Since the day electricity appeared, our life has become much easier, and now we can no longer imagine how we can do without it. It penetrated into all spheres of human life: in industry, agriculture, in the automotive industry without it, too, is impossible. As well as all household consumers. And since such energy was spent in each house, it is necessary to distribute it correctly between all devices. And here the main question arises: "How to assemble an electric panel?".
All work can be entrusted to a specialist who, for an appropriate fee, will do everything at a professional level. As a result, all electrical appliances and the wiring itself will be reliably protected from overvoltage or sudden surges.
But is this shield really needed, and if so, is it possible to install it yourself without resorting to outside help? Yes, it is possible, only you need to have at least minimal knowledge regarding the installation process. In the framework of this article, we will try to understand this difficult matter.
What is an electric shield for?
This device is an important element of the entire system, which ensures uninterrupted and safe operation of the power grid. In addition, the electrical panel in the apartment performs a number of other, equally important functions:
- The main power source is supplied to it.
- His task is to redistribute electricity among consumer groups, including circuit management.
- Protects wiring from excessive current overload.
- It records electricity.
- If necessary, it is possible to disable both the entire circuit and any individual section.
- Perhaps the most important task is to ensure complete safety, that is, to protect people and animals from electric shock.
If in fact, then the switchboard is a box or box inside which the main elements are located, which allows it to fulfill its direct duties.
Such a compact box has many important functions. And therefore, when thinking of putting an electrical panel in a private house or apartment, one should be very serious, along with caution and vigilance.
Now you can proceed to the analysis of a number of rules that will once again not go into science.
The recommendations below will concern the selection of the electrical panel. And here it’s worth immediately clarifying something. In no case should you buy such boxes in any market or in a dubious store. Better give preference to trusted outlets.
You can also order online from trusted manufacturers. So, a set of simple recommendations:
- Stock. Shields are best chosen with some margin for modules. That is, during installation, it may be necessary to install a little more devices. Therefore, it is better to predict everything at once.
- Saving is harm. Thinking of putting the electrical panel in the garage, apartment, country house, you should not save. And in general, you need to try to resort to this as little as possible, and in this case we are talking about our own safety. Cheap guards are made of low-quality plastic, which over time will prove to be worse.
- Quality tested by time. Only well-known manufacturers can offer high quality products. In addition, manufacturers have already taken care of performing competent, convenient and safe wiring.
When the shield is already purchased, then there are certain rules regarding its installation. Installation must be carried out sequentially. And here the aesthetic component is not so important, since it is precisely the functionality that will come first.
Proper assembly of the electrical panel also implies a systematic approach to business. To eliminate the accident, a specialist will need no more than 5 minutes. Is it necessary to baffle him so that he spends an hour to figure it out? This is the essence of systematics - all wiring and all elements must be intuitively understood. Only in this case will any electrician be able to restore the supply of electricity to an apartment, private house or garage in a short time.
The color marking of the wiring is very important and will not be confused. As a rule, single-colored wires indicate phase and zero, and multi-colored wires indicate grounding. And almost everywhere, white is a phase, and zero is a blue tint. It is highly recommended not to use a different color scheme, like a yellow-green color.
In order not to confuse the electrician, during the assembly of the electrical panel, it is necessary to adhere to the general connection rule. Namely: the phase conductor is fed from below, the neutral wire is from above, and a separate bus should be provided for grounding in general.
All connections should go from top to bottom. In other words, the input is located at the very top, and below it there are less loaded elements.
It may seem that these rules, which have been used for a long time, are already boring, and many owners simply ignore them during the installation of the shield themselves. Only, as practice shows, it does not end with anything good. In particular, it gives a lot of problems to the emergency team, which first needs to figure out what's what.
