Cavehouse Electricity Supply

Getting electricity from scratch takes a long time!
In our case from start to finish the whole process took 21 weeks. Our generator was our source of power for 5 months and our fridge ran off gas in the caravan. When we bought our TV we used to watch dvd,s and play our music system all running from the generator - those were the days! Now we have all kitchen appliances, tv, hifi, computer etc - lifes luxuries that can be taken so easily for granted.
Inside the cave the easy part as mentioned before is channeling the walls, and pulling your wires etc. The bit outside however is more complicated. In our case we had electric at 50 metres which was sourced via a manhole in the track in front of the cave. The big grey box that sits on your outside wall will be connected with heavy cable that runs to your nearest supply point. To do this we had to chisel a hole in our breeze block frontage, chock it in the hole then yeso rapido the box in level, afterwards we rendered over the yeso to create a box that fitted flush into the wall.
Then it was JCB time again, he dug a 4ft deep trench along our garden and "doglegged" up the track to the manhole. You will need permission to dig up a road - our town hall only stipulated that the road was left as near as possible to its original condition, no fees to pay. The electrician will then lay 5" waste pipe along the trench and feed your cables through it - 2" armoured conduit wont be accepted by Sevillanas plus its more expensive anyway dont let anyone tell you any different. Before the pipe is laid a good covering of sand is required at the bottom of the trench - this helps stop acidic earth from attacking the plastic pipe (depending on your area) once the pipe is laid again a good covering of sand on top.
Armoured conduit can then be lead to your indoor fusebox and your electrician will connect this for you, this will require more channeling and can be awkward because the pipe is not very flexible and will probably have to go around a corner in your doorway or window to the fusebox.
While doing this job it is a good idea to make your channel slighty wider to accomodate another not very flexible cable - your earth cable, this will be connected to an "earthing rod" about 2ft in length and has to be hammered into the ground next to your front door. These earth rods are avaiable from local ferreterias. Once the electrician has sorted out your indoor fusebox and put in all the breakers etc the rest is then down to Sevillanas. They will come along and connect you both at the source and at the meter (grey box) and thats it.
It will vary greatly depending on if your connected to a source underground or to a pylon - for the latter I do not know the procedure but imagine it being similar with extra cost (you may have to pay for the pylon) Our rough cost for everything was just over 2000 euros and that included inside the cave too.
One other thing to bear in mind but will certainly not apply to everyone is that we had to pay 785 euros to our local town hall. Why? the reason is that our town hall paid Sevillanas a few years ago to bring electricity to our hamlet due to demand, the 785 euros is their way of re-couping the money. This is out of the norm but may well apply to other areas too so to its best to ask and avoid any nasty surprises. Needless to say it put a big dent in our wallet that day!!
Your electrician has to registered, they will send a plan to Sevillanas detailing your indoor electrical layout and aquire the nearest connection source. Sevillanas will not connect you until your electrician has 100% finished his work. This is where you can save money. Electricians charge up to 26 euros for connecting each socket or light - if its a double socket then its double the money, now if you have 20+sockets in your cave never mind switches your going to pay out a lot of euros. In our case we simply said we wanted electric in living room and kitchen, the rest we did ourselves at a later date and saved ourselves around 260 euros. This is the same principle if at some later date you fancied an extra light somewhere, you wouldnt go through the whole process again and wait five months etc etc. Bathrooms and kitchens need to be on a separate circuit so this is best left up to the sparky. My advice is do it right, do it safe but dont pay more than you have to.
Next: how to organise the whole thing, paperwork and upgrades

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