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LALITHASAI
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The right electrical plan is a vital part of a building design

If you do not plan the electrical system of your house properly, you are likely to end up with a home that will either not have enough electricity to power all your gadgets or one that will land you in a dangerous situation of over loading.

“The first function of an electrical design is to arrive at an accurate phase balance. It is a major design decision that will help avoid negative currents in the system, which could prove fatal for electrical and electronic appliances,” says K.G. Radhakrishnan, Managing Director, Volt Amps Consultancy, a firm that designs domestic electrical wiring.

Expert advice

Right at the start, take into account the number of electrical gadgets your household is likely to have and accordingly determine the number of power points you need and their location. Discuss these details with your architect or engineer, but an electrical contractor's advice can prove crucial.

Radhakrishnan, who has been in the wiring business for 35 years, says that building contractors often neglect this crucial area. As a result, a number of accidents occur due to short circuiting. This is because the safety trip systems are either not connected properly or do not function due to technical faults. This, in turn, is due to faulty designs, careless implementation and poor earthing systems.

It is mandatory to introduce Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers (ELCB) in the electrical plan, under Indian Electricity Rules 61 A of 1985. If connected properly through a healthy earth system, the Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers will trip within 10-20 milliseconds of the fault and save the life of the human in contact with the live part of the electrical system.

Unfortunately, too many contractors try to bypass this rule to cut costs and time and the result is loss of life and property.

The Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers can be introduced in a system with proper earthing and balanced circuits.

As Radhakrishnan says, a proper earthing system should involve long copper rods buried deep to a depth of 6-7 metres in the soil near the building.

They must be connected to the distribution box (origin of electrical supply).

The nature of the soil has to be taken into consideration before deciding the depth of the earthing system.

Ensure that the switch boards in all your rooms are not too crowded with switches. Ideally, they should have separate circuits, since the power requirement is different for each gadget.

Electrical consultants such as Volts Amps provide advice from the installation stage to planning load distribution and light boards. In fact, you can even get an electrical plan pasted on the distribution box for future reference.

LALITHASAI

The first function of an electrical design is to arrive at an accurate phase balance

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