FAQ’S

A fan on your ceiling is a fantastic way to cool things down and circulate air during the summertime. This is because despite being the same temperature, air feels cooler when it’s moving around. Installing a ceiling fan also helps circulate the hot air from your home heating system; these don’t just serve an aesthetic purpose for your living space, but also play a positive role in air circulation and cost a lot less to operate than air conditioning, as they require just a small amount of energy to function.

So, you’ve decided to buy a ceiling fan to help cool you down in the summer months; this is a great idea. However, you’ve decided to install it yourself, because you’re a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of person; this isn’t a good idea, because incorrectly installing a ceiling fan can pose serious dangers. For instance, this is not as easy as plugging a standing fan into a socket. Instead, you’ll require the services of someone who’s familiar with electrical work if you don’t want to hire an electrician.

It’s advisable to hire a professional electrician to help install your ceiling fan though, because they will be trained in the appropriate techniques and have the know-how to deliver a high-quality service and ensure their safety and yours. Employing the services of a licensed electrician reduces your liability, because they will know how to avoid any injuries, some of which include:

  • A professional electrician can install a ceiling fan much faster than you or an unlicensed electrician and can do this in a timely, efficient manner. For someone who isn’t very knowledgeable about electrical works, installing a ceiling can take a considerable amount of time; you might need to perform many Google searches to form a better understanding of what you’re doing. However, a professional would not be hampered by this, because they have the appropriate certification and experience on their side.
  • A licensed electrician knows the necessary requirements for wiring a house or appliance and can make sure your ceiling fan is wired properly. Connecting the wires correctly when installing a ceiling fan can be challenging, because if this isn’t done properly, it can potentially start a fire. The key to avoiding an accident is hiring a professional.
  • A common misconception is that do-it-yourself projects save you money, but this isn’t so, as this type of work requires the services of a professional. Such work can pose a serious danger when undertaken incorrectly; for example, if a ceiling fan wasn’t installed properly, you would need to consult a professional to fix the damage.

So, save yourself both money and time and hire a professional to install your ceiling fan; you can also save yourself from any dangers that could transpire as a result of shoddy installations. Therefore, hire someone with the experience and credibility to do a perfect job for you.

Whether or not you’ll need an electrician to install your oven will depend on what you want exactly. For instance, if you’re looking to replace or upgrade a gas oven to an electrical one, you can do this yourself,providing you are competent. However, if you need to install a new circuit for an electrical cooker, then you’ll need the services of a qualified electrician.

You shouldn’t attempt to install an electric cooker if you’re not competent; that is, if you don’t have the appropriate qualification and status to do so. If you don’t know an electrician or how to find one, you could be able to use the services of the appliance store where you initially purchased the cooker. Usually, such shops will offer an installation service, albeit for a fee.

If you’re looking to install a cooker yourself, be sure to have all the tools you’ll need to hand. Also, get acquainted with all the necessary requirements needed for the installation of a new cooker. Note that an electrical cooker draws a lot more power than a gas oven. This isn’t difficult to understand when you consider that electric cookers generate more heat and distribute the amount of heat more evenly than a gas cooker.

It may seem like a good idea to do it yourself to save the cost of having someone else do it, but if you’re not confident in your own ability, it’s better to leave it to a professional. While it isn’t a particularly complicated process, considerations like safety precautions and the right size of cables to use are important. Again, leaving this to a professional would be ideal if you don’t want to take any chances with an important appliance, such as a cooker.

That said, you’ll need to make sure you get a large fuse. Typically, the instruction manual that comes with your cooker will advise this. While you might be able to work with 13-Watt amps, you’re most likely going to need something bigger. In addition to the fuse, you’ll also need an accessible double pole isolator switch, as well as a thick heat resistant cable. If you don’t know what the requirements are for the size of electric cooker cables, it’s best to consult a professional electrician.

To install your cooker, you will need to check to make sure the RCD is working as it should; that is, it’s prudent to measure the tripping times. You’ll also have to make sure that the earthing of the new cooker is carried out efficiently, with an earth fault loop tester.

The problem with doing this yourself is that you mightn’t have the necessary equipment to carry out these tests. Subsequently, this could end up defeating the purpose of saving money on having someone install the cooker if you must then hire or purchase the equipment yourself. In which case, it would most likely cost less to have a Part P registered Electrician carry out the installation.

An electrician’s job can be very dangerous. This is why it is important that electricians have special training and skills to do their work safely. Unfortunately, even the best-trained electrician is exposed to many on-the-job hazards that could result in injury or death.

The dangers of being an electrician vary with the sort of work being done. Electricians work in a hazardous occupation alongside firefighters, lumberjacks, deep sea fishermen, construction laborers, and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

Depending on project deadlines and the expectations and desires of a customer, electricians are sometimes put into stressful situations with a specific end goal to finish certain tasks or jobs faster than normal.

Installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems comes with its fair share of dangers – which aren’t always electrical hazards.

Some of these are:

Electrical Shock: This is something that must be avoided, especially when working with a system that has enough electricity in it to kill through electrocution. It is important to avoid anything you are not familiar with because that’s when most people get shocked. It is necessary to have someone with you to help out if you need it so you don’t get hurt because you weren’t paying close enough attention. There are a lot of hazards an electrician can face, but the most common one is electricity since you’ll be working with a number of different electrical wiring situations.

Fire Outbreak: Fires can happen, especially when working with older wiring. Fire outbreaks can happen when precautionary measures are not taken when installing wiring or doing any work that involves getting rid of older wiring, by shutting off live wires, and before turning it back on. An electrical fire may not even start when you are first done. Fire outbreaks can happen at random times if something is not fixed properly or a poor job was done by the electrician, so said electrician needs to be very careful about how they do their job.

Exposure to Lead, Solvents and Other Toxic Chemicals: Another danger electricians face is lead and other hazardous materials they will be working with. Some paints, for instance, have lead in them in older buildings and you may be exposed to things like asbestos, too. It is important to take proper precautions before working in an older building. Find out when it was built from the owner or by researching it and you can get a good idea of what issues there may be. Also, you can ask the owner more about the issues they have faced so you know what to watch out for in the way of hazards.

  • Other dangers electricians are exposed to include:
  • Danger of electrical smoulders.
  • Working in small or tight spaces.
  • Welding risks, including UV radiation.
  • Extreme temperatures – both hot and cold.
  • Cuts and injuries from working with sharp-edged tools.
  • Danger of disease from birds or rat droppings.
  • Danger of eye damage from flying particles.

Slips, trips, and falls.

Electricity is an integral aspect of our everyday lives. So much so, we are surrounded at home and in our workplaces by various electrical systems. However, these systems can be particularly dangerous, making it essential to engage the services of a fully licensed and insured electrician to safeguard ourselves from the dangers of any electrical mishaps. The following are some of the most common situations where it’s necessary to call on the services of a qualified electrician.

  1. If the same fuses keep blowing or you have circuit breakers that frequently trip – and you’ve taken the basic steps of replacing and checking them, but still can’t resolve the problem – it might be might be time to call in an electrician. In fact, continually resetting circuit breakers and replacing fuses won’t effectively deal with the problem, as this will only cause your electrical system to continue attempting to draw more current than it can safely feed. In both these scenarios, it’s safe to assume that there is a potentially harmful problem within one or more of the circuits that can only be safely dealt with by a qualified electrician.
  2. If your home consists of crisscrossing and haphazardly dangling wires that trail across the room, this could be an indication that your electrical system is in urgent need of a minor or major overhaul – the severity of which can be determined by an electrical expert. Badly installed electrical systems pose a major risk and you should have your electrician install a new set of power outlets that are better placed.
  3. Another sign that your electrical system is outdated and needs to be upgraded is when you have too many of your modern devices and plugs that don’t fit into the power sockets in your home. In this case, it’s entirely possible that your electrical system is not properly or sufficiently grounded; therefore, you should get in touch with an experienced electrician in order to avoid any mishaps that could result from this.
  4. Any power outlet, switch, or other electrical surface that gives off heat and/or delivers mild to heavier doses of electric shock should be considered an indication of problems with the system. The best possible scenario is an excess demand of power on the circuit, but this can also mean something more sinister might be brewing in your electrical system. A qualified electrician can pinpoint where the problem is coming from and make the necessary repairs or replacements.
  5. If the lights in your home suddenly dim or flicker because you plugged in a specific appliance, said appliance might need its own dedicated circuit specially installed. A significant number of devices that run with motors (such as microwave ovens, refrigerators and fans) often draw large amounts of current, causing strain to your electrical system. A skilled electrician can help diagnose the problem and implement a viable solution.

Part P registration is usually the most sought after when hiring an electrician in the UK. This usually comes with membership of bodies like the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.

It is easy to get carried away with all the certifications that can be held by an electrician and lose sight of what matters: excellent service delivery. An electrician with all the right certifications may not always be the best option for you. The focus should be on ensuring that they can meet all your specific needs first and foremost, before you begin to analyse who they’re registered with.

For example, a large national brand with hundreds of clients may not give your electrical project the attention it deserves if you are a small brand looking for an electrician to carry out small to medium-scale projects in your commercial establishment. In the same vein, a big brand with all the right certifications might charge you 5 times more for a domestic rewiring project when compared to a smaller brand. The smaller brand may not have the same number of certifications but can do the job at a competitive price.

In the UK, there are several bodies that a professional electrician can be registered with, to demonstrate their competence.  The electrician needs to be registered with at least two of these bodies to be considered safe and professional. The bodies are listed below.

National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC)

NICEIC is a major competent person scheme for electricians in the UK, which has existed for over 60 years.  Membership is voluntary but all members are held to the highest standards through regular inspections. More than 25,000 electrical contractors are registered with this body in the UK.

Part P Register

The Part P of the Building Regulations mandates that electricians ensure that all electrical installations are safe. Professional electricians can only meet this requirement by registering with a competent person scheme like the NICEIC above. Contractors that register with the scheme can self-certify that their work is compliant with all building regulations.

British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE)

This independent registration body isfor third-party certified fire protection companies. If the electrician offers fire protection services of any kind, they must be rated by this body. The rating states that the company can indeed carry out fire protection services using the highest quality equipment and products.

ISO9001 Certification

This certification is one of the many standards within the ISO 9000 range. Electrical companies with this certification must constantly provide quality service for all clients.

AEMT Certification

The Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT), founded in 1945, is a body that represents leading companies in the electrical and mechanical sectors. Its members are industry leaders and can, therefore, be trusted with large-scale projects.

If you’ve recently purchased a new air conditioning unit, you’re probably wondering how to go about having it installed. While many people these days are turning towards ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions for some of their electrical needs, there are many reasons to hire a professional electrical company to install your air conditioning system.

  1. Lay people are not equipped with the skills and tools to do the job

There are aspects of the installation process that are best left to an expert. For example, only a qualified electrician will know how to take the necessary measurements, as well as what adjustments and allowances might be required. Another important aspect of the installation is sealing the duct at the end of the job to avoid leakage; this is best handled by an experienced professional, who knows exactly what they’re doing.