Varieties of electrical panels
We figured out the rules, now it remains to make the right choice of the electrical panel itself in the apartment. Today, the market is flooded with a wide variety of options. In this case, you can see that they are of different types:
- By installation method:
- Depending on the material of manufacture:
Hinged shields are distinguished by simple installation, since there is no need for them to make a special niche. They are simply attached to the surface of the wall or pillar by means of various fasteners (anchors, dowels, screws, screws), depending on the base material. At the same time, if it is planned to put the shield on the street, then only the hinged type should be selected.
Recessed drawers are only suitable for indoor installation. And then only if the wiring is hidden. During installation, a niche is needed, where a metal or plastic box will be located. This should be taken into account when deciding on how to assemble an electrical panel on your own.
Metal boxes are made both of hinged type and built-in. The case of such boxes has high strength indicators, which gives them certain advantages, especially if you put them outside.
It is much easier to implement anti-vandal protection and restrict access to small children - the door can be locked. There are also good street options that have a lockable door and a small viewing window for easy reading from the meter.
Among the plastic products, a great many models come across that the eyes can literally diverge. Here and hinged structures, and built-in, and street boxes. In addition, you can pick up an electrical panel in a private house or apartment of an original design, which will be in harmony with the interior of the room.
As a rule, in appearance they are much superior to metal analogues. Nevertheless, there is one characteristic drawback - over time, the plastic turns yellow.
Filling the electrical panel
Now it’s worth considering what kind of circuit the electrical panel will be, that is, what necessary elements it will be filled with. And here there are two options: using RCDs and machines or only with machines and differential devices (that is, without RCDs).
Thinking about how to assemble an electrical panel, you should decide what it will include. The layout in both cases is almost identical, except that some clarifications are needed. That is, the box device consists of the following elements:
- ground bus pads;
- zero tire pads;
- input switch;
- electric meter;
- circuit breaker.
Now, a little explanation on how to assemble a single-phase switchboard. For the first version of the circuit (with RCD), 20 A machines are installed on the line to which powerful electrical appliances will be connected, 16 A is enough for lines with sockets, and even less - 6-10 A.
For the second circuit (without RCDs), differential devices are installed on lines with high-power electrical appliances and sockets, and ordinary machines are suitable for lighting.
Do I need an RCD?
Although in some cases there is a scheme for connecting an electrical panel without using an RCD, this device should still be present. And this is done in order to ensure electrical safety. This also avoids a fire in case of current leakage to the body of electrical appliances or to the ground.
Many people are interested in not only whether such a device is needed, but also how to assemble an electrical panel with an RCD. There are a number of important points to note:
- On loaded and outlet lines you need to put an RCD of 30 mA. At the same time, its rated current indicator should not be less than that of a circuit breaker. It is recommended that it be slightly higher.
- In rooms with a high level of humidity, an RCD of 10 mA is installed.
- One RCD can combine several lines (from 2 to 4), protected by automatic machines. In this case, its face value should be equal to or even be slightly larger than the sum of the machines.
- The use of RCDs together with differential devices is impractical from an economic point of view. The latter combine the functions of machines and RCDs.
After developing your wiring diagram for an electrical panel, it makes sense to contact a professional electrician. This will immediately reveal the majority of “pitfalls” that each beginner can discover on their own.
Where should the shield be located
How to assemble a switchboard with your own hands, and in particular, where exactly is it located? Previously, in past decades, the shield was usually placed on the landing. Now, most residents are trying to put such devices indoors, as this allows you to restrict access to the equipment of unauthorized persons. There are also certain amenities.
Very convenient location of the shield - close to the front door in the corridor at the height of the human eye. In this case, it is very convenient to take readings from the electric meter, as well as to de-energize some lines, leaving the home. In addition, during the installation, the length of the main supply cable is significantly reduced.
Mounting the shield
All work is simple and reminds installation of a kitchen cabinet or shelf. Therefore, there is nothing complicated in understanding how to assemble an electric switchboard in a private house or apartment yourself. As discussed above, there are two types of drawers: wall-mounted and built-in. For the first type, it is enough to make holes in the wall with a puncher and fix the box with screws.
