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Von Daniken 12-19-2007 01:27 PM

Pilot Wire ??
Hi there

I have just purchased a chrome wall mounted towel radiator for the bathroom. The cabling consists on 3 wires Brown,Blue and a Black wire labled PILOT WIRE can I use this for the earth wire ?? as I prusume this product should be earthed ? Hope you can help

220/221 12-19-2007 02:41 PM

Pilot wire is not a typical US term. Sounds to me more like a control wire of some sort.

#1 rule with electrical is DON'T PRESUME ANYTHING.

If you don't have installation instructions, Google is your friend.

joed 12-19-2007 03:27 PM

You are in a forum that is mostly North American based. You colour scheme is indicating that you are in UK, Australia or NZ. Not too many here are up on those systems.

Stubbie 12-19-2007 04:23 PM

Von daniken

If you are in the UK earth is a green and yellow wire. Not too long ago the uk went on a new wiring colour scheme (March 2006) If this is a new product you recently purchased the colour brown is a live wire. The color black is a live wire and blue is your neutral. There was no change in the earth wire it is always green and yellow. My guess is that an additional earth bonding terminal has been provided to run an earth to the metal rack at the spur. The black pilot wire is for connection to the BMS if wanted otherwise it is not used.

goose134 12-19-2007 09:09 PM

You know, I was curious about why the color scheme was changed in the first place. I've only dealt with this once before on some German elevator equipment, but the neutral was brown. I know it changed, but for God's sake why keep the old colors in the new scheme? Seems like it could be an absolute menace.

Von Daniken 12-20-2007 08:23 AM

Thankyou for the response.
It appears after a bit of surfing the the Pilot wire as its labled is used to recieve information from a theromstat or linking to other radiators..
Other similar models dont require an earth so thats why the green and yellow isn't in the cabling.
I'm in France by the way but i'm English.


Stubbie 12-20-2007 09:38 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Yes your correct about the pilot when I referred to the BMS (Building Management System) that was what I was intending to say that a thermostat would be connected to it.

The old single phase colours red (live), black (neutral) and green and yellow (earth) were changed (except for earth which stayed the same) to be more 'harmonized' in the European countries. The old colours are not included in the new scheme , however extensions must be made from the old colours using the new colours. It was rather error prone in the beginning I'm told but has since become just another day on the job. Whenever you enter a spur or rose (JB or fixture box to us in the US) you must label the box notifying the electrician that new colours and old colours are present.

Example... there is not a heck of a lot of difference in how they wire in the IEC vs the USA it just that we have 120 volts and they have higher voltage around 230 volts for their line to neutral circuits. Their equivalent 12/2 g will have a brown and blue and bare wire or a green and yellow wire. Brown (hot), (blue) neutral or grounded leg and equipment ground (bare or green and yellow). They must color the blue wire brown in switch loops just as we color white wires black. So voltage is really where we differ. They have a much different way of doing things in the breaker panel which they call a consumer unit. The image below is a typical consumer unit with one gfci (orange toggle) protecting all the circuits. a gfci in Europe or the UK is called an RCD (residual current device). In the wiring diagram the large center breaker is the rcd. Far right is the main breaker and the rest are of course the branch circuits.

And the wiring diagram inside a consumer unit and a typical cable just like our nm-b only 230 volts between brown (live) & blue (neutral) and a bare (earth).

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