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Adding a new aircon, need to change the too small breaker box, what should I buy ?


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Thank you for your help, I am adding a new aircon and I need to change the breaker box as I want each aircon to have its own switch in the box, and I do not want that they add an external ugly breaker.

 

Can you tell me what kind of electric box is best and what should be found inside ?

I saw at Watsadu that some boxes have a special security ? But I know nothing about it.

 

If you could tell me what brand / model / link I should buy to be safe for the future, thank you so much.

 

are they cheaper online and do you know a reliable supplier ?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Crossy said:

What's the total number of breakers you are going to need??

 

Moving to Electrical.

 

thank you, I need 2 new breakers for 2 new aircons, and would like to have some more breakers to later add a water warmer or anything else if possible.

if you could just tell me 1 brand / model to buy I would be sure to buy something correct, as I do not want to let any local electrician choose for me (i have read many times here that their choice is not always the best).

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Crossy said:

OK, we need to now how many breakers you need in total if you are going to replace the existing box.

 

Also do you intend re-using the breakers in your existing box - post a photo of it so we know what you have now.

 

Schneider/Square-D are a well known and respected brand although not cheap.

lets say 6 or 8 breakers ?

no, the box installed is too old and I just want to change it all.

Schneider/Square-D are worth buying more ? anything cheaper but as good or you recommend these brands ?!

thanks again.

 

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12 minutes ago, Crossy said:

This unit from Racer should do the trick for you and it comes populated with an RCBO for safety.

 

https://www.globalhouse.co.th/product/detail/8858869060107

 

Breakers themselves are cheap so if the provided configuration isn't what you need then it's an easy job to swap them out.

 

Right5eabc648548f720200501131348484040.j

 

 

Thank you but why so expensive ? I saw large boxes for less than 1000 thb ?

is it because of what you call RCBO ? written RCCB ? is it really needed ?

 

Can you also explain why this RCCB has 2 buttons ? one yellow and 1 breaker ? how to use it ?

 

Thanks again for all

 

 

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Edited by thepdru
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1 hour ago, Crossy said:

 

The RCD/RCBO/RCCB (all really the same thing for our purposes) protects you from death in the event of an earth leakage fault or you getting hold of a live wire, it's actually a requirement for new Thai installations. It's probably a requirement in your home country too although it might have yet another different name. Leave it out at your peril. 

 

If you think 2.6k Baht is expensive I'm glad I didn't quote you a Schneider unit (the RCBO on it's own would cost that).

 

You do really get what you pay for, Racer are a mid to budget range of equipment, by all means go for one of the cheaper options.

 

 

Thanks again and sorry but I really know nothing. So this price is one of the cheapest that I can find for a box with RCBO ?

can you explain how the buttons found on it work ?

 

 

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37 minutes ago, sometimewoodworker said:

As mentioned it isn’t remotely expensive, in fact it’s a good price for the content and contains the minimum you need.


considering the comment 


you can go much cheaper with individual Chang brand RCBOs but they aren’t in a box and probably fit the “ugly breaker” category 

 

i’ve just had replacement boxes fitted in the U.K. and they started at 27,000, so the above, absolutely isn’t expensive.

 

Thanks also ! Ok I accept the truth, I just didn't know that it should at least cost this.

 

But an someone explain me ? I guess that most Thai homes  / older buildings don't have RCBO ? But their life is really at risk ?!

is it the reason why some die in bathroom because of water heater ?!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rookiescot said:

Crossy has given you the best option in my opinion. Schneider would be the best but comes in at a premium price.

Let me put it this way. If you buy a really cheap unit and it electrocutes you, your wife or your kids would you consider that 1000 baht saving to have been worth it? 

 

no, I accept the truth, I am ok for the price, I just try to understand what can be the difference between schneider and racer or cheaper ?

I guess that there is not much difference between different breakers buttons ? so the real difference is the RCBO ?

 

thanks to all, I will check what I can get at local shops and online, then report here, in case someone else is interested later.

 

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If your buying new air con units buy the inverter type will save you a bunch of money on your electric bill and will last a lot longer than a standard air con unit . 

Edited by crazykopite
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42 minutes ago, Grusa said:

If you have to ask these questions, I strongly recommend you do not DIY! Find and/or pay someone at least  knowledgeable and experienced, and preferably qualified.

Agreed. Nobody has brought up the elephant in the room.

What ampacity is the current box, what ampacity are the conductors serving the box. If you overload the ratings of the conductors you could end up burning the entire affair to the ground.

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3 hours ago, rwill said:

The one I have is called Safe-T-Cut.  Don't remember how much it cost.  But it did not seem too expensive (for me at least).

 

Breakers are for saving your wiring.  Safety cut, RCBO, whatever you call it is for saving you.  Also it is important to have the correct size wiring for the breaker/load.

