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Central Heating Pump - Does it Require Own Circuit?
by md81544 • Fri 24 Dec 2010 09:53

So I've currently got a central heating water pump running off a regular socket. It's a temporary thing (the heating has just been installed), so it's not permanently wired in yet.

Someone said to me the other day that they thought it was illegal not to have the pump on its own circuit back to the breaker board.

Anyone know if this is the case? It would be so much easier to wire it in permanently to the existing circuit, and I'd be happy with that, but I'd rather not if it breaks regulations or gives the insurance company a get-out if we ever have a claim...

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md81544
17
Jul 2009
Re: Central Heating Pump - Does it Require Own Circuit?
by RobertArthur • Fri 24 Dec 2010 10:39

Your question: is the chauffage central a so called circuit specialisé, yes or no. And therefore needs a separate circuit, originating from your consumer unit, your tabléau électrique and have its own disjoncteur. Let's take a look at the regular suspects in the French NF C 15-100 electrical code.

1. Circuits spécialisés avec prise de courant: lave-linge, lave-vaiselle, sèche-linge, four, congélateur.
2. Cuisinière.
3. Volets roulants.
4. VMC, VMR (ventilation system).
5. Chauffe-eau.
6. Convecteurs, radiateurs, accumulateurs, panneaux radiants (electric heating).
7. Circuits d'avertissement tarifaire, fils pilote etc. Example: your relay for day/night tariff, the wiring for the contacteur jour/nuit.
8. Electricity in a separate building.
9. Other appliances outside (automatic gate).

So to conclude:
I don't see any reference in the NF electrical code obliging you to start drilling holes, breaking away bricks and plaster, and do some additional wiring. The electrical connection is a standard prise de courant, a regular socket. The chauffage central and its electrical pump are not in this list of circuits specialisés. You are free to do it, but that is something for a complete make-over. Or if you would prefer to be on the safe side, keep your central heating running, not disturbed by possible malfunctioning devices connected to the same circuit. Installing a heatpump would of course be something for a raccordement specialisé. Minor technial point: if you were to have your internet/network running on a powerline adapter, the electric pump sometimes interferes with your sensitive high-frequency signals in the circuit involved. Result: signal degradation.

Second point: only if the Consuel were to come along to control your new, or totally renovated installation, you would run the risk of getting in touch with authorities, to check what you've done. Taking note of the condition of many existing installations électriques here in rural France, probably half of France would run the risk of doing illegal things and being sent to prison.

Third point: new regulations appear. Speed limit of 30 km, where you were driving 50 km last week. Can you be sentenced for speeding last week? No. So although newer versions and updates of the electrical code make their appearance every year, this does not imply that having an older installation électrique makes you an offender, a criminal of some sort, and that you have to stay away from the gendarmerie and their possible roadblocks.

Last point: there are many urban legends around, of what an official French electrician had to say about something. Believe me, don't believe everything. Could you please be so kind as to give me the exact reference in the French NF C 15-100 electrical code, what chapter, paragraph?

Kind regards,

Robert





p.s.: I just had a closer look at the 503 pages of the French electrical code, and not only in "the" book of Gallauziaux & Fedullo. The word chauffage central is mentioned only three times. Context: la liaison équipotentielle and the installation de mise à la terre. The earthing arrangments for metal pipes. Pages 354 and 467 in my edition. Looking at the general intro of para 771.314.2.2 on page 429 Circuits specialisés, the reasoning behind it is that "power" consumers should have their own circuit: Every household appliance de forte puissance doit être alimentë par un circuit specialisé. On the next page there is a list of examples: also the swimming pool, alarm systems and pompe à chaleur, climatisation, chaudière. Which brings me to a question of definition: is your electric pump to be considered as (part of) a chaudière? Perhaps I have been a bit too overconfident earlier in my response, but in your existing installation I don't see why you should have a separate circuit for an electric pump of say 60 or 100 watts.

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RobertArthur
280
Mar 2009
Re: Central Heating Pump - Does it Require Own Circuit?
by md81544 • Fri 24 Dec 2010 23:05

Thanks for your fast, detailed & informative reply Robert. I agree, it's essentially a low-power motor. The only reason (logically, as opposed to bureaucratically) I can think for it wanting to be on its own circuit is that the boiler could overheat if the pump is on a circuit that is turned off for some reason. But as it's an open system it would really only blow off some steam, so I think I'm OK. Thanks again!

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md81544
17
Jul 2009
Re: Central Heating Pump - Does it Require Own Circuit?
by RobertArthur • Sat 25 Dec 2010 12:36

And for those who didn't read the small print of my p.s.: my list of regular suspects for a circuit specialisé was not complete. To be added under point 1: chaudière for central heating. Relevant for those who are going for a total renovation of their house and wiring, and inviting Consuel for a control visit. My official NF handbook being elsewhere yesterday morning, I picked up routinely L'installation électrique and Locaux d'Habitation. Where there is an "etc" after summing up the regular circuits specialisés avec prise de courant. And the chapters dealing with chauffage don't mention le raccordement pour une chaudière. Lesson learned: even these almost official textbooks are not 100% complete, always check and double check. Which I did, later that afternoon.

Robert

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RobertArthur
280
Mar 2009
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