Building electronics: dealing with relays, cables, etc.

Building electronics: dealing with relays, cables, etc.

Every functional property also includes the building’s electrical system, which is usually installed by a specialist company and later also maintained if necessary. However, do-it-yourselfers can do some things themselves. From a purely legal point of view, you then need to have the properly installed building electronics in your home approved by a specialist. Mostly it is about the correct handling of relays, connections and cables.


The safety rules for electrical systems are very precisely defined. Anyone who consistently observes them can dare to install an electrical system.


Pro tip

What does building electronics include?

It includes all electrical lines, distributors and switching devices such as 2-channel safety relays. These are important for trouble-free electrics and can be found in almost every control cabinet. It should be high-quality electrical or electronic components. Ask experts for the leading vendors for electronics, electromechanics, automation and maintenance.

Safety rules for electrical installations

The safety rules for electrical systems are very precisely defined. Anyone who consistently observes them can dare to install an electrical system. The basic requirement is: The person must have precise knowledge of all rules and regulations. Do-it-yourselfers do a lot of things themselves anyway, for example connecting lamps themselves.

If you follow the basic rules, that’s fine. The renovation of an electrical installation should, however, be carried out by a specialist. Strictly speaking, the legal basis is such that the work can be carried out by a do-it-yourselfer without tension, but the master electrician must then approve it. If you fail to do this, you risk insurance cover in the event of damage.

Some work – usually on systems with higher voltages and currents – are definitely not allowed to be done by laypeople. In the worst case, you would be liable to prosecution. But in the home, the low voltage of 220V to 240V prevails predominantly or exclusively, which laypeople can certainly dare to approach. Caution is advised with a CHP system in the basement, with a solar system and similar devices and systems in which very high currents sometimes flow and voltages that are significantly higher than that of our household electricity. In case of doubt, the following always applies: a specialist should carry out the work, the master does it.

The safety rules for every electrical installation do not apply in vain. Electric current is also dangerous in the low voltage range. An electric shock from the household socket can, in unfavorable cases, be fatal. The safety rules are therefore:

  • Before working on an electrical system or line, always check that it is voltage-free! Phase and voltage testers, which of course have to work, are used for this.
  • Before doing any work on an electrical device, no matter how small, the mains plug must be pulled out beforehand.
  • During installation work, the electricity must be turned off in the room or, ideally, in the entire house. This is done on the fuse for the relevant circuit.
  • After the power interruption with the help of a fuse, a notice must be attached to the fuse box about the process so that no one accidentally switches the fuse on again while the work is in progress.
  • Despite the interrupted line, it must be checked whether the system is really voltage-free.
  • Laypeople are not allowed to tamper with the house connection, sealed meters or main fuses.
  • Even laypeople may only do electrical work that they understand. If you don’t know how to connect a lamp to a three-phase cable, you have to leave this to a specialist.
  • Protective conductors may never be used, disconnected or removed for other functions.
  • After the work is finished, the protective conductor function must be checked.

In case of doubt: Electrical work must be carried out by qualified electricians.

Quality of the material

All of the protective measures mentioned are only effective with faultless installation material and technically intact, standardized devices. The SON test mark shows that the standards were complied with during manufacture. It states that the construction, processing and the material used comply with the prevailing standards.

What can DIY enthusiasts do themselves?

You can, for example, install relays for lighting or other functions. In stairwells, push-button circuits with a time relay are often used (so-called staircase light time switches) so that the light switches itself off after a certain time.

Skilled DIY enthusiasts build such a relay yourself. At least they can officially do the preparatory work themselves. These include, for example:

  • planning
  • Chisel slots
  • Lay pipes and lines
  • Install flush-mounted boxes, meter cabinets and sub-distributors
  • Pull cables and wires into conduits

Here, too, an electrician actually has to do the work, but that’s quick. But who has an electrician come for minor electrical work? Therefore, in many cases, doing it yourself and then having it approved by a specialist company is recommended.

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