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Electrical wiring in Poland - color codes


BLS 65 | 188
21 Dec 2012  #1
I would like to install a wall lamp (kinkiet) in my bathroom, but I have never done any electrical wiring in Poland before - what are the color codes of the in-wall wiring used here? I see 3 colors - black, blue, and white (could be light grey). My lamp has brown, blue and green/yellow wires.

I'm guessing that the white wire from the wall is ground and will be connected to the green/yellow wire on my lamp, but I wanted to check before proceeding. Logic seems to indicate that brown will be connected to black and blue to blue - am I wrong?

Thanks for any and all constructive input!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
21 Dec 2012  #2
Extreme caution and would advise you consult an electrician if in any doubt.

This web page may be correct, I don't know: allaboutcircuits.com/vol_5/chpt_2/2.html
gumishu 11 | 4,993
21 Dec 2012  #3
yellow-green stripes - ground

light blue - neutral

black or brown - phase

check that with a probe at home (you should be able to buy a probe in every tool shop - the proble will light when it touches the phase in case you don't know)
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
21 Dec 2012  #4
If you aren't sure don't connect any wire to the green/yellow wire on your lamp. Just connect live (brown) and neutral (blue) wires.
snaps 4 | 27
21 Oct 2013  #5
Merged: Wiring a plug in Poland

Ok, im fairly competent with electrics but a little confused about wiring a mains plug in Poland. I can see the obvious place for the Earth wire (yellow & green), but the live and neutral wires are not marked. Also i notice you can put a non earthed plug any way around in a socket??

Any pointers would be appreciated.
Polsyr 6 | 769
21 Oct 2013  #6
Are you connecting a plug to a device?

If the two wires (live and neutral) are of the same color, then the device (probably made in China) doesn't care which way it is plugged in. If you are replacing a US or a UK plug, then check how it was wired and copy the same wire designations (for US plugs, the wider pin is live, for UK, the fused pin is live). Also worth knowing, for sockets of all three systems, live is on the right when ground is up.

And yes, some (not all) non-grounded plugs can be inserted in two different ways into sockets. If you are used to the US or UK system, you might find that surprising.

If you brought with you a device that has a UK or US plug, I suggest buying an adapter instead of changing the plug. It is a quicker and easier solution, and potentially safer if you aren't sure how to wire it. Most large stores in Poland sell them.

Just remember, that while standard UK plugs are rated at 13A, standard European plugs are rated at either 7.5 or 10A.
Ant63 11 | 403
21 Oct 2013  #7
that while standard UK plugs are rated at 13A

Plugs or sockets?
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
21 Oct 2013  #8
Some devices don't respect color markings scheme because of
Class II or double insulated
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appliance_classes
e.g. hair dryer (both wires are black)
kpc21 1 | 763
22 Oct 2013  #9
Also i notice you can put a non earthed plug any way around in a socket??

Yes. A theoretical rule is that in sockets the left pin is live. But not everyone obeys it. What is more, if you plug a grounded device to the upper part of a double socket, like this one: Electrical socket

it is upside-down, but live is still in the left pin of the socket (so now in the right pin of the plug). So actually there is no difference. Devices sold in Poland must work correctly no matter how they are plugged.
snaps 4 | 27
24 Oct 2013  #10
OK, thanks for the replies. What I have done is to give me some protection is just change the UK 3 pin plugs on my UK 4 way adaptors, so that it plugs into the wall socket with the standard Polish plug socket and then it goes to a UK 4 way adaptor where I can plug in my devices that still have the UK fused plugs on them. So far so good.
Maluch 30 | 95
22 Dec 2013  #11
Merged: ELECTRICAL WIRING in POLAND - ONLINE GUIDES/LINKS REQUIRED

doing some finesse work on the wiring in my new flat :) i'm familiar with North American electrical fuses, wiring etc.. and same principals

but is there an online guide or link anyone can recommend ?

basic code information.. fuse amp ratings... wiring colour codes etc.

i need to clean up the electrical box a bit and make sure everything copasetic!
DominicB - | 2,662
22 Dec 2013  #12
Quite frankly, all that is better left to a qualified Polish electrician who knows exactly what they are doing and exactly how to do it in accordance with local code. I can't for the life of me figure out why you would want to mess with that yourself. The money you'd save would be trivial.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
22 Dec 2013  #13
basic code information.. fuse amp ratings... wiring colour codes etc.i need to clean up the electrical box a bit and make sure everything copasetic!

I'm electrician bored to tears with matter of this forum (I'm learning English here and there)
so don't hesitate to ask :)
k4karl - | 1
30 Oct 2015  #14
can I rewire a house in Poland as the same method used UK,
KielbasaBIG
8 Nov 2015  #15
Merged: Electrical Code - 2 wires in Outlet - Grounding Pin to neutral - OK?

I have older wiring in my flat.

a "Friend" who is an "Electrician" claims I can install new outlets with the ground pin, and then just ground that to the Neutral wire.

Is this actually to code in Poland?

Please advise
Dolnoslask
8 Nov 2015  #16
KielbasaBIG very good question In Poland they do tend to use neutral as an earth, I too would like to know if it was an old wiring past code, I cannot beleive that they would still allow this today.

I had / have many wiring issues in the old house that i own, I cannot find a sober electrician within ten miles of where i live, the drunk one that i know (who got fired for being drunk) just shrugs his shoulders when i talk about wiring regulations.

