Udon Thani Area - Electriction

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Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Fri May 19, 2017 2:46 pm

Hello all,
Not that I don't enjoy scanning through the various postings...I do...but I cannot seem to find one that recommends any electrical contractors in the Udon Area. If this should go in a "regional" post, sorry in advance...I looked there too but didn't find a proper please either.

Anyway, any insights, recommendations, observations, etc. are greatly appreciated. Here is what I am planning on needing and areas of my largest concern (not that I haven't missed some!):
- House is approx. 210 sq. meters; I plan on having the power run from the roadway poll underground (~4' deep) in pre-placed conduit. The conduit ends inside the basement of the house.
- Plan on gas stove and close dryer. If I am able to find a large in-line/on-demand gas water heater will use that as well to service the entire house (not planning on individual heaters for the showers).
- Will have 3 large split a/c units and probably 2 smaller ones. May use compressors that service more than one split, but I don't count on being able to do so.
- Water pump for well and likely a secondary one after I figure out how/if I will store water.
- Large fridge
- Other than that I expect the standard "farang family of four" electric usage needs.

Concerns:
- Grounding: Where should it be done? I would prefer a bit BEFORE the feed reaches the house but not sure if that is possible or makes any sense. In the US, we have about a 1/2 inch copper pipe pounded several meters into the ground right next to the wires first junction box out of the ground, but well before the first fuse/breaker box.
- Material: Wire: If available would use copper even at 5x cost...just do not know if it is available; Conduit: Because of the depth, we normally just use a thick 4" PVC pipe in the US, allowing room to run additional wire later if needed, but I do not want to make any assumptions on what is acceptable/doable in Udon.
- Amperage Needs and Availability: In the US, we pulled a second 100 Amp to go to 200 Amp, which we probably do not need now that we made the stove and dryer gas. Not sure what is even available or needed in Thailand.
- Finding a professional to do the work. I can/plan on running the conduit throughout the house (yes, metal conduit and plating where needed), I know just enough to probably keep me out of bigger problems. But, I wouldn't even consider buttoning up the walls, floors, ceiling/attic, etc. until it is reviewed and approved by the person that will be running the actual wire...which will NOT be me.
- Outlets If cost is not an object, what do you recommended? (I assume GFI on all exterior/bathroom/potentially wet areas).
- Cost: Yes, cost is my last item, but having a rough idea would be nice.

Other Item of Interest, but not of great importance right now: I plan on placing a generator large enough to power the key needs of the house on property, manual cut-over. If anyone has some thoughts/recommendations on this I would appreciate it also.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Roger Ramjet » Fri May 19, 2017 7:28 pm

kmanonmaui wrote:Concerns:

If you are going to run three separate cables you can get them all at Thai Watsadu or HomePro. I went with the more expensive Japanese copper brand.
There are specialty electrical shops that sell the copper wire for the mains, from the power pole to the house, and the electric mob will need to inspect it before they approve it. The 1,2 and 3 metre copper rods for the earth can also be purchased in the specialty electrical shops and don't forget the brass fittings to attach them to the rods.
You'll also need a 50-100 amp breaker switch before the electrical box and if you have a water heater a 30 amp one there. The electrical people knew my electrician and they just glanced at everything and approved it straight away on the proviso I put in another pole on my property as the wires ran too close to the boundary.
I can't recommend an electrician in your area, but your Or Bor Tor Engineer will be able to give you names and numbers.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sat May 20, 2017 4:38 am

kmanonmaui wrote:
Concerns:
- Grounding: Where should it be done? I would prefer a bit BEFORE the feed reaches the house but not sure if that is possible or makes any sense. .


It should be as close to the consumer unit as possible and you will need a MEN link in the CU.


-
kmanonmaui wrote: - In the US, we have about a 1/2 inch copper pipe pounded several meters into the ground right next to the wires first junction box out of the ground, but well before the first fuse/breaker box.
.
Here they are copper bar or copper plated steel



kmanonmaui wrote: - Material: Wire: If available would use copper even at 5x cost...just do not know if it is available; Conduit: Because of the depth, we normally just use a thick 4" PVC pipe in the US, allowing room to run additional wire later if needed, but I do not want to make any assumptions on what is acceptable/doable in Udon.
.

Copper is easily available and AFIK you can use your 4" PVC pipe



kmanonmaui wrote: - Amperage Needs and Availability: In the US, we pulled a second 100 Amp to go to 200 Amp, which we probably do not need now that we made the stove and dryer gas. Not sure what is even available or needed in Thailand.

Either 15/45 or 30/100 or 3 phase 15/30 will be available depending on your local PEA. Don't forget that it it is 240V so you should halve your assumptions for supply needed. Probably a 15/45 will be enough but probably a reasonable idea is to run cable sized for a 30/100 supply as, as if it is available, you can just get a bigger meter later if needed


kmanonmaui wrote:- I can/plan on running the conduit throughout the house (yes, metal conduit and plating where needed), I know just enough to probably keep me out of bigger problems. But, I wouldn't even consider buttoning up the walls, floors, ceiling/attic, etc. until it is reviewed and approved by the person that will be running the actual wire...which will NOT be me.

