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Electricity Blanking off plates


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Our maison built in 1986 ,to a high standard I may add, has a good supply of sockets to all rooms.

In most rooms just below ceiling height there are blanking plates concealing wires and connectors.

Question: can this wiring be used for wall lights, extra sockets etc there seem to be connectors available?

As you can see I'm no electrician, whats confusing me is why they are all at ceiling height?


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A guess.

I believe the regs in France require that all connections be accessible without knocking holes in walls. This would be the reason for all those blanked off boxes and I'd guess that most of your circuits are run above the room they service, with drops to switches, sockets etc.

On the face of it you could tap into these circuits, but then there are all the other regs about how many sockets you can have on a circuit with a given size of cable, among other things.

Ideally you need the wiring diagram for the house to sort out what's possible, although there are other ways.

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Those sound like the junction boxes.

French wiring doesn't use a ring-main, like the UK, but all circuits are spurs. French sokets can only take TWO wires in each screwed connection, (and some, only one!!!), so joints are generally made at junction boxes, using either special push-fit connectors, or UK-type multi-way connectors, known, round here anyway, as "chocolate bars".

Each spur can then have "x" number of sockets, or "y" number of lights in parallel on it. For details of "x" and "y", ask on here, but my books are in France.....sorry[:$]

In effect, so long as each room has it's own spur, (test by looking at the main distribution board, switching off that room: lighting or sockets, and see what's on and what's off), you just need to count the number of lights, sockets, etc, ensure that "x" and "y" aren't exceeded, and put new ones in.

Be aware that special rules apply for sockets for dishweasher, washing machine, electric cooker, electric hob, tumble driers, and very large fridges.

I'd advise you buying "L'electricite pas a pas" and "Maitriser l'Electricite", both available from Lerclerc's, and having excellent diagrams and easy tesxt, with all rules explained.

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