For those who already have an earlier edition of books like L'Installation électrique, and a bit hesitating to buy a newer edition for the sole purpose of having un update on the regular stream of amendments, this Promotelec information covering amendement 2, salle de bains, should be enough. And after its birth announcement, I tried to get amendement 3 in more detail on my radarscreen, but this was not so easy. It promised us assouplissements pour la NF C 15-100, and more precision on existing texts aux points d’éclairage, au décompte des socles de prises de courant, aux circuits de communication, au tableau de communication. Also to prevent problems on D-Day, when Consuel steps in to control your installation électrique. Leading sometimes to a not so pleasant exchange of different views of the interpretation of specific clauses in the NF C 15-100 code.
Interesting I thought, for a change less, and not more regulations. And not willing to buy the official UTE version for € 79,13, I bought the 25th edition of Locaux d'habitation. Hoping to see some sort of summary of changes, neatly split up in before and after the birthdate of amendement 3. Well, after reading it already a few months ago I came to the conclusion that they have produced an integrated text. So how to decode all these regulations, compare them with earlier regulations, reverse-engineering, in order to produce a few pages for my printer, and to be inserted in my little bible written by mr Thierry Gallauziaux and mr David Fedullo, second edition of 2004? With the help of discussions on French websites I'm almost there. If anyone has the original UTE text, or other authoritive sources, please let us know what should be added to my summary below.
1) Less sockets in your living room, le séjour. Engraved in granite was the rule: one socket for every 4 m2. For a living room of more than 40 square meters of surface, a total of ten is o.k. now.
2) Sockets and the open kitchen. The french journalist Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber wrote back in the sixties a book entitled “Le défi Americain”, describing the challenge of the US industrial efficiency for Europe. It took regulatory organisations in France half a century to discover the open kitchen, “la cuisine dite á l'amércaine”, and reluctantly accepting another American cultural tradition, and after many arguments between Consuel officials and innocent citizens, they finally decided that it was time for a clarification. There is a standard (forfaitair) deduction of 8 m2 for the open kitchen. So whatever the actual layout, séjour surface = total surface minus 8 m2. Probably room for future clarifications. For your open kitchen the whole set of existing rules pour la cuisine still applies.
3) Communication. Let's stay in the kitchen for a while, have a coffee. And pick up your wireless handset, because the RJ-45 socket to connect your telephone is not longer obligatoire in the kitchen. On New Years Day 2008 the traditional T-type plug of France Télécom has been sent to the museum, although still prolonging its life in many existing installations. For the rest of the house things don't change: un socle de prise de communication doit être posé par pièce principale. There is a minimum requirement of two RJ-45 sockets in the domestic environment, and they should be in the company of an electrical wall socket. In a house with three or more rooms you are allowed to have two “functional” communication sockets, but the other rooms should already be “precabled”.
4) Even more communication: in the modern french consumerbox, the GTL, there are two subboxes: one regular box for your 230 Volts wiring, and a separate little box for your communication connections: telephone, internet, tv. This tableau de communication should as from the 1st of january 2011 provide space for un DTI optique, a point of entry for your fibre optic broadband internet connection. For rural France, la France profonde, this will be in a further future, will take at least ten or twenty years I guess, but every new installation électrique will have to comply. The specifications in amendement 3 also say: pouvant recevoir 4 operateurs, and this coffret de communication should be equipped with a panneau de brassage. And close to it: two sockets, prises de courant. At first sight I was a bit intimidated by all this, but it all boils down to this picture. Simply an additional – empty – DIN rail in your communication box new style. That's all folks, don't start digging yet in your garden to prepare for your fibre-to-the-home connection.
5) Less communication: for the one way traffic of your tv signals in a house not exceeding 100 m2 of surface two coax connections are o.k., if the tv signal doesn't go over your ethernet RJ-45 cabling. For more real estate three will do, and in un petit studio, not more than 35 m2, one coax connection is enough.
6) Circuits specialisés: in amendement 3 there should be somewhere some refinements. I'll ask a local french electrician, perhaps he knows it.
7) Electric heating: a maximum of 3500 watt, using a disjoncteur of 16 amps and wiring of 1 ½ mm2 is allowed.
The GTL has to be accessible, full height. So for the inspired d.i.y.: no nails and glue for your woodpanel construction. The lower limit for a a row of circuitbreakers is now 90 centimeters, used to be 100 cm. Maximum height, taking the centre of a row of disjoncteurs, compteur et le disjoncteur de branchement, is 180 cm..
9) Final detail: L' acces au dispositif de coupure d'urgence ne doit pas être fermé à clef. No key for your consumerbox with the main breaker inside.
Somebody did some reverse engineering, and highlighted the A3 changes using the latest Hager document: three pages.
And also this little reference document seems to have disappeared into thin air. Brings us back to the 84 pages of theHager introduction to the NFC 15-100 electrical code, where these "A3" changes have been indicated with "Attention!" (in orange).