I have no idea if metal conduit is available. The standard is yellow, grey, or white PVC



kmanonmaui wrote:- Outlets If cost is not an object, what do you recommended? (I assume GFI on all exterior/bathroom/potentially wet areas).


You should use the correct worldwide naming rather than the isolationist US terms :roll: :lol:

You have to protect the whole house with an RCD or RCBO, this rule came in last year and your setup will not pass the PEA inspection without it. You can add individual RCD's for other areas as well.



-
kmanonmaui wrote:- Cost: Yes, cost is my last item, but having a rough idea would be nice.
-

Impossible to get that before you have an electrical plan.



kmanonmaui wrote:Other Item of Interest, but not of great importance right now: I plan on placing a generator large enough to power the key needs of the house on property, manual cut-over. If anyone has some thoughts/recommendations on this I would appreciate it also.


Make sure that it's in the electrical plan.
Set it up for auto start and auto switching. You will quickly find manual operating start and switching gets boring.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 6:11 am

Sometimewoodworker wrote:
kmanonmaui wrote:Concerns:
- Grounding: Where should it be done? I would prefer a bit BEFORE the feed reaches the house but not sure if that is possible or makes any sense. .

It should be as close to the consumer unit as possible and you will need a MEN link in the CU.

kmanonmaui wrote: - Amperage Needs and Availability: In the US, we pulled a second 100 Amp to go to 200 Amp, which we probably do not need now that we made the stove and dryer gas. Not sure what is even available or needed in Thailand.
<snip>but probably a reasonable idea is to run cable sized for a 30/100 supply as, as if it is available, you can just get a bigger meter later if needed

kmanonmaui wrote:Other Item of Interest, <snip> manual cut-over.

Set it up for auto start and auto switching. You will quickly find manual operating start and switching gets boring.


A most helpful, detailed response. Thank you. Sorry if my terms appear isolationistic...it is only for lack of knowledge of the correct term(s) that I use what I am accustom to. Follow-up q. and comments:
- Looked up what a MEN link is, thanks. I am not certain what "CU" in your response refers to. Sorry for my ignorance but if I were to guess I know I would be wrong and I wasn't able to find a suitable reference on Google.
- RCD/RCCB - More for anyone else that didn't know what this meant: A residual-current device (RCD), or residual-current circuit breaker (RCCB), is a device that instantly breaks an electric circuit to prevent serious harm from an ongoing electric shock
- Excellent recommendation on just running the 30/100 supply cable now and only possibly having to change out the meter later!
- Terms: At first I thought you meant my usage of "Outlet" was inappropriate...but you meant use usage of "GFI", correct? I should have said "RCD Protected Outlets" correct?
- I was worried that auto-switching was uncommon, but based upon your recommendation and my personal experience with the electric drops, I shall go auto :D
- On conduit for the internal electric runs, wondering if anyone has seen metal flex pipe, example pic below, around Udon?
flexible metal conduit.png
flexible metal conduit.png (140.41 KiB) Viewed 140 times
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby canopy » Sat May 20, 2017 7:12 am

Grounding is a weak area in Thailand and houses traditionally have no ground. Even today the local electrical store nearby does not stock any 3 prong outlets. To make a ground, Thai's often think you just pound an arbitrary size stake in the ground anywhere desired and fasten a tiny wire to it using a rusty metal connection. In reality, there are dozens of very fine details that need observed to to make a good ground. Very small things like the distance from the eaves to the rod are important and note one rod may not be enough. Ground rods sold at the store are copper plated to be cheap, not solid copper like we use in the US. However, you can get long, solid copper rods in Bangkok in any thickness. UFER grounds offer some good advantages, but here again knowledge and attention to detail is crucial. I hope you find a good electrician. Just be mentally prepared you may go through 20 before finding the right guy. Also beware even the PEA folks are not necessarily what you want; they often can't be bothered to even set a pole straight. Here is a suggestion. Study up on something like grounding; learn all the do's and don'ts about it. Then have the electrician you have in mind show you the ground system in a house he has done. Inspect and use his work as a pass/fail on his qualifications for your build. Also be forewarned running your mains underground is unusual and you may be the only one who can verify the job is being done correctly.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 8:21 am

canopy wrote: I hope you find a good electrician. Just be mentally prepared you may go through 20 before finding the right guy. Also beware even the PEA folks are not necessarily what you want; they often can't be bothered to even set a pole straight. Here is a suggestion. Study up on something like grounding; learn all the do's and don'ts about it. Then have the electrician you have in mind show you the ground system in a house he has done. Inspect and use his work as a pass/fail on his qualifications for your build. Also be forewarned running your mains underground is unusual and you may be the only one who can verify the job is being done correctly.

Thank you Canopy!
Yea, was REALLY hoping someone else would have already gone through the 19 others and could toss me the one good electrician out there :lol: :lol: :lol:
Solid advice on this topic which I will take to heart. Thanks again!
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sat May 20, 2017 9:39 am

kmanonmaui wrote: On conduit for the internal electric runs, wondering if anyone has seen metal flex pipe, example pic below, around Udon?