Some people have a tripping breaker and think changing to a bigger breaker will fix it.  Doing so can cause your wiring to overheat and cause fires.

 

No description available.

 

Better call a pro for an estimate. Or 2.

Can't play with electric equipment. 

Things have to be done according to local code .and probably will need an inspection.  Play it safe. 

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3 hours ago, Pierre Hanot said:

Things have to be done according to local code .and probably will need an inspection.  Play it safe. 

 

Nah, once you have a permanent supply (as opposed to a construction supply) there's no inspections required.

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OK first you MUST not do it yourself, changing box. However i can understand you want to pick one and HAVE that one replace the older one.

At Thaiwatsadu, they have several systems, they are fixed with a group of breakers and or with RCBO or T safetycut.

The main breaker in Thailand is mostly 63 A with combined a rcbo of 30 mA. That is a very important safety device.

 

SImple said, if you touch a live wire then there is a current running through your body and can stop your heart, as your heart is a muscle and it will cripple that muscle, you die. You need another shock to bring you back to live again, hopefully

( defibrillator).

Also with a METAL outside faulty device, like a metal frame lamp, which should be always grounded and you need sockets with an earth pin and ground in your house. 

The RCBO limits it to 30mA and shuts off power, so you COULD live.

 

With 30 mA, you will feel it, but you COULD survive. All depends on the condition of your heart then.

With a test button (T) on that device you can test the working of that device. IF it is activated, it shuts down all power, with just one in the main, All power is shut off in your house. 

IF it maybe at one time works, due to a fault, you need to switch of all breakers first before activating the RCBO again and then one by one putting breakers back on again. Then you can determine in which group is a fault.

If the fault is persistent, then the RCBO will shut of again and then you know in which group the fault is.

 

You can have systems with all the breakers having their own RCBO, so per group there is one and only when something happens in that group, that group is shuts down. All the other groups will keep on running then.

That will cost you some more, but not all the power is switched off. Besides then you dont need the 63A combined with RCBO then and just can have a 63A breaker, which is also a main switch. However they are complete sets, made to work this way.

But maybe there is a set with breakers with there own RCBO per group.

 

You also have RCBO in an electronic way. I wouldnt go for that.  Just the mechanical.

With an electronic one, you can switch the value. However with the moist in Thailand it could effect the working, i think.

So, i think, for more safety have a mechanical one. 

 

The systems are or with a metal casing or plastic casing. I would prefer the plastic casing.

If you have one with metal then you need to ground it, you have ground?

Schneider is a very known brand, as well Siemens.

 

In your old box, you can see how many breakers you need for your house and also their values.

You have a new airco, so you MUST know how much amperes the airco is doing in full running mode.

That defines the value of the breaker, but i think a 16 A would do fine.

However if you want an additional one for a heater, you ll probably need a bigger one.

Those heaters can do up to 4 kW, 4000/230= 17A and spike by putting it on could be even higher.

Then you are maybe up to 25 A.

 

The breakers are also in various classes, B,C,D. You can find that on the breakers.

You see on the pic with the Racer breakers the notification RC1-C32A 6KA.

In this case, it is a breaker of 32A in the C-class. The C-class is, lots used in Asia, less sensitive.

For more safety a B-class would be better.

 

If you buy such a complete bar system, you are fixed to that system and their modules (breakers).

So it could be wise to have some spare with them as well? You can swap them out if its broken or you want to change in value or class. But just dont think easy about that, as swapping a 10A breaker to a 32A or so, all depends on what is in the group and their wiring. If you dont have spare, you might face another swap of box. Depends on how long the manufacturers continue on delivering spare parts for the system.

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7 hours ago, xtrnuno41 said:

With a test button (T) on that device you can test the working of that device. IF it is activated, it shuts down all power, with just one in the main, All power is shut off in your house. 

You should test it every month.

 

7 hours ago, xtrnuno41 said:

For more safety a B-class would be better.

They would be better but are not easy to find, a specialist shop may be able to get them.

 

7 hours ago, xtrnuno41 said:

If you buy such a complete bar system, you are fixed to that system and their modules (breakers).

Very unlikely to be true. Virtually all systems apart from the SquareD are DIN rail so no problem to get replacement units.

 

7 hours ago, xtrnuno41 said:

You also have RCBO in an electronic way. I wouldnt go for that.  Just the mechanical.

With an electronic one, you can switch the value. However with the moist in Thailand it could effect the working, i think.

So, i think, for more safety have a mechanical one. 

All RCBOs are, in part, electronic. They can’t function as a purely mechanical device, an MCB can if you consider a by-metallic strip as mechanical, though that is a questionable definition.

