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How is a large building wired up? Answered

So, recently, I was at school, and trying to use my laptop charger ( I was the only person in the room to be doing so)
However, it didn't work.
Using it at home, however, it instantly kicked the RCD or safety switch thing off, switching off everything running off the mains
Upon further inspection, I found that the power cable had been damaged, so that the active wire was in contact with the ground wire.

My question is, how come the power at school didn't get shut down completely ( the lights were still on, and wall outlets in other rooms around the school still worked) but at home, everything was completely shut down.
I thought that there'd be at least a fuse or something, if not a safety switch...

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steveastrouk

Best Answer 7 years ago

Somewhere as big as a school may well have a breaker or fuse per room, and you tripped it and since it only served your room, the room circuits went dead.

Domestic circuits are often protected on a "larger" scale. I would actually be quite worried if the main breaker trips, and not the sub-breakers. You may need to get the panel looked at.

Steve

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Re-designsteveastrouk

Answer 7 years ago

And when you used it at school it may have only been a loose connection. By the time you got it home and plugged it in it had changed to a shorted connection.

I'd be very surprised if it was shorted at school and didn't trip a breaker but you didn't get any sparks and smoke.

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orksecurityRe-design

Answer 7 years ago

Agree with both. Either you tripped a local breaker (which may not have covered all the outlets in that room), or you were just lucky and didn't happen to short-circuit at that time.

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verence

7 years ago

The school will most probably have different circuits for lights and wall outlets and for each room / block of rooms separately. Nobody wants some dozen children panicking in a pitch black room (think early winter morning or late evening event) just because a teacher plugged in a faulty device (or some pupils tested their self-made circuit-breaker trigger).

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seandogueverence

Answer 7 years ago

My home is wired the same way. Lighting circuits are on separate breakers from the electrical outlets.