework to the shower itself, you're aiming at creating an equipotential zone around the shower cubicle.

You may have difficulty finding pipe ground clamps as copper water pipe is rare here and earth bonding is rarer

Obviously you also need to ground the shower back to the consumer unit and thence to real earth.

If you can get a 10mA RCBO (Square-D do them for their own boards) use one.
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^ get a solar heater
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Old 15-12-2011, 07:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk View Post
Im looking at getting electric multipoint water heaters for each bathroom. I had originally intended sloar but this maybe for another day. The main thing for me is safety and there are a couple of things i would like some clarity on.
I was thinking of buying a fagor(Siemens) multipoint, the main reason being it has NO elcb, instead an rcbo will be used which is i believe rcd protection. The main reason for this is that elcb is not as effective and relies on a fuse, but it less likely to pick up more nuissense trips. Id rather be nuissenced than dead, and then fix the problem, but can anyone point out anf faults with my understanding?
secondly i have copper pipes for hot water this is only served from the water heater as the incoming is blue plastic, do i have to earth bond this pipe it is exposed to taps as they also have copper tails?

i have read various papers saying that it is both good and bad to earth back to consumer unit my thinking is its not a good idea as this negates the point of local earthing for protection of shocks.
The metal that will be in the bathroom will be an exposed chrome shower which is connected to copper pipes, chrome taps all of which are copper but plastic coming into heater and lights. there will be no sockets or switches inside.

Thanks for your help and guidance.
A solar heater would certainly be the safest. Here is what I am doing on our bungalow build which also has a single water heater for two showers:

-10 mA RCD Square D 20 Amp breaker in the consumer unit for the water heater.
-Dedicated live/neutral wire going to the Carte heater. (Both wires come from the Square D RCD breaker per its instructions to give you RCD protection.)
-Ground wire from the Carte heater case going outside to a 2 meter long ground rod. (Nothing else connected to this ground rod.)


By the way our long term plan is to source water for the heater from a solar storage tank. First things first though as we need to get a roof over our heads.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk View Post
Im looking at getting electric multipoint water heaters for each bathroom. I had originally intended sloar but this maybe for another day. The main thing for me is safety and there are a couple of things i would like some clarity on.
I was thinking of buying a fagor(Siemens) multipoint, the main reason being it has NO elcb, instead an rcbo will be used which is i believe rcd protection. The main reason for this is that elcb is not as effective and relies on a fuse, but it less likely to pick up more nuissense trips. Id rather be nuissenced than dead, and then fix the problem, but can anyone point out anf faults with my understanding?
secondly i have copper pipes for hot water this is only served from the water heater as the incoming is blue plastic, do i have to earth bond this pipe it is exposed to taps as they also have copper tails?

i have read various papers saying that it is both good and bad to earth back to consumer unit my thinking is its not a good idea as this negates the point of local earthing for protection of shocks.
The metal that will be in the bathroom will be an exposed chrome shower which is connected to copper pipes, chrome taps all of which are copper but plastic coming into heater and lights. there will be no sockets or switches inside.

Thanks for your help and guidance.
A solar heater would certainly be the safest. Here is what I am doing on our bungalow build which also has a single water heater for two showers:

-10 mA RCD Square D 20 Amp breaker in the consumer unit for the water heater.
-Dedicated live/neutral wire going to the Carte heater. (Both wires come from the Square D RCD breaker per its instructions to give you RCD protection.)
-Ground wire from the Carte heater case going outside to a 2 meter long ground rod. (Nothing else connected to this ground rod.)


By the way our long term plan is to source water for the heater from a solar storage tank. First things first though as we need to get a roof over our heads.

Thank yu for your insights, could i ask why only the shower heater is connected solely to the ground rod, or do you have mutiple ground rods?
I am thinking of using rcbo 20amp protection, is there a significance to wiring a dedicated pair to the heater, by that i take it you mean not spuring from something else?
I might have a heater in the guest bedroom and then solar in the master, in this case if its wrong my guests will fry and not i.

Thank you gaagain for some thougtful suggestions.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More Volts Igor View Post
Once you've installed your heater and pipework do a continuity test between the pipework, taps etc to the shower ground connection. Less than a few Ohms and your bonding is good to go without additional wiring. If you do find significant resistance then bond the pipework to the shower itself, you're aiming at creating an equipotential zone around the shower cubicle.

You may have difficulty finding pipe ground clamps as copper water pipe is rare here and earth bonding is rarer

Obviously you also need to ground the shower back to the consumer unit and thence to real earth.

If you can get a 10mA RCBO (Square-D do them for their own boards) use one.
Hi thanks for the information, i have an AEG multi point heater i bought it because it had good wiring inside, had a manual in english and looked to be recently made.
The wiring has the copper heater element earthed to a block that the incoming wires all connect to, this will take the earth back to the comsumer unit i presume. Is this sufficient? I dont have a meter to test, could you reccomend one if i decide to test it out.
I am panning on running most circuits in rcbo configuration, because the price for square d is not that bad, is there anything i should also consider?
Do i need a switch for the shower that breaks the circuit and incoming power, normally on a pull string in uk, or is this not neccessary?
I am going to have downlights and electric vent fan connected together there will be no other electrical point or wiring, and the heater is at least 3m of pipe in distance away which is the nearest electrical connection apart from lights.
Thank you for you insightful reply.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Ben.... The way the RCBO works is that it looks at the current in the hot and neutral lines. If it is not the same, it trips, assuming there is an alternative path to ground. That is why you need to run a dedicated pair of conductors from the RCBO to the heater. Read those instructions carefully and connect the blue wire to the correct place.

