Orrell Electrics Electricians Blog - Scroll down to view all posts

04.04.2013
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LED Lighting We as electricians have recently started to see a rise in the number of installations using LED lighting, this type of lighting can offer up to 85% cost savings over traditional forms of lighting and is considerably 'greener' than traditional lighting methods. The biggest area we have seen is in the GU10 type of fitting, many homes/businesses having down lights installed and this is an area where major savings can be found, we recently converted a major restaurant to LED, having over 80 fittings within the installations they can expect to make massive savings over the coming years, and the light emitted is much smoother using a mixture of warm white lamps for the seating areas and cool white for the bar/foyer areas. The cost savings are the most obvious reason for installing this type of fitting in your home or business and I would almost certainly recommend anyone to install them for that reason alone. Also the prices of the actual lamps/fittings are coming down as the technology and manufacturing costs improve. Our website offers more information on all types of lighting, visit Orrell Electrics for more insight.
11.01.2013
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Consumer unit upgrade How Much Does It Cost To Install a New Consumer Unit in Your Home or Premises Here is a guide to installation of a new consumer unit and what should be considered before you have any works carried out at your home. Installation of a new consumer unit There are many reasons to upgrade your consumer unit, maybe your existing unit is of the old rewire able fuses type (and is giving you constant headaches) or maybe you have a more modern type of consumer unit but you have no RCD (Residual Current Device) protection present in your property – more on that later. BS7671 IEE Wiring Regulations state ‘ where a consumer unit is being replaced, additional protection by means of RCD’s should be provided to the extent required by the current regulations BS7671, such as for: · Socket outlets · Mobile equipment for use outdoors · Cables concealed in walls or partitions · Circuits of locations containing a bath or shower Circuits that are to be provided with RCD protection must be divided between a sufficient number of RCD’s or otherwise designed as necessary to avoid hazards and minimize inconvenience in the event of a fault. What is a RCD (Residual Current Device)? An RCD, or residual current device, is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires. RCDs offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide. Every year in the UK around 70 people die and 350,000 are injured as a result of electrical accidents at home. A Government report also indicated that, each year, about 4,000 fires caused by electricity in homes might have been prevented if RCD protection had been fitted in the consumer unit. Despite this, more than half of UK homes – that’s 13 million - don’t yet have any, or an adequate level of, such additional protection. RCD protection has been mandatory on all newly installed circuits in England since 2008 (17th edition wiring regulations). Main earthing, protective bonding conductors and tails The person carrying out the installation must verify that: · The main earthing terminal of the installation is connected to an adequate means of earthing via a suitably sized earthing conductor · The main protective bonding conductor is adequate · If any the above conditions are not met then the customer must be informed immediately that upgrading is required. If the customer refuses then the installer should not proceed with the installation of the consumer unit Before carrying out the work Replacing a consumer unit in a domestic premised in England or Wales is notifiable work with Building Regulations. Unless the work is carried out by an installer able to self certify his/her own work and a member of one of the various certification bodies ie NICEIC, NAPIT, ELECSA then local building authority control must be notified before work begins. Before carrying out the work the installer should encourage the customer to have an electrical condition installation report carried out on the whole of the existing wiring system at the property ascertain if there are any immediate or potential dangers which could lead to unwanted tripping of an RCD. The minimum the installer should carry out is: · Making enquiries with the customer if there are any existing faults, defects or damage to any parts of the installation · A visual inspection of the existing wiring system to check the type and condition of the installation wiring · A visual inspection of all external parts of the wiring system that are accessible · A measurement of Ze (external earth fault loop impedance) · A continuity test of CPC (circuit protective conductor) and each circuit · An insulation resistance test of the whole installation at the consumer unit between live conductors together and the CPC connected to the main earthing terminal If any immediate dangers or faults which would cause tripping of an RCD are found then the customer must be informed that remedial work is required to rectify such faults. The remedial works could add considerable cost to the install depending on the extent of work required; this could include installation of new wiring. Also the customer would have to be aware of the damage that could be caused to decoration of the building (unless wired surface in conduit, trunking etc) and this would have to be made good. Inspection and Testing Once the installation of the consumer unit is complete any additions or alterations need to be verified with the requirements of BS7671 and an electrical installation certificate in accordance with BS76761 listing all of the works carried out should be given to the customer. Costings The price of a consumer unit upgrade can vary depending on: · Size of consumer unit used ie 4 way or 10 way · Brand used ie Wylex, Hager, MK, Schneider · Amount of remedial work required · If exsiting wiring needs extending for example In general I feel would expect the average consumer unit upgrade to cost roughly in the region of £350.00 to £450.00 and this would include a full electrical installation certificate and notification to local authority building control.