Information About Electrical Installation and Wiring

Until recently the standards and regulation surrounding the electrical wiring and installation in the UK varied greatly from other European countries. However the standards and regulations in the UK no longer differ substantially from other European countries.

The current wring colours used in the UK are as follows:

o Protective Earth = Green

o Neutral = Blue

o Single Phase: live, three phase L1 = Brown

o Three Phase L2 = Black

o Three Phase L3 = Grey

When it comes to the UK electrical power circuits, they are normally described as either radial or ring. If a power circuit is radial the power is transmitted from point to point, which is conducted by a single length of cable that links each point to the next. This starts at the main switch or fuse and terminates at the last connected device. It may branch at a connection point. Lighting circuits are normally wired in this way, but it may also be used for low power socket circuits.

The ring circuit however is unknown in many other national wiring codes. With a ring circuit a cable starts at the supply point and then goes down to each device, the same way as in a radial circuit. The last device is connected back to the supply so that the whole circuit forms a continuous ring. The primary advantage is to allow more power to be supplied than could otherwise be carried with a given size of cable.

Going back to the standards and regulations, it should also be noted that there has been considerable change to the rules surrounding electrical installation. These changes mean that all electrical work within a domestic setting must be in compliance with British standards as a requirement of Part P. The building regulations, which are Part P, were introduced to England and Wales on 1st of January 2005.

When these building regulations were introduced in 2005 they were met with a lot of controversy especially when it come to the rules surrounding work that is carried out by non-professional bodies such as DIY work. Under the new regulations, initiation of any work other than simple changes becomes notifiable to the local building control authority. What is meant by simple changes are aspects such as adding extra lights or sockets to an existing circuit. Work on a bigger scale than this should be carried out by a professional.

When the new Part P regulations were brought about in 2005 the government approved several professional bodies’ awards to ‘competent persons.’ This allows these ‘competent persons’ to self-certify work they carry out.

The Building Control Authority must be informed of any work that is carried out by someone not qualified under this scheme, unless the work is done in an emergency.

Any electrical work carried out needs to be approved and when it is approved you will be granted a certificate, a Building Regulations Completion Certificate.

If you do have any electrical wiring or installation work that needs to be carried out on your property it is important that you hire a professional to not only make sure that your work is carried out in a professional manner but to ensure that your electrical installation or re-wiring etc meets the standards set out by the Part P regulations.

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Installation

Many people enjoy indulging in DIY tasks in their homes. It is usually a big boost to their egos whenever the task goes well. Many people may also perform tasks personally to save the cost of hiring a professional. When it comes to DIY electrical installation, there are many dangers and risks involved. The task is better left to professional electricians. Some home owners are equipped with tools for electrical purposes. However, it is still not advisable to experiment with electrical connections. The results could be hazardous and at times fatal. The risk involved is not worth it. You had better incur some costs of hiring an electrician and be safe.

There are several dangers that come with DIY electrical installation. The most common one is electrocution. You will be at a risk of being electrocuted if you touch live wires. Electrocution could also result if wrongly cut through cables. This could result to serious burns that could render you being disabled for the rest of your life. It could also lead to heart failure leading to death. Should a friend or family member try to save you from being electrocuted, he will face the same risk.

Poorly installed electrical cables could lead to fires. A fire could result if the wiring is incorrect, badly insulated or loose. A fire could start in the electric socket and spread to other parts of the house. Why risk burning your house down if you can hire an electrician? You could be doing the installation to save the extra cost. However, after burning up your home, you will incur much higher costs of replacing your belongings. Apparently, the DIY installation is not worth it.

Conducting unlicensed electrical installation could cost you high fines. Unlicensed electrical work is illegal. Should any damage result, you could face a penalty of as high as two hundred thousand dollars. You may also be legally charged and suffer a jail term of up to three years. Damages in your home resulting from unlicensed electrical work may not be compensated by your insurance company. Thus, if any loss occurs, the home owner will bear it.

The DIY homeowner may not understand the correct size for wires and cables. Electric wires come in many sizes and types. The type and size of wire will determine the manner in which it is used. If the wrong size is installed, overheating may result. The wires should match the appliances with which they are used. The wires used for appliances like television are different from those used for electric cookers. Many homeowners are not armed with this kind of knowledge.

While doing electrical installations, the power boards should not be overloaded. DIY electrical installations could result to overloading of power outlets and power board. This could lead to straining of the circuits. The same case applies for electrical box connections. Electrical boxes are meant to give protection against external elements. Inexperienced people may overload the electrical box. This will in turn result to overheating and short circuiting. By seeking the assistance of a qualified electrician, such scenarios can be avoided.

It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with a minor electrical installation or a major one. You still need to hire a qualified electrician. Mistakes can be made even when performing simple tasks such as installing light bulbs. You may put a bulb with a higher wattage than a socket. There will be a risk of overheating. The socket will burn and cease functioning. You are likely to keep replacing bulbs and sockets every now and then. This is not economical at all. In fact, the risks and costs of DIY electrical installation exceed the cost of hiring an electrician by far.

3 Questions to Ask Your Electrical Installations Provider

Finding a reliable electrical installations company is of vital importance for those seeking to plan and install electronic solutions in a range of properties, including commercial buildings as well as private residences. As a reliable electrical system forms a base for the workings of many premises, quality is of vital importance.

Making this selection is not always so straightforward however, as there are many companies all offering their services and the clients is often highly unlikely to understand fully the specifics of the task that is being carried out. This can make it difficult to know whether the plan proposed is of quality and whether the service provider is reliable.

With this in mind, there are several questions that you can ask your electrical installations provider in order to determine whether they are the right choice for the installation in your residential property or your business premises; here are three of the most important ones.

Firstly, you will need to ask how much experience the service provider has in installations in your particular type of building and whether or not they have completed projects similar to yours. This is important for a number of reasons.

Different buildings have different qualities and different requirements, which is first and foremost the reason that prior experience delivering for a project similar to yours is important. An example of this would be in old or historic building, where regulations and restrictions need to be considered and certain structural aspects should be kept in mind.

One the other hand, a modern, new build residential property will have entirely different specifications and needs. Therefore, your first task should be to find out about the work previously done by the company and whether or not it aligns with the kind of work that you want doing on your behalf.

The second question that you absolutely must ask your electrical installations provider is what exactly is within their capabilities. This is important as ‘electrical solutions’ is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of different tasks and competencies. These can include rewires and additional circuits, periodic inspections and reports, fuse board changes and upgrades and much more.

Of course, knowing exactly what you require in advance is going to be beneficial too, as it will help you narrow down companies that offer the specific services that you are looking for. If you are unsure about the exact services that you require, the alternative is to ask the company for a full analysis of your needs and recommendations of the services that you need.

It is wise to obtain a few of these, allowing you to see what different services providers offer. You will then be well positioned to choose the one that offers the most relevant services that fit your specific needs.

Lastly, the third question you should ask your electrical installations provider is whether or not they offer a comprehensive support service for you during and after your electrical installation. This can include aspects such as periodic testing and safety checks as well as an emergency call out helpline if you run into difficulties or notice a fault.

This is important, as one of the major concerns of people is that the company will wash their hands of responsibility of the project after installation. A reputable company will instead make sure that you have the technical support that you need during and after the completion of the project so that your investment was worth every penny.

These are just three of the questions you should ask your electrical installations provider before you begin working with them. These can help you make a good choice in terms of a supplier that is able to not only meet your needs but also provide a genuinely high quality service too.