Regarding the heater ground, normally they run from the heater to the ground on the consumer unit. My preference after living in a house where the ground "floated" was to put in a dedicated ground. This is just to avoid a failure with a long run back to the consumer unit. Usual practice is to use the consumer unit ground and check it for integrity on a periodic basis.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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When you say floated you mean out of the ground? Out of contact with wet earth?

The electrician is doing the connection then i am checking it, just to clarify your point about dedicated circuit for my brain. You are saying the rcbo has to have a dedicated wire run to the heaters electrical connection, how would it not be dedicated what might he do to reduce the rcbo working properly?
If i had Rcbo on other circuits like a mains circuit, again if you wouldnt mind, what do you mean by dedicated connection?

Thank you for your continued help

Last edited by benlovesnuk : 08-01-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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get a solar heater, much better

nothing like a wonderful "rain" shower head streaming out hot water; those electric things are so limited
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When you say floated you mean out of the ground? Out of contact with wet earth?

The electrician is doing the connection then i am checking it, just to clarify your point about dedicated circuit for my brain. You are saying the rcbo has to have a dedicated wire run to the heaters electrical connection, how would it not be dedicated what might he do to reduce the rcbo working properly?
If i had Rcbo on other circuits like a mains circuit, again if you wouldnt mind, what do you mean by dedicated connection?

Thank you for your continued help
No worries! Glad to help. The prior house with the "floating" ground occurred because the ground wire was daisy chained from one outlet to the next. At one point, it had come loose and leakage from other appliances and line filters caused the now disconnected ground line to be 100 volts above ground in some outlets. Took a long time to find the loose connection. I am putting in a ground just for the shower heater so I know it is a single wire and limited connections to protect anyone using the shower. I don't want to rely on a ground that may have multiple connections before it reaches the ground rod in the earth.

Regarding the RCBO you are using, read its instruction carefully. The protected circuit must be dedicated. By that I mean the live wire must go to the load, and the neutral wire must return from the load back to the RCBO itself. An electrician MIGHT want to tie the neutral back to another neutral line in which case the RCBO will trip all the time. Not sure if that is more clear or not!
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk View Post
When you say floated you mean out of the ground? Out of contact with wet earth?

The electrician is doing the connection then i am checking it, just to clarify your point about dedicated circuit for my brain. You are saying the rcbo has to have a dedicated wire run to the heaters electrical connection, how would it not be dedicated what might he do to reduce the rcbo working properly?
If i had Rcbo on other circuits like a mains circuit, again if you wouldnt mind, what do you mean by dedicated connection?

Thank you for your continued help
No worries! Glad to help. The prior house with the "floating" ground occurred because the ground wire was daisy chained from one outlet to the next. At one point, it had come loose and leakage from other appliances and line filters caused the now disconnected ground line to be 100 volts above ground in some outlets. Took a long time to find the loose connection. I am putting in a ground just for the shower heater so I know it is a single wire and limited connectiokns to protect anyone using the shower. I don't want to rely on a ground that may have multiple connections before it reaches the ground rod in the earth.

Regarding the RCBO you are using, read its instruction carefully. The protected circuit must be dedicated. By that I mean the live wire must go to the load, and the neutral wire must return from the load back to the RCBO itself. An electrician MIGHT want to tie the neutral back to another neutral line in which case the RCBO will trip all the time. Not sure if that is more clear or not!
I appreciate your help and time, and yes im still not quite sure what your refferring to sorry my fault not yours. When you say he migt try to tie it back to another neutral line, you mean a nearby circuit? The cable for the shower heater is 4mm and nothing else wired in is that wiregauage its either lights or sockets for power. Are you saying he might just try to tie to a neutral cause its close?
I have discussed saying i want an rcbo on the shower heater and every other load so i hope he has been doing everything for what you've been kindly describing, i will have to ask him when i see him next and get him to show me!
The rcbo and con unti have not been bought yet but squar d seem to have the best, i read on the literature that 6ka is ok for domestic and their b type is also ok for its domestic shut off times.
Apart from that i really want to get electrics right.

As Dr.A keeps protesting i think a solar for the master bathroom and the rest of the house migt be applicable.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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get a solar heater, much better

nothing like a wonderful "rain" shower head streaming out hot water; those electric things are so limited
Your tireless and relentless campaign might have finally swayed me to spend the moneyi dont have on a closed solar system. I need to build a lanna esqe tower speficially for holding the heater, housing the storage tank and pump below the roof and get my eco boots on.
Do i get to join the chiangmai solar heater associates?
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Ben......per your post..... Yes, that is what I am saying. I have seen electricians taking all kinds of short cuts both here and back in the USA. If you are using an RCBO per its instructions and have a good ground on a recently produced heater, you should be in fine shape.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:29 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 15-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 15-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Ben......per your post..... Yes, that is what I am saying. I have seen electricians taking all kinds of short cuts both here and back in the USA. If you are using an RCBO per its instructions and have a good ground on a recently produced heater, you should be in fine shape.
Thats great! Its a new AEG multipoint 6kw only for the bathroom it is in.
I will make sure the cable connecting to the heater is the same going into the RCBO. Thank you again for making sense of my mess.
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Old 15-01-2012, 06:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Ben......per your post..... Yes, that is what I am saying. I have seen electricians taking all kinds of short cuts both here and back in the USA. If you are using an RCBO per its instructions and have a good ground on a recently produced heater, you should be in fine shape.
Thats great! Its a new AEG multipoint 6kw only for the bathroom it is in.
I will make sure the cable connecting to the heater is the same going into the RCBO. Thank you again for making sense of my mess.
And don't forget to follow the ground wire from the heater to a good ground rod connection. Congratulations on your first upcoming warm shower!
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