For the second type, installation is already more difficult. And if it is also a concrete wall, then first you need to make sure that it is not bearing. Otherwise, installation will not be possible due to the fact that it is forbidden to cut reinforcement in such walls. Although there is one option, but it is associated with obtaining appropriate permission. In addition, the opening will need to be strengthened, as well as having to go through a series of procedures that do not know how long they will last.
Nevertheless, there is a way out even in such a difficult situation. A false wall or protrusion (to whom it is more convenient) is created, in which the box is placed. Only in this way about 10 cm of free space can be eaten. However, this is not so critical, especially if you imagine everything as a design idea.
After the case is in its place, you can do the connection of the electrical panel. To do this, it is necessary to fix the DIN rails (35 mm) inside it using self-tapping screws. On them, in turn, are electrical devices.
Entering wiring in the shield
Typically, the main power cable should be inserted into the shield from above. In this case, the introductory machine should be located in the upper left corner, and consumers are connected at the bottom. The standard cable contains 5 wires that differ in color. Of these, 3 is the phase that is brought to the main machine. The other two are zero and ground.
Power wires, before connecting to the terminals of the machine, must be exempted from external insulation by a 1 cm section. The zero and ground wires are connected to the corresponding blocks. There should also be two of them, and first of all, the zero blue wire is fixed with the clamping screw, then grounding is connected to the second bus.
To connect the switchboard, PV-1 or PV-3 wires with a cross-section of a core of 4-6 mm 2 can be suitable. As for the length, 1-2 meters is enough. In this case, it is imperative to observe the accepted colors of the wires: for the phase - white, and for zero - blue. Simple rules will greatly facilitate installation:
- Connect the devices in order, for example, starting on the left side.
- The ends of the wires should be stripped to a distance of not more than 1 cm.
- The stripped ends, brought into the terminals of the machines, should be well fixed, while making sure that the insulation does not get there. At the same time, there should be no exposed sites.
- Large congestions of wires are collected in groups and tightened with plastic clamps.
As for the circuit breakers themselves, then, no matter how many they are, they are connected in a sequential way using one wire. And for this there are several options when solving the problem of how to properly assemble the switchboard. One of them is the use of a comb, the tips of which are placed in machines and secured with screws.
Another option is the 2-pole tips of the NShVI, into which both ends of the core are inserted, then they are pressed in.
General wiring diagram
Ultimately, the whole scheme should look like this. After connecting the input circuit breaker, the phase goes to the electric grid, which also must be connected to zero. After it, machines and RCDs are already connected. Three wires will already lead to consumers:
- The phase connected to the RCD.
- Zero wire.
After that, it is worth checking, for which it is better to invite a professional electrician.
Electric guard for garage
Installing an electrical panel in a garage is no different from installing it in an apartment or in a private house. However, some features are still present:
- Only a hinged drawer type is suitable for a garage.
- If necessary, use a welding machine can not do without a counter with a current winding. In addition to it, you will need to install and automatic 50 A.
- When installing outlets in the shield, take care of their grounding.
- As an additional element in the switchboard, you can put a charger for the car battery.
- For safety reasons, several toggle switches should be installed: SA 1-4 for high voltage and SA 5-7 for low current.
- With a three-phase line, it is imperative to set the circuit breaker.
Now the question of how to correctly assemble the electrical panel should not arise, and as a result, reliable protection will be provided to all internal elements from mechanical damage and the effects of a number of external factors.
In addition, the use of all electrical appliances will comply with safety requirements.
Summing up, I want to say a few words about the further operation of the electrical panel. For your convenience, it is recommended to sign each module, and place the entire shield circuit on the inner surface of the door. Thanks to this, you can easily identify a line with a malfunction.
Six months after installing the shield, check the tightness of all screws and tighten them if necessary. Now, after reading this material, each owner of a house, apartment or garage will know how to assemble an electrical panel on their own.