Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Hungary
Reload this Page >

2 Phase or 3 Phase?

2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Old Jan 31st 2016, 2:11 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2016
Location: London, Nagyrada.
Posts: 34
Razorbite101 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Am going to look at a house near Zalakoras next month. Is it possible to identify whether the electrics are 2 or 3 phase by visually checking? What would I be looking for?
Razorbite101 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2016, 4:17 am
  #2  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2015
Location: Near the Black Forest and near Esztergom
Posts: 923
wolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Look at the fuses - they often are in a box on an outside wall.

Two phase means usually just one fuse.

The only three phase installation I've seen in an old house was in a house where they had installed electric "storage heating" (i e the heaters run at night on cheap electricity) for an old woman.
wolfi is offline  
Old Feb 1st 2016, 4:48 am
  #3  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,098
Peter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

I would be very surprised if you had 2 phases, the usual is 1 or 3,

1 phase gives you a nominal 230v which is what all household appliances use.
3 phase is industrial voltage and gives a nominal 380v between phases and is used where higher power is needed.
Sometimes domestic houses will have 3 phase if industrial machines are used, or as Wolfi cited electric storage heating (was this in Hungary? I've not seen that here before)
If you have 3 phase this can be used as 3 individual phases of 3 x 230v but special precautions and labeling are needed because of the higher shock capability.

The typical domestic consumer box in Hungary will have the meter at the bottom with the electric companies circuit breaker next to it, this will (or should be) sealed with a wire and a lead seal. If there are 3 circuit breakers next to the meter then there is 3 phase, if there is 1 circuit breaker then there is 1 phase. Sometimes if space requires the electric companies circuit breaker(s) may be below or above the meter. It is these circuit breakers that control the maximum power available.

Above the meter and its associated circuit breaker(s) will be the consumer circuit breakers these are not sealed and are available for the consumer to modify to their own needs.

There are also many consumer boxes with 2 meters, this is not 2 phase but the same 1 phase divided in to 2 to give a night meter. This will follow the same installation set up as defined above. In addition the night meter will have either a clock (with a 24hr dial) or a frequency switch switched by the elec. co. and this will be located above the night meter.

The standard amperage supplied to domestic properties is 32A. If more than this is required then quite a hefty surcharge is made. For this reason few houses have electric hobs as these require about 45A (which means 45A for the hob plus what is needed for the rest of the house - this can result in a bill in excess of 100,000huf). If 3 phase is required then 3 x 10A is available before a surcharge is made

32A is available on both the normal and night meter. I believe the elec. co. can refuse to install more than 32A (+ 32A night meter) if the local infrastructure can not support the extra, but they are bound to supply the 32A + 32A night meter

When we came to Hungary (1994) the standard was 16A, it then went to 25 and it is now 32A. Looking at the size of the main circuit breaker may give a clue about the age of the wiring. The older properties will probably have aluminum wiring and this will probably need replacing soon (or immediately)

Last edited by Peter_in_Hungary; Feb 1st 2016 at 4:50 am.
Peter_in_Hungary is offline  
Old Feb 1st 2016, 7:05 am
  #4  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2015
Location: Near the Black Forest and near Esztergom
Posts: 923
wolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Thanks Peter, for that detailed explanation - of course it's one phase or three phase, I was thinking of "two wires" or "three wires" (blushing ...).
Yes, that electric storage heating was in Hungary - and the house had two meters:
One for day current, the other for the cheaper night current.

PS:
Since the basic voltage was raised from 220 to 230/235 V (to be more in line with the UKs 240 V) the voltage of the 3phase is 400 - no longer 380!
Got you!

Last edited by wolfi; Feb 1st 2016 at 7:07 am.
wolfi is offline  
Old Feb 1st 2016, 7:24 am
  #5  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2016
Location: London, Nagyrada.
Posts: 34
Razorbite101 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Sorry about the title,yep I meant 1 or 3 phase
Thanks for both your replies,very informative.
There are two meters at the house(my wife has already been over to see it and has taken some photos) but she seemed to think the meters were for downstairs/upstairs but your explanation seems more plausible Peter.
Is there separate tariffs for day and night use ? and does it switch between meters automatically?
Electrics are not my forte, so if we go with a gas cooker(it's plumed for gas anyway) is 32A good enough for a typical modern household?
Razorbite101 is offline  
Old Feb 1st 2016, 8:28 am
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2015
Location: Near the Black Forest and near Esztergom
Posts: 923
wolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Even 20 A would be ok - if you don't have too many machines:
Washing machine, coffee maker, etc ..

But if you add a dishwasher, a tumble dryer, an electric chainsaw ???

In our house even now we get an overload sometimes when two machines connected to the same phase are switched on together with other appliances ...

Re day/night tariffs:
I thnik you pay some extra basic "rent" so it's probably only worthwhile if you use much electricity over night - maybe you should look whether there's an electricc heater connected or a large "boiler" for warm water. That seems more probable to me!

Many years ago in Germany we had a similar system - warming water at night (around 300 liters). So I often let the dish washer and the washing machine run after nine o'clock, that's when the switch happened.

You should probably ask a real expert, maybe at the provider's office.

Just be careful - it happened to a friend:

Whenhe changed the arrangement he had to have most of the installation newly done (connectors, meter, fuses) - because the new rules applied.
If you're happy with the existing installation it might be cheaper/easier not to change anything ...

Last edited by wolfi; Feb 1st 2016 at 8:35 am.
wolfi is offline  
Old Feb 1st 2016, 9:51 am
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,098
Peter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Originally Posted by Razorbite101
Is there separate tariffs for day and night use ? and does it switch between meters automatically?
Electrics are not my forte, so if we go with a gas cooker(it's plumed for gas anyway) is 32A good enough for a typical modern household?
There are separate tariffs for day and night rates
There is no switch between day and night rate. The night rate comes on and runs what ever is connected to it. This is the down side, many modern washers have a delay function to delay the start by some hours - no good here because you need the power on to start the machine with this function, (OK in Germany where the night rate switches over from the day rate). The regulation here is that only appliances permanently wired can be used. That is a plug and socket connection should not be used. (although I have never seen this enforced) The night rate is primarily designed for water heaters but many use it for washing machines and dish washers.

32A should be enough for most households although occasionally problems may occur e.g. washing machine 12A when heating water, dishwasher ditto, = 24A, (if they happen to be heating water concurrently) and if the electric oven is on, then another 6A - then switch on the microwave 4A-6A for a cup of coffee and you are in darkness.
Peter_in_Hungary is offline  
Old Feb 3rd 2016, 6:27 pm
  #8  
BE Enthusiast
 
duztee's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Nagykoros, Hungary
Posts: 773
duztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond reputeduztee has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Hi Razor,
Wolfi and Peter can always be relied on for good sound advice, but remember this is Hungary! and there will always be oddities, so if you are in any doubt ask the seller to explain the system fully.

My house has two meters both running on standard day rate, one single phase which supplies 3 rooms and a three phase which feds the rest of the house. Why? only the original builder knows!
duztee is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2016, 6:58 am
  #9  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2016
Location: London, Nagyrada.
Posts: 34
Razorbite101 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Thanks duztee, Unfortunately the original owner has passed away so that option is out. I'm sure when I go see it myself,I should be able to work out the set up.I'm prettty sure I'll be back on here with plenty more questions though
Razorbite101 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2016, 9:12 pm
  #10  
Forum Regular
 
almafak's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2015
Location: southern Zala county, Hungary
Posts: 56
almafak is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

You may find that the wiring and sockets in the house may need to be updated. I have one outbuilding to upgrade that still has the old 2-pin plugs and thin, cotton-covered wiring.

Did you mean Zalakaros, Razorbite101?
almafak is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2016, 11:03 pm
  #11  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: bute
Posts: 9,740
scot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond reputescot47 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

In villages in Bulgaria it was quite common to have 3-phase so the self-reliant villagers could run machinery. Hungary was perhaps similar. When we bought an old village house in NE Bulgaria we were astonished at what was in the workshop. I gave most of it away.
scot47 is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2016, 2:56 am
  #12  
BE Forum Addict
 
fidobsa's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: North east Croatia
Posts: 1,667
fidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Originally Posted by almafak
You may find that the wiring and sockets in the house may need to be updated. I have one outbuilding to upgrade that still has the old 2-pin plugs and thin, cotton-covered wiring.

Did you mean Zalakaros, Razorbite101?

Yes, it is best to assume any house you buy will need rewiring, even if all the switches and sockets look new. Houses with electrics up to UK safety standards are a rarity in Hungary.
fidobsa is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2016, 5:33 am
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2015
Location: Near the Black Forest and near Esztergom
Posts: 923
wolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond reputewolfi has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

And don't forget the RCD! We discussed this already:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/hunga...throom-872045/
And don't forget, we have the Schuko-System on the continent:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuko

Last edited by wolfi; Mar 3rd 2016 at 5:37 am.
wolfi is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2016, 5:46 am
  #14  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,098
Peter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

And once you get behind the socket its a radial system rather than the ring main as in the UK and the older wiring is like as not going to be aluminium not copper and the earth wire might be RED......so lots of fun if you grew up with the old UK system of red = live black = neutral.
Peter_in_Hungary is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2016, 5:50 am
  #15  
BE Forum Addict
 
fidobsa's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: North east Croatia
Posts: 1,667
fidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond reputefidobsa has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2 Phase or 3 Phase?

Yes, the Schuko plugs are inherently less safe than the UK 13 amp plugs because the live and neutral can be reversed. In practice they also suffer from the earth springs in the sockets bending out of shape or snapping off completely. You also need both hands when removing a plug or you will quite likely pull the whole socket out of its box! I had not realised how good UK electrics were until I experienced the continental system.
fidobsa is offline  

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.