  1. Improper installation will cause damage to the unit and probably your building

Air conditioning installers usually work in competent teams of two or more, as great care is needed in the proper handling of air conditioning units. This way, they can avoid causing damage to both the unit and building during installation.

  1. It could cost you more in the long run

If you damage parts of the air conditioner or your building whilst attempting to install it yourself – or engaging the services of a non-professional – you will likely end up incurring extra costs in the form of repairs. Also, you’ll probably spend much more than you would have had initially in hiring an expert. Remember that poorly installed electrical appliances can lead to a short circuit or even jeopardise the building’s wiring completely.

  1. Safety first

Installing permanent electrical fixtures can be extremely dangerous. In the case of air conditioning installation, the wires that run power to the device hold 220 volts of electrical charge, which is enough to seriously injure a person or even kill them in the worst-case scenario. Hiring a professional with training and experience in electrical safety is an infinitely better idea than tinkering around in a potentially dangerous situation.

  1. Other considerations

There are several factors to consider that might not occur to the lay person, but are obvious to a trained electrician. For example, an experienced electrician will ensure the power input and performance output of your new unit are what they should be, as well check to see if there are any leaky ducts or improper air flow. They canalso consider whether the placement of your new air conditioner will have any negative effects on your neighbours (such as heat or noise).

Air conditioners are expensive and also useful for when the heat strikes; you should only allow them to be handled by a professional, so that you get the very best value out of your purchase.

If you’re looking at doing electrical work in your home or office, you will more than likely have heard about the Part PElectrician scheme.

In 1965, the UK government began introducing rules and regulations to ensure a certain safety standard was adhered to in the construction of buildings, structures, drainage, ventilation, and more. These set of regulations produced several rule books and documents, designated A to R. These books provided guidance on how different construction professionals can meet the regulations in the course of their work. Electrical Part P is the designated rulebook P that contains relevant electrical safety requirements.

Part P was introduced in 2005 and lays out a number of safety regulations, governing electrical installation and maintenance in England and Wales.It is essentially a document which contains all the rules and regulations that electrical contractors must comply with when carrying out electrical installation or repair works in residences and homes.

From the above explanation, we can understand that a Part P Electrician is an electrical contractor who is trained and certified to carry out electrical installation, repair and maintenance on buildings in England and Wales; they are also able to self-certify that the electrical work in question is completed in accordance with the Part P guidelines. The Part P document provides a set of guidelines which electrical contractors can use to self-certify their work. It essentially contains the British standard wiring regulations that an electrician must follow during installation, repair or maintenance.

Small electrical related jobs – such as adding an extra wall socket or light switch – don’t require the services of a Part P Electrician. However, high risk areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and boiler room will need a Part P electrical contractor or an electrician who is registered with a Part P self-certification scheme.

As a home owner or tenant, it is your duty to ensure any electrical work undertaken in your home is either completed by an electrical contractor registered under the competent person scheme or certified by one. Under the Part P Building Regulations, even DIY electrical projects and work carried out by non-registered contractors should be checked and certified by an electrical contractor, registered with a self-certification scheme. As it stands, you are ultimately responsible for the quality of electrical work undertaken in your home and should make sure it complies with Part P rules.

Of course, you can always hire an unregistered electrical contractor for any electrical work in your home, but you’ll either have to apply to the Building Regulations Board or have a member of an electrician’s Competent Persons Scheme certify that the work is up to standard and subsequently issue a certificate to that effect.

However, it’s easier to simply use a Part P electrician when you need electrical work done in your house. Fortunately, you can find the right one by poring over theCompetent Persons Scheme register. This way, you won’t need to apply to any building regulation authority, as the individual you will be hiring is fully authorised to carry out the relevant electrical work in your home.

The aim of Electrician Part P is to ensure the safety of electrical installation in homes in England and Wales and to eliminate the risk of fire, electrocution and any other injury that can occur as a result of incorrect electrical installations.

According to the provisions of law, an individual must be considered a competent person to undertake a PAT test. Page 13 of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Code of Practice (Third edition) outlines the factors that qualify someone for being a PAT tester:

  • They must possess adequate knowledge about electricity.
  • They must be experienced with electrical work.
  • They must have some understanding of the system on which they intend to work, as well as practical experience working with that type of system.
  • They must be aware of the hazards they could face when working on that system and the precautions they’ll need to take.
  • They must always be able to recognise whether they can safely continue working.

Most electricians are able to satisfy these conditions for carrying out a PAT test. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask your electrician to make sure. In addition to above the criteria, anyone taking a PAT training course would need to be regarded as adequately competent to perform PAT testing. Furthermore, the training course must be delivered by another individual who is qualified to provide instruction on PAT testing.

To certify that the individual has indeed gained the necessary knowledge on PAT testing, they are required to undergo a knowledge test, which should be evaluated by the instructor.

Whether knowledgeable about electricity and electrical appliances or not, anyone who uses electrical equipment is responsible for having PAT testing carried out. This includes administrators with a responsibility for electrical maintenance, as well as building service managers and company directors who must ensure that PAT testing is undertaken on their businesses.

Passing the PAT test will require an individual to be familiar with the IEE Code of Practice. Training typically takes about 40 hours; upon completion of the training course, the individual in question will receive the appropriate certification. Once the training has been completed and the relevant certification presented, the individual can then carry out PAT testing, as they will be considered competent to do so.

Before anyone can perform PAT testing on your electrical appliances at home (or at your business premises), it might well be prudent to ask them to present certification as proof that they’ve completed a PAT testing course and are competent to carry out the relevant test.

It is your duty as an employer, manager or administrator to ensure your electrical appliances and equipment are left in good hands. Protecting your visitors or employees from electrical hazards goes beyond simply having your equipment PAT tested. You’ll also need to make sure that whoever is carrying out said testing is properly qualified to do so.

You might choose to outsource the testing to a company that specialises in performing such checks or you could even train some employees and have them take the course which certifies them for PAT testing. In essence, anyone can perform a PAT test, as long as they are considered competent as per the law.

Security cameras and surveillance systems can be installed by a trained electrician. In fact, most of the biggest brands in this niche offer security camera installation services. However, being an electrician shouldn’t be the most important factor when deciding who should install your security camera. You need to focus on the experience level of the installer. Have they done projects like yours in the past? Are they a known company trusted for their security camera installations?

It may be tempting to install simple security camera systems on your own because many of them come with manuals and the instructions seem simple enough for anyone to follow. However, there is always the risk that you will not get things done properly, which will translate to wasted money. Complex security camera setups, more importantly, should never be installed without a professional.

Other reasons why your security cameras should be installed by experienced electricians:

  1. DIY security cameras or CCTV networks may not function correctly, making a criminal’s job easier. Professional installations are more likely to deter criminals and make it easy to catch offenders who try their luck anyway. With the best picture quality, you can easily find and apprehend an offender.
  2. Working with a professional makes it easier to install a robust security camera system that ticks all the boxes. Do you want to remotely monitor what’s happening around your property while you are at work or even away on holiday? Professionals can get this done quickly and efficiently.
  3. Your camera installation may be against the rules and regulations stipulated by the local authorities. There are legal requirements on what you can or cannot capture on your home security camera (such as your neighbour’s garden, for instance). Professional security camera installers are experienced in the legal side of things.
  4. Experienced security camera installers can help you to avoid wasting money on setups you do not need and ensure you aren’t paying money for subpar equipment.
  5. DIY installations are open to attacks from cyber criminals. If you live in a wealthy area, you can be the target of a direct attack. The cameras in your property can also be used to launch wider scale DDoS attacks. If anyone can quickly plug into your security camera network, then this will do more harm than good in the long run. Professionals understand the need to at least change port numbers and passwords and avoid using the manufacturer’s servers. This will make it harder for hackers to get into your system or use it as a host for a larger scale attack in your area.

Are you considering hiring a security camera installer? You should feel relaxed about calling in an electrician as long as they have the required level of knowledge when it comes to providing exactly what you need. Your electrician and camera installer can easily be the same person!

Carrying out electrical work by yourself at home can be very tempting – especially if you have some knowledge of electrical repairs or are very good with your hands. While it’s not advisable to undertake DIY electrical projects, there are some people who can adequately carry out small repairs around the house. Even so, there is much conflict with regards what you can do yourself and what must be left to a professional.

The truth is, as a homeowner, you are free to carry out DIY electrical works on your home or even use an unregistered electrician. Smaller electrical installations or repair projects – such as installing a new lamp holder or changing a blown switch – might not require Part P compliance. However, if at the end of the electrical project, you need to self-certify that the work was completed in accordance with British Standards and register it with Part P for compliance, you’ll need to show proof that you’re a competent person, did the work correctly and are certified to do so.

If it happens that you sell your house or move elsewhere, whoever is taking over the property will request that you present all the certifications for electrical work undertaken in the house. If you don’t have such documentation, you could find it difficult renting out or selling the property. Additionally, you won’t be able to acquire certification for your own installation at a future date; in the event that there’s an electrical related accident in your property, your insurance will be void if you fail to produce the appropriate certification that proves the system is safe.

The bottom line is that you should always use a qualified electrician for any electrical work in your house. When you hire one, confirm that they have Part P certification and ask about the relevant body with which they are registered and their scheme number. You can then check to confirm the details provided are in fact authentic and valid. Once the work is completed and you are provided with the relevant certificate, store it in a safe place, as you may need to present it at some point in the future.

In the UK (especially England and Wales), all electrical work carried out in private residences and non-commercial properties must be carried out in accordance with Part P Building and Safety Regulations. If you choose to do the electrical work yourself or happen to use an electrician who cannot self-certify the work, you are allowed to look for another electrician who is registered with any of the third-party electrical installation certification schemes for residences and dwellings. Such a person can look at the electrical work that’s been carried out in your home, check that it meets with the current safety and building standards and self-certify if it does.

We strongly suggest that you use a registered electrician for all the electrical requirements in and around your house. When you do so from the beginning, you can expect a safe electrical installation, carried out using materials and following guidelines that adhere strictly to the UK standard.  This way, you won’t have to deal with third-party certification or worry about the dangers posed to both lives and property.

Electrical work requires stringent training and a range of skills. Before an individual can qualify as an electrician, they must first pass through a series of training programmes and achieve the relevantcertification. This will then enable them to install, repair, maintain, test, service or alter electrical related systems in any premises, such as the home, office or commercial facility.

The role of an electrician is to ensure every part of a building’s electrical system is safe to use and meetsall the relevant electrical standards. Because of the risks associated with the installation, repair and general use of electricity, it is your responsibility to ensure only a qualified and certified electrician carries out electrical work on your premises.

Electricians are classified into three levels (Levels 1 to3),based on their level of training, skills, certification and the type or nature of electrical work they’re qualified and allowed to undertake.

A Level 1 electrician is trained to carry out the most basic of electrical works on any given property. This is the first rung on the ladder for people who want to build a career as an electrician and involves entry level knowledge of how electrical systems work.