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Here is another option, and it’s cheaper. I have been happy with the quality of this brand. It also has the rcbo, or ground fault interuptor.

 

https://www.globalhouse.co.th/product/detail/8859042812070

 

Btw- Electrical supply stores are usually quite a bit cheaper than the big home stores. 

Edited by Kwarium
Btw-
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15 hours ago, sometimewoodworker said:

You should test it every month.

 

They would be better but are not easy to find, a specialist shop may be able to get them.

 

Very unlikely to be true. Virtually all systems apart from the SquareD are DIN rail so no problem to get replacement units.

 

All RCBOs are, in part, electronic. They can’t function as a purely mechanical device, an MCB can if you consider a by-metallic strip as mechanical, though that is a questionable definition.

You can test them any time you want. The op has no clue what all is and asked

The B-class breakers are for sale at Thaiwatsadu, bought them there.

IF the system is a din rail mounted, you can put up any breaker or RCBO or main breaker from any brand, as long as they are din rail mounted.

If you buy a complete system, they can have another type of fitting and you are forced to deal with that.

RCBO's indeed are all working on electricity, but the ones with adjustable settings (with electronica in it) are different then the what i call mechanical ones.(no electronica in it).

And with electronica i mean resistors, opamps, capacitors and so on. 

Ok ,now i hear you think and say the "mechanical ones" also have some of such components.

Then i better refer to the adjustable setting of a RCBO. So i wouldnt use a RCBO with an adjustable setting.

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I was involved for over six years in selling consumer unit load centers in Thailand. The "budget brands" are of dubious quality, dubious engineering and never once did a Schneider Square D come back for replacement. Those other brands often failed customers in Thailand and I then gave the look "Time to Step up and buy Schneider".  I would put Panasonic in the same class as Schneider. I swear, one expat did not care about even RCBO on the cheaper Chinese made load center as he told me he did not care if his in-laws were electrocuted. There are expats who spend 799 baht on a load center for small homes. There are expats who skip a ground wire, skip grounding rods, and say it does not matter. There is a reason stores sell 2 pin receptacles since some people are oblivious to basic electric safety. "Doing it on the cheap" is ALWAYS more expensive in the long run. Siemens has some great load centers in Thailand as does ABB.   Plastic face covers fail sooner than metal face covers on consumer load center units.  I know as people often brought back failed products to stores as a first step of warranty or paid repairs. 

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On 9/18/2021 at 1:36 AM, Kwarium said:

Here is another option, and it’s cheaper. I have been happy with the quality of this brand. It also has the rcbo, or ground fault interuptor.

 

https://www.globalhouse.co.th/product/detail/8859042812070

 

Btw- Electrical supply stores are usually quite a bit cheaper than the big home stores. 

 

 

I am also looking for a new electric box, so do you think that this one will be good enough ? or it's risky ? Thanks https://www.globalhouse.co.th/product/detail/8859042812070

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Global House does a fine job of sourcing low cost electrical items from Vietnam and China. There is a market for cheap electrical goods in Thailand. Thai Watsadu | Do Home | Home Hub also sources cheap dubious electrical products from brands you never heard of. "Same same" is what the employee in the isle will say. Or worse the "product consultant" or PC who pushes a particular brand.  For something as crucial as a load center anyone is well advised to spend the money on Schneider | Panasonic | Siemens | ABB.  Sure home owners insurance covers electrical fires, but it is not worth the risk to take a chance. Buying a crummy no name copy Chinese mobile phone off Lazada is one thing, but a proper load center is a one time purchase if you buy the right brand (and sizes of breakers).  The off brand electric cables sold along side real brands such as Bangkok Cable or Yazaki are not of the same quality.  The crummy off brands (or licensed out to a Chinese company brands) of electric switches and sockets might be attractive colors when new, but they fail in the field and fade color so fast. Panasonic | Schneider | Clipsal are the only three brands of sockets or switches I would ever recommend. Clipsal has some down market series which may not be the best long term solution. People bring back the "same same" brands of sockets or switches to replace and upgrade to real brands. Less money in the long run to buy better brands the first and only time in my observation. I live in a home with 82 Panasonic sockets and none have failed since they day they were installed. No Panasonic light switches have failed in this home.    

 

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On 9/18/2021 at 3:57 PM, xtrnuno41 said:

You can test them any time you want. The op has no clue what all is and asked

Of course you can. It doesn’t change the fact that you should test them monthly 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/16/2021 at 3:50 PM, Crossy said:

You do really get what you pay for, Racer are a mid to budget range of equipment, by all means go for one of the cheaper options.

Thank you to everybody, but now I doubt about this Racer ? I know that you are expert, but, if it was for your house, would you buy this racer ? or still you think that I should buy schneider, abb or panasonic ? are they always better ?

thank you again.

 

 

 

 

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