I know it would be a long trip, but it would be better to come to Bangkok for a day and source all your electrical needs here.
When you do buy the real copper rods make sure you place them in wet or damp ground (near a septic tank overflow is ideal. I place two lots of three in a triangular shape and joined them with copper wire and brass clamps. Our gardener is banned from using a metal cutter on his whipper snipper and must use heavy fishing line instead. He destroyed one ground before he was banned from using the heavy steal cutter.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sat May 20, 2017 11:22 am

kmanonmaui wrote: - On conduit for the internal electric runs, wondering if anyone has seen metal flex pipe, example pic below, around Udon?


Talk to your electrician before putting that kind of pipe in.

You may well find that he will be unhappy trying to run a fish tape through it due to the corrugated sides, while a smooth sided pipe will be OK.

As a matter of interest why don't you want to use the standard yellow pvc pipe?
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sat May 20, 2017 11:33 am

kmanonmaui wrote:
Sometimewoodworker wrote:
kmanonmaui wrote:Concerns:
- Grounding: Where should it be done? I would prefer a bit BEFORE the feed reaches the house but not sure if that is possible or makes any sense. .

It should be as close to the Consumer Unit as possible and you will need a MEN link in the CU.


- Looked up what a MEN link is, thanks. I am not certain what "CU" in your response refers to.
OK?
:wink:
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Klondyke » Sat May 20, 2017 11:48 am

Grounding:
A good solution is to bring up a connection from foundation rebars and use it as the grounding.

Metal conduits:
Only where a possibility of a mechanical damaging. Otherwise the hassle with the installation - besides the cost - is not worth of it. The plastic pipes available everywhere here create a sufficient protection for the wiring.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 1:54 pm

Sometimewoodworker wrote:It should be as close to the Consumer Unit as possible and you will need a MEN link in the CU.
OK? :wink:


Err, yes...sorry...I often can't see my hands because that are right in front of me too.. :oops:
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 2:12 pm

Klondyke wrote:Grounding:
A good solution is to bring up a connection from foundation rebars and use it as the grounding.

Metal conduits:
Only where a possibility of a mechanical damaging. Otherwise the hassle with the installation - besides the cost - is not worth of it. The plastic pipes available everywhere here create a sufficient protection for the wiring.


Thank you; sound advice. And, with minimal care you are correct that I have ample room to run the conduit without the possibility of hitting it later.

Question on grounding to the rebar: With all of my columns already poured now about 3 foot above ground level and all columns are already tied into the footings and each other with rebar via the footings, do you think it wiser to:
a) Bore a hole into an existing 40cm column, as physically close as possible to the electrical panel, in order to tie into column's rebar: result is tie in about 4 meters from panel;
b) Tie into the closest possible of exposed rebar and route to the panel (which I can easily do through the yet to be built walls and flooring): result is tie in about 5 meters from panel;
c) Move the planned placement of my electrical panel (which is easy enough): result is tie in about 1/2 meter from panel;
d) Do both (a), (b) and maybe (c) cause extra is never too much in grounding and closer is always better;
e) Something else;

TIA!
-k-
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 3:54 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:I know it would be a long trip, but it would be better to come to Bangkok for a day and source all your electrical needs here.

Don't know how I missed this posting RR...yes, absolutely I should do this. I was already planning on flying down there for a week and getting some other supplies from Bangkok and having them trucked up...another example of me just not seeing the forest for the trees.

I'll try and put together a complete list based on the architect's electrical plans, adding in the changes I've made... just going to have to get my wife to help as much of it is only in Thai. Perhaps it would be best to try and find a company in Bangkok to do the actual installation work as well...may save more in stress and time than the additional cost would be.

Thanks so much!
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sat May 20, 2017 4:28 pm

kmanonmaui wrote:Question on grounding to the rebar: With all of my columns already poured now about 3 foot above ground level and all columns are already tied into the footings and each other with rebar via the footings, do you think it wiser to:

It is too late unless you start mucking around with stuff that shouldn't be mucked around with. Rebar is not exactly the best conductor, which is why copper is used.
You can still just go ahead and do it the conventional way and if you have an all metal roof and beams you can also earth to it.......but, it won't go into wet round near the RCBOs and near the septic tank, however it will form a Faraday Cage in case of lightening strike on the metal roof, if you are going to use a metal roof.
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Re: Udon Thani Area - Electriction

Postby kmanonmaui » Sat May 20, 2017 4:38 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:You can still just go ahead and do it the conventional way and if you have an all metal roof and beams you can also earth to it.......but, it won't go into wet round near the RCBOs and near the septic tank, however it will form a Faraday Cage in case of lightening strike on the metal roof, if you are going to use a metal roof.

Copy that. Yes, metal roof, metal wall studs, metal flooring. Unfortunately, the house is now surrounded by almost 2m of gravel on all sides, so unless I can find 4m-5m copper rods, and then manage to get them into the ground, I won't hit moisture as close to the house as I wish.
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