A Level 1 electrician is qualified to undertake simple electrical installations, repairs and maintenance in your property, but not qualified to design or implement a new electrical system. For example, if you’re moving into a new home and carrying out electrical repairs or first-time installation, it is a Level 1 electrician who will extend the power line to your property. They will run cables from your home to where the electricity source is shared from, whether that is an electric pole, a street transformer or an underground electricity source.

A Level 1 electrician is knowledgeable about health and safety, trunking, conduit wiring, electrical installation methods and electrical components. However, because this is the very first step in electrical certification, complex electrical designs and installation will need to be carried out by a Level 2 or Level 3 certified electrician.

Whenever you need electrical work undertaking, be sure to hire an electrician who is trained, qualified and certified for that particular job. It’s only a trained and experienced electrician who can carry out electrical work that will be safe and meets the accepted standard.It’s prudent to go on referrals and recommendations from friends and family. This way, you’ll have an idea of the type of work they do and whether you’ll be able to trust them with the safety of your property.

No matter the level of qualification an electrician has, be sure to ask politely to see their license, because while some electricians work with expired licenses, others are not even licensed to work in a particular field of electrical work. It is also a good idea to ask for their insurance documents, so as to be sure you are covered in the event of an accident.

It is strongly advised to work with an expert electrician when you need your phone sockets changing. This way, you can avoid any unnecessary damage to your property or other complications. Also, by working with professionals such as ourselves, you’re guaranteed not just quality, but also lasting results. Only the very best materials will be used in the execution of the project and tests will be performed on the spot to confirm the job is completed to perfection.

Furthermore, a qualified electrician will understand the unique features of the UK phone system and how it works and will in turn know the most appropriate components and materials to use. As part of the phone socket changing service, our electricians can also make sure the new telephone point is flush with the wall and that the wiring is chased in and neatly plastered over.

Regardless of whether it’s at home or your place of work, keeping your phone in good working order is important; after all, your phone line is crucial to staying connected with friends, families, colleagues, customers and business associates through a reliable line of communication.

If there’s something wrong with your phone line – such as with the sockets – it’s prudent to hire the services of an electrician with the right qualifications and experience. Failure to hire a professional who can execute the job professionally can lead to extra costs, as well as potential complications. There are also electricians who can provide emergency repair services – no matter the time of day – to get your telephone up and running again.

An electrician can help with the installation of new phone sockets or the replacement of old or outdated ones. A qualified electrician can also move a phone outlet to a different room for extra convenience or any other reason you might require such a service.

Once the phone socket relocation, repair, or replacement has been completed, the electrician will need to test the phone socket to ensure it’s in optimal working condition. We don’t recommend that you attempt repairing or changing a phone socket yourself if you don’t have the necessary tools or knowhow. Instead, call on Electrics on Tap in the UK to get your phone sockets changed at less cost, with the best results.

A change of phone socket can be carried out by our experienced and qualified electricians in either residential, industrial, or commercial settings. Aside from changing phone sockets, we also provide phone line connection services.

Not every electrician has the necessary experience or knowhow when it comes to telephone cabling. However, if you need your phone socket changing, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a qualified electrician to do the job.

A commercial electrician is a professional who works in the provision of electrical services on a large scale and mostly for brands and businesses.  These are the types of electrician you call when you need to design, install and maintain electrical systems in a new build property or during a wide-scale complex refurbishment. They also work on minor day-to-day electrical issues, but their services are mostly required in bigger electrical projects. Some of the things a commercial electrician can do include: emergency lighting installations, data cabling, inspection and testing, single phase and/or three phase distribution, handling containment systems (such as Busbar Trunking, Steeling Trunking, Steel Conduit), electrical heating and ventilation as well as CCTV installations.

Some characteristics of commercial electricians:

  1. A good commercial electrician is always excited to take on large-scale projects, and all aspects of the project will still be painstakingly addressed in a thorough manner.This makes the customer very happy, as they can see that the electrician knows exactly what they’re doing and makes them more relaxed about a project, no matter how challenging it might be on paper.
  2. Commercial electricians are professionals. This is evident right from the way they present themselves to the processes surrounding a project. Professionally-designed web pages, uniforms, identification and marked vehicles are just some of the physical signs of their professionalism. A thorough analysis of a project, competitive pricing and sticking to deadlines are other signs of professionalism that they will also exhibit.
  3. Commercial electricians can communicate with other commercial contractors while on a project, collaborating where necessary. They know the best ways to communicate effectively to ensure the collective achievement of a common goal.
  4. They complement their exceptional electrical skills with experience and creativity. This allows them to have solutions for a wide range of clientele from landlords to government buildings.
  5. Their creativity means that they are highly adaptable. They are able to come up with the right solutions to any problems on the spot. Whether a builder wants wires installed in hard to reach parts of a building or whether underfloor heating wiring needs to be done with flooring experts, they always know how to deliver.

Screening your commercial electrician

  1. Find out if they are licensed to do the job. If they don’t have the right certifications and are not members of the right bodies, this is a red flag. Licenses and certifications ensure that they will work to industry standards whilst not breaking any laws.
  2. Seek references from past clients. Your commercial electrician should be able to provide you with references from clients your size that they have worked with in the past (preferably in your niche). Verify these references, especially for large-scale projects where you can’t afford to get anything wrong.
  3. Verify that they offer the services you need and are indeed experienced. Commercial electricians are versatile, but you may be disappointed if you hire them only to find out that they are not proficient in one aspect of the electricity project.
  4. Ask for reassurance. What happens if they fail to deliver on the project? Be sure you have all your bases covered.

The electrical installation for an electric shower is a bit more complicated than the plumbing aspect of the installation. Cable and fuse sizes for an electric shower can differ depending on the shower’s power (in kW) consumption. A Part P-certified electrician will have knowledge of all this as well as the plumbing aspects of the installation.

The most effective way to find a reliable electrical shower installer is to know and identify what qualifications the installer should have. For instance, your electrical shower installer should have a minimum of at least one of the following:

  • NICEIC Certification Services
  • ELECSA
  • NAPIT Certification
  • BRE Certification
  • British Standards Institution

And, of course, the installer must also be Part P certified. To further ensure that you get the best results and that you are sufficiently covered, be sure to come to an agreement with the installer that he/she will take responsibility for the installation complying with all pertinent building regulations and the provision of the BS7671 certificate which will be needed in the event you choose to sell your home.

Regardless of where you live in the UK, if you are in need of a Part P-certified electrician for the effective and safe installation or repair of your electrical shower, Electrics On Tap has you covered.

While either a Part P-certified plumber or electrician can install an electrical shower, you are better off working with a Part P-certified electrician. This is because the competence and specialty of a plumber will likely be more focused on just the plumbing aspects of the installation and won’t cover the electrical aspects.

Electric showers combine water and electricity, which means it is crucial that their installation or repair be performed safely and correctly. If you are installing an electric shower from scratch, a Part P-certified electrician can install (or upgrade wiring) and check wiring to ensure everything is working safely. However, if you are simply replacing an existing electric shower with a similar one, a plumber will be sufficient as the needed electrical cabling will already be in place.

Electric showers are a wonderful addition to any bathroom because they can deliver hot water on demand alongside many other benefits depending on the specific type of electric shower installed. However, an electric shower will only be able to deliver the desired results if it is properly installed. In fact, an incorrectly-installed electrical shower can pose significant risk to both you and your property.

So, who can best install your electric shower? A plumber or an electrician?

Truthfully, your electrical shower can be installed by either a plumber or an electrician as long as he/she is Part P Certified. This is because UK legislation states that any electrical work to be performed in a shower room, bathroom, kitchen, or other wet room counts as “special cases” and so should only be undertaken by a part P-certified electrician. Using any technician that is not Part P certified for such a project would count as a breach of the law.

No matter the level of your DIY knowledge, all electrical works should be handled by a professional. Handling electrical components when you are inexperienced is dangerous and ill advised, and the wrong installation or repairs can be costly in the long run and can also lead to home accidents. So, for the sake of your safety, it is better to have an electrician carry out your repairs and installations rather than do it yourself.

Apart from the dangers associated with fiddling with electrical components, it is also against the law in the UK to carry out some types of electrical work without the services of a licensed electrician. The Building Regulations, which are not just guidelines but legal requirements, were updated in 2012 and included a clarification of “Part P” of 2005 laws on who can carry out electrical repairs in a home. It states that it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure that any repairs of an electrical nature are conducted safely and do not put the lives of anyone in the building at risk.

Part P listed the jobs that should only be tackled by a licensed and professional electrician because they will be more demanding for someone without a professional background. And they also require a professional electrician that is approved by the local building control body to sign off on them.

Here is a list of jobs that require the attention of a licensed professional:

  • Installing a new light switch or additional sockets as a spur from a ring main
  • Running new circuits
  • Replacing a broken or old fuse board
  • Installing new electric radiators where there was none before
  • Installing outdoor or garden lights that run off mains electricity
  • Installing home entry systems
  • Installing electric towel radiators
  • Electrical installation condition report
  • Installing emergency lighting and hallway smoke alarms
  • Rewiring lights and sockets that are causing the fuse to trip

If you consider yourself a handy person and competent DIYer, there are some electrical jobs that you can handle yourself as they do not fall under Part P guidelines. They include:

  • Replacing a faulty light switch
  • Replacing sockets
  • Replacing doorbells
  • Replacing a hard-wired smoke detector
  • Installing or replacing an extractor fan with the same type as before
  • Replace a simple light fitting
  • Replace dimmer modules
  • Repair loose wiring in plugs or light fittings

It is best to have a professional come and fix your electrical problems, as your desire to save money by doing it yourself might backfire. There are electricians that provide good, quality services at affordable prices, so be sure to compare prices of different companies to get the best, and you could also check out their websites for reviews from their past customers.

Yes, there are a few ways you can improve the lifespan of your LED light bulbs and help them get to the advertised longevity numbers or, at least, really close.

  1. Install the right bulbs in the right fittings. If you force the bulb into the fitting or attempt to manually rig the fitting to accommodate the bulb, you will most likely end up damaging it. If the damage isn’t mechanical, a spark or surge due to improper balance could damage it.
  2. Don’t leave them on for longer than necessary. Most adverts assume that you will use your light bulbs for a total of 8 hours a day. So, using LED bulbs round the clock means they will last 3 times less than normal. Only turn on the bulbs when you need to use them and turn them off after.
  3. Don’t switch themon and off too frequently,as this has an effect on the lifespan of many LED bulbs. The effect may not be as pronounced as is seen with incandescent bulbs and CFLS, but it is still something you can avoid. Use the on and off switch only when necessary.
  4. It is important to let your LEDs cool down between on and off. Although they do not exude as much heat as other types of bulbs, giving them time to rest between uses is a perfect way to increase their lifespan.

