Residential electrical installation

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Electrical installations for residential premises need a high standard of safety and reliability

The international standard reference for electrical installation in buildings is the IEC 60364 series “Low-voltage electrical installations”, and its European equivalent, the HD 60364. But these standards are general, applicable to all types of premises, and do not provide simplified and ready-to-use rules for residential premises.

Some of the standards from part 7 of the IEC 60364 address residential premises, such as the IEC 60364-7-701 “Requirements for special installations or locations – Locations containing a bath or shower”, which provides mandatory additional safety measures for bathrooms (see Bathroom electrical installation).

In practice, most countries have national regulations or standards governing the rules to be strictly observed in the design and realization of electrical installations for residential and similar premises. But these national standards are not harmonized internationally, and may range from very basic requirements to advanced requirements for safety and comfort.

Some of these national regulations and standards also include elements which are not covered or required by the IEC 60364 series:

  • additional requirements for safety, like protection against fire risks with smoke detectors, or with the mandatory installation of AFDD (Arc Fault Detection Devices) in bedrooms ...
  • requirements for (minimum) comfort, like minimum equipment per type of rooms (socket outlets ...)

Finally, additional requirements are needed to cover new "usages", like Electric Vehicle charging, photovoltaic installations …

Therefore, the content of this section is an overview of the main requirements or recommendations for residential premises, from an international point of view, based on some advanced local standards from countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain …

Always refer to your local regulations and standards for the mandatory requirements applicable for residential or similar premises.