The problem with using neutral as earth in a star system (the way they do the wiring in poland/europe) is that if you get a neural break along the line some grounded appliances may go LIVE, less likely to happen if they used a ring main.

My "heath Robinson" method of adding an earth to sockets in the house is to use two earth rods in the garden (kept well watered) then i have run a ring of earth cable to each socket (or light fitting) where I require an earth. bit of a pain to hide the green cable but it works.

I have also cross bonded the water heater,well pipe and the well pump (which had no earth at all) to the new earth rods.

I too am hoping that someone here who is qualified can tell me if this fix is ok.

MODS: because you have merged the posters thread "Use of neutral as earth" with the colour code question people will not see that this is a completely different question, and also an important one because i think poland seems to be the only eu country to do this.

Can we keep this merged under electrical but change the title back to the op's original title of "Electrical Code - 2 wires in Outlet - Grounding Pin to neutral - OK?"

Please.

we might get an answer
Polsyr 6 | 769
8 Nov 2015  #17
In Poland they do tend to use neutral as an earth, I too would like to know if it was an old wiring past code, I cannot beleive that they would still allow this today.

I noticed the same thing and ask the same question.
Dolnoslask
8 Nov 2015  #18
I don't think we will get an answer until the mods put the post under it's correct heading,

funny you can't find an electrician in Poland or PF to help.
KielbasaBIG
8 Nov 2015  #19
wait so if i'm looking at the installed outlet - the LEFT side is the 'live' side ??

also what guage of wire is to current Polish code for household normal circuits
Dolnoslask
8 Nov 2015  #20
Hi KielbasaBIG

With the lack of any response from anyone qualified i will explain what i have gathered from my time in poland.

The live side, left or right in poland does not seem to stick to any rule, as we are dealing with 240 volts ac, it does not matter where the live side is.

but in general in my house most sockets live is on the right hand side

the Double sockets are opposite left and right side live by design

Socket cable is usually 2.5mm and lighting 1.5mm.

Funny thing is that in my house the light switches are switching on neutral, which means that there is always live at the light fitting , this is the opposite to the uk and more dangerous.
Polsyr 6 | 769
8 Nov 2015  #21
the light switches are switching on neutral

That is very dangerous :(
kpc21 1 | 763
9 Nov 2015  #22
It's no more done so in Poland - by good electricians, who exist in a very limited number and charge much more than "a guy that makes everything". I will repeat that electrical wiring is often made in Poland by people who have neither authority nor enough knowledge to do it.

But it was a standard in the past (don't ask me why), using the neutral as earth was also a standard (although it depends on the network system, it could be then forbidden by the power supplier which sometimes resulted in usage of water or... gas pipes as earth), as well as using aluminium wires, instead of copper ones, used to be.

In fact it's nothing unusual in using the neutral as earth.

First of all you need to know the network system (the power supplier should provide such an information, it should also state on the contract with them). It can be:

- TN-C (most common)
- TN-S (rather not met, it would mean that the supplier provides a separate earth)
- TT (met rarelier, but there are areas where it exists, it will be converted to TN-C in the future)
- IT (met only in hospitals and on boats)
These are international symbols, so if you know something about electrical wiring, you should know them, or you can always google them.

In case of the TN-C system, the energy supplier "guarantees" that the neutral wire is earthed. In new wiring installations it is done so (it must be done so and it is done so unless it is made by someone who has no idea what he is doing - which, unfortunately, very often happens) that the neutral-earth (PEN) wire is divided into separate neutral and earth wires in one point. The division point don't have to be grounded, although it's highly recommended (it makes it much, much safer). After such a division the system becomes TN-C-S.

In the past it was done so that two wires came to the socket, and then either a socket without an earth pin was installed, or the earth pin was connected with the neutral in the socket. The correct (if you can call it correct) technique is to connect the wire FIRST to the earth pin in the socket, and THEN to make a jumper to one of the slots. Not vice versa. Then, when the jumper breaks, the device does not work, but you still have the protection. I have seen an electrician who was doing it in a nice way, connecting a single wire to two contacts in the socket.

In case of a TT system, it's forbidden to use it's neutral as a safety earth. You need a local grounding and you have to use it as the safety earth. It even happened in very old washing machines (not automatic ones), that they had the earth wire ended with an alligator clip, which was supposed to be placed on a water pipe - since it wasn't usual then to have an earth pin in a socket. In new systems it's made so that the neutral from the mains system is used only as a neutral, and as the earth a local grounding is used.

I am not an electrician. If you want to make some changes in your wiring system, or you have any doubts if it's safe to use, please, contact with a REAL electrician (which is not easy to find in Poland, you will meet a lot of people saying that they are an electrician although they aren't authorised to do any such works).

The Polish law doesn't oblige owners or constructors of private houses to make the wiring according to the norms. But when something bad happens, he will be the one who is responsible for that. If he has a signature of an electrician, that he made it according to the norms, the one to blame will be the electrician.

What else... in very, very old wirings, it may happen that there are fuses on both live and neutral. It's a reminder from the times before the WW2, when the electrical systems in the country weren't unified, the power came often from local power stations, and it happened that a two-phase system (-110V/+110V) was used. In such a case the fuse on the neutral should absolutely be removed and short-circuited.
Dolnoslask
9 Nov 2015  #23
Thanks KPC21 for taking the time to explain , it helps alot


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