Taiwan electrical (un)safety part deux - insider action!

I wouldn’t be surprised if Taiwan had similar standards, but then we all know that most electricians would give a shit anyhow. Not to mention that people here prefer “quick and cheap” over save and more expensive.

Ring configurations are IMHO somewhat odd and not necessary, assuming the wiring is done in-line with the standards for non-rings (works well in Germany for example).

We will not have these Europeans meddling in our wires! I am sure the Germans do not put up with anything but the best quality electrical installation, but we also have French people telling us that their system rocks, and as anyone who has owned a French car can testify, that is just not true. Next the Italians will be giving advice on automotive electrics! (Oops. Better not go there. There will be someone out there who had a 1982 Rover with Lucas points. Er. :blush: )

But don’t forget that they use just 110V instead of 230V. This means you have to use much higher current. In that would mean you have 4 times the power loss in the cables. You can now either make the cross section bigger or use a ring (which would be more or less like doubling the cross section, but splitting it on two different ways and encreasing the surface of the cable would slightly decrease the temprature in the cable and make it slightly more effective… :wink: ).
With our (German/Austrian) standards it is not really needed, we have plenty of space to the top in the system. :wink:

[quote=“mingshah”]But don’t forget that they use just 110V instead of 230V. This means you have to use much higher current. In that would mean you have 4 times the power loss in the cables. You can now either make the cross section bigger or use a ring (which would be more or less like doubling the cross section, but splitting it on two different ways and encreasing the surface of the cable would slightly decrease the temprature in the cable and make it slightly more effective… :wink: ).
With our (German/Austrian) standards it is not really needed, we have plenty of space to the top in the system. ;-)[/quote]

We rock.

[quote=“Rascal”]
I wouldn’t be surprised if Taiwan had similar standards, but then we all know that most electricians would give a shit anyhow. Not to mention that people here prefer “quick and cheap” over save and more expensive.

Ring configurations are IMHO somewhat odd and not necessary, assuming the wiring is done in-line with the standards for non-rings (works well in Germany for example).[/quote]

Speaking of standards, I’m building a sound isolation room in the basement and was looking for 2"x4" and 2"x6" timbers only to find that Taiwanese seem to have got confused in the metric conversion and think 2cm x 4cm timbers are suitable for use as flooring joists. Jesus/Allah/Buddah save us all.

Does this worry anyone else? Llary, are you planning on taking your driving instructor down there for some “attitude adjustment”? :s :smiley:

Shhhhhhhhhhh. That wasn’t Llary, that was this Ilary character everyone’s been talking about.

It seems some of you guys are quite knowledgeable about DIY, and as well quite happy to help .

Would you guys know any ressource on the net that could avoid us simple and basic mistakes done by local tradesmen for the benefit of their own pockets?

Or even better, would you guys feel up to set up something on Forumosa’s wiki to help the average joe (me :blush:) avoid being scrooked ? I am thinking of such thing as electricity, plumbing, building safety norms…

I am likely to be here for a while, and i’d like to avoid having my “in-laws” being scrooked as there is currently no man at home, and as they are planning some major work on the house.

From what i understand, since the electricity here is running in 110v it is necessary to run a different cable circuit for lightening and plugs. But where does these circuits meet? How can i check that i am actually having two circuits?

I’d be happy to give a hand with any computer related problem (hardware, software, network).

I posted this [[url]Rough ride in Hukou a few weeks ago, with regards to power outages we (my inlaw’s household) experienced here in Hukou, Hsinchu. During one of these outages I noticed that actually, we were not at zero volts. We still had enough power so that some lights were on, although very dim. The big concern for me is that the tacky blue light panel on the DVD player (a cheapo one. Smith??) was also partially lit. This was unmistakable, as it was pitch black all around.

My experience in Australia is that on this one occasion where we experienced a dip (as opposed to a complete blackout) in power, a few of the electronic devices in the house, including a Panasonic TV (of the fairly early flat screen (non-wide) generation), started playing up irrecoverably. Thankfully, it seems the components here have survived this problem (as it seems to me).

Seeing as my inlaws also have a new LCD TV on the same circuitry, I have contemplated getting them a surge protected power board. However I have two questions:

  1. would it even guard against a problem like this? I would hope that if the power fell in the same circumstance that the DVD player would not receive any power at all.

  2. the wall socket is one of those two pin ones that I detest. Does the fact that I would have to use one of those adapters to negate the earth pin mean that I’ve defeated the whole purpose of getting the surge protected board in the first place.

I really would like to solve the earthing problem anyway, even if it is just to that outlet. Is there anything basic I can do? I notice that those adapters do have a pin(/washer? whatever it’s called) on them. Can I run a cable from this to anywhere? There is an aircon unit. Can I expect that this thing would be properly earthed, and run a line to it?

It is not safe to ‘tap in’ to your a/c earthing point, and even if the socket is connected to an earth, there’s no guarantee there is even a safe earthing point in the first place.