This will ultimately come down to different factors. For instance, a bulb that dislodges from its fitting will certainly fall and break. In the same vein, LED bulbs that have manufacturer defects or those that were made with poor quality materials can’t be expected to last as long as they are meant to. However, a general rule of thumb is to not expect an LED bulb to match its advertised claims. While many LED manufacturers claim that their products can last for a decade or more, real-life expectations have shown that many of them burn out before they are 5 years old. This is far longer than most incandescent bulbs and CFLs but highlights why the advertised lifespan of LED bulbs is not guaranteed.

In fact, recent research has showed that a good number of LED bulbsdo not live up to their advertised longevity rates. 66 out of 239 samples used in the research failed before the 10,000-hour mark, even when manufacturers stated that they couldfunction for 15,000 hours. So, while all the benefits of using LEDs still apply, it is not realistic to expect the longevity numbers quoted on the box.

One of the main selling points of LED bulbs is the fact that they can last an extremely long time.  Some of them claim to last up to 50,000 hours which is 25 times longer than a standard halogen bulb, 10 times longer than a standard CFL bulb and a massive 50 times longer than a standard incandescent light bulb. If you use your LEDs 8 hours a day, many of them can remain functional for anything between 10-20 years.

Different kinds of bulbs are designed differently and that can make it a challenge to simply take out your old bulb and replace it with a new LED one when you want to. In some cases, you might be able to simply unscrew an old compact fluorescent bulb and screw in your new LED bulb. However, replacing linear bulbs will most likely require some extra work.

A fluorescent tube comes with its own ballast used to drive in the tube itself and which can be either electronic or inductive. In the case of a standard CSL bulb, this would normally be within the bulb itself, however, conventional fluorescent tubes normally have it separate and located within the light fitting.

The LED tube, in its own case, has the driver as an actual part of the tube itself. Therefore, the LED tube is an entirely integrated separate unit that can be connected directly to the mains. So, if you are going to be fitting an LED tube to a regular fitting, then it becomes necessary to modify the wiring.

When fitting an LED tube to a conventional fluorescent tube fitting, there are two kinds of settings you might use – either an existing installation with an electronic ballast or an existing installation with a starter and inductive ballast.

In the case of a fluorescent tube fitting that has an old-fashioned starter, it is possible to simply get rid of the starter and then have the connections short-circuited across the inductive ballast. The result of doing this is the inductive ballast will be taken out of the circuit, meaning that either end of the LED tube will have voltage applied to it. This allows the LED tube to light up correctly.

On the other hand, if your fluorescent fitting has an electronic ballast, then this will have to be taken out of the circuit. You can do this by cutting the wires to the electronic ballast and connecting the mains life to one end and the mains neutral to the other end of the LED.

It’s unlikely that you’ll want to switch your fittings back from LED tubes to conventional ones, but, if you ever need to, all you have to do is keep the starter and it will be possible to return to the old setup.

If you have several fluorescent tubes that you would like to convert at a time, it shouldn’t take too long to do them all once you have the first one up and running. It is certainly a good idea to swap out your old bulbs for LED ones because LEDs last five times longer than traditional fluorescent lights.

If you are not certain what to do or are not confident in your ability to replace your old bulbs with LEDs yourself, it might be best to call an electrician to get the job done. Another option is to buy LED tubes that have been manufactured to directly replace the original fluorescents in the same fittings.

It is illegal for an electrician to remove a main fuse when they have not been authorised to do so. Any electrician who pulls a fuse they’re not authorised to puts themselves at risk of being fined.

Removing the main fuse can be dangerous for a person’s health and safety. Also, Distribution Network operators (DNOs) are often concerned about people who attemptto steal electricity via a fuse. Even when an electrician needs to remove the main fuse to ensure a safe working environment, they might still be reprimanded for doing so.

Depending on the DNO, your electrician might be able to pull the fuse if they work with a company that is trusted enough to acquire temporary seals from the DNO. Some DNOs will also allow any registered electrician to pull a fuse. So, before you do anything, it’s always a good idea to confirm with your DNO what their policies are exactly.

If an electrician has the authority to pull a fuse, then they’d be required to take a number of safety precautions. In most cases, when it’s out, the live parts will be in the open, with no barrier between them and the substation transformer. It’s subsequently possible for there to be enough energy to light up the service cable and cause a fire.

Stuck fuses can also be a problem and are particularly dangerous. If the electrician pulls too forcefully, they could end up pulling the holder of the board – particularly if damp has weakened it. This could result in some loose live wire, which is hazardous.

An electrician would also need to be very careful with old cut-outs that might contain asbestos wool. If they happen to encounter anything like this, the only choice would be to contact a DNO to change it. When the DNO sets out to remove a fuse, they will usually be armed with apparel made of cotton, a face shield and gloves for protection. Any electrician authorised to undertake this should also take such precautions.

In essence, if your electrician doesn’t have the authorisation to remove the main fuse, we suggest they don’t risk it. In addition to being illegal, pulling the fuse can be extremely dangerous. In this case, the best option is to call the DNO.

While it’s true that many electricians will take the risk and potentially blame it on the DNOs being disorganised, it’s best to contact the DNO first. If you’re lucky, they could solve the problem without too much of a delay.

Unfortunately, some electricians put themselves in unnecessarily dangerous situations when attempting to pull the fuse. For instance, changing CCU whilst live and adding switches, even when the main 100-amp fuse remains in position. As tempting as it might be to let your electrician pull the fuse, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, speak to the DNO about what can be done to solve your electrical issues.

The first step to hooking up cable in a new home is to engage the services of a licensed electrician. Some cable companies might offer outlet installation services, or you may be considering trying to set up the outlets yourself, butthat job is best left to a capable electrician. Here is an outline of the reasons why it’s prudent to hire a licensed electrician to install a cable outlet.

  1. The right tools for the job

There are several specialised tools required to properly install a cable outlet, including drills, connectors, wall plates, cables, fittings, electrical boxes, screws and screwdrivers. These are just some of the tools that may be required and it’s unlikely a layman would have them lying around. However, a qualified electrician will come prepared for the task at hand and be equipped with all the required knowledge as to what the job requires and in what quantities.

  1. Damage to property

This is just a guess, but you’llalmost certainly want the installation to be completed with minimal damage to your building. Considering that the installation will likely require parts of your wall to be cut through and drilled,you shouldn’t expect an amateur to do as neat a job with installing your outlet as an experienced electrician.

  1. A job well done

With a professional electrician performing the installation, you can be certain it will be undertaken with care and diligence. You won’t have to worry about the outlet developing faults and requiring repair or reinstallation for some time to come.

  1. A neat job

Only a competent electrician can accomplish the task without leaving your home a mess of surface wires hanging haphazardly, instead of running them through the insides of that building’s walls.Furthermore, they’ll clean up after themselves when the job is complete.

  1. Putting safety first

Dealing with electricity always comes with its own unique risks that are best dealt with by a fully qualified electrician.Inexperienced DIY enthusiasts could easily make safety mistakes like cutting wires too short; leaving cables exposed and unshielded; not grounding properly; or making connections outside electrical boxes. Any such errors can often lead to short circuits or in the worst cases, an outbreak of fire.

  1. The law

In the UK, you are only permitted to undertakeminor electrical works yourself; even then, you will need to have them signed off by a building manager and a qualified electrician. After this, the installation will be subject to an inspection. If it fails this inspection, you could end up facing rather hefty fines. If you must go tothese lengths, it might be best to simply allowa professional to handle the installation.

It’s highly recommended to work with a registered electrician if you need any electrical work completing in your home or workplace. A registered electrician will likely carry out any electrical installation or repair work, whilst giving due consideration to the necessary safety requirements.

You can also expect that the work will be in line with BS 7671 requirements for electrical installations, which is the national standard across the UK. It wouldn’t be necessary for you to have any direct dealings with Building Control. Also, when the electrician has completed the work, they should give you the following certificates:

  • A Building Regulations Compliance Certificate, confirming that the work they’ve completed is in line with the building regulations.
  • A Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (where applicable) or an Electrical Installation Certificate, confirming that what they have done is in line with BS 7671.

You can access a formal complaint procedure if the electrical work completed by the registered electrician does not comply with Building Regulations requirements. You also have the choice to take out an insurance-covered guarantee when the electrician in question undertakes the work. Afterwards, you can make a claim if it’s discovered the electrical work is unsatisfactory and does not comply with Building Regulations.

For every periodic testing, inspection and electrical installation that’s completed, be sure to obtainall the relevant paperwork. Every report and certificate must include the test results and schedules of each inspection.

There are several types of electrical certifications available; that which you’ll receive depends on the type and extent of electrical work, testing or inspection that’s been undertaken. The electrical certification which could be issued include Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificates (MEIWCs) and Electrical Installation Certificates (EICs). These certifications are essentially declarations that the new addition, alteration or installation is safe for use, as at the time the report was made.

It’s essential to hold on to these certificates, because they serve as a basis for future testing and inspections. They can also help you avoid exploratory workat a later date, which can easily become costly. Also, if a third-party ever makes a claim, stating an electrical installation caused an injury or fire, the certificates can be used as documentary evidence to prove that the installation wascompleted to satisfactory levels of safety.

An EIC will indicate whether the electrical job in question is an alteration, an addition or a new installation. Alterations apply where there has been an extension or modification of existing circuits; for instance, if new sockets have been added. Additions apply when one or more new circuits have been added to an existing installation. Meanwhile, new installations refer to entire installations that have been installed as new or when a complete rewiring has taken place.

It’s advised that you only use a registered electrical contractor who can provide the appropriate certification for the work they complete. Always confirm with an electrician that they are NICEIC registered and will issue a certificate.

There are many reasons why you should hire an electrician. Here, we look at just a few of them:

  1. Avoid legal problems

If your electrical project is on the size of medium or large, there could be legal fallouts if you undertake the job on your own. Firstly, the work you do needs to meet UK BS7671 electrical standards. If it doesn’t, you might not be able to file insurance claims in the event of any electrical mishaps. If you are sued in court as a result of an accident, you could face hefty fines or even a jail term.  A professional electrician ensures all your electrical projects are in line with the recommended standards. You will also have certificates or reports issued to as way of authentic documentation.

  1. Avoid wasting your time

Have you ever spent time and money on a job, only to find that you haven’t done it correctly? This can be extremely frustrating. However, hiring a reputable electrician means you won’t need to do the job twice or spend extra money on the project.

  1. Speedy diagnosis

No matter how experienced you might be, a professional electrician will always be able to determine any potential problems quicker than you will.  Troubleshooting will be more straightforward,as they will likely have seen any such issues elsewhere.  Subsequently, a quick diagnosis of the problem will save time and possibly money for both of you.

  1. Avoid bigger issues in future

If you make a mistake whilst attempting to undertake electrical projects on your own, this could lead to bigger problems furtherdown the line. At best, you’ll need to spend even more money to rectify the issue. At worst, you could face huge problems. Think of a badly installed fuse catching fire; if you were present and able to nip any damage in the bud, you would need a new fuse, some wires and perhapseven a new seating for the fuse. However, if you weren’t present, a lot of damage could be done to your property before the fire service arrives on the scene.

