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I am a fully qualified electrician and an approved contractor from the Elecsa competent contractor scheme.
All work has a minimum guarentee for 1 year.
Domestic Electrical Services
Summary of Services
The electrical installation and maintenance are the foundation of the existence for the electrician, I install to BS7671 latest amendment and I like to ensure that my customers are fully aware of the installation that I recommend and the reasons behind that recommendation.
There are many choices of styles of Outlets to select one that fills your desire, colour, tones, shapes, texture. All of which I can make you aware of.
Of course, we all have our own take on what is desirable to fit within our own homes.
I like the practicality, neutrality and simple design of the white MK Logic plus. But equally I can also appreciate the added value of the other designs too. Below are an example of my favourites and a selection of the variations possible. The slider is way beyond the scope of what I can exhaustively document in this web page, but I can bullet point the various categories. Each category will have its variations i.e. the wooden colour, insert colour, Edge profile, again the possibilities are beyond the scope of this web page, but I hope I’ve introduced the possibilities to consider.
Below is a slider to show you the options that I have documented. If you click on the Image, it will take you another page to compare the styles side by side and you will have a greater visibility of all the options that I have documented.
I recommend using renown manufacturers that put quality 1st. Manufacturers like MK, Hamilton, Wylex, Crabtree, Hager is a non-exhaustive list of manufacturers that I like to install. Unnamed outlets, I often reject to install due to not knowing if they have the ability to function as they should whilst under my guarantee.
I do not install outlets that are not approved to be installed in UK properties and I do not expect to be asked either.
I would prefer to install where the faceplate is made of plastic, glass or wood to have a naturally insulative material to give a secondary protection against electric shock should a fault happen within the system. But it is not against regulations to other materials that have been approved, therefore, I can.
I would also prefer not to install Metal sockets close to the floors in older properties due to excessive damp getting to the coatings that are not designed to withstand moisture and they tend to discolour and have a reaction to the damp creating a corroded finish too. But it is not against regulations to have metal outlets, therefore, I can install appropriately approved ones.
I will not install a sunken box into a damp wall, unless suitably waterproofed, and I dont know of a suitable waterproof at this moment in time.
The Electrical Services that offer to Install and maintain are:
I like rewiring homes, as a brand new installation can give the fresh approach of how the home can be utilised. Sockets in an area that previously had no electric serving put a fresh focus in the home where functions previously would have been limited. Lighting can freshen up some new areas. New fresh life can be brought into the home by re-inventing areas to bring or change the reason for existence.
Styles of the outlets change the feel of a room as they are becoming fashionable objects, not serving solely an electrical function.
Using Home automation, moods are easily modified by setting scenes and the lights, heating or anything on the system is easily controlled from a single point or in combinations rather than running around the house ensuring that all electrical devices are set at levels that you want.
Home automation doesn’t mean that you take all the switches off the wall, it just means that the concept can be controlled as a whole entity as well as individually. We need to recognise historic useful components to a manner that they can be still usable. A simple example is a light switch instead of it being On-down, Up – Off, because the light state can be modified over the system with an i-pad type central controller or the switch on the wall, it would be confusing if this concept up – off, down – on was kept, therefore using retractive switches, they just toggle the state so both methods centrally or from the wall switch can be used to turn on and off the light without confusion whilst retaining the functionality of the original concept of the switch on the wall.
Using the central system, you can have the comfort knowing that you can leave the home if you have one button on the ipad type controller to turn all the items to your desire to a predetermined state (presumably all off). Wired to sensors you have even more options available without provoking any action at all.
Power circuits and outlets
Power sockets come in all shapes and sizes.
Outlets in sockets usually come in Single gang, 2 gang, 3 gang and on more specialised occasions are even more.
Outlets are available switched or non switched.
The circuit can be run in a ring or in a radial, each has its pros and cons. There are occasions where spurs can be tapped off rings or radials, when attached to rings, a fused outlet is required to limit the loading to the capacity of the cable that is spurred off.
I can include a new socket into a ring, but I have to include RCD protection for that circuit, to which I complete a minor certificate due to change of protection.
If its a new circuit , then I have to complete a certificate for that circuit.
Lighting circuits and outlets
Over the past few years, the fluorescent tubes have changed considerably, They now have definitive T ratings that distinguish them from each other.
There are 2 distinctive avenues of a fluorescent tube, ones HF and the other is classified as normal, I prefer to used “traditional” instead though. The new High Frequency fluorescent tubes offer a number of benefits including being able to be dimmed, instantly turn on, very unlikely to flicker to turn on even after a number of years service.
LED lighting has changed form over the past few years and still is evolving now. Traditional LEDs generally drop 1.8v over each individual LED. Nowadays, the LEDs can drop more voltage across them, but what could look like one LED is in reality multiple components set in one resin and drop several volts across the unit. A bulb or system may be made up from 1 to many thousands of LEDs dependant on how bright or distributive you want your lighting to made up from.
The simplest from of LED lighting is in the form of a lightbulb. This will directly replace the bulb that you have currently in your existing light fitting. Each are available in many different fittings.
I offer strip lighting. The profiles comes in various colours, White, black, wood effect and come in various lengths that can be butted together to make a continuous length. The maximum length is dictated by the length of the sting of LEDs, 5m being fed from one end, 10m being fed from both ends, unlimited being fed from behind.
Below is a video clip of a sample of the white profile.
and of the same shot on a different camera:
I have placed coins at various positions to give a scale to the size of these. In white and with a milky lens, they are practically invisible on a white ceiling.
Some still images of the same LED strip light is show below:
This is a white version of the LED Strip Light with milky White LED lens cover.
LED Colour light
There are varying colours of LED Lights. There are various warmth’s of White light, the warmth is measured in Kelvin, where 2800K is the closest to Tungsten Light (very Orange tint) to 6000K is the closest to natural daylight (Very cold blue). There are also various what I call gimmicky colours, but this generally encompassed within an RGB lighting system where RGB (Red, Green, Blue) light are combined to form any colour of light. If such a lighting system is put together, its usually in addition to a white light system where the white is for practical use, and the RGB is to set a mood.
240V LED Lighting
The brightness of a light when Tungsten elements produced the same light levels irrelevant of design or manufacturer when the wattage were similar. If the wattage doubled, generally the light levels done the same. Everybody knew what to expect when they bought a specific wattage of bulb. Since other light technologies have been encroaching on day to day life, the output of light is no longer proportional to the amount of wattage (power) going in. So the underlying brightness levels of light is needed to be relied upon to now give you, the user an indication of brightness you should expect. This is measured in Lumens, I like to use an indicative level of 80-100 lumen per square metre. 80 will give you a ambient light level, where 100 will give you a readable light, and if you had a dimmable of the latter, then one would perceive a perfect system. But not everybody has the same level of sensitivity in their eyes, so this can only be a guidance, rather than gospel. Some may find 80 a good reading light, some may want 150. Every person is different, so the best advice if your budget is high and not likely to be repeatable is buy a few light bulbs on wired leads and hang the lights on hat stands or similar and get a feel for the light level before committing. If not go for a few extra lights (dependant on the cost of the fittings) and put a dimmer in line.
Low voltage LED lighting
Low voltage Lighting can take place in 2 forms, in a form similar to Halogen spotlights (generally 1-4 Watt each) or in strip lighting where lengths of strips of LEDs can be in sections to make up ambient light. My personal choice is White strip lighting in the general makeup of the room and mood lighting (RGB) opposite window and Screen (TV) with spots on features and reading locations. Generally the lower the voltage, the higher the current, the bigger the cable requirement. Therefore I like to use 24V where possible, then working my way down in voltages (24V, 12V, 5V). The higher the voltage, the more my preference. Saying that, the systems need to come together, so they must all be capable to work at the correct voltages they were intended to.
Switching 240V LEDs
Switching 240V LEDs is very similar to switching traditional Tungsten lamps, either with a rocker light switch or with a dimmer designed to dim specific types of LED lightbulbs. Unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all, pick the lightbulb or the dimmer then we can select the options available for that what has been originally selected. Its not that hard, because there is a specific dimmer that is supposed to work with all LED’s, but is not always the case, so a little attention to detail is required.
Switching Low voltage LEDs
Switching LEDs can be a different affair to switching 240V. I find, if I have more than one switch controlling the lighting circuit, I like a retractive switch, if its just one switch controlling the circuit, I like a rocker switch. Switching the light on and off can mean that you can be switching the power on and off or telling a controller to turn the power on and off. Generally, if the lighting system is made up from multiple lights requiring differing light levels, then a controller is required, otherwise a traditional turning the power on and off is more cost effective.
Make up of Low Voltage LED lighting system
A low voltage LED light system is made up from a light source (the led’s themselves), a current limiter, the transformer (I recommend Switching transformers when using controllers), A light switch (or light controller and switch if using controller). Types of controller vary, but the simplest method is to go with a controller with a PWM interface.
Types of Low Voltage LED Controllers
I like to control LEDd by PWM, its a tried and tested way of controlling them. The easiest light controllers are those that control PWM output. Rako have a wireless receiver with a output of PWM, a transmitter needs to be added to complete the system (excluding power modules). The transmitter can be either be a Bridge to which a Ipad, phone or something that can operate the Rako app can be used or a transmitter that looks like a light switch on the wall which again is wireless. There a number of add-ons that start forming a home automation system if you would like to follow that path forward.
Another option includes a PWM controller thats sole purpose is to convert a knob or switch into a PWM level so that it can be used to convert a DC signal into a signal that the LED will convert to light.
Cooker circuits and outlets
The biggest issue with Cooker and their outlets is the larger power consumption of the cookers that are produced today and the insulation in the loft. I can install cookers with the certificate to only if the numbers stack up to what my calibrated tester states to coincide within the regulations.
Cables are generally know for their sizes and this is what differentiates one cable from another. One thing a cable is rated on is the capacity of loading current per metre, this is derated dependant on the location of the route of the cable. Insulation isn’t kind to the rating of a cable.
My job as an electrician is to ensure that the cable has enough capacity to safely carry the electrical load to what the specifications of BS7671 states. I take that seriously and unbiased. I will supply any figures as well as references to the specification should it prove not to be a safe practise. I will guide you through to what I consider as an interpretation of the regulations as a safe option.
Distribution boards (Fuse Boxes or consumer units).
Modern boards are far more safer than ever before and indeed the selection process is far more thoughtful than ever before.
Metalclad Consumer Units
New regulations for April 2015 brings in that fire proofed enclosures should only be used for distribution boards
That means metal ones. I welcome this move, I’ve never liked plastic ones, but have been forced by economics to use them. Now I will only recommend them to coincide with the new regulations.
Protection against electrocution is in place by using Residual Current Devices (RCD). The new regulations enforce the use of these devices in more situations than in previous amendment updates. They work by measuring the current going out on the live conductor and comparing it with the current on the neutral. If the RCD is a 30mA device, then if the difference of 30mA (either the current passing though a human body or through the insulation being compromised) is detected from whats going out on the live compared to whats coming back on the neutral, then the RCD will trip preventing any more electric current to flow. I always recommend using the concept of using RCDs as a protection from being electrocuted as there is no other device that does it better.
Specifications do not state how many circuits each RCD protects but the BS standard infers more than one, you can just use two RCDs for the entire supply if you you have no concern of faults on the electrics, half of the supply is shut down in the event of a RCD failure or fault condition. There are now devices that combine the RCD and the MCB together called RCBO’s, therefore if these are used, failure of one circuit does not impact on another. This is the best concept in terms of circuit vulnerability in the event of a circuit failure and I will always advise to use these. Over-current protection is per achieved on a per circuit bases using MCB’s, the concept has been successful for so many years, therefore, I see it to be a logical step that protection against electrocution should follow that same concept. These work out to be a little more expensive, but there is no rivalled diversity, flexibility and fault finding capability.
Demarkation of the circuits.
Circuits are split for over-current protection, so that if a fault occurs in one circuit, the failure of the power is limited to that individual circuit. I tend to like to have the split as: Kitchen, Individual floors sockets, Individual Floors Lighting, Electric cupboard light with smoke detectors, Cooker, Shower, Alarm.
Earth bonding reviewed is now a must for any kind of installation.
Probably the most ignored part of an installation from the users perspective, as the best electrical system in the world will never use the earth, and its usually never seen. Therefore hardly ever considered.
I have a duty to perform installation tests to ensure that the installation and the safety system of the entire installation and report that back to you (and building control should it be a notifiable installation). You will recieve those results as a part of the documentation pack.
Electrical Installation Condition Report:
Formally known as the periodic Reports that are periodically carried out in order to ensure safety and have the knowledge of the safety for the user and / or the owner.
The report involves testing the incoming electricity supply, the safety earthing of both the incoming, bonding of the other services to earth and the safety of the individual circuits. All the measurements of time, quantity are then referenced to the BS7671 to what is considered safe. Visual inspections form a part of this inspection.
Im really not interested in what you wish to have this report performed for. I perform this test ultimately for one reason alone, and that the installation that carries electricity through the property in what is deemed to be considered a safe manner according to BS 7671. If it gets a pass, it’s considered safe, if it has recommendations, then it could be considered that it could get safer, if its fails that I perceive that the installation in the eyes of BS 7671 deems it to be unsafe. Everything gets documented and explanations to rectify situations if need be.
Any Change / 10 Years
Any Change / Change of tenant / 5 Years
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