Surge protectors will NOT protect against this problem - they are essentially a big fuse on a wire. Waste of money IMHO.

If you want to protect expensive electronic equipment then the best way is with a UPS. Mini versions supporting loads up to 600W are very cheap now and have proper control circuitry for detecting all sorts of line faults. If an under or over voltage is detected they will automatically switch to battery power, then when the battery runs out it cuts the output completely so you don’t get any brown-outs. Available from computer stores, 3C, even Carrefour or RT-Mart.

[quote=“llary”]It is not safe to ‘tap in’ to your a/c earthing point, and even if the socket is connected to an earth, there’s no guarantee there is even a safe earthing point in the first place.

Surge protectors will NOT protect against this problem - they are essentially a big fuse on a wire. Waste of money IMHO.

If you want to protect expensive electronic equipment then the best way is with a UPS. Mini versions supporting loads up to 600W are very cheap now and have proper control circuitry for detecting all sorts of line faults. If an under or over voltage is detected they will automatically switch to battery power, then when the battery runs out it cuts the output completely so you don’t get any brown-outs. Available from computer stores, 3C, even Carrefour or RT-Mart.[/quote]

Thanks mate. Appreciate the info. Is UPS going to be OK without the availability of a ground though?

Yes, but a good one will insist that you program it to ignore the ground fault. Larger models may also have a built-in RCCB on the output that will protect you in case of a ground fault on the connected equipment (but not a fault in the UPS itself).

Not an electrician but why does all Taiwan plugs only have 2 pins and no earth pin? And if 220v is more efficient use of electricity then why dont all countries go to 220v and/or how did 110v get started in the first place?

And if an appliance needs 110v and it only gets 100v like in Taiwan , what happens to the appliance?

Over powering cant be good but is underpowering ok?

Lack of regulation. Newly built houses are much better and should be earthed throughout.

110v was chosen in the US partly because of the lower shock hazard but mainly because the system was set up in the 19th century when power demands were much lower and distances to power substations shorter. 220v is more efficient but why move from 110v if it means replacing billions of electrical items? The US and Taiwan already have 3-phase power to most homes so 110v equipment and 220v appliances can work together. If you imagine a piece of rope 220 foot long with a knot in the middle, the distance from either end to the knot is 110 feet. The distance from end to end is 220 feet. That’s how a 3-phase system works.

Anything old with a motor (i.e. fridges, a/c) won’t be very happy and may overheat. Newer appliances should all have overheat protection. The power supply in modern electronic devices will either compensate for the brownout and work perfectly normally or malfunction temporarily (just like a battery-powered device running out of juice). Any damage to electronic equipment is normally from the spike caused when power is returned, not by the brownout itself.

Thanks for the explanation, still all Greek to me. :bow:

Just had a momentary brownout just now. Perhaps coincidental, a HSR train passed nearby at that precise moment. I think I’ll go off to the 3C now :pray:

Well if you were to get an electrician in say Aus or Europe, you would be paying for the service, including his knowledge, insurance, and the cost to regulate the industry.

I assume there is regulation here but no enforcement. I wonder do stats exist for the number of people dying from electrocution each year in Taiwan ? and if people would even take notice if these were published.

You can always go next door to the guy who is a part-time painter, part-time electrician for a hell of a lot cheaper, but if the house burns down, the insurance may not cover you.

Here everything is down to cost (how cheap you can get it done for). So you take the risk when you hire the person for the given price.
Manual jobs and trades jobs are at the bottom of the desired professions, working in the office 23 hours a day is not.

I have seen carpenters in Taiwan that are highly skilled tradesmen, and take great pride in what they create. I have see plumbers and electricians that are into the 'get it done fast and dirty". You know running wires across walls, unsightly plumbing.

They get paid for what they do, and would not get paid more even if they did a better job.

Most trades’ people I know and I have worked with have pride in their work and are disciplined about it.
But you get the other type of plumbers and electricians. They did not take the time and discipline to learn the trade, they just invented themselves as electricians or plumbers one morning.

P.S I think carpentry is little more difficult to fake

[quote=“TNT”]

P.S I think carpentry is little more difficult to fake[/quote]

I don’t know… I seen way too many people operating table saws with their backs to the traffic (to see what happens when a 2x4 gets thrown at traffic??) and do other stuff that just makes me nervous. Then one time I tried to get a “master” to build me a speaker cabinet who didn’t do anything then when I went a week later to pick it up they went at it with a jig saw producing really ugly/wobbly cabinet. Needless to say I trust my own work more than some other guy here…

Llary, this is the funniest thread on Forumosa. My father is an electrician. And he’s fastidious to the point of analness about his work. He would, literally, have a heart attack if he saw the wiring in Taiwan.

My brother is in building business… he was here a couple of months ago… when he saw the piping from the ac to the heat exchanger in our apartment, he asked me if I, my wife or my daughter did it

Travelling around taipei and the outskirts for a couple of days… he shrugged a number of times… he was convinced that if people spent more time to do things right… they’d save alot more time and money in the long run