  1. Avoid stress

Why would you want to go through the stress of wiring your home? Unless it’s something you do on a regular basis, the entire process can be stressful and overwhelming. You could change sockets or light fittings, but other medium to larger sized electrical projects can prove stressful if you’re not a qualified electrician.

  1. Pass the job on to someone knowledgeable

You wouldn’t take on the job of a commercial pilot, lawyer, dentist or even a professional mechanic. A professional electrician is no different. As you’re not experienced with the issue at hand, hire a professional who knows the job inside out.  Even if you know seven out of ten things about electrical work, those missing three could put you in danger and consequently cause significant damage. Furthermore, if you are investing in electrical home improvements such as installing a bathroom television, why handle the installation yourself and risk getting it wrong?

  1. Stay Safe

This is perhaps the most important reason why you should hire an electrician.  Official statistics show that there are 27 fatalitiesevery week in England alone because of electrical accidents. Hiring a professional electrician ensures you won’t be another statistic. Even when the incident isn’t fatal, your insurance company might not pay out if they find you didn’t hire a professional electrician.

Only certified electricians are legally permitted to undertake electrical projects, seeing as electrical jobs are some of the most dangerous jobs one could carry out. This is not to say one has to pay a lot to have their electrical tests, repairs, connections and installations done. However, when you need to have electrical work done, you should know that the cost of hiring an electrician will vary according to the nature of project and a few other factors. Sockets, cables, cookers, or boiler installation, for instance, have widely-varying costs. The nature of each installation or repair will also affect the costs. Your location and the length of your project will also be considered in the final price. Most electricians charge per hour but you will also find some who bill per day. The latter is more common when you have a long-term project. The cost in this case, and in most instances, will include testing and certification.

 

The average price of low-cost electrical work in the UK is between £40 and £60 an hour. Repairing a tripping fuse, which is usually emergency work, is between £70-£117. This varies according to the electrical company. You have to bear in mind that what an electrician charges is different from what they take themselves. It is often better to ask the person you are contracting to break down the costs, so you can take note of any hidden charges. Inspections and certificates cost around £150 while the call-out fee is £55 for most private electricians. You can get a socket replacement for £25 but adding a socket to already existing wiring can cost between £55-£60. It is recommended you get at least three different quotes to know which one suits your budget the best. For replacements and installations like light fittings, which commonly go for £15, the price might be the same across different contractors. But charges like “call-out” and “labour cost” are particular to each electrician.

 

Domestic light installation is usually in the neighbourhood of £75-£116, but £131 is still a good bargain if you are able to find an experienced and well-trained electrician to do it. Big projects like rewiring an entire house cost around £2,500-£4,500, as the project would be split into a 6 to 10-day job depending on the number of electricians dealing with it. If you need a full rewiring of your home, the cost will depend on the size of your house, the number of rooms you have, quality of the materials and workmanship. Judging by these factors, especially when the electrician doesn’t have to drive far to meet you, it is possible to get a complete house rewiring for as low as £1,400.

Consumer replacement unit works don’t take long to carry out. Most electricians finish in a day and aren’t likely to charge per hour. For this, they charge between £300 and £450. It is better to check other electricians around your location to arrive at a good price. You might be paying almost the same amount for a kitchen light upgrade. For instance, upgrading from fluorescent to LED, you might pay between £250-£400. Check out as many quotes as possible before you hire anyone. This way you get good price and quality service at the same time.

Our electricians have either an NVQ diploma in installing electrotechnical systems and equipment for buildings, structures and the environment or Level Two and Three diplomas in electrical installations for buildings and structures. They are qualified to work in a variety of settings, being fully qualified electricians who can work in domestic, commercial and industrial environments.

Our electricians may have achieved their qualifications in various ways, but they all have the necessary requirements to undertake electrical work in your home or office. We have electricians on staffwho have gained their practical skills through apprenticeship schemes on a work placement, whilst attending college to study theory. Upon completion of their programme, they were certified in NVQ Level Three.

In other cases, some of our electricians acquired the knowledge to work professionally by taking Level Two and Level Threediploma courses. By the time they completed these programmes, they were qualified to work as professional electricians, having gained both practical and theoretical experience.

Whichever way our electricians chose to enter their field, they all had to take the necessary NVQ assessments. An NVQ is a qualification that can only be earned when passing a practical assessment. It typically comes after the completion of technical courses that focus on the theory of electrical skills. The assessments are undertaken in a workplace environment in order to test the prospective electrician’s practical skills.

By working alongside more experienced professionals, the electrician in training would be guided through various tasks which the NVQ document specified. These may include installing a Phase Three board or metal conduit. The beauty of this system is that you can rest assured any electrician who carries out repairs in your home has gleaned a great deal of work experience in a practical setting that exposes them to a range of rigorous electrical work.

As each task is undertaken and completed, the trainee would write about what they have done and take photos. This is how electricians can build up their first portfolio of work, which we then evidence in our field.

The content of the electrician’s evidence or portfolio isn’t based on self-assessment. Instead, an experienced assessor checks on them in the workplace to assess evidence of their gaining the required experience and skills needed to complete their portfolio of work.

We select our electricians based only on their performance and we always go for the best. An NVQ is finally achieved when all the necessary tasks and skills have been completed and those in the NVQ documents have been assessed.

Electricians are only awarded an NVQ diploma if they have successfully completed a final assessment called ‘Achievement Measure Number Two’ (AM2). This is a practical exam taken under exam conditions, while an assessor watches as the engineer completes specific tasks at an assessment centre. This then qualifies them to work as an electrician.

As long as you use electricity in your home or at work, chances are you have needed the services of an electrician at one time or another. Electricians are known to handle various electrical related tasks, from little details like changing a blown fuse to elaborate designs and installations.

An electrician will typically know how to install and maintain all or parts of the electrical systems in the house, office or large commercial properties. Some really skilled electricians can also handle basic repairs of electrical appliances but this is not usually part of their job description. The job of an electrician basically entails installing and maintaining the wiring system and equipment that control the flow of electricity in the property as well as any other component necessary for the electrical system to work optimally. Electricians with advanced skills and experience can also install and maintain electrical machines and equipment in factories and large commercial structures.

There are electricians who focus on design and installation and there are those who focus on repair and maintenance, although there are many who can do both. In the UK, the skills and qualifications of electricians are broadly grouped into three categories. Level 1 electricians are those who carry out some of the basic electrical works in the industry, but when it comes to advanced installation and repairs, a level 2 electrician will be best suited for the job. Level 3 electricians are more concerned with the design, customization and installation of advanced electrical services although they can easily handle any electrical related task.

Regardless of the size or nature of the electrical work to be done, it is recommended that you work with an electrician who is a member of any of the electrical regulatory bodies in the UK, such as ELECSA or NICEIC. As a rule, every electrical work must meet the British standard for safety and quality. At the end of the electrical work, only a qualified and registered electrician will be able to issue the relevant certificate to show that the work was done in accordance with the approved standard.

A qualified electrician will start the work at hand by first taking a look at the existing blueprint or technical diagrams to understand the layout of the existing electrical systems. In the event of a brand new installation, the electrician will create a blueprint that can be followed for subsequent repairs or modifications.

It goes without saying that you should always use a qualified and registered electrician for any electrical work you have regardless of the size or type of work. You can always get a qualified electrician by using the competent persons register. Even so, always ask to see their license so that you don’t end up working with someone with an expired license or someone who is not qualified and registered. It is also a good idea to request for a copy of their insurance document. This will help you know their level of coverage both for your property and for the electrician in the event of an accident.

There are various types of electrical safety certificates or reports that you can consider. These are covered below.

The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This is the certificate that many landlords choose to go with. It is similar to the periodic or time-based electrical reports of the past. Landlords have to get a professional electrician to provide this before another tenancy begins. If you are buying a new property, you are required to get one as well. This is doubly important if the wiring is a bit dated. Condition reports are issued at the end of the process instead of a certificate.

The Minor Electrical Works Installation Certificate: This type of certificate is issued after a minor electrical installation, such as additional sockets or light fittings,is completed.

The Part-P Certificate or Notification: In the UK, notification from building control is required for most electrical projects. You can get this by hiring a professional electrician that has the Part P self-certification badge. This class of electricians can legally certify their work. Alternatively, you can find another professional electrician who isn’t Part-P certified. However, you will have to apply for the notification with Building Control on your own.

The Electrical Installation Certificate: This type of certificate states that the electrical installation is safe to use as at the time and date stated on the certificate. Professional electricians are expected to provide these for all major installations starting from consumer units to new circuits. You also need the certificate when you add additional lights and sockets to your bathroom or kitchen.

 

For a landlord, the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is usually enough. If you need more clarification on your obligations and the right electrical safety certificates to go with, speak with a professional.

When homeowners begin to explore the different heating systems and fuel sources that are available, the two most common choices are electricity and gas. When comparing them using the cost of an equivalent energy unit, we find that electric heating is about four times the price of gas heating per unit. While this is significant, there are several other factors that should be considered when determining the cheapest system to run.

Firstly, you must consider that electric heating is 100% efficient while gas heating is only 90% efficient when converting energy to heat. This means that electric heating is more efficient but heating via mains gas is the more cost-effective option. The next question then should be what happens if you cannot access the mains gas network?

If you are amongst the 15% of the United Kingdom for whom mains gas is inaccessible, you have an alternative of using LPG as a fuel source while using a conventional gas heating system. LPG is a mixture of propane and butane which is compressed until it transforms into a liquid and is then stored.

Depending on the size of your storage bottle or tank, you can save a large amount of fuel before having to refill. As long as you don’t have any problem with your deliveries, LPG is reliable, since it is similar to heating with mains gas and is safe to use.

Another alternative to mains gas and LPG is heating oil, which is slightly cheaper. However, the installation process for heating oil system is more expensive and specialised. It also needs way more maintenance to continue working efficiently. Of all the options mentioned so far, the running cost of mains gas is the cheapest, followed by heating oil and then LPG, while electricity is the most expensive. However, other factors should be considered, such as the cost of installation and maintenance of these systems.

If you opt for electricity, you might want to consider Economy 7 for the cheapest heating system. The advantage of this electricity tariff is that you’ll have a low night rate. You can use this advantage to save on electricity costs if you use an electric storage heater system. However, note that you can only make decent savings by moving at least 40% of your electricity usage toduring the night. Also, if you ever run any electrical appliances during the day, you’ll have to pay heavily.

You may already have well-regulated central heating in your home but feel like you need a standalone heater. These systems can be useful if you’re looking to create localised, focused heat in a small room that normally doesn’t have any heating, such as a mobile home, an outside office or a conservatory.

In terms of running costs, using several standalone heaters as your main source of heat is likely to cost you more than having a central heating system. On the other hand, a single energy-efficient heater may turn out to be cheaper than central heating if you only need heating in one room at a time.

LED lighting is different from fluorescent and incandescent lights in many ways. When functioning properly, LED light lasts longer, is more versatile and is more efficient. It produces directional light, meaning that LEDs emits light in a specific direction. This is different from CFL and incandescent lights which emit heat and light in every direction. This translates to greater efficiency of energy and light in several applications.

On the flipside, for an LED bulb to produce light in every direction, the engineering required to manufacture it is more sophisticated. LEDs come in several colours, with the most common ones being blue, green, red and amber. Different colours are combined to produce white light. White light can also be produced by covering different colour LEDs with a phosphor material which creates white light by converting the original colour of light.

While white light is used in homes, coloured LEDs tend to be used as indicator lights and signal lights, such as on a computer’s power button. Unlike an incandescent bulb, a white LED bulb does not emit a complete spectrum of light. This is due to the process by which the photons or lightare produced.

In an LED bulb, two things happen when an electron gets on the other side of the PN junction. First, the electronis reduced to a lesser state of energy and second, any extra energy becomes a photon.

A CFL works differently from an LED in that it consists of a tube containing gases with an electric current which flows between electrons at both ends of the tube. Heat and ultraviolet (UV) lights are produced because of this reaction. Like LEDs, CFLs also have a phosphor coating. It is this coating that converts UV light into visible light.

Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, use electricity to heat a metal filament until it whitens, thereby producing light. This results in incandescent bulbs releasing as much as 90% of their energy as heat.

While many believe that LEDs don’t produce UV radiation, this isn’t true. However, the amount of UV produced by LEDs is not significant because they only produce a small amount, while emitting even less. It works this way because the amount of UV that LEDs produce is converted to white light by the lamp’s phosphor coating.

The amount of UV radiation emitted by lightbulbs is important to consider because when excessive, it can be dangerous. When omitted in extremely high doses, UV can cause skin cancer, cataracts and sunburns.That is why we have to slather on the sunscreen when the sun is harsh. Luckily, humans are not exposed to these dangers with artificial light sources.

Lighting types that produce high enough amounts of UV can damage fabrics and artwork over time. Museums are beginning to swap out these lights for high-quality LEDs to ensure that artefacts retain their original colours for longer.LEDs are also the light source of choice in external installations, residential kitchens and commercial food service applications because they don’t attract bugs, unlike bulbs that emit UV.

As a home owner, house rewiring is one of the tasks you will have to carry out if you want the electrical systems of your house to work at optimum performance. Without a doubt, house wiring is a major undertaking and will involve quite a bit of financial commitment. The cost of house wiring tends to be generally even across the board but is still subject to certain factors. For example, your location will play a huge role in how much you pay for house rewiring. If you live in a place like London or any other big city, you should expect to pay about 50% more than someone with the same rewiring requirements who live elsewhere.

Other factors that caninfluence the price of house rewiring include the size of the property to be rewired, the number of rooms, the age of the house and the existing electrical structure of the building. Also, if the house is occupied during the rewiring process, the electrician will have to rig up a safe electrical outlet for the people in the house to use, and this may reflect in the overall cost.

That being said, a 3-bedroom semi-detached house will typically cost between £3,000 and £4,000. This is not an accurate estimatean electrical contractor may have genuine reasons for giving you a different price and you can get it cheaper or more expensive. The rewiring itself can take a number of days and this can also influence the cost of the job. It goes without saying that the bigger the job, the higher the amount you should expect to pay. Additionally, in some rewiring projects, not all the previous wires and fittings are removed, some can be reused, which will reduce the amount of money you spend on materials and equipment. However, if your rewiring involves a total replacement of wires and fittings, you should plan to spend more. Note also that the type and quality of materials will determine how much you spend at the end of the project.

It is important to note that the cost of house rewiring should not tempt you to cut corners by using substandard materials or unqualified electricians. While you may actually spend a lot less, you are putting the safety of your home at risk. All rewiring jobs must meet a particular standard as stipulated by BS7671 regulations and Part P building regulations.Only a qualified electrician will be able to rewire your house to meet the accepted standard and issue a compliance and safety certificate. A good idea is to shop around for electrical contractors who do house wiring, so that you can get a list of prices to examine. Once you get an electrical contractor you feel will do a good job, ask them to send a free, no-obligation estimate so that you can properly plan your expenses. But, for an accurate price, you will need to invite an electrician over to your house to inspect the property and provide a written quote.

Portable Appliance Testing, more commonly known as PAT testing, is the series of examinations done on electrical equipment to determine if it is safe to use. PAT testing usually entails a visual test and thorough further testing carried out by a competent electrician.

Even though PAT testing is not compulsory under the law, it is important you do it to satisfy the Electrical Work Regulations requirements which stipulate that all electrical systems and appliances are kept in perfect order to prevent danger. PAT testing is the easiest way to satisfy the necessary regulations and so it is very important that all businesses carry out PAT testing on a regular basis. At the end of the tests, appliances that pass are marked with a green label and the tester will offer solutions on how to go about fixing the appliances that don’t meet the accepted standards.

Dozens of factors affect the cost of PAT testing. For one thing, the location where the equipment to be tested is may contribute to the cost of overall PAT testing. Additionally, while some appliances demonstrate defects during visual inspection, others may require detailed inspection using specialised PAT testing equipment.

As fair pricing goes, there is no specific rule that says how much PAT testing should cost. Different PAT testing specialists have different ideas of what is a fair price and they have their reasons for setting the price they choose. In some cases, these reasons include extra expenses incurred such as transportation costs to the point of testing, reporting and label materials. However, as a rule, PAT testing specialists usually charge between £1 and £3 for each appliance. But, if you have lots of appliances to test, you will likely get a discount for bulk testing.

You have to understand that PAT testing involves a lot more than just testing the appliances; while some firms only carry out the PAT testing and submit a result; others go the extra mile by carrying out basic repairs like rewiring, fuse replacement and a complete visual inspection. Additionally, a certificate will be issued to show that the establishment is in compliance with the relevant regulations and that the work environment is a safe place to work in.

Some PAT testing firms may actually charge less than the minimum £1 but these firms usually have a minimum number of appliances that you have to test, or a minimum fee, in order to qualify for this pricing system.

PAT testing is an essential process put in place by the health and safety regulations board to ensure the safety of homes and workplaces, therefore, while cost should be a consideration, it should not be your main influencing factor. It is your responsibility as a landlord or business owner to ensure that all the electrical appliances in your premises are safe for use. In the event of an electrical accident, such as an electric shock or electric fire that occurs as a result of faulty electrical equipment, you are liable to face legal prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.

While many believe that the law mandates them to test their electrical appliances every year, this is not the case. According to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, any electrical equipment or appliance that could potentially cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition.

That being said, the regulations are not specific about exactly what must be done to keep electricals safe, how frequently or by whom. So, the regulations don’t make it a legal requirement to test or inspect electrical appliances and they don’t specify that it should be done on a yearly basis.

An employer will have fulfilled their legal obligation by ensuring that all electrical equipment is maintained to prevent any sort of danger to visitors or employees. It is advised that they take a risk-based approach while considering the kind of appliances or applications they have installed and what they are being used for.

For kettles, floor cleaners and other equipment that is used regularly and moved around, visual checks and testing can form an important aspect of an effective maintenance regimen. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidelines on how equipment can be maintained, including using PAT testing.

PAT testing is one of the most reliable means to make sure the government regulations around electrical equipment are met. Insurance companies and HSE expect employers to have PAT testing done to make sure they fully comply with the relevant regulations such as:

  1. The 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
  2. The 1998 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  3. The 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations
  4. The 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act

Failing to comply with the regulations mentioned above could lead to six months’ imprisonment and/or fines as high as £5,000. In some cases, fines have gone up to £20,000 and some sentences have been as high as two years’ imprisonment in addition to the high financial penalties. So, PAT testing is a serious matter even though it is not strictly required by law. It ensures that you are protected by keeping you compliant with the necessary regulations.

Note that when we say ‘employers’ are required to follow these regulations, this includes the self-employed. Instead of looking at PAT testing as something that must be done because someone else requires it, consider it a crucial aspect of the health and safety of your business environment. It’s the most reliable means to identify any defects with frequently-used electrical equipment or appliances.

When faults are spotted early on, you can avoid dealing with potential hazards by making the necessary repairs. Think of the costs and other possible consequences of an electrical fault that’s left unattended to.Knowing that your electrical appliances and equipment are safe and having peace of mind that the general public, operators and members of staff are not at risk of any harm should be enough to motivate you to perform PAT testing regularly.

There are certain things you can do as a landlord to ensure that the electrical appliances in your property do not lead to accidents.

  1. Make sure all your appliances are ready for a new tenancy before you rent out your property.
  2. Check all small appliances at least once every two years. This covers appliances like toasters, lamps, fans, toasters, and microwaves.
  3. Check larger white goods like dishwashers, ovens, fridges, and washing machines every four years.
  4. Make sure all tenants understand how to use the electrical appliances in your property. Hand out copies of instruction manuals where necessary and ensure that they understand the need to follow instructions when using the appliances.
  5. Make sure you only purchase appliances that have a CE mark. These appliances meet BEAB approval and are in compliance with EU production regulations. BEAB-approved appliances are manufactured in a regulated factory and are tested before being sold.
  6. Avoid using electrical equipment where possible. It is harder to verify the integrity of these appliances. A visual check may not be enough to truly ascertain their quality, thereby leaving you and your tenants at risk of electrical and fire-related incidents.

PAT is an acronym for Portable Appliance Testing. It is a process which involves testing all electrical appliances,which can be moved, to ensure that they can be used safely. During PAT testing, appliances like vacuum cleaners, fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves and all other similar appliances are checked thoroughly for proper function. Cables and plugs around the appliances are checked and they are also checked for insulation and grounding. The tests are done within the building.

This is one of the most common questions people ask.To answer this properly, it’s important to have a proper understanding of how these two heating systems work.

Central heating involves every room in the house being heated via a central heat source, usually powered by an energy source other than electricity. Central heating can be powered by wood, water heat pump or diesel. However, the most common source of power for central heating is gas. There are several reasons why people choose central heating; one is that it comes with the advantage of convenience. A central heating system can be used anywhere, as long as a viable source of energy is close by. Because it is usually installed in a central location, it’s said to be a very safe way to heat the home, as any potential accident is usually restricted to where the central boiler is located. Central heating is also said to be more environmentally friendly, as it can be powered by eco-friendly energy sources such as solar or even bio-gas, reducing the risk of damage to the environment.

Despite the merits covered above, central heating does have its drawbacks that discourage people from using it. For one thing, central heating is extremely expensive to install and maintain. Before you can install central heating in your home, you’ll need to carry out extensive modifications on your existing structure. Apart from one designated room where the central boiler will be located, virtually every part of your home will be gutted, so that the pipes which will serve as conduit for the heat can be installed. Depending on your location, you may need to apply for (and be granted) permits before this kind of extensive work can be undertaken. You can see now that even before accounting for monthly or periodical gas fees, you will have spent a sizable amount of money on purchase and installation.

On the other hand, an electric heater uses electricity to provide heat to the home. There are different types of electrical heaters, but they all work the same way. In terms of purchase and installation, an electrical heater – regardless of model or size – is much cheaper than a central boiler. Additionally, depending on the type of electrical heater you choose, you won’t need to carry out extensive work on your house. In fact, almost all the electrical heaters available can simply be place in the room you want to heat up.

Admittedly, when you leave an electrical heater on for a long time, it tends to lead to very high electric bills. In fact, depending on how you use your heater, you could end up paying twice the amount someone using a central heater will pay for gas in the same period. However, certain types of electrical heaters can be used to save on electrical bills. For instance, ‘storage heaters’ store heat at night when electrical consumption is cheaper, so that it can be released during the day and subsequently used to heat up the room. This type of electrical tariff is known as Economy 7 and is available across the UK.

Ultimately, your choice for a home heating system should be influenced more by access to the sources of energy. If you live in an area where gas is unavailable, an electric heater will provemuch cheaper, whereas if you live in an area where electricity is a problem, you would be better using a central source of heating.

For many years, linear fluorescent lights were in vogue. In fact, they are still one of the most efficient light sources on the market and can boast a decent lifespan and quality light output. T8 fluorescent lamps use about 40% less energy than the T12 lamps that have now been phased out.

Recently, a new option has entered the market which has even greater energy efficiency – the T8 LED.This is mercury-free and(unlike fluorescents)roughly 30% more efficient than T8 linear fluorescent lights; has an average lifespan of 50, 000 hours, compared to the 30,000 hours of an average T8 LFL; is dimmable; offers directional light; works well with controls; and has a shatterproof coating.

It is possible to replace fluorescent tubes with LED. Installing a led tube in place of fluorescent tubes can be as easy as unscrewing the compact fluorescent bulb from the light socket and screwing in a new LED tube. However, some minor tinkering maybe needed.

The ballasts in fluorescent fixtures will damage new straight-LED tubes, although they can physically fit into the fixtures. SomeLED tubes (designed by manufacturers to work with the fluorescent ballast in place) are rather more expensive and far less efficient.

The following steps can be taken to replace a T8 linear fluorescent bulb with the LED version:

  1. Safety measures first

Disconnect the fixture from electricity by turning off the breaker that supplies power to it. To ensure no one turns on the breaker while you’re still working, place a bold note over it explaining that work is in progress. It is possible for an old fluorescent tube to shatter while it’s being replaced. You should therefore wear safety goggles. After removing the tube, it should be disposed of properly,as they contain mercury, which is deemed hazardous.

  1. Remove the ballast

Remove the cover to expose the ballast,which should then be unscrewed from the unit and removed from the fixture wires. Leave enough of the energised and neutral wires from the centre to get to the socket wires. The ballast can then be discarded.

  1. Perform a rewiring

The wires from the fixture and socket should be joined, after which the wiring cover will be replaced. Twisting the wires of the fixture together with the adequately sized wire nuts is the best way to rewire. All the wires from one side should be securely joined with one of the leads from the centre, as well as all the wires from the other end, together with the other lead.

If the replacement LED tubes have both the energised and neutral connections on one side, you’ll need to follow the instructions from the LED bulb manufacturer and rewire the sockets.

 

  1. Install the LED tubes

Peel off the protective plastic from the LED tubes after taking them out of the packaging and remove the tip guards. They should then be installed into the fixture, just like fixing in a T8LFL, with the LED string facing down and each end inserted into the slots, twisting to secure it into the receptacle.

The breaker box should then be turned on. Finally, test the light to see if it works.

Everyone likes an opportunity to save on energy bills. So much so, homeowners often ask if they can save money by using a heat pump.

If you’re thinking about installing a heat pump in your home, you’ll want to be sure that the savings will make the investment worthwhile. It’s easier to cough up the money needed to buy and install a heat pump when you’re sure you’ll be seeing savings on your energy bills.

The good news is that you can actually save money when you install and use a heat pump in your home. In fact, you can expect to enjoy between 30 to 40 percent savings if you maintain your current energy usage habits. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the ground or the air outside the house and transporting it indoors via the vents installed to provide warmth and comfort. Because heat pumps don’t produce heat by themselves, they require less power to run. Therefore,you will see significant savings in your energy consumption expenditure, compared to when you use conventional electric heaters.

However, it’s important to point out that when you change your usage habits, thiswill almost certainly affect your heating bills. For example, if you run the heater for longer than you normally would – or at a higher temperature – you’re bound to pay more in energy bills. Of course, you will enjoy a warmer and more comfortable home, but this will come at the risk of increasing your energy costs.

Heat pumps are an excellent source of energy efficient heat for the home. They also come with a unique ability that allows them to be used in reverse. For instance, in the hot summer months, a heat pump can extract warm air from the inside of your home, effectively providing a cooler atmosphere. If you don’t own an air conditioner, this feature will provide even more energy savings in the summer months.

For full disclosure: the part of the country in which you live will determine the efficiency and energy saving capabilities of a heat pump. Heat pumps are ideally suited to warm climates or regions where the weather is constantly mild. In places like these, a heat pump can prove very effective, both in warming your home and helping you save on energy bills, as there will be enough warm air outside that can be channelled into your home. On the other hand, if you live in an extremely cold climate, a heat pump will be to all intents and purpose useless, as there will be no outside heat to pump into the house.

To get the most out of your heat pump and enjoy all the money saving benefits they allow, be sure to buy one that’s most suitable for your home. A heat pump is not a ‘one size fits all’ device; therefore, using it as instructed and carrying out regular maintenance will help you get the most out of it.

Forced air heating is a system of heating that uses air as a medium of heat transfer. The system uses vents, plenums and ductworks in the distribution of hot air to retain an exact temperature within a room. There are several types of forced air heating systems and the major difference between them is the type of equipment used in heating the air and, when combined with a blower, fan or an air handler they are all capable of heating air.

There are four types of forced air heating system and a heat pump is one of them, the others are: gas furnace, electric furnace and hyrdronic coils.

  1. Heat Pump

A heat pump is a heating system that works by extracting the hot air that occurs naturally outside and transfers it inside or to an area that is referred to as the “heat sink”. There are two types of heat pumps, namely “ground source heat pump”, where the hot air is generated from the ground, and “air source heat pump” where the hot air is generated from the air outside.

A heat pump’s efficiency level can reach an average of 350%, it does not require regular maintenance and an air source heat pump does not occupy as much as space as a ground source heat pump. It can also be used for cooling during summertime.

  1. Gas Furnace

This type of forced air heating system provides hot air by burning fuel; a high-efficiency furnace has extra heat exchangers that block the by-product of the fuel combustion from entering the air stream.It has an electronic spark ignition system and a safety device that makes sure there is no accumulation of unburned fuel.

A gas furnace is cheaper to maintain, works faster than an electric furnace and is better at reaching high temperatures in extremely cold weather.

  1. Electric Furnace

This is a form of forced air heating system that uses an electrical heating element in place of fuel to generate hot air. It has a thermostat that controls it and keeps its temperature at the desired level, when the temperature is reached, the thermostat turns off the blower and the element. An electric furnace has a lower initial cost compared to a gas furnace but the cost of maintenance in the long run is higher.

An electric furnace poses less risk compared to a gas furnace, which emits a low level of carbon monoxide, which, if not checked, can cause poisoning. Electric furnaces also tend to last longer than gas furnaces.

  1. Hydronic Coil

This system of heating combines hot water with forced air delivery. Heat is requested by the thermostat, the boiler ignites the system, and the water flow is initiated by the circulator to the hydronic coil which serves as the heat exchanger. Once it is warmed up, the main blower is activated, and when the thermostat is satisfied, the boiler and circulator are turned off, the blower shuts down after a while and heated water is pumped through the exchanger and back to the boiler to be reheated.

A heat pump transfers heat to a warmer area from an area with cool air. It absorbs the heat that occurs naturally outside and moves it inside. It runs on electricity and can work with existing ductwork or work as a ductless system.

A natural gas furnace supplies heat by heating up natural gas in its burner, the resulting flame then heats up the metal heat exchanger and exhaust out of the flue, the heat is transferred by the heat exchanger into the incoming air, finally the furnace blower forces the heated air into the ductwork and throughout the home. Once the air fills the room, the colder air is drawn into the furnace via the return ducts and the process starts all over.

The rivalry between these two forms of heating has been going on for a while with home owners wondering which is better and cheaper, and there is no definitive answer to this question as there are several factors to consider:

  • Efficiency: natural gas boilers are considered to be between 50% to 75% efficient, that means only about half of the energy supplied to it is converted into heat, what is left is wasted, but newer generations of boilers can reach efficiency level of 90%. Heat pumps are more efficient as they can reach a level as high as 350% and this is because they absorb thehot air outside.
  • Space: a heat pump requires a lot of space; this includes its outdoor fan unit which can take up as much space as a washing machine, space for its indoor heat exchanger and a hot water cylinder. This is for an air source heat pump; a ground source heat pump will require double that amount of space. A natural gas boiler requires only an indoor component which does not take up as much space.
  • Maintenance: gas boilers are required to be checked annually by an HVAC professional, to ensure safety by reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and explosion as a result of a leak. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are not required to be checked annually, they can operate just as well without annual maintenance.
  • Environmental Friendliness: a heat pump is eco-friendlier because it does not burn fossil fuel and, even if it were powered by electricity generated from coal, it still would not emit as much carbon as a gas boiler.

A heat pump costs considerably more than a gas boiler, an air source heat pump can cost four times more than a gas boiler, while a ground source heat pump costs about six times more. In places where electricity rates are lower than gas, the running cost of a heat pump will be lower than that of a gas boiler. So, before deciding on which is cheaper, it is better to consider all the factors that have been highlighted above as well as the size of the home and also take into account that a heat pump can provide cool air during summer months.

How often you should get an electrical check will depend on how old your house is and the number of appliances it supports. Older houses may have an outdated electrical system which can’t support certain appliances and increasing loads.

A periodic inspection involves conducting checks and associated testing to see if the electrical components of a house are working optimally. After the required inspection and testing, an Electrical Installation Condition Report will be issued. The report shows any observed defects, damages, unsafe conditions, and any non-compliance with current safety standards that could lead to danger.

It is often recommended to get an electrical check every 3-5years. You also need to update your electrical system, when necessary,to keep up with recent safety standards, even if you have a relatively new house.

To maintain adequate safety standards, periodic testing and inspection should be carried out as follows:

  • Every 5 years, at least, for businesses
  • Every 5 years, or during every change of occupancy, for tenanted properties
  • Every 10 years, at least, for private homes

You will know that your electrical system is inadequate when you start experiencing any of the following:

  • Fuses constantly blowing
  • Outlets and switches no longer working properly
  • Tripping circuit breakers
  • Your electrical outlets are two pronged instead of three pronged
  • Lights flicker when an air conditioner, heater, or some other appliance is turned on

Regular checks should be carried out around the house to monitor the condition of sockets, switches, cables, and other accessories.  Once anything unusual is noticed, such as circuit breakers tripping or fuses blowing, crackling or buzzing, or burn marks on sockets and plugs, a registered electrician should be contacted to conduct an electrical check immediately.

Various factors can lead to the wear and tear of electrical installations, including how the property has been used and the materials that the installations are made of.

When an electrical check is done and it is discovered that a rewiring is needed, it is recommended to remove redundant wiring. To avoid any risks, all redundant wiring must be disconnected permanently from any electrical supply if it is not possible to have it removed. There are no set rules as to when a property should be rewired. Rewiring should not be done just because the wiring of a house is old. As long as it meets safety conditions and is in good shape.

According to the 1985 Landlords and Tenant Act, electrical wiring should be kept in proper working order by landlords who have properties with short leases. It is recommended that, at the relevant intervals as shown above, landlords should arrange for periodic inspections and testing by a registered electrician.

For caravans and swimming pools, there should be more frequent periodic electrical inspection and testing as follows:

  • Every 1 year for swimming pools
  • Every 3 years for caravans

To ensure that electrical appliances and equipment are in good condition, safe to use,and will not cause injury,they are examined periodically according to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This is referred to as PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing). PAT testing law requires that landlords, employers, and the self-employed should ensure that their portable electrical appliances are only used for the purposes they are meant for and that they are safe and suitable for the job at hand.

To ensure preventative maintenance, the Health and Safety Executive state that PAT testing should be done regularly. However, there are no set rules on how frequently this is. The reason why there are no set rules is because a variety of situations that require a variety of measures could potentially happen. It is left toeach individual to determine when to carry out PAT testing, since there are a number of factors that affect the testing frequency.

Most types of electrical safety defects can be detected by visual examination while some can only be detected by testing. Regardless, visual examination is a key component of fault detection since most faults may not be detected by testing alone.

There are a few different factors to considerto determine how often to test your appliances:

  1. A major factor in determining the frequency of PAT testing is the type of equipment in question. Appliances that are stationary are less likely to become damaged than appliances that are hand held. Class 1 appliances should be tested more often since they pose the greatest risk of danger.
  2. Equipment that is less frequently used may suffer less damage than that being used regularly. Therefore, frequently-used equipment and appliances should be tested more often.
  3. There is a lowerrisk for a major hazard to happen when people immediately report any noticeable damage. If it happens that people tend not to report damage once it becomes noticeable, and that equipment is handled with little care, then testing and inspections should be done more frequently.

There are recommendations for PAT testing frequency although there are no set rules:

  • Industrial equipment testing: commercial kitchens included, portable and handheld equipment testing should be done every 6months on all industrial sites. Stationary, moveable, and IT equipment should be tested every 12 months.
  • Hotels, shops, and offices: testing should be done every 48months for class 1 equipment, including IT and stationary equipment. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12months. Portable equipment and moveable equipment should be tested every 24months.
  • Public use equipment: portable, moveable, and handheld equipment that is under Class 2 should be tested every 12months. Those under Class 1 should be tested every 6months. Stationary and IT equipment, such as computers, should be tested every 12 months.
  • School: Class 2 equipment should be PAT tested every 48months, while Class 1 equipment should be tested every 12months.
  • Construction: there should be a PAT testing every 3months for all 110V equipment on construction sites.

According to updated UK laws, PAT Testing is not mandatory for landlords. However, while there is generally no legal requirement, there are still exceptions. A live-in care worker, for example, taking care of someone in your rented apartment means you are mandated to carry out PAT testing.

However, the fact that you are not required to carry out PAT testing legally doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to ensure that all the electrical equipment in your apartment is safe to use. You are also expected to keep this equipment safe for as long as your tenants are living in the property. How you choose to do this is up to you. Whilst some landlords choose to pay for professional PAT tests, you can elect to go the DIY route if you wish to.

Having a PAT test done by a qualified professional gives you the protection you need in the event of a legal case comingas a result of an electrical appliance malfunction.

In England and Wales, a set of building regulations was introduced in 1965 to provide guidelines to help in building safety. Part P is a part of those rules and guidelines and has to do with the safety standard of electrical installation in these areas.Part P regulations also cut across other areas where safety is important, such as with fire safety, ventilation and drainage. If you have ever had any electrical work done in your home, chances are you are familiar with this term.

Usually, when electrical work is done in the UK, certificates are issued to the clients to show that the work is to the accepted standard. One of these certificates is the Part P electrical certificate, which is applicable only for electrical work done in homes and non-commercial properties.

A Part P certificate is given to indicate that the electrician who did the work did so in complete accordance with building and safety requirements and that the job is up to the qualifying standard of the certificate.

Part P regulations require that:

“Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.”

On completion of any electrical work done in your home, you will be issued a Part P electrical certificate to show that the work done matches accepted British standards; however, not just anyone can issue a Part P certificate. This certificate can only be issued by a qualified electrician who is registered with any of the electrical regulatory bodies such as ELECSA or NICEIC. Only electricians registered with these bodies can certify an electrical installation done in a domestic residence. In the event that an unregistered electrician does the job, it is your responsibility to have the job checked and certified by a qualified and registered electrician in order to get a copy of the Part P certificate. When you use a registered electrician, you can be sure that the work will be done in a way that it is safe and does not pose the risk of fire, electric shock or any other electricity-related accident.

If you will be doing extensive electrical work in your home, depending on where you live, you may need to notify and get approval from the relevant building authority in your area. They will send a representative who will come to check that the finished job meets the required standard and that it qualifies for a Part P certificate.

A lot of the electrical work done in domestic properties is covered by Part P regulations but, as pointed out earlier, the easiest way to get a Part P certificate is to engage the services of a qualified contractor who will do the job and can self-certify that the job that is compliant with standards. A Part P certificate, while giving you the assurance that the electrical work you have had done is reliable and safe, also gives you the right to seek legal action or make a complaint to the relevant regulatory bodies if it eventually turns out that the contractor did a shoddy job.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing) is a safety measure that has been put in place according to the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations to ensure that tenants, workers, and the general public who use portable electrical appliances are safe from injury. It is a UK policy where electrical appliances undergo routine safety checks.

A PAT tester, or ohmmeter, is used by a qualified PAT testing specialist to conduct checks and tests on a number of appliances. The appliances should pass a variety of tests including insulation resistance, earth continuity, lead polarity, and several other checks for more advanced testers. Appliances that fail the tests must undergo the necessary repairs and recommended safety measures are advised. For ease of tracking in the future, the appliances that pass these tests are labeled with a safety sticker with a barcode. The testing process is relatively quick and easy. It does not take long to determine how safe the tested appliances are depending on how the tests have been passed or failed. For new appliances, a simple visual check should be done to ensure that there is no damage before they are used.

The tests done on an appliance are subject to risk assessment by a qualified technician and will depend on the type of appliance and its electrical class. For instance, the appliance will be powered up by performing a leakage current test on it, but it might not be safe to perform this test if the appliance cannot be safely secured on a stand. In this case, it may safer to perform an insulation resistance test.

A certified and competent external testing company should be contacted to carry out a PAT test for all types of organisations and residencies. They are able to observe any signs of wear and conduct the required testing on appliances. They will be able to provide guidance on safety measures that can ensure all appliances remain in good condition and are safe to use. They can also recommend the required course of action after carrying out PAT testing and repair any wear or damage in the appliance where required. PAT testing can also be done by a competent person in-house who must have undergone PAT test training and obtained an official qualification or has attended a health and safety course in an electrical health and safety company.

Although there are no set rules as to how frequently PAT testing should be carried out, it is recommended that all appliances undergo yearly routine checks. Some of the tests include checking plugs for any cracks or damage, testing for frayed wires, and visually examining the appliance that seems to be developing faults, including the casing around it.

Landlords, employers, schools, and the self-employed should take a risk-based approach in requesting PAT testing depending on the type of equipment in question and what it is being used for. The testing involves user checks, formal visual inspections, combined inspections and PAT. User checks help in early detection of signs of risk and immediately reporting to a specialist before they pose any danger.

The validity of your electrical safety certificate (which is actually a report) is dependent on your property type. If you have tenants in the property, the electrical safety certificate will last for around 5 years or with every change of tenancy, depending on which comes first. If you are living in your own property, the electrical safety certificate will be valid for around 10 years. For commercial establishments, the electrical safety certificate is valid for 5 years.The electrical safety certificatesfor caravans and swimming pools have a shorter lifespan, as they are only valid for 3 years and 1 year respectively.

The suggested validity length is industry standard. However, landlords are not under a legal obligation to get their electrical safety certificates updated at these times. The Landlords and Tenant Act of 1985 only requires landlord to keep the electrical wiring in proper working condition. It doesn’t explicitly require you to get an electrical certificate.

The main reason why you need the certificate, however, is that you may be unable to show legal proof that the wiring and electrical setup in your property was at its best in the event of an electrical accident. Many insurance companies will also reject your claims if you don’t present the documented evidence that is the electrical safety certificate or report.

If you’ve ever had electrical work done in your home or office, you were probably issued with a BS7671 certificate. This is usually issued at the completion of an electrical design, installation or repair project to show that the job was carried out in accordance to the relevant safety requirements and meets the accepted health and safety standard.

In January 2005, a law was passed whereby all work on electrical installations in homes, offices and commercial buildings across Britain would be required to comply with a particular standard. In the UK, this standard is the BS7671 requirements for electrical installations; it was put in place to serve as a guideline for electrical installations and to protect against shoddy workmanship or the use of substandard materials.

The BS7671 electrical safety certificate is usually given to the home or business owner at the end of a new electrical installation or after the completion of repairs to an existing electrical system. This certificate shows that the electrical installation was carried out by a qualified electrician and was inspected and tested in accordance with the BS7671 guidelines, which relate to the IEEE wiring regulations. The certificate is proof that the job meets the approved standard – be it a new design, installation, modification or alteration. First time wiring, rewiring, installation of new circuits, additions to existing circuits and any other electrical installation or modification in different areas of the property all fall under the type of electrical work that qualifies for a BS7671 certificate.

It is your responsibility to ensure any electrical project completed in your home or office is carried out by a qualified electrician. Only such an individual will be able to give you the quality of work that qualifies for a BS7671 certificate.

Apart from demonstrating compliance with Health and Safety regulations, a BS7671 certificate also provides other benefits to the property owner. For instance, should you decide to sell your property in future, you’ll need to provide a current BS7671 certificate, otherwise you may have a hard time selling the property. Additionally, not having an up-to-date BS7671 certificate will jeopardise your insurance cover in the event of an electrical accident on your premises. You may even face legal prosecution for putting the lives of people at risk by using unqualified electrical contractors for your electrical projects.

As long as you have a valid BS7671 certificate, you have the right to make a formal complaint to any of the relevant electrical regulatory bodies if you find out that the work completed is not up to standard. Some of the relevant bodies include: NAPIT, NICEIC and ELECSA. You can also use this certificate to take an ‘insurance back guarantee’, which gives you the right to make a claim if you discover the electrical work was not completed in accordance with the current building and safety regulations.

It’s vital that you use a qualified electrician for any electrical project and ask them for a BS7671 certificate on the completion of the work.

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