What does shuffling mean in the following context and to what does "it" refer in the phrase "it is shuffled"? Should "it" be "they"? Are the three phases being "shuffled"? Or is the fuse rating being shuffled?

In the U.K., one phase is supplied with a neutral at currents as high as 100A for single properties. In Germany and other European countries, each property receives three phases and a neutral. However, the fuse rating in Germany is lower, and it is shuffled to prevent the impact that increased loads could have on the first phase.

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2 Answers 2


Where the houses are on single-phase supplies, they are wired so that one third of the houses are on each phase. That evens out the load.

If all the houses get a 3-phase supply, there is always a temptation when wiring up a house to start on L1, then "overflow" onto L2 when L1 is full, then onto L3 for anything left over.

But that would leave the wiring to the street unbalanced with more loads on L1. So they "shuffle" the phases around when connecting up the houses. One house might get:-

  • House L1 = street L1
  • House L2 = street L2
  • House L3 = street L3

But the next house along might get:-

  • House L1 = street L2
  • House L2 = street L3
  • House L3 = street L1

The next one starts with house L1 = street L3. Then it cycles back again.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not in Germany. Where I am, only the A/C is three phase. Every thing else might be on Phase 1, or everything on 1 and 2, so house loads are always unbalanced and must be shuffled. $\endgroup$
    – david
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 2:20

They connect each of 3 houses to the different phases, so in a street of 12 houses 4 houses are on each phase.

The houses are "shuffled" as 1st house on 1, 2nd house on 2 etc.. ie shuffled.

  • $\begingroup$ The same four houses are always together? Or is there equipment to randomize the combinations? $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure there is equipment that connects houses to the supply cables automatically - but the power electricians do that. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 13:48

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