What's involved in increasing power to house

Hi we currently have a 30amp supply to our house and would like to know what’s involved in taking it from 6kva to 9 kva. We are with EDF the house is near Chalus (87)

And on the power supply side, although you may be able to enjoy up to 18kVA via triphase, you aren't necessarily going to get anything like that via monophase even if EDF say you can have a 15kVA monophase breaker. So, know what you're doing before 'modernising' to monophase (and beware of then upsetting other triphase users). But then the mono vs tri topic is big enough all by itself...

I have never posted before, so hope I am going about this the correct way....

I was interested in these posts, as we had issues with our 9Kva supply cutting out as many have described. Phoned EDF and managed to upgrade to 15Kva over the phone (well, arranged for a technician to adjust the meter for this). I was told that any further increase (and it is possible) would definitely need an electrician to request this on my behalf.

What is however very important is to know that your supply is likely to be '3 phase', meaning that when you have an allocation of 15Kva it is actually 3 x 5Kva (presumably why Kva options are all multiples of 3). The way power is drawn from the 3 phases depends on how clever your electrician is in 'balancing' the draw from the 3 phases. If all your power heavy items are on only one of the phases and draw more than 5Kva, the power will cut out even if you have 10 Kva 'unused' on the other 2 phases. So my advice is before upgrading make sure the internal system in your house spreads the electrical load evenly across the phases.

In theory, you may be right. In practice, in my situation, I know that uprating my breaker won't stop my voltage dropping to 160 and below when I start turning on immersion heaters, electric radiators, fan heaters, kettles, and washing machines with abandon, until things start refusing to operate (despite my breaker not even thinking about tripping).

In some ways I wasn't worried about this as it helps persuade us to minimise our consumption. So, I'm not too enthused by EDF's recent visit to inspect our premises in order to replace their supply cable (at no prompting from me).

I have just done this! Phone the number on your bill for client services and they will take it from there. However,be prepared for a shock as a our box was too old to update and the work became a major upheaval!

Even more than 'regional' John, the areas are split into groups of communes, depending on size etc to avoid overload and distribute more evenly the electricity supplies in that region.

Point taken but when france was connected a single phase has a maximum supply of 12kw now so that should be based on the supply and voltage drop along the length of the cable with a big safety margin, 25mm cable springs to mind so in practice sufficient should be available?

I'll just add that there's a subtle difference between "Increasing the amount of power available to our house" and "Increasing the limit of the power we're permitted to consume (of that which is available)".

The former involves uprating the supply (cables, etc.), the latter is simply a matter of uprating the breaker.

For example, if you're out in the sticks (on one phase of a slim triphase cable) and find the voltage dropping when you get halfway to tripping the breaker, then uprating the breaker won't increase the power.

The time of the low cost seems to vary dependent on your region, ours is around 00:30am and 2:30pm. If you want to reduce your electricity a bit more John, keep using the timer then it will switch off rather than topping up all the time. Not done this myself but another chap reckons he has cut his bill by quite a lot doing this.

Don't forget using the lower cost night/lunchtime also means paying a higher cost the rest of the time so not always a saving.

There is also a deselecter available for the tableau, this cuts off electricity to the wired appliance if the overall load is going to cause a trip, such as the water heater on whilst cooking, can save going up to the next level of supply. A pain the french way, paying a higher standing charge for the potential of using more. We could go down to 6kw but for the electric radiators that maybe required in winter months but having to pay all year for something not being used.

Taking a look at your swimming pool is important to, this usually uses more electricity over a long number of hours so costs more than any other domestic appliance. It can be r engineered to use less that 10% of what it currently uses, that will be a massive saving.

Just contact EDF they will increase your supply also ask them about the lower cost electricity af 10 pm . we had two new meters fitted in the space of a month our hot water was on a timer set for 11pm when the guy came out and fitted the new meter he pointed to the timer and said you wont need that now EDF have an English speaking telephone contact

I had the same problem.

If you have a 6 kw supply then look at it this way. A kettle can be 1.5kw, a cooker 3 kw, a toaster 2 kw, a water heater 2.5 kw, a dish washer 2.5 kw, 10 x 100w bulbs = 1 kw, electric heater 1.5 kw. Total 13.5 kw. If you were to run all these at the same time your 6 kw is well short. The trip will keep cutting out. You will need to work out what the power consumption of your various appliances is, how many you are likely to run at any one time & make sure that EDF have adjusted your meter to cope.

Further question? We have a 6kw? Or is it 30 amp. The main trip goes at 24 amps? Is this correct or does the trip need replacing?

Just ask EDF; we had no problem, and they put in a bigger cable to the house too.

Just one thing though; the guys installing the new cable and meter said, "I suppose you'll be replacing all the old electrics in the house now?"

I replied, "No, they may be a bit old but there's nothing wrong with them."

"So why do you need a bigger supply?" he asked.

"For the hot water cylinder." I lied.

The thing is, if I'd have said "Yes, I'm going to rewire the house." A man with a clipboard would have been around to politely ask me for outline plans, and he would have returned to make sure I was following the norms and using a registered electrician - GROAN ! I DID everything to the 'norms' but I did it myself and I DID NOT want someone looking over my shoulder whilst I was doing it all.

Just saying....

Wow! Just had a visit from an electrician recommended by my vet as 'totally honest' . What a great bloke! He fixed everything needing fixing, checked my OH's diy electrics, told us what to look out for (overheating plugs etc) and gave a list of tips to reduce electricity bills by as much as x2 which I share with you here (many of you will know some of this):

Buy a small oven instead of using normal sized oven for small meals for 2.

All old appliances consume much more electricity than the newer ones (my microwave, dishwasher and bathroom heaters are all ancient).

Use an infra red lamp to keep baby animals (kittens in my case) warm, instead of heating the whole room.

LED's everywhere instead of power-guzzling lamps, obviously.

Unplug all unused transformers, ie mobile phone chargers and the like – they continue to draw power even when not in use.

Tighten the connector screws for the circuit breakers in your power box every 2 years, they can contract and loosen with the changing temperatures, and risk a fire-causing spark. We had several slightly loose!

I'm hoping I'll be able to reduce the supply to our house, currently up at 18!

I have just increased my supply from 6k to 9k, (not sure of the ampage) as I have had extra electrical items installed into my house. I also asked for a day and night (cheaper rate) tariff to be applied. I rang the English speaking number at EDF 0562164908, they were very helpful, and went through all my appliances, and usage, to come up with the correct tariff, and monthly payment. An engineer from EDF is now coming to my house to alter the meter to deal with the change. The cost of altering your tariff is 50euro. So I am hoping this new tariff will suit me for a few years. Hope this info helps.

Many thanks for the info a great help, thank you

We upped ours from 30-45A and at the same time they swapped the meter for a new digital one. After a couple of months I looked at the current consumption and it had never been higher than 27A, and that was while work had been going on in the house. We went back to 30A asap.

EDF left the 45A contactor in place and just reduced the standing charge!

A phone call!

I have just increased mine from 6 to 9 kw. I rang the EDF English helpline - 05 56 17 40 70 - for an appointment, they came within 2 weeks, cut the power for 2 minutes et voila! No more blackouts when the dushwasher & oven are on together!

I aslo changed my tarrif to the day/night rates. Total cost for the changes was about 30 euros.

You need to go to your local EDF office and explain you wish to increase the power to the property. Basically all they do (or used to do) is send a man along to put in a bigger fuse assuming the installation is ok. They will usually make out a new or updated contract and explain how much more it will cost for the monthly rental.

Yes, I got ours raised over the phone. The downside is that the electricity bills are huge now.