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What is my electrical installation made up of?

The electrical installation is an assembly of components that allows you to reliably and safely use electrical power around your home.

1. Property of your distribution network operator Sibelga

Electricity meters

The electrical installation starts out on the street, from where the Sibelga-operated grid delivers the electricity straight into people's homes. The electrical power is taken into your home by a cable that goes into the first electrical cabinet, which holds the main power switch and the electricity meter(s). Depending on your rate scheme, you may have one or two meters (day rate and night rate). The main power switch or residual current breaker (300 mA) cuts off the electrical power if there is current leakage. All of these elements inside this first electrical cabinet are Sibelga property. If there is a problem, it is for the grid operator to come up with a solution.

Sibelga is responsible up to and including the meter. In case of problems call 02 274 40 66.

2. Property of the home owner

Distribution board

A supply cable sets out from the meter and goes into the distribution board, also known as the fuse box. From this point onward, the electrical installation is yours. If there is a problem, the best thing to do is to call an experienced electrician.
At the distribution board, the electrical power is distributed across the various circuits around your home. Each circuit is protected by an automatic circuit breaker, popularly referred to as 'fuses'. If the electric circuit gets overloaded or short-circuited, this circuit breaker interrupts the power supply to the circuit and the appliances connected to that circuit. Once the problem has been resolved or the defective appliance has been taken out of the socket, you can switch the circuit breaker back on.

From this point on, you are responible for the electrical installation. In case of a problem, please call a professional technician.

Earth fault circuit interrupter

When the electrical circuit serves a damp room, such as the power sockets in the bathroom, the laundry room or the power socket of the washing machine, this room benefits from a supplementary safety measure, which is nothing other than an earth fault circuit interrupter (30 mA).

This interrupter measures the amount of electricity taken up by the installation and the amount that leaks back. Both amounts should be equal. If this is not the case, the earth fault circuit interrupter cuts out the supply.


The number of circuits you can have in your electrical installation is basically unlimited. You will need to set up separate circuits for the power sockets and the lighting fixtures. Do bear in mind that each circuit can have up to a maximum of 8 single or multiple power sockets. If you have several appliances in one room that all use a fair amount of electricity, it is a good idea to install different circuits.

Some energy guzzlers need to have their own dedicated circuit, such as the electric cooker, the washing machine or the dryer. That said, there is no limit to the number of lighting fixtures that can connected to a single circuit.

Protection against high-voltage surges!

Having overvoltage protection as part of your electrical installation is not compulsory. It is there to protect your home against voltage peaks, in case of lightning strikes, for example. So it might be a good idea to have this type of protection built into your installation if you have expensive devices or appliances. Circuits to come to mind are the ones that computers, video systems or hi-fi equipment run on.

Home automation

If you have a home automation system in place, your electrical installation will have been expanded to include a number of other elements.

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