I met up with an older electrician yesterday and was reminiscing as
old men do !! I was talking of my teenage years in the mid 1950's and
helping my father rewire an old property he'd bought - metal fish
wires and threading steel conduit were the 'apprentice's' tasks. The
guy challenge my memory on the introduction of ring circuits saying
that it was well after that they were brought in (another memory of
crossing line and neutral in a box and the resulting impressively big
bang when the large cast iron fuse box was thrown on!).
I've no doubt that I was correct but can anyone point to when the ring
system was introduced.
Late 1940s. Perhaps you encountered the old 4 fused rings?
Some fascinating reading - amazing to think that we were fighting a war when
people were debating all this.
I've no idea when it was introduced, but it seems a great system to me,
as are the fused square-pin plugs.
I spend some time in Italy, and the system there seems very silly,
with 3 types of plug (fat and thin 3-pin,
and what I take to be the French circular 2-pin).
If only the continent would adopt the UK system,
and in return the UK would stop the insane practice
of storing water in the roof-space,
which at the same time maximises the chance of freezing,
and also maximises the damage that will be done when that occurs.
Ring circuits are superior to radials in terms of safety, reliability
and cost, and fwiw eco credentials since they use less copper (in most
cases). So its a shame that, due to some foolish thinking being
presented as wisdom, they are losing popularity to radials.
Re water in the roof space, what system do you suggest would be
http://www.theiet.org/publishing/wiring-regulations/ringcir.cfm has both
pros and cons set out for the meeting held at the IET in 2007. (As the
merest dilettante I was persuaded that radials were better than rings,
and trees better than both.)
I think you do have to remember that the UK in all likelihood
introduced piped water to its populace first, and that the tank in the
attic was the solution to cover the possibility of irregularity in
the supply. So it's historical, just as much as the ring main was
introduced for what is now a historical reason.
I would suggest that your aggression on the topic has almost a
hysterical atmosphere to it; like ring mains the very significant
majority in the UK is happy with a) it's domestic electrical
distribution, and b) it's water system.
Minimizing the quantity of copper required seems to me entirely reasonable,
today as much as in the past.
Presumably it saves a little power, as well as copper.
Storing water in the roof seems to me entirely unreasonable,
even for the purpose you mention.
In Italy where I spend a lot of time, they have public taps in the street
for any occasion when it might be necessary
(which is never, in my experience to date).
My viewpoint is that if the pressure is sufficient to get the water
up to the roof, it is more than enough to get it to the loo.
The British system came about when available mains supplies couldn't
keep up with the peak demand. The tank in the loft filled up overnight,
and emptied when the family had their wash and used the toilet before
they went to work, then refilled again during the day while everybody
was at work.
In the last half Century, things have improved to the point where the
mains can cope, though when I woke up a few months back to no water at
the drinking water tap and a water feature in the street outside, my
passengers were very glad I had a bathful of water in the loft tank.
Yeah, but it won't help wit filling the bath at a decent rate.
The combi will be the limiting factor here though - the rate at which it
can heat the water. Takes ages to fill a bath - good shower though
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