Regulations on using home-made electronics?

  • Hi, I am sure topic is very country-dependent, but I noticed a lot of people from Scandinavia. I live in Norway, and I talked with many and read a bit, I generally understand that I cannot temper with the fixed installation, put things in the walls, mess with the fuse boxes etc. I can change lamp switch, I can plug the lamps in the wall sockets, change fuses and similar "easy" things.

    But I am not sure if I can attach home-made 220v relay switch on existing light, or attach it on some cable that powers light/heater?

    I mean, one can do what ever he wants, and I have a bit electrical background to do it safely but I think there are penalties if fire-control comes and god forbid if you have a fire in your house. Also insurance will not cover whole damage if something happens (or similar).

    I am pretty sure there are some rules in other countries as well (is it the same in Sweeden?).
    I would like to mysensorise home, within the regulations. So far I plan on using some of the Nexa devices (z-wave are a bit expensive?), which are CE approved and then control them with the mysensors and controller of choice.
    Temp and movement sensors (especially battery powered ones) are no problem at all I think, but controlling 220v appliances can be a challenge.
    I've seen some discussion about installing mysensors with 220v power in wall, that I am pretty sure I cannot do in Norway, but I am interested in what are your thoughts on the subject? Or is there already similar topic (I apologize if this is duplicate)

    So, how do you control 220v appliances, how can you control ceiling light that doesn't have exposed cable, how do you get feedback from their on/off status and show that in controller?

  • Hero Member

    @dakipro In North America, the regulations can also be state/province and city specific as to what work the home owner can do themselves on the electrical system. From a certification perspective, typically anything over 50 volts must use UL or CSA approved equipment according to the electrical codes. This means all the components must be approved and also the final assembly. Modifications to approved equipment will void the approval and it would need to be reapproved with those modifications.

    Insurance Companies are always looking for reasons to not pay out claims, so if a fire investigation makes it obvious that something the home-owner did caused the fire, there's a good chance you'll end up with nothing. For those reasons, I'm not building any MySensor devices that modify 120/240 systems. I use approved zwave equipment to control lights/fans/appliances/etc. Yes, it's more expensive to purchase (and not as much fun), but the risks are not worth it IMHO.


  • Hardware Contributor

    I live in Sweden and Im probably going to go with the same as Al. I have some home made relays switching my window lamps atm but thinking about switching to someting i can use both inwall and to my Window lamps. Either z-wave or 433mhz but in the end it would be so much more fun to do it yourself... living with three kids Im not going to do that now.

    There are several good projects talking about making it safe though: but even if its in theory safe and you have all the right components like fuses and so on... IF there was a fire and the insureance company found something home made... you are smoked and i cant take that risk.

  • .. and you can be prosecuted for putting others in danger etc.

  • Yeah, makes sense... I guess then that z-wave it is for controlling 220v.
    I have read that 433mhz usually doesn't have two way communication, which is inconvenient for reliable setups (state of main lights etc). And z-wave is not quite cheap setup.
    I am planning to use MajorDoMo controller, they support Z-Stick and raZbery as gateway.

    What would be the cheapest and minimum z-wave setup for turning on/off (and maybe dimming) the lights?

    So far I've found f.eks. z-stick for 35ish euro and popular Fibaro WALL PLUG FGWPF-102 for 60ish eur.

    Would that be minimum that I need to hook up to a pc running a controller that supports z-wave?

    Than it would be about 60euro for every new light/switch (vs 6 eur for one risky diy).
    Being a cheap guy I must ask, is there any cheaper certified alternative? 🙂

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