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Device 1 (electrical fan) is 32W and 0,19AMP. Device 2 (lighting system) is 400W and 1,7AMP. Both run at 240Volts (Europe).

  • When wiring these up, what kind of cables do I need?
  • Can I use any domestic electrical plug adapter or are they usually rated for certain wattages / amperes?
  • I'm attaching both to an electrical timer - are those usually rated for certain wattages / amperes as well?

These are quite powerful devices and I'd like to avoid electrical problems, things melting, etc.

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How are you hooking these up, and are these portable or permanently installed fixtures? It sounds like you're trying to have them on plugs -- be aware that at least in NA according to the NEC, you can't have a permanently installed fixture (eg, a light screwed into the ceiling) attached with a temporary plug - it has to be hardwired. –  gregmac Jul 22 '11 at 14:19
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are talking about Romex type copper NM-B wiring for inside walls, then 12 or 14 gauge will be fine. 14 gauge is rated to 15amps at 120V. 12 gauge is rated to 20 amps at 120V. I don't know how home wiring works in Europe, but if you are at 240V, then the 14 gauge wire should still be fine. And, pretty much most permanently installed devices like outlets and timers are rated to 15 amps in the US, so in the US it would be easy to find those items which would be suitable.

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Wires are rated primarily by their ampacity, or how much current (amps) they can carry. Voltage comes into account in regards to the thickness of the insulation and certain safety requirements, but higher voltage actually allows you to use smaller wire ( P = V*I, i.e. for a given wattage, as V goes up, I [amperage] goes down.)

These devices are actually anything but "powerful" for a 240V circuit. Common pool pumps, for example, pull four times more amperage (a 1.5-hp pump is roughly 1700 watts.)

As gregmac points out, there are perhaps some other code requirements to worry about, but not the wire gauge. Any reasonably sized wire could easily handle 432W at 240V, or 1.8A. There are certain safety/deration factors to consider, but even tiny 18AWG wire is rated to carry 14A (after inflating the amperage to include certain safety factors.)

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By Euro plug you mean this?

enter image description here

If yes then it is described in the CEE 7/16 Regulation and for safety is limited to 2.5Ampers for Class 2 Application. So it should not exceed 550Watts.(Up to a fridge) It is unpolorised, unearthed and not fused anywhere except in the main distribution board.

Allot of EU countries are starting to use the SHUKO plug CEE 7/4 Class 1 Appplications

enter image description here

If you use these ones which are also unpolorised, but are earthed and fused in the plug, they are rated at 16A! So it should handle 3500Watts!( A big heater )

Cables as it comes is fairly strict and the same

Conductor Size Current Maximum power (Watts) @ 240volts. But these are really optimistic and I would subtract 500watts for safety.

1.0 mm2 - 10 amps - Up to 2400 Watts

1.25 mm2 - 13 amps - Up to 3120 Watts

1.5 mm2 - 15 amps - Up to 3600 Watts

2.5 mm2 - 20 amps - Up to 4800 Watts

4.0 mm2 - 25 amps - Up to 6000 Watts

So like this one

enter image description here

In general timers start of from 2000Watt resistive load (restive meaning something like a coil heater! so they are marking the worst case scenario) If its lights, pumps etc its more slacked. You can get 3500Watt too.

So to answer your question - Yes it will be ok to hook up the fan and lighting to most plugs - because you might as well used a junction plug and it would be the same..

To be safe- if you want to add more stuff later use a

2.5MM solid core cable

Schuko Plug-

if you cant - just wire it directly (remove the whole plug and join it indside the plug with a wall plate)

enter image description here Like this one- just let your wire come out from there and run it neatly using trunking, tacs or glue gun. Try to avoid putting plugs onto that line- like the other poster said- it is breaking regulations